Tips for Selecting a Labrador Retriever Puppy

Labrador Puppy

This informative article is sponsored by Denver Dog Training.

Retrievers are one of the most popular breeds and a favorite choice for dog lovers all over the country. A well trained Labrador puppy will be a trusting and playful companion and a dependable hunting dog (if it is truly a retriever, and not just a house ) for its owner. When you choose a Labrador, many things should be considered. Does color of the lab puppy make a difference in the dog's quality? How can you determine of the Labrador puppy that has been bred well? You'll find the answers to those questions, and more, in this article.

Finding a Well Bred Labrador Puppy

An important thing to watch for in a Labrador puppy is the quality of its breeding. The most authentic Lab breeders will:

  1. Be members of the American Kennel Club (AKC)
  2. Will provide you with health records for each puppy
  3. Will frequently handle the pups they are raising
  4. Will socialize the pups (e.g. the puppies will not be afraid to play with you)
  5. Will in addition remove the puppies dew claws and provide them with their first shots at 6 weeks of age. They should also put the puppies through a 3 cycle de-worming program to eliminate parasites
  6. Will not allow you to take the pup until he or she is approximately 7 weeks old

Chocolate Labrador Retriever puppy.

Color. Does it Really Make a Difference?

No doubt about it, Labradors are handsome . Potential dog owners are often initially attracted to these dogs. You have the option to pick , yellows labs (some yellow labs are so light they appear to be), black or silver labs. Lots of claims are made that black Labradors are the best, but this is often untrue. You should look more at the genetics or the disposition (see below) of the selected puppy than to its color. This is very true even when purchasing a Lab from a professional breeder. But, if you are selecting a Labrador puppy for looks or other purely aesthetic reasons, then choosing the color of your choice is appropriate.

How to Choose a Labrador Puppy Based on Disposition

When choosing a Labrador puppy, most potential dog owners want a dog with a mellow yet playful disposition. Many well meaning people offer advice such as, “Let the puppy choose you.” They say this assuming that the puppy which runs to you first will probably be the puppy that would get along best with you. This is not necessarily true. That puppy may be the most aggressive puppy in its litter. Aggressive puppies do not make the best pets. Here are some tips for choosing your Labrador puppy:

  • Black Lab PuppyEvaluate the entire litter. If you notice that the entire litter is shy or overly reserved, then regardless of whether there are one or two ‘friendlier' puppies, you should probably avoid that litter. The genetics found in that litter are not what you are looking for. The same goes for a hyperactive litter.
  • Look for puppies that are trusting. Well bred puppies are curious and trusting. Take out your car keys or make other noises. Do some of the puppies respond? Take this into consideration.
  • Look for personality traits in the puppy that you would look for in a human roommate. Ask yourself which puppies are bossy? Which ones are noisy? Which puppies are shy? Which are submissive? Chances are, you will opt for the puppy that doesn't bite or claw when he interacts with the other puppies in his litter but can still interact and hold his own with other puppies.

Additional Resources

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