Finding reputable Labrador breeders is challenging task. However, it is worthy of such overcoming such a challenge when buying a puppy, if you want to have a Labrador Retriever without any health and behavioral issues down the road. A reputable breeder is the only one, who can assure you that of having purebred puppies free from genetic disorders and with the right pedigree.
Here are five important tips to follow while identifying a reputable breeder.
Meet Labrador Breeders
Responsible Labrador breeders are always ready to discuss about their prized possession. Being the custodian of the Labrador breed, they are well aware of the dog and like to engage people interested in dogs patronized by them. You may meet any of such breeders and express your desire to buy a purebred puppy from him. They are sure to welcome your decision to have Lab, but don’t be ready to sell a puppy unless they are sure that you can take adequate care of the dog. Talk to the breeder about his credentials and association with Labradors. Visit their kennel to see the conditions of their dogs.
Inexperienced or irresponsible dog breeders, on the other hand, typically focus on selling as many puppies as they can without worrying whether they are going to a good home or not. They may not be open to extensive discussions about the dog or inquire about your ability to raise a puppy.
Ask Questions About Labradors
Labrador breeders with a good reputation are open to any questions on this breed of dog. They have nothing to hide and they should be more than interested in telling you about the dog and its purebred features. However, make sure the decision is not one sided. Do your homework well before visiting a Labrador breeder and actively inquire about his experience.
Some important questions to ask during your visit must include the following.
- How familiar is he with the Lab puppies’ ancestry?
- What is his experience as a breeder?
- What are his credentials?
- Is he registered with a Lab club?
- How many times has he participated in Lab shows or dog competitions?
- Were the parents screened for genetic health conditions, such as hip dysplasia before being bred?
- Are there any health problems associated with the specific line of Labradors?
- Is there any recent outbreak of parvovirus or other contagious diseases in his kennel?
- Have puppies been born with any undesirable characteristics in the past?
- Does he have puppy papers, pedigree details, dog registrations, and health certificates of parent dogs?
Visit the Kennels of Labrador Breeders
You must insist on visiting the kennel of a breeder. Ask the breeder to show you different parts of his kennel. The ambiance and facilities at kennels speak volumes about Labrador breeders and help you identify if he is genuine and reputable.
Check the environment for cleanliness and make sure the breeder treats his dog humanely. This trait of a breeder differentiates him from puppy mills and irresponsible breeders. You may also want to ask about food served, daily activities with dogs, care tips, vaccination of Labs, and the socialization of his puppies.
Inquire About Veterinary Care
The ideal age to sell a Lab puppy is around when he is 8 weeks old. By this time, a puppy gets his first vaccination and deworming. However, some breeders wait until 8 or 9 weeks of age to do these. Therefore, it is important to ask the breeder whether the puppies have already received vaccine shots or what type of veterinary care they have. This is vital to know what type of healthcare a puppy needs when you bring him home. You can also ask for medical records to confirm that the parents and puppies have regular and proper inoculation and deworming.
Ask About Puppy Papers
Labrador breeders are bound to follow certain standards set by their respective kennel clubs while selling a puppy. This includes providing a buyer necessary papers regarding a puppy’s registration, parental health, pedigree details, etc. They are even amenable to sign a contract and provide warranty assuring that the puppy is purebred and free from genetic disorders.
A reputable breeder makes a lifetime commitment to the puppies that they breed and is always eager to help a pet owner. However, you must obtain written guarantee for such commitment. If the Labrador puppies are not yet registered with the kennel club, the breeder must also provide you with the proper information so that you can register your dog at a later time. Without the AKC certification, you have no proof that your dog is, in fact, a purebred Labrador Retriever.