1-803-496-3183                     Ray@WebfootRetrievers.com

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How to pick a puppy

                 
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   When Picking a Puppy


                                   How to pick
    
A puppy buyer should ask something like this “I am looking for a family pet / hunting dog that meets the breed standard in looks and temperament, which has health guarantees, and will live in the house at night and outside during the days and hunt 4-6 weekends a year could you help me?"
     I  would recommend picking a puppy by these guide lines.

1)            Price- There is a wide range of prices on Labrador puppies, shelter puppies your neighbor's puppies, puppies out of the newspaper, or puppies from breeders.

2)            Temperament- If you are an active person you would want the pup that is slightly more active. If you are less active but enjoy a canine companion lying by your feet as you read you would want the pup that is slightly less active. Not one that is lying beside you because of his training; but shaking, whining, drooling and wanting to go outside and play.  Then it won't matter what color or sex it is.

3)            Sex- if not spayed Females come in season twice a year, and need to be separated from males during that time.      If you plan on breeding your pup one day (after it receives its hip and eye clearances), remember female owners pick the male studs. So a female owner can pick a male from anywhere in the world to breed to. Males on the other hand must weight to be asked to breed, and Males with titles get asked more than non-titled males. So a competing male showing off his skills and proving his qualities will be asked to breed more often.

4)            Color- And this is last criteria If you are a hunter do you do more hunting in hot dove fields where a lighter colored dog would stay cooler? Or dark swamps where a yellow Labrador would stand out.
     Color is also a factor in breeding. You would not expect to breed two recessive colors such as Chocolate to a Yellow and produce puppies with the appropriate pigmentation.

      My retrievers are very consistent in their looks and temperament, with each litter making minor improvements to my line.
     That being said, every puppy is still an individual with its own personality.          
       If the buyer would tell the breeder what he is looking for then the breeder could point out the puppies in the litter with those characteristics and you can chose from those.
      I recommend going to see the puppies many different times before you pick one, and at different times of the day. If you always go after feeding time when they are napping, you might mistake an active one for a calm one.
     Listen to the breeder's advice in which puppies to pick from. The breeder has been with them and their parents all their lives. The breeder knows them better than anyone. If you pick the wrong puppy it will not reflect well on the breeder.
     As a breeder I size up the potential buyer from the first moment we talk. Asking questions to find out how informed they are about the breed and its requirements, what plans and facilities they have for the puppy, their previous dogs, their life styles and how much time they will have to spend with the puppy, if they plan on training the retriever puppy themselves or if they plan on sending it to be trained.
      I will weed out impulse buyers, Christmas present buyers, buyers who do not have the appropriate facilities whether indoor or out, buyers who are a new couple and want to see if they can keep a dog alive before they try with a child, buyers who do not have the time for the dog, and many others.
     Let me take a moment to mention time. Certain periods of time in your life are better than others to get a puppy. Such as a responsible and mature high school or college student who has free time, someone who is just divorced and is enjoying living single, someone who has just retired and wants to stay active.
     And there are times in your life when it is difficult to have a new puppy. Like when you begin medical school, when you have toddlers, when you start a career, and when you retire with plans to do a lot of traveling.
     Many times young couples with toddlers want a puppy so it can “grow up with their children” this is called Anthropomorphism the “Walt Disney Syndrome”. It is hard enough to find the time and energy for the children, getting a puppy then just makes it worse. Of course your child will have priority over your pup. So the puppy will be the one to lose out on training, socialization, and exercise. In less than a year you will have an adolescent wild puppy that is out of control, too rough for the kids to be around, and locked in a pen as a barking security alarm for the rest of its life.
     Puppies see children as littermates to compete against for the adult’s attention. And puppies develop faster than children, so in a short time they surpass the children.
      Sure sending him to training will make him obedient but he will still be a very active young dog, needing your time, of which you will not have while you have toddlers.
     Never, ever buy a puppy for someone else without discussing it with them.
     My first priority is finding the right owner for each pup, a perfect match where Retriever and owner's personalities and temperaments match
    

     Webfoot Retrievers are very trainable with an eagerness to please, which facilitates proper training for the home and field. Their wonderful disposition and calm temperament allow them to be exceptional companions whether gently curled up next to your bed or quietly scanning the sky for the next flock of Mallards.
     True to their nature, Webfoot Retrievers would rather retrieve than eat. Natural instincts are reinforced with "Puppy Play" and retrieving from a very early age. "Train up a child in the way he should go and he will not depart." When involved in an active training program they can begin their days in a duck blind at less than one year of age.
     Webfoot Retrievers are breed with champion pedigrees. Good retrievers come in many shapes and sizes, but a special pride exists in knowing that your dog meets the high AKC breed standards.
     Puppies whelped at Webfoot Retrievers are born and nurtured in my home. They are exposed to household activities and handled several times a day.
     In my experience, it has been proven time and again that puppies out of quality breeding perform well in any hunting environment.
    Webfoot Retrievers can do it all. They are equally at home scanning the skies for Mallards or quartering heavy cover to flush Quail, Chukkas, or Pheasant. Whether the hunt of the day is Doves or Quail, Geese or Ducks, Pheasant or Chukkas, Webfoot Retrievers will do it all. Just one Webfoot Retriever can double the pleasure of your outdoor experience.
    There is no doubt that the best housing for an active gundog is both a well constructed, draught-free, outside kennel, and a crate in the home. He should be equally comfortable in either. In the case of your absence some one else is looking after him and both he and they are both comfortable and not stressed.
     Also acclimation to his working environment is very important. You can not expect a dog that spends 20 hours in an air conditioned home to go out and retrieve all afternoon the first Saturday of the September dove season, any more than you could expect a dog that spends his time by the fire place to be comfortable retrieving in icy water.
      Active gundogs, that may be asked to retrieve geese from icy winter seas, or cover miles of ground in search of upland birds require an adequate and sensible diet. Just like humans, dogs are plagued by dietary fads but common sense really is the key. In the old days gundogs were feed on the diet of scraps and biscuits but, nowadays, owners rely upon an all-in-one dried dog food, I highly recommend Purina Pro Plan.
     The key to good gundog health is a sensible diet, plenty of aerobic exercise and immediate attention to any illness or injury. Make friends with your local vet and take his advice about routine health care.

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Po Box 275
Holly Hill, S.C. 29059
South Carolina Retriever Training, Webfoot Retrievers, Webfoot Kennels, Bird Dog Training, Spaniel Flushing Training

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