Labrador retrievers are excellent dogs to own. However, you should be prepared before you adopt one to ensure that you are adopting a Lab that is the right dog for you.
If you need advice for getting a Labrador puppy, here are seven essential tips that you should learn before you adopt:
Tip 1: Be selective when choosing a breeder.
You might see lots of private ads or pet shops posting about their Labrador puppies for sale. However, one of the first steps to adopting the right Labrador puppy is making sure that you choose your breeder wisely.
Many illegitimate breeders will breed their dogs too often and not care about the Labradors’ health. Not only is that bad for the mother Lab’s health, but it also increases your chances of getting a sick puppy.
You do not want to encourage illegitimate breeders to continue profiting off the dogs they do not care about. So, it is best to avoid those kinds of people at all costs.
You can look for legitimate breeders from your local kennel club instead. These breeders know precisely how they should take care of Labradors and care for the breed. It will help you have peace of mind knowing that you adopted a Labrador from a reputable breeder.
For additional tips on how to choose a good Labrador retriever breeder, you may also check our article here.
Tip 2: Look at how the breeder cares for the Labrador retrievers.
Once you have found a list of reliable Labrador breeders, it is time to look at the breeders’ background. If you can, try to visit the breeder’s home if that is where they keep their dogs.
Look around—there should not be more Labradors than the breeder can handle. That will help you to know that the breeder has enough time to care for each one.
Next, the dogs should have enough room to move around the home. If they are kept in a kennel, be sure to ask the breeder if they regularly let the Labs go out to play and stay inside the house. If a puppy kept in a kennel spends time indoors regularly, it will help it quickly acclimate to your home.
Tip 3: Ask for health certificates.
Labradors are usually healthy dogs, but good breeders will ensure that the parent dogs also have health certificates. They will also make sure that the parent dogs and puppies go to the veterinarian regularly.
If you do not get any health certificates from the breeder, there is a chance that your puppy will have health risks you do not know about in the future.
Labrador parents should be screened for illnesses, such as degenerative eye disorders, unusual muscle weakness, heart disorders, and elbow defects and hip defects that could signal dysplasia.
While getting the puppy screened for these things may cost you some money, it would be worth it. It can help you learn how to prevent these diseases from occurring or worsening, which will save you more money in the long run.
Tip 4: Spend time with the puppy.
When you have your eyes on a particular puppy, try to spend some time with that puppy. While most Labrador retrievers have sweet and energetic personalities, this does not mean they are exactly the same.
Visit your breeder every few days, and try to get close to the puppy. It will help you get a feel of whether or not you two are compatible.
Tip 5: Do not rush.
While you might be eager to get a new puppy right away, you should not rush your decision. Remember, dogs are living creatures. When you bring one into your home, you are essentially adding a new member to your family.
Take your time to look at different breeders and their puppies to see which one fits you best. High-quality and reliable breeders may only have one to two (1-2) litters of puppies a year since it is recommended that mother dogs have only three (3) litters in their life.
Adopting a puppy from a trustworthy breeder will be well worth the wait. The breeder will carefully breed the Labrador parents to produce healthy and happy puppies. It is better than adopting a Labrador from a backyard breeder or a pet shop that only cares about money.
Tip 6: Prepare for your pup’s essentials.
One of the most stressful things you will probably do is buying all of the items for your puppy at the last minute. You do not want to leave your puppy alone during their first day in your home because you forgot to buy something important.
It would be best if you prepare all of your puppy’s essentials before you bring it home. Some basic essentials that you should prepare include the right kind of dog food, dog bowls, collar, leash, toys, a dog bed, and crate, to name a few. Check out our post on the things that you will need before bringing your new Labrador puppy home.
Preparing the things you need before adopting a Labrador puppy will save you loads of time and energy. It also ensures that your puppy will have everything it needs once it enters your home. Plus, you can focus on helping your new Labrador adjust to its new home.
Tip 7: Adopt the puppy over the weekend.
The best time to adopt a Labrador puppy and bring them into your home is when you have lots of free time. You do not want to leave your puppy alone in your home in the first few days since they will be in an unfamiliar space.
When you bring your new Labrador puppy into your home, let them walk around and explore your home. Try not to coddle them immediately because they are still trying to get used to their surroundings.
Once they look like they understand where they are, you can start slowly interacting with them. By spending time with your new puppy, it will help you create an instant bond, and your puppy will recognize you as a friend and master.
All in all…
Remember, the first few days of your puppy being in your house are crucial moments you cannot ignore. You want them to learn how to socialize with your family and feel safe.
By looking for good breeders, checking the breeder’s background, preparing all the items needed for your puppy, and adopting your new Labrador at the right time, you will be able to ensure that your Labrador puppy will be cared for in your new home.
If you need additional advice on how you can raise your Lab in your apartment, we also have some tips.