Frequently Asked Questions

Are your dogs AKC registered?

    Yes.  All our dogs are AKC registered, meaning that their pedigree is on file with the American Kennel Club, and they can be verified as pure-bred Labrador Retrievers. There are other registry organizations such as UKC and CKC, but AKC is the most reputable and well-known.

Is it normal to breed two different colored parents together?

    Yes. Within the Labrador Retriever breed there are three variation in official coloration: black, chocolate, and yellow.  Within the yellow category the color can range from white to cream, to traditional yellow to the dark reddish-brown color called fox-red. The nose and eye color can also vary from light to dark.   A small white patch on the chest of a black Lab is also an acceptable variation within the breed.   There can be any combination of colors within a litter, depending on the genetic background of the parents.  But breeding two different color parents will never produce a multicolored puppy.

What is the difference between American and English Labs?

    American Labs are taller and more athletic, bred for sport as well as pets.  English Labs are stockier, shorter, with blockier-shaped heads.  Both variations have excellent temperaments.  While the English line is commonly thought to be produce a calmer dog, it has been observed by well-known trainer Mike Lardy that this appears to be at least partly the result of nurture, rather than nature.  When it comes to appearance, many Labs do not fit cleanly into one stereotype or the other; rather they fall somewhere on a spectrum, from tall to stocky, from narrow to blocky.  Although our dogs have both English and American bloodlines, they more closely represent the American line.

Should I be concerned about hip dysplasia?

    Statistics indicate that 12% of Labs have hip dysplasia, which is lower than many other large breeds.  The traditional belief is that hip dysplasia is genetic, but some of the most current research indicates a similar incidence of dysplasia among offspring of affected and non-affected parents. In spite of this it is still a wise precaution to adopt a puppy from parents whose joints are certified as healthy. The best way to reduce the risk of hip dysplasia for your dog is to provide them with healthy food and moderate, but not excessive exercise to prevent obesity and injury.  The Orthopedic Foundation For Animals (OFA) certifies the hips and elbows of canines through a 5-vet-panel-review of x-rays from your dog.   Although OFA certification is no guarantee of avoiding this multigenic and environmentally-affected trait, it is the most responsible thing a breeder can do to avoid perpetuating this problem.  We are proud of our uncommonly low rate of puppies that show any sign of joint problems--less than 1%.

How can I help my puppy adjust when I bring him home?

    Before bringing your puppy home, make sure to have on hand the supplies you will need, such as puppy food, food and water dishes, a collar and leash, and a mid-sized crate.

    Puppies usually pass a lonely first night away from their litter mates.  It is normal for the puppy to whine through the night, even up to a few nights.  It is also normal for the pup to show little to no appetite for the first few days.  The stress of the new transition can also cause diarrhea.  This is no cause for worry.  To help your pup feel more at home, it helps to bring a blanket or towel, and allow it to mingle with the mother or other pups, to take home the familiar scent.  Sometimes a quiet radio and a nightlight also help.  We recommend hand-feeding for the first few days or weeks, which strengthens the bond between you and your new puppy.   Click here for more info on training your puppy. 

    If you reserve a puppy or sign up for our email updates, we provide extensive information on preparing for, caring for, and training your puppy.

What is DNA Certification?

    The AKC requires that any stud that sires 3 or more litters in a year or 7 or more litters in his lifetime to have a DNA sample coded and on file with them.  This procedure provides a means of verifying that the pups really are sired by him.  Charlie was DNA certified by the AKC, as will be his predecessor, when we find a new stud.

What is line breeding?

    Line breeding is the common and accepted practice of breeding dogs together within the bloodline to promote desirable traits in the breed.  For more information visit this link.

Can a puppy be shipped?

    Yes.  Puppies must be 8 weeks of age to be transported via airplane, though we prefer to transport them ourselves when possible, or arrange for them to be picked up in person. Shipping a puppy also depends upon acceptable weather, and shipping costs apply.  Contact us for more information.

How can I reserve a puppy?

    Once you have communicated with us about what you are looking for in your puppy, and have confirmed the availability of the gender and color you prefer, you may make a deposit either via check or credit card.  We accept a deposit in the amount of $100 to hold your pup, and you will be able to choose your pup in the order your deposit is received.  For example, if you are the first to make a deposit for a black male, you will have first pick from among the black males in the litter.  The deposit amount is non-refundable after the litter has been born.  If, after making a deposit, you are unable to purchase the pup at that time, we will forward the amount toward the price of a pup in a future litter.  When you remit your deposit, please include a completed copy of our contract.

Do you recommend pet health insurance?

It depends on your particular circumstances.  If you are of a mind to provide top-of-the-line care for your dog no matter what, should the need arise, then you should definitely look into pet health insurance.  If you would be limited financially in providing medical care for an accident or serious illness, insurance can help. There are many different types of plans. Some cover routine care, some cover primarily accidental injury. Some exclude well-visits, immunizations, etc.  Others even exclude hereditary illness.  Look for a plan that meets your needs and weigh the monthly rates with what is covered.  This review site provides an overview of some of the most well-known, and highest rated companies and their plans. A Google search on the internet will provide other reviews as well.  We can personally recommend Trupanion. Make sure to get your puppy signed up as early as possible, as there is a "pre-existing condition" window for most insurances.

What if I adopt a puppy that develops health problems?

If a puppy you adopted from us develops any concerning symptoms, please be in contact with us as soon as possible.  The information we provide upon adoption states that if you observe extreme lethargy, excessive or bloody vomiting or diarrhea, loss of balance, or failure to drink water you should contact your vet immediately. Our puppies are covered by a health guarantee that covers up to the cost of the dog. If a problem develops that falls into any of the categories on the health guarantee, please inform us of your vet's diagnoses immediately.  In addition, your feedback is valuable to us as we work for the maximum health and safety of all our puppies.