Whelping

All of our puppies are whelped and raised within our home. Our mommas stay with their puppies until the day they leave for their new homes no sooner than eight weeks. This allows Momma time to influence, interact with, and train her young. This is vital to the development of sound temperaments within the puppies. Research shows that puppies separated from their mothers and littermates too early are more likely to show fear, aggression, anxiety, resource guarding, reactivity, and inappropriate play biting than puppies who stay with their mother and littermates for a minimum of eight weeks. Starting at three days old until puppies go home, each puppy will attend puppy school. This includes ENS/ESI exercises, body handling, introduction to potty training, crate training, coming when called, manding, heel, sit, stay, and more. Depending upon the time of year and weather conditions, we introduce puppies to the outdoors to a safe area for a few hours a day where they can explore, roam and play while getting exposure to their new world. During each puppy’s eight weeks after birth, they will receive their first round of puppy shots, be wormed at two, four, six, and eight weeks, and microchipped with free lifetime registration. Each puppy will be sent home with a care basket filled with essentials to help them adapt to their new homes. Some items include: a snuggle puppy, blanket and toys that smell like mom and littermates, salmon oil, travel essentials for the trip home, a binder with continued training tips and helpful info, and more.

Health clearances

We are fully committed to responsible breeding and producing healthy puppies that are unaffected by common labrador retriever genetic health conditions that EMBARK/PAWPRINT GENETICS tests for. Each of our dogs and the studs we use have completed all required breed specific health screening tests set by the Labrador Retriever parent club before breeding. This includes but is not limited to, OFA hips, elbows, and eyes, DNA testing for EIC, CNM, PRA, D-Locus and more.

Please note: These tests are NOT a guarantee you will never have other health issues with your dog.  There are an unending number of health issues that could affect your puppy over the course of its life. No other health guarantee is expressed or implied.

temperament

At seven weeks of age, we perform temperament evaluation on each puppy. This evaluation is designed to help us in the placement process by predicting adult temperament. The temperament evaluation tests several components that include, socializing with people, curiosity, degree of dominance, physical energy and reactions to external stimulus. The evaluation results are then combined with our daily observations of each puppy  and used to match each puppy to the home that will be best suited for them and their new families. Each puppy, like owner, is an individual and has a personality of its own. While temperament evaluations are a great predictor of adult temperament, proper training, socialization, and new experiences play a huge role in adult temperament. That is why we include new puppy care guides in our puppy go home binders and strongly encourage every new home to invest in the Puppy Culture program to pick up where we left off.

owner evaluation

It is not only important to evaluate the temperament of the puppies before matching them with their new homes, but also to evaluate each potential owner. We take the role of breeder seriously and are responsible for the puppies we produce. Our puppies are very special to us and will always have a place in our hearts and home. All of our potential owners are interviewed prior to being considered for one of our puppies. By understanding what you are expecting in a dog, your lifestyle, and plans for your new puppy (ie: hunting, service work, family pet), we can better match a puppy to your home. The placement process is a shared responsibility and trust between breeder and owner, so please do not be offended if we ask as many questions of you as you do us. We want each puppy to be happy and loved in their new home just as much as we want each new owner to be happy with their new puppy.

breeder evaluation

Whenever you decide to purchase a puppy, remember, there are certain qualities that you should look for in a breeder. A good breeder can be identified by their placement practices, condition of their dogs and facility, and their willingness to answer questions. Breeders that charge higher fees for “rare” colors are not ethical breeders. There are no “rare” colors. The only accepted Labrador Retriever colors are black, chocolate, and yellow. Yellow may range from fox-red to light cream. Responsible breeders will not breed unrecognized coat colors such as silver, charcoal, and champagne. These colors are produced by two copies of the D-Locus or dilute gene. Breeders who produce these colors are producing puppies that are at an increased risk for skin and organ issues. A responsible breeder would not willingly produce puppies knowing these risks.  Responsible breeders will interview potential puppy buyers to determine responsible owners. Responsible breeders will encourage people who are not yet ready to care for a puppy to wait until they are truly prepared. Before purchasing a puppy, please understand the commitment that you are accepting. It takes time, patience, work and most of all love. 

puppy school

“Puppy School” begins at 3 days old. We follow the BAB (badass breeder) program for our puppies. This gives them a head start to learning how to be the best pup they can be! Day three starts on ENS and ESI exercises and is continued through day 16. During this time we work with each puppy individually to complete these exercises and monitor their reactions. ENS (early neurological stimulation) involves applying gentle stressors to each puppy for short periods of time. This is thought to improve their stress responses later in life. There have been five benefits observed in puppies exposed to ENS. These benefits include, improved cardiovascular performance (heart rate), stronger heart beats, stronger adrenal glands, higher tolerance to stress, and increased resistance to disease. ESI (early scent introduction) involves introducing each puppy to a new scent every day from days 3-16. This is designed to enhance their ability to identify, and react to, specific scents. As humans our primary sense is vision. For dogs it is believed their primary sense is smell. Essentially these exercises are used to enhance brain growth and development by taking advantage of this sensitive period of rapid puppy development. Each week as puppies continue to grow and develop, we work on new activities and experiences that challenge and socialize them. Some of these include; barrier challenges, taking a treat and clicker use, fun games, manding, puppy parties, introduction to potty training, kennel training, learning to heel, sit and much more. Once puppies graduate from our “Puppy School” we hand the job over to our new puppy families. We are always available to training tips and tricks and send each puppy home with a binder filled with some of these tips and tricks as well as a link to invest in the puppy culture programs for themselves if they choose to.

Go home process

Go home day is always so bittersweet. While we are sad when our puppies leave us, seeing them with their new families brings us so much joy. That joy is what makes everything we do worth it.

In preparation for pick up we will reach out to each family to provide them with a list of steps they will need to complete in order to prepare for their new family member. Some of these steps include finalizing payment and pick up plans, ordering puppy supplies that are not included in the care packages, signing the contract, signing up for pet insurance, registering microchips, puppy proofing their homes, and scheduling puppies first vet visit (this needs to be completed within 72hours as required by our contract). A full list will be sent out to each family ahead of time to allow time to complete as well as ask any questions they may have.

Each puppy will be sent home with a care basket filled with essentials to help them adapt to their new homes. Some items include: snuggle puppy, blanket and toys that smell like mom and littermates, salmon oil, transition puppy food bag, puppy shampoo, travel essentials for the trip home, a binder with continued training tips and helpful info, and more.

We strive to make the transition process as smooth as possible not only for the puppy, but for our new families as well.

future contact

We encourage our puppy/dog parents to contact us anytime they have a concern or encounter a problem no matter the age of their puppy/dog. We are fully committed to every puppy we produce for their ENTIRE lifetime. We are always here to answer your questions or provide any training tips we may have. We may not always have the answer, but rest assured we will work hard to find the answers you need. Not only are we here for any questions or concerns, we also love when our new families and their puppies stay in touch with us throughout their dogs lifetime. The pupdates and photos are what make what we do so enjoyable for us.

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CALL/TEXT: 931-310-1507