What To Look For When Buying a Puppy

1.  Decide what is important to you! 

While this sounds very obvious most people fail at this step and it is the most important. If a great hunting dog is what you want then, buy a dog from proven hunting lines. Both the sire and dame should be hunters because they both contribute to the gene pool of your new puppy.  Grand parents and great grandparents are important as well. If you want a hunt test dog, then buy one from those lines and likewise for field trials.  If you care about physical appearance then make sure you like the looks of the parents because that is what your pup will likely look like.

2. Never buy based on color alone!

This is closely related to number one but it is important enough that it deserves its own mention. This is a very hotly debated topic but most trainers would say the highest chance of success based on color is black first then yellow lastly is chocolate. This is not a provable fact but is  simply an observation through over 20 years of training. The most important thing is pedigree, regardless of the color you choose. We have owned and trained great dogs of all three colors. We have also had duds of all three colors. Our best dogs had parents that were great hunters as well as hunt test and field trial champions. Winners produce winners.

3. Check out the facilities and insist on puppies with vet documented shot records.

A clean facility usually means your pup has been taken care of. Many breeders give their own shots but a vet record is worth it in the long run, insuring that everything has been properly done on time and documented. (We have learned this the hard way)

4. Pick the best socialized pup you can!

Confident dogs are the way to go. Your pup should have a high wagging tail and lots of energy. Make sure he likes birds and likes water. He should not be scared or timid. Curious is ok, but skittish is not. If all of the dogs in the litter seem a bit timid then pick another breeder!

5. Save your money

If you want a great dog in today’s economy (2014) the going rate for well bred labs is $1,300-$1,500 and up. The more field titles the more money. A $500 dog sounds like a good deal but well bred dogs with EIC , cnm, ofa, and eye clearances are generally more costly. The purchase cost is way less than the cost of training and the overall cost of ownership. Remember you get what you pay for!  It costs just as much to feed a bad dog as it does a good dog.