Consider This When Buying A Labrador Puppy

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Over the years I have seen many people buying what they believed to be a wonderful labrador puppy only to be left disappointed as the puppy grows up and displays abnormal behavior or does not develop into a healthy, strong dog. The following is a guideline to use when buying a puppy.

1. Pedigree versus Purebred: A pedigree dog is one that has been registered and comes with papers to prove their heritage. A purebred dog is “supposed” to be a dog that is as it says “purebred to the breed”, most times they do not come with papers and are not registered. Unfortunately, in today’s society there are a lot of untrustworthy people and often dogs that are advertised as purebred are in fact not at all and somewhere along the lines, there has been a cross.

Most people don’t realize that when you breed a labrador to another breed a percentage of the litter will come out looking exactly like a labrador and there are people who then advertise these as “purebred” Labradors.  This can lead to you having a puppy that looks like a labrador but in fact, its behavior is like another breed altogether. Don’t be disappointed.

1a. False Colors: Labradors have always only come in three colors – Chocolate, Yellow and Black. In the USA, designer dog breeders created what is known as the silver or platinum Labrador by crossbreeding Labradors with Weimaraners. Puppies from this cross come out as Silver – Charcoal – White. Mind you, there are child-friendly dogs and dogs you really should avoid with smaller children.

These puppies are usually from untested parents and so end up having all sorts of health issues. They have been known in some cases to be sold at very young ages and in poor condition. Sadly the NZKC has registered silver and charcoal Labradors as chocolates and blacks due to the fact that they have been misled by silver breeders about the true color of these Labradors. Be also aware that adopting a dog might be a fine alternative for your family as well.

Often they are advertised as “dilute chocolate” even though they are not a light tan color but a silver. They are often advertised as coming from Champion labradors but do not be fooled they will never be up to standard or recognized in a show ring! If you are uncertain when buying a puppy because of its color you can always check with official Labrador websites for advice. Other countries will not register these colors.

2. Puppies taken from the mother and sold too early: Once again, unfortunately, puppies are often sold far too young. A puppy should not be sold under eight weeks of age. Puppies do not know they are dogs until six weeks of age so if they are taken away from their mums to early they and will end up developing serious nervous behaviors or never be a very nice strong boned labrador. Puppies need to be weaned naturally by mum and fed on a special diet as it’s in the early weeks/months that they develop the most.

 3. Meet the owners and view the puppy: If you buy where you can’t see the parents or the environment, then you have no way of checking to see what the parents are like and whether the environment is a healthy one. When you met the breeders, you should be able to ask any questions you have about looking after your new puppy and if you have any problems in the future, you should be able to always contact the breeder and ask questions. Beware of breeders who have the parents but won’t show them to you!

1. You will need a fully fenced section for a large dog, as you do not want your beautiful Labrador getting run over, stolen, or injured by another dog or person, and your dog needs lots of training as well.

2. Your only expense when buying a Labrador is not just the purchase price. Are you financial enough to regularly buy worm and flea treatments, cleaning and grooming products, food, and vaccinations? Of course, they will also need a kennel and then there’s the odd vet bill here and there.

3.  Labradors need to be exercised and given love and lots of your time. Do you have enough time?

4. Labradors are a long term purchase, so have you thought what you will do with your dog if you decide to go overseas or change residence. Will you still have time for them when you have a baby? They are not something that is disposable when your life changes!

Finally, remember those cute little puppies grow into large dogs.

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