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What To Look For When Buying A Labrador Puppy? - Find Out Here

By
 Ashly 
on 
May 25, 2021

Labrador puppies are very adorable and they are known as "nature's children". Labrador puppies like human babies are very active and love to play.

Labrador puppies are very wonderful and friendly pets. Labrador puppies make excellent pets for families with children. Labrador puppies and human babies like to play together. Labrador puppies are known as "nature's children".

Labrador puppies like human babies are very active and love to play. Labrador puppies are very wonderful and friendly pets. Labrador puppies make excellent pets for families with children.

Everything You Need to Know About Buying a Labrador Retriever

Finding a nice, healthy pedigree Labrador puppy requires planning and patience. Buying a Labrador from a bad breeder could leave you with a dog with a whole host of health complications down the line.

But how do you tell a good breeder from a bad breeder, and what are some things to look out for when buying a Labrador puppy?

To help you find your perfect Lab, we have put together this Labrador buyer’s guide that will cover everything you need to know about purchasing one of these fantastic, friendly dogs.

Planning a Labrador Retriever Budget

Before you even consider buying a Labrador it is important to consider your budget. This budget not only includes the cost of buying a Labrador Retriever, but also the ongoing costs of owning a dog.

If you can’t afford the ongoing costs of owning a dog do not purchase a Lab.

When it comes to the upfront cost of purchasing a Labrador Retriever it really depends on where you live, which breeder you go to, and how much of a demand there is. For instance, we purchased our two thoroughbred Labs for NZ$500 and NZ$800 (we live in New Zealand) from the same breeder.

To get an idea of how much you need to spend on a good Labrador in your location/country, we recommend that you find some good breeders and investigate how much they charge for a Labrador puppy.

The Constant Costs of Keeping a Labrador Retriever

This is where the real cost of owning a dog is. The price of food, tips to the vets, toys, and more all add up quickly.

Additionally, if your dog develops any adverse medical conditions you may have to deal with paying for the ongoing costs of treatment (which can be very expensive and maybe for the entire life of the dog).

Is Labrador Health Insurance Worth It?

This is a tricky question to answer. We did not have health insurance for our first Labrador and it probably worked out better for us (there were some big costs, but in the end, the insurance would have worked out to be more expensive).

However, for one of our dogs we own at the moment, the health insurance is definitely worth it. He racked up a vet's bill for nearly $10,000, which was luckily covered by the insurance.

If you do not plan on getting insurance, we suggest that you start an emergency fund for your Labrador. Put the money that you would have spent on insurance into the fund each week/month and don’t touch it unless an emergency comes up.

Making Certain That You Have Enough Time

Owning a Labrador not only costs you money but also costs you time. Many people struggle to find enough time for their friends and family, let alone a dog as well, so if you are one of those people you should reconsider purchasing a Labrador.

The most time-consuming period will be when your Labrador is a puppy.

They need to be trained and cared for, which can take up a lot of time during the day. Young puppies will also need to go to the toilet every 2 or 3 hours, so it is a good idea to have somebody at home at all times who can look after them.

Once your Labrador gets a bit older they will need less time, however, you still need to take them out for walks every day, feed them, play with them, and more.

Getting Assistance

Another option for those with limited time is to hire somebody who can look after your dog during the day.

You can also ask a friend or relative to look after your Labrador, or you could take them to “doggy daycare” when they are a bit older (most places require your dog to be neutered).

Will a Labrador Fit Your Lifestyle?

This sort of ties in with the above. If you like to sleep in on the weekends, travel a lot, or spend lots of time away from your home it is probably not a good idea to purchase a Labrador.

Additionally, if you don’t like dealing with lots of mess and smell a Labrador isn’t probably for you. While you can clean your Lab regularly, they will always have a particular “doggy” smell about them that some people simply don’t like.

Additionally, if you do not believe you can train your dog you should not get a Labrador as a poorly trained one can be a nightmare.

Another thing to consider is your personal fitness. If you can’t see yourself going for walks every day or are simply not strong enough to deal with a boisterous puppy then you should probably look at another breed.

Choosing the Best Puppy Breeder

Select a responsible breeder. Your breeder should be concerned with breeding healthy dogs, rather than focused primarily on selling them. Visit a potential breeder and observe his interactions with his dogs; they should be friendly and relaxed.

  • Look for breeders who are registered with national organizations such as the American Kennel Club or with breed-specific organizations such as the National Labrador Retriever Club.
  • Ask the breeder why these two particular dogs were bred. If they have had other litters, ask for references from people who bought those puppies.

Select a breeder who specializes in raising the kind of dog you want. If you want a gun dog, don't choose a breeder who primarily raises cuddly pets or award-winning show dogs. These breeders will be able to assess puppies more accurately for the qualities you're seeking.

  • Look for quantifiable measures. For example, select breeders with litters from parents who have hunt test or field trial scores if you want a puppy who will grow into a good hunting dog.

Adopt a Labrador retriever from a rescue organization. These are organizations that work to find homes for Labradors who need a good home. While these organizations often have many adults and even senior dogs who need homes, they also place puppies

  • Large non-breed specific rescue organizations may also get Labrador retrievers. Contact local humane societies or rescue organizations and let them know that you're looking to adopt a Labrador.

Don't participate in an auction. Charities or non-profits may offer Labrador puppies for auction as a means of raising funds. Because these auctions are often conducted without appropriate legal oversight and because they encourage rash decisions about pet ownership, they are opposed by groups such as the National Labrador Retriever Club.  

Getting to Know the Parents

If necessary, meet the parents of your prospective puppy. Many physical and temperamental attributes are inherited. Your puppy's parents should be healthy and should have the same general temperament and strengths that you are looking for in a dog, whether that's high intelligence, agility, or an extremely affectionate nature.

  • A responsible breeder will always let you meet at least one of the puppy's parents; if they refuse, you should not buy from them. In the case of a rescue organization or shelter, of course, meeting the parents might not be possible.

If you choose a show dog, make sure your puppy's parents follow the breed standard. For example, do they have the characteristic “otter” tail, thick and tapering without any feathering? Are their coats thick, dense, and coarse? Labradors may be black, yellow, or chocolate in color, but they must not have brindle or tan markings.

  • Ask to see the parents' American Kennel Club registration papers or equivalent documentation. This is important if you want to be able to register your puppy with the organization in order to participate in shows and competitions.

Ask if the parents' hips and elbows have been screened for dysplasia. These are joint abnormalities that can be inherited and may be detected by x-ray before symptoms are apparent. Both parents should be free of hip and elbow dysplasia.

Inquire if the parents' eyes had been checked. Labradors can inherit several vision problems, including progressive retinal atrophy, retinal dysplasia, and juvenile cataracts. Your puppy's parents should be examined by a veterinary ophthalmologist to rule out these problems.  

Choosing Your Puppy

Look for a Puppy that is in good shape. A healthy Labrador puppy has clear eyes and a glossy coat. He should be clean and energetic, with no signs of infection or parasites such as worms, fleas, or ticks. The whole litter should look healthy and well-fed.

Check to see if the dog has been properly socialized. Puppies should not be fearful or spooked when interacting with people. Play with your prospective puppy and cuddle her to get a sense of what it's like to interact with her.

Examine the puppy's attitude. Spend time with your puppy and ask about any behaviors that concern you, such as biting or cowering. Ask the breeder how she assesses temperament and be clear with her about what you are looking for in a puppy: affection, physical courage, gentleness, or keen intelligence, for example.

Rather than sex, choose a puppy based on temperament. Unless you plan to breed or show your dog, have your puppy spayed or neutered at an early age. Spaying your female dog is a slightly more complicated and expensive procedure than neutering your male dog. An unspayed female dog will have to be carefully monitored during her estrus cycles, while an unneutered male dog may have a tendency toward dominance that will require firm training. However, individual temperament determines far more than sex, and claims that female dogs are easier to train, for example, are more anecdotal than factual.

  • Ask your breeder how she assesses qualities in her puppies. For example, if she is selling gun dogs, does she have a process for assessing interest in prey and self-confidence?

Check to see if your dog has been vaccinated. You should receive a certificate of vaccination outlining what vaccinations the puppy has received. In addition, ask about whether the puppy has been tested for worms or treated with deworming medication.

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Ashly

Hey yaa! Im Ashly and I love pets. Growing up in a house with 2 dogs, a cat, a parrot and many furry rodents; it was natural for me to have a profound affection for them. I created GenerallyPets.com to create useful guides and articles on looking after your furry friends. The advice given on this site is our views and expertise, please consult a VET prior to testing anything. Hope my site helps you :)

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