Spring is finally in the air! With spring comes that urge to find a new four-legged hunting companion. But where should we look, and which breed should we pick from?

Personally, the Labrador is our favorite here at Soggy Acres Retrievers. There is nothing better than sending a Lab pup home as a future champion to their new family. Now that may be a champion of the couch, field, or riding shotgun in the truck, but it’s a champion to the new owner nonetheless.

How does a novice entering into the dog world find a quality pup? Look no further than this article for a few strong tips.

First, locate several kennels to form a pool of potential breeders. There are many areas to pull from in this search: breed groups and clubs, internet searches, word of mouth, and hunting magazines to name a few places to begin our quest. Try to identify four or five kennels that appear to have a solid breeding program and reputation.

Interview the potential kennels and talk to them about their philosophies and methods in pairing potential parents for a litter. What are the strengths and weaknesses being addressed by the pairing? What can be expected with the pups in the house and field with the parents’ combination? Is this a repeat breeding with pups from past litters in the world? Are there references to past clients from the parents and other litters to contact?

The most important part of the conversation now takes place! What is the health guarantee if something is wrong with the pup? A good health guarantee covers certain breed-specific issues the pup may suffer from in the future and lasts for a certain duration of time. A 30-month guarantee on a pup’s hips for dysplasia and 14-month guarantee on a pup’s eyes for inherent problems are common. But what if there is a problem on the above mentioned? How are you, the consumer, made whole and comfortable with your choice?

A certain number of kennels will ask for the dog back if there is a problem. The reasoning: there is no way that you would ever part with your family member! This is dishonest, and quite honestly it’s immoral as well. Buy from a business that offers a replacement puppy and doesn’t demand that the “imperfect” family member be returned. It is fair, right, and the standard a new buyer needs to have before purchase.

The excitement of buying a pup can at times lead to irrational decisions. Use the above tips and a good dose of common sense to guide you on your journey to find that new companion for the next fifteen years!

This article is courtesy of Headwaters Seat Covers. Protect you truck from your new muddy four-legged buddy!

Image courtesy Soggy Acres Retrievers

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