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Selecting a Labrador Puppy

Labradors are one of the most well known and most popular choices for dog lovers across the nation. A Labrador puppy that is trained well will be a loyal and playful friend as well as a dependable hunter (if it is a retriever) for its owner. When choosing a Labrador, there are a lot of questions to consider. You have probably wondered if the color of the lab makes a difference in the quality of the puppy that you choose. You may also wonder how to find a Labrador puppy that has been bred well. To those questions and more, you will find the answers in the following article.

Finding a Labrador Puppy that Has Been Bred Well

One of the most important things to look for in a Labrador puppy is one that has been bred well. Authentic breeders will:

  1. Be members of the AKC (the American Kennel Club)
  2. Will provide you with health records for each puppy
  3. Will frequently handle pups
  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. Will 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

Does Color Make a Difference?

The beauty of a Labrador is often an initial attraction for potential dog owners. Labradors are available as chocolate labs, yellows labs (lighter colored yellow labs often appear to be white), silvers or black labs. Some people claim that black Labradors make the best Labrador retrievers, but this is untrue. When purchasing a Labrador from a professional breeder you should pay more attention to the genetics or the disposition (see paragraph below) of the particular puppy than to its color. However, if you would like a Labrador puppy for purely aesthetic reasons, then feel free to choose the color of your choice.

Choosing a Labrador Puppy with the Right 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:

  • Evaluate 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.

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