LABRADOR RETRIEVER FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: $1300 for a puppy seems to be alot of money. Will you negotiate the price?
A: Sorry, we do not negotiate the price. When making a decision as to what quality of dog you and your family want to become attached to for 10-15 years, our view is that the focus should be made on the quality of the puppy and the breeding stock it comes from. We see time and time again people spending three or four hundred dollars on their family pet in order to save some money only to incur hundreds of dollars in Veterinary bills. One neighbour had made a $250 purchase of a Lab Shepard mix because he didn't want to spend alot of money on a dog. His puppy was only 10 weeks old when he had to bring it to the vet to be treated for mange. Another had his dog for only 2 years when the puppy he bought for the lowest price he could find developed severe hip displaysia. He had to put his family pet down, break it to his children, had no written guarantee to go back to the seller with and was once again looking for a new pet. The price we charge for our puppies will likely end up cheaper in the long run for you. We back our pups with a 4 year written guarantee, one of the longest around.
Q: Why should I buy a purebred with "papers." I don't need the papers, so what's the difference?
A: For a puppy to be sold as a purebred, it must be eligible to be registered with the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC). This is the law in Canada.If a breeder claims that the puppies they are selling are purebred, you are legally entitled to a CKC Registration Certificate at no extra cost. The sale of purebred dogs is governed by the federal Animal Pedigree Act (APA).
Selling a puppy without papers automatically makes it non-purebred. If a certificate of registration is not provided by the seller within six months of the date of sale, the buyer can lay an Information Charge against the seller for violation of the APA.
Article 64. (h) of the APA states: "No person shall offer to sell, contract to sell or sell, as a purebred of a breed, any animal that is not registeredor eligible to be registered as a purebred by the association authorized to register animals of that breed." The penalty for violation of the APA is a fine of up to $50,000.00. If your puppy is not registered, it cannot compete in any purebred competitions (obedience, draft work, showing, etc,). Any offspring from a non-registered dog are not considered purebred. If the parents are purebred Labrador Retrievers, there is no excuse for selling unregistered labrador Retrievers. Registering a litter is inexpensive and easy to do. If puppies are being sold unregistered, ask to see the parents registration certificates and make sure the owner has the breeding rights for the parents. A Reliable and Reputable Breeder will NOT sell unregistered puppies. Choose your breeder carefully as you won't want to support a "puppy mill."
Q: I have a four hour drive to your kennel. Will you deliver my new puppy? Will you fly my puppy?
A: We frequently have families drive as far as 10 hours (each way) to purchase our puppies. Although we prefer pick-up, arrangements can be made to deliver your puppy. For example, delivery to Toronto will be approx. $300 extra. Flying your puppy to you will be appx $350 to deliver it to the Toronto airport, and another $250 is estimated for the plane flight. We have found that most people prefer to make the one time trip to the puppy's birthplace as it is an event they remember for years and years. If you choose to fly your puppy you can find some more information here.
Q: Will my puppy be trained?
A: Training will have started, but there will be more work to do. We are with our mothers through the birthing process, so from the very start our puppies are getting use to human voices. The puppies open their eyes after a couple of weeks and begin using sight in addition to their sense of smell. Around week 5 when weening begins the puppies are given a spot to pee, and a spot to sleep and play. This is the start of their potty training. We have had some clients say that they have trained their puppies within a week of taking them home, others take a bit longer. This however is not usually due to the puppy, it is due to the difference in training among owners. Some are better than others when it comes to training their puppies. Dogs are pack animals. In a pack there is one leader and the rest are followers. The more successful you are in your home at making sure all of the adults and children train your new puppy in the same manner, the easier it is for your new puppy to understand what is expected from her. Our puppies are incredibly intelligent and have a strong desire to please you.
Q: Do you remove the dew claws?
A: No, we do not remove the dew claws from our puppies. We believe along with many vets that it is unnecessary. The primary purpose for removal is to prevent injury in rough country retrieving. A good many of our puppies won't rough country retrieve (around 95%). Of those 5% who do, probably 90% will not ever experience a dew claw injury. The vets we have consulted regarding this have said that a dew claw injury is not serious. You should also know that removing the dew claw is done in a barbaric way. Shortly after birth, the claw is simply snipped off with a pair of pruning shears and we should add without any type of anasthesia.
Q: What is your return policy?
A: First we have to say that we make every effort to screen our families so that we place dogs in good homes. Before you make a deposit on a puppy or even make a decision to get one, you should do your research on the breed, the cost of raising a dog for 15 years, how you are going to train it etc... With that being said, We will take any of our dogs back should extenuating circumstances present themselves. This is not limited to but includes things like if you are unable to care for your dog due to insufficient income or perhaps the outcome of an accident or some other life-changing event. In order to reinforce the need for families to "think" then "act" when buying a puppy we have created a non refundable deposit policy. Deposits may be refunded only in the event that we do not have the colour or sex of puppy you are waiting for and you do not wish to wait for the next litter. Please do not make a deposit and then do your homework. These are living creatures not shoes at Walmart, you should never buy any animal, or place a deposit on one with an intention of just changing your mind, or talking to your spouse later. We also do not provide refunds if you chose to return your dog to us. There is a huge amount of work in taking back a puppy which could include, paying for its 10 week shots and vet visit and deworming, paying to register the puppy into our name, then paying again to register it to someone else, cost of food, cost of spaying/neutering when age appropriate, heartworm and other medication, and likely the most important thing for a new puppy is providing the required exercise, care and affection, and stability in training so that it develops properly. Although we have never had to take a puppy back to date, when we do, it will be placed in a new home for just the cost of spaying/neutering to the new owners.
Q: How often do you breed your dogs?
A: You will find a great number of opinions out there on this topic. Some say to breed every other year, some say two litters back to back and then a rest, some say fewer etc.... How we make our decisions of when to breed a mother is based on their age and health. The fact is that the uterus is healthy when the mother is pregnant and giving birth. When the mother is resting and not carrying puppies, her uterus is inactive and less healthy. This medical fact lends itself to consecutive births with a rest afterward. Consecutive births also reduce the risk of mastitis (an infection in the mothers teat) caused by a milk duct blocked by bacteria. Mastitis is serious and can result in loss of the mother and nursing puppies. We have experienced this and it's a nervous time while you are placing hot cloths on the mother every 2 hours while trying to squeeze (milk) the infection from the breast. A different puppy is placed on the breast every feeding in an attempt to get the milk flowing again while the mother is put on a regimine of antibiotics and probiotics. So to answer the question of how often we breed our dogs, once they have reached an acceptable age, skipped their first and in many cases second heat, and we are comfortable that they are mature enough to raise a litter, we decide to breed them. For example, our oldest girl has not been bred for 20 months while some of our middle aged girls have been bred back to back and then rested for more than a year. We want the safest, healthiest couses of action for our girls and that changes based on their age and health. Breeding every other heat just doesn't take into account the factors of individual mothers and what is best for their health.
Q: Do you have your kennels inspected?
A: Yes we do. We decided early on that the best thing for our dogs is to have a Vetrinarian come right to our home to provide care for the dogs so we pay extra for a home visit anytime the dogs need shots. The same for the litters of our puppies, our Vet comes to our home to complete a health examination, microchip the puppies and give them their shots. As a result, the Vet inspects the kennel 4-6 times a year.