Labrador Retriever Club, Inc.
Founded 1981 An AKC Licensed Club
LOOKING FOR A LABRADOR RETRIEVER PUPPY?
Here Are Some Important Questions to Ask
Buying a puppy is a decision that affects your family for many years and as a result, you want to know as much about the health, temperament, heredity, and trainability of your investment as possible. The NORTHERN OHIO LABRADOR RETRIEVER CLUB, INC. has compiled the following questions to help you be an informed puppy buyer.
- What hereditary problems are known to exist in the breed?
- Have the hips and elbows of both parents been x-ray scanned and certified by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA), and rated for hip and/or elbow dysplasia? May I have a copy of the certificate?
This does not guarantee puppies cannot develop hip problems but it does give you a better chance. Weight, exercise, and nutrition while a puppy is growing are also determining factors.
- Have the eyes of both parents been checked by a canine ophthalmologist for hereditary defects?
This is not a guarantee against these problems but a good breeder is aware and tries to avoid problems. Dogs can be carriers of problems and be unaffected. Labradors have had problems with hereditary cataracts, retinal dysplasia, and PRA (progressive retinal atrophy).
- To your knowledge, do any of the ancestors have or produce epilepsy?
- What information do you have about the puppy's background?
- How do the parents look? Color, weight, height, eye color and conformation (topline, tail set, shoulder layback, ear set, etc.).
- Can you see the parents, or at least a picture? Are pictures of the grandparents available?
- Can you contact the owner of the stud dog?
- What kind of a temperament do the parents have?
- Could they live in a house?
- Are they tolerant with other dogs, children, or people in general?
- Do they exhibit intelligence, trainability and natural instinct?
- What can they tell you about the puppy's health?
- Were any vaccines given?
What kind were given?
When is the next one due?
- Has a stool sample been checked under a microscope?
What was detected?
How was it treated?
- Were the dew claws removed?
- What food is the puppy being fed?
- What have they observed about the individual puppies in the litter?
- Does the breeder offer a health guarantee? The minimum, even for a pet puppy, should allow you the chance to have the puppy checked by a veterinarian of your choice.
Do they offer a long-term health guarantee against hereditary factors in some cases?
- Information about the breeders.
- Why did they select these particular dogs as parents?
- Why and how often do they breed? (Number of breeding animals.)
- Would they supply references from their breeding records?
Do they keep breeding records?
- What is the price of the puppy?
Are there different prices in the same litter? If so, why?
- Can the breeder offer you any educational information?
Can they supply you with books and/or authors that might help you?
Can they recommend a training school and offer you training tips?
GOOD LUCK IN YOUR SEARCH FOR THE PERFECT PUPPY FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY. WE HOPE THESE QUESTIONS WILL AID YOU IN YOUR SEARCH.
Your veterinarian is always a good source of additional information.
REMEMBER, PUPPIES GROW UP!!
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