Here's the question prospective owners should be asking:
Having experience with Labs, what 1 or 2 things (no more) would you suggest I consider?
Health testing of the parents (OFA hips/elbows, eyes, EIC, CNM, PRA at the minimum), which goes along with a responsible, reputable breeder.
1) To be honest with themselves what energy level/ temperament they can deal with given the future "job" (or lack thereof) for hopeful puppy-- IOW, there are more important things about a Lab than just color.
2) To insist on buying from a breeder who puts their puppies' well-beings as their highest priority.
WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014
agree - be TOTALLY brutally honest about how much time and energy they have NOW and for the next 10-16 years for the dog. how do future plans fit in (kids, moving, moving up the ladder at work). You can't plan for everything obviously but some things are pretty easy to predict if you stop to think of it. do proper research (not one site or talking to one person) about the breed's needs and again be honest about your ability to meet them.
then really carefully read up and educate yourself on finding a breeder. there is MUCH variation in temperament and needs from one breeder to the other with labs (and many other breeds). So even if you've picked out the breed, make sure to REALLY find the right breeder (and yes, clearances are a bare minimum). Oh and AKC registered means squat. it is not an indication of quality of health. just papers based on self-regulation for the most part (unless there is an issue/complaint)
O.k., I meant well.
Nobody has asked the question, but you folks are leaving very good answers. Perhaps they'll pick up on it someway.
And given "tis the season" for an inundation of puppy queries since the kiddos are getting out of school soon and parents want an instant babysitter/ entertainment package, I hope some folks DO see the answers.
One of the biggest thorn in my side as a breeder are folks who only have a color/ gender criteria and nothing else. Oh wait, price is normally the next question if I press for more info from them.
A Lab is a Lab is a Lab to too many anymore. Sigh. Then we deal w/ them in rescue.
WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014
Alright…I'm going to leave my answer, hoping someone that needs it will read this stuff.
This time around I going to agree with WindyCanyon. These dogs are born to run, and they're going to do it with or without you, do not underestimate their energy level, consider building a fenced-in area, the bigger the better, stack a half dozen bales of hay in the center, they like to jump also, now that you have a safe and secure play area you can throw fetch toys with him/her, and let them go to it.
By the way, since you invested all that time and money, get two, they'll entertain each other and won't take up much more room sleeping on the floor.
Yes, I'm serious!
Rocky is 18 months old, I'm 70 yrs. old, if I had to do again well…….that doesn't matter now, we're in it for the long haul together.
Get as much information in advance you can find, including what's been left here,
talk to others, talk to your breeder, and good luck with your forever friend.
I think most puppies like to run and a fenced yard is a necessity
. I think you should be careful with a Labrador and not them jump or spin in circles catching things for the first 18 months as it can affect their joints. Some maybe not now but in future years when they should be enjoying life and not hobbling around due to owners not being careful in the beginning.
I like having 2 dogs but would get one first then another later. Training 2 dogs together is harder and once one is trained the new one will learn off the older one. Having them spaced apart means one may still be here when the other has gone.
Knowing what your limits are as to exercise and budget when getting any dog and from a good breeder.