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Crate Training



You have a lifetime of “unconditional love” from your lab ahead of you. Treat him with as much respect as any new member of your family deserves and give him all the love you have to give! When you first bring a new lab puppy into your household, it is very important to establish your guidelines and acceptable behaviors for him. Whatever behavior you allow during this time will

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What is a Breeder


A Breeder goes through absolutely hellacious torment every time a puppy is shipped by air. A Breeder makes you justify just why you think you deserve a puppy.

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On the other hand, a non-breeder, in the case of the worst puppy mills, breeds any dog which looks like it may belong a certain breed to whatever specimen of the same breed they can pick up. A non- breeder doesn’t choose the ‘best’ male for a given female. A non-breeder ‘lets nature take its course’ rather than doing everything within their power to ensure that the mother and the father, and eventually the puppies, are healthy, so that the breeding will be successful, so that it won’t seriously affect the health of the mother, and so that the puppies will be robust and healthy. A Breeder will perform all necessary tests to ensure that the mother and father of a litter are genetically healthy, and free of inheritable diseases to the best of their ability to check. A Breeder will only register puppies with the correct pedigree. A puppy mill will use any set of ‘papers’ they can get their hands on, and which may not actually be the true pedigrees of the sire and dam. A Breeder will stay awake and with the litter for as many 24-hour days as are necessary to insure that no puppy is lost to ‘fading puppy syndrome’, or is squashed or misplaced by the new mother. A non-breeder will ‘let nature take its course’ – again. A Breeder will handle every puppy several times every day, and help supplement the puppies feeding if necessary to save excessive drain on the dam. A Breeder will chart daily weights on the puppies, and identify each puppy in some way, so that they can keep track of each puppy’s rate of gain, so a puppy which is falling behind the others can be supplemented. A Breeder will give the expectant mother Breyers Ice Cream, or pickles and peanut butter, if they are requested, and will sleep with her on their pillow, to reassure her she is special. A Breeder will stay home from work for as many days as necessary, in order to whelp the litter, help the female, and get the puppies off to a good start. A Breeder will supply the mother with a whelping box which keeps the mother and the puppies comfortable, and gives them a feeling of protection and safety. If the bitch chooses, however, she is allowed to begin the whelping process on the Breeder’s own bed, and to move to the whelping box once anxiety cools and the female is ready to keep at her job in another location. A puppy mill simply ‘harvests’ the puppies from wire bottomed cages like rabbit hutches when they appear to be about the age of consent for the airlines. A Breeder will skillfully interview all applicants for adoption, and will provide the new puppy owners with a healthy, well adjusted, well vaccinated and wormed puppy. I know I could go on about this for a couple more pages, but the impression I want to give, is that breeding a litter and whelping and raising and placing puppies entails tremendous sustained effort, education, money and a good knowledge of applied genetics. It is anything but a casual undertaking. A breeding undertaken without this kind of effort may produce healthy, sound puppies, or it may not. One has no way of predicting, since the deck wasn’t ‘loaded’’ as good Breeders try to arrange it. After selling the puppy, a good Breeder will follow up with all needed assistance to the new owner. A Breeder will be prepared to take a puppy or adult dog back into their own home if needed – for whatever reason. This means that a good Breeder must be able to provide for an extra dog or two at a moments notice, and inconvenience isn’t an admissible excuse. A good Breeder considers him or herself the “parent” of a puppy from birth to grave. The responsibility for bringing new puppies into the world includes making certain, to the extent possible, that these puppies will go on to have happy lives, and never become homeless. All contracts for puppy sales must include that any transfer should occur through the breeder, or be approved by the breeder. The bumper sticker proclaims that “A Puppy is for Life”, and that’s true, for both the buyer and the breeder. While ‘back yard breeders’ may not be guilty of the sins of puppy mills, neither are they, by definition, cognizant of the procedures and efforts necessary to earn the title ‘Breeder’.

Finding a Breeder

Finding a breeder

These guidelines apply regardless of the breed you are interested in. The most important distinction in breeders is that of profit motive. Good breeders make puppies very carefully with a primary goal of improving their beloved breed. To breed for any other reason is unethical.

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Unfortunately, puppy mills, brokers and novices masquerade as good breeders to earn money.
Here are a few tips on how to recognize the good ones.

What good breeders do:
Carefully select a sire for their dam that compliments her strengths and corrects her weaknesses.
Participate in conformation shows, obedience, agility, fieldwork or whatever. They are actively working with their dogs towards attaining a goal.
Make you jump through hoops to get one of their dogs.
Make you go on a waiting list. And complete a lengthy application.
They may visit your home.
Invite you to their home/kennel.
Never mention cost until you do.
Love their animals.
Require that the dog be returned to them if you ever decide you can’t keep the dog.
Spend the time to get to know you.
Give you more information than you probably want or need.
Provide ongoing support and expertise.
Have many references they can provide.
Have a contract.
Match the right puppy to you and your circumstances.
Cry when their puppies go home with you.

What good breeders don’t do:
Sell you a dog because you have the money.
Refuse to let you see their kennel or meet the dam and/or sire.
Buy pups from puppy mills and pretend they bred them.
Hold pups up for sale outside of shows or stores.
Be in a hurry with any part of the process.

The main point here is to never buy a dog from someone who easily sells a dog to you because you have the cash! Remember, you may keep this dog for fifteen years, so chose carefully and be willing to wait months for the right puppy.


Your Puppy and Chewing

Advice about your puppy’s chewing

What to Do When Your Puppy Dog Is Chewing Everything In Sight
A puppy wanting to chew makes you want to scream! Do remember though, like children who search their new world with their hands, so do puppies search, but with their mouths. While there is a difference between exploratory chewing and problem chewing, Continue reading “Your Puppy and Chewing” »