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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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.