Breeding Philosophy and Policies
Sunset Labradors is a small hobby breeding program located in Rochester New Hampshire. I have dedicated almost 30 years to raising, training, breeding, rescuing, and loving Labrador retrievers. Currently, I share my home with 8 Labradors-6 chocolates, 1 black, and 1 yellow. My canine kids enjoy romping and resting in the house with me as well as playing in a large fenced-in yard.
The goal of my breeding program is to breed intelligent, healthy, sound Labradors with correct conformation, classic Labrador temperament, and a low to moderate energy level. My dogs are the American show-type Labradors, often referred to as English Labradors. I breed blacks and chocolates. An intelligent Labrador with an eager-to-please attitude and a kind, loyal temperament are priorities. The girls in my breeding program have hip, elbow, eye, cardiac (by ECHO), EIC, CNM, PRA, HNPK, and RD/OSD clearances. The sires are selected based on their temperament, conformation, health clearances, and the pedigree. Usually, I have about one litter a year.
My puppies are born and raised in my home. For the first few weeks, the newborns are in a whelping box in the guest room where they are safe and warm. When they are about a month old, I move them into in a spacious indoor pen. Weather-permitting, they play in a separate fenced-in outdoor area for several hours a day. They are exposed to a variety of sights, sounds, and surfaces. My puppies have frequent visits from family, friends, and neighbors so they are well socialized. Visits with the puppies are scheduled after the puppies are 4 weeks old. The litters are temperament tested at 7 weeks of age. The results help me match the puppies with their new family.
My puppies are carefully placed in approved homes with a comprehensive sales agreement that includes a health guarantee and a return clause. Companion dogs are sold with a spay/neuter agreement on AKC limited registration. A select few show quality puppies have been placed in homes on AKC full registration with a co-ownership agreement. Based on the temperament, confidence rating, training attitude, and activity level of the puppy as well as the personal preferences of the prospective buyer, I will help match the new owners with the puppies that are most likely to meet the expectations. There may not be a puppies for families with young children, first time dog owners, and seniors in every litter. For more information, please review the Sales Agreement, Breeding Practices, and Puppy Selection pages in the About Sunset Labs section.
Recommended, Suggested, and Optional Health Clearances
The Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) recommends testing Labradors for hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, eye disorders, and EIC. CNM testing is optional.
The Orthopedic Foundation of Animals (OFA) issue certificates documenting the findings if the dog is considered suitable for breeding. Certificates will not be issued if disorders such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and inherited eye disorders are noted.
Hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, TVD (an inherited heart disorder in Labradors), and some eye disorders are associated with complex genetic elements and/or various factors that are not inherited. Breeding dogs with hip, elbow, eye, and cardiac clearances reduces the probability of transmitting them to their offspring, but it does not eliminate the risk.
DNA testing is available for some inherited disorders including CNM, DM, EIC, HNPK, NARC, PRA, RD/OSD, and SK2. These disorders are caused by a single abnormal recessive gene, and they can be prevented. Carriers (dogs that with one defective gene and one normal gene) will never develop the disorder. An affected dog must have 2 abnormal genes. A clear dog, with 2 normal genes, bred to either a clear dog or a carrier will never produce an affected offspring. OFA certificates are issued for dogs that have 2 normal genes and dogs that are carriers for these inherited disorders. OFA certificates are not issued if the dog is affected with these genetic disorders. Some breeders have their dogs tested for the more common genetic disorders such as EIC and PRA. Other breeders, especially stud dog owners, often test their dogs for additional genetic disorders.
*For more information, please review the Inherited Disorders page in the About Labradors section.
I do not have any puppies available at this time.
Please check in 2017 for future breeding plans.
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