Tips for
Buying A Labrador Puppy

Choosing and buying a Labrador puppy is obviously a wonderful time for all the family but naturally you need to make sure that you, your family, your home and your puppy are all compatible.

Making sure the pup is healthy is very important and there are a number of tell-tale (sorry for the pun) signs to look out for when choosing your pup.

• Even at a young age Lab puppy will be well proportioned and solid; if he looks like a little porker than that’s a great sign!

• Conversely if the Lab puppy is thin or worse still if the ribs are visible than this will be a sign that he is either ill or malnourished. Either way, regrettable as it may be you must walk away.

• The pups coat will be soft and luxurious

• When buying a Labrador puppy inspect the dog thoroughly for signs of poor skin condition. Scars or bald patches are signs of skin problems.

• Not to be indelicate here but you need to inspect the puppies backside. His bottom should be clean; signs of diarrhoea indicates poor health.

Also check to see if there dandruff like white matter around the dogs backside. If there are this could well be an indication of tapeworm and, if he has tapeworm, then he will more than likely have fleas as well.

Eating a flea can result in tapeworm so don’t neglect the pups backside when inspecting your possible new canine friend.

• Check the Lab puppy for clear eyes. Red eyes will indicate problems but bright, clear and inquisitive eyes are a sign of good health.

• The Lab puppy should have bright pink gums and make sure his jaws are aligned and his mouth even.

• Observe the puppy moving. If he is healthy he will dash around with no signs of a limp or lameness.

• When buying a Labrador puppy check his ears thoroughly. The ears should be nice and clean without any inflammation or discharge. Observe him over time to make sure he isn’t excessively scratching his ears or shaking his head. Choosing the right puppy is a lot easier if you find the right breeder. A good breeder will attract most of his customers through word of mouth; there will certainly be no need for him to advertise.

Check the Reputation of the Lab Puppy Breeder

Satisfied former customers will have no hesitation in recommending him and a reputable breeder will have no objections to providing you with the phone numbers of customers with whom you can check the breeders reputation.

Guidelines for Selecting a Labrador Retriever Breeder

  • Select a breeder that participates in conformation classes. These are classes conducted by AKC dog shows that evaluate a dog breed. Ask about any titles the breeder won in dog shows.
  • A breeder should know a dog's genetic history including the health of the parents
  • The breeder should wait until age 2 before breeding any Labs
  • Each dog should be submitted to a health registry
  • Pups should be handled frequently 
  • Ask the breeders history with Labradors.  The longer the better.
  • Ask about any health guarantees
  • Ask the breeder for their return policy
  • Avoid breeders that do not use the correct language. Avoid those that use puffery such as "thoroughbred" instead of the correct language which is purebred
  • Ask about memberships in any local Labrador Retriever Clubs

Before completing any purchase ensure that the breeder will agree to your having the Lab puppy examined by an independent vet. Again, a reputable breeder will have no problem with this and an independent examination will give you complete piece of mind.

A final factor to consider when buying a Labrador puppy is the price. If the price is to low the chances are you are not getting a bargain but more likely buying a pup that is either ill or is misrepresented in his breeding.

For a full bred Labrador expect to pay between £300-£500 ($600-$1000). Be very weary if the breeder is asking for less.

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Labrador Retriever Guide Home Page