|These names are listed as a source of breeders who have a standard
of practice that includes selective breeding utilizing competitive
venues for evaluation, genetic clearances, limited numbers of litters,
use of Limited Registration, screening of potential puppy buyers, and
written warrantees for puppies. No guarantee or endorsement is
offered by Shadowmyst Labradors, however, all breeders listed
generally adhere to the above criteria.
|Individual goals in breeding programs, practices in working with puppy buyers,
contract conditions and remedies may vary. Buyers are encouraged to refrain from
impulse buying and research several breeders and their Labradors before making a
decision to purchase a Labrador. The right puppy for you may not be the one
immediately available or available at the exact time you wish. Responsible breeders
with good reputations will often have waiting lists before a litter is conceived. It is
in your best interest to begin your research well in advance of the time you hope to
add a Labrador to your life.
|You should also read the information below these
listings before making contact with a breeder.
|Deb Hamele-WI.-Dunn's Marsh
|Meredith Kuhn-IA.-Critter Creek Farm
|Mary Herburger-IL-Cedar Springs
|Before contacting a breeder you should be prepared to answer questions concerning the care and
lifestyle the dog will be given. Caring breeders screen potential buyers to assure that the puppy
will have a good home for the rest of it's life. Responsible breeders take great lengths to ensure
that their puppies are sound in mind and body and represent the Labrador breed well. They also
take great care to socialize and prepare puppies for their new homes. They want the very best
homes for the puppies they raise.
|Where you get your puppy may not seem all that important, after all, Labradors are all
pretty much the same, right?
|The amount of research, knowledge, time and monetary investment, art and science that are all a part
of a responsible breeding program are the foundation for a quality pet.
|One very common statement from puppy buyers is that they "just" want a pet, not a "show" or "fancy
titled" dog. This is usually stated shortly after hearing the price of a puppy from a responsible breeder.
|What you may not have considered is what those show and performance titles bring to the table
besides letters added before or after a dog's name. In order to compete in the show ring or any
performance event a dog must have a multitude of qualities. They must be trainable and have excellent
temperaments in order to compete in performance or show events.
|They must be able to settle and have self control in the most distracting, busy and exciting situations.
There are sometimes over 1,000 dogs at dog shows, agility or obedience trials. All of these dogs must
be well mannered on leash. Intact male dogs must show and behave in a ring with other intact males
and not display aggression even though there may be several bitches in season nearby. Dogs must
allow a judge to look in their mouth, touch their entire body, including testicles for the boys, while
they stand still in a perfect pose.
|In agility and obedience events a dog must be able to focus and perform highly trained skills on cue
and off lead despite the fact that other dogs and handlers are perfoming in as many as 5 adjacent rings
and the noise level in the building is so loud they can barely distinguish their owners voice.
|At hunt tests, intensely, excited dogs must wait quietly beside the owner while birds are thrown until
given a command to fetch. They then must ignore the nearby bird throwers who may have live birds
beside them, pick up and return the bird promptly and diligently deliver the bird to hand. Advanced
dogs must be able to remember previously thrown bird locations and be able to be guided to a bird
they did not see fall at all by following their handler's hand signals, whistles and commands.
|For all of these competitions a dog must be sound and healthy, able to travel well for sometimes many
hours, be comfortable in new situations like motels and on elevators, be crated for much of the trip
and then perform well enough to win in each new location around many different people and dogs in
order to attain those little letters in front or behind their names.
|All of this takes excellent health, trainability, tolerance and stability of temperament in all types of
|Aren't these the qualities that most pet owners are looking for in "just a pet"?
|Breeders who have this type of devotion, dedication to the breed and whose goals reflect integrity and
responsibility in maintaining the qualities that make the Labrador Retriever the most popular dog in
America do not make a profit in their breeding efforts nor is this their intention. However, they do
price their dogs accordingly. A well bred dog from a responsible breeder is not inexpensive. You
should expect to pay more for a Labrador from a devoted breeder. Not because you are getting a dog
from "show" or "titled" lines, but because of all that goes into developing the health and temperament
of the dogs that get those titles. Those are the same ingredients that make the very best companion
|If you cannot afford to purchase a labrador from this type of breeder, please consider adopting from a
rescue organization or shelter. Some breeders will also place older puppies, young adults or retired
breeding dogs at a lesser cost which is a great option for many people.