Breeding Philosophy

Sunset Labradors is a small responsible breeding program dedicated to preserving and enhancing the wonderful characteristics of the breed. 
  • My focus is on quality, not quantity. Like most hobby breeders, I do not make a financial profit. My rewards come from the joy of raising carefully planned litters and placing happy healthy puppies in loving homes
  • I research the pedigrees, review the health clearances, and evaluate the temperament and conformation of the sire and dam. 
  • My litters are raised in a supportive home-based environment that gives the puppies the best possible start in life
  •  Usually I breed one litter per year. 
My goal is to breed healthy, sound, intelligent Labradors with correct conformation, the classic temperament, an eager to please attitude, and a low to moderate activity level. 
  • The dogs in my line are the American show-type Labradors, aka English Labradors. Most of my girls are show quality. Many of the dogs in their pedigrees are show quality, and a number of them have conformation titles.  
  • A strong desire to retrieve is also a priority. My dogs are avid retrievers but they do not participate in field trials or hunting activities. 
  • The girls in my breeding program have OFA hip, PennHip, OFA elbow, cardiac testing by echocardiogram, and eye clearances. My breeding girls also have DNA testing done for PRA, EIC, CNM, DM, HNPK, RD/OSD, Narcolepsy, and D locus. 
  •  The selection of the stud dog is based on their pedigree, conformation, temperament, and health clearances. The sires often have show titles and many of the dogs in their pedigrees are champions. 
My dogs and their puppies receive quality care with regards to safety, diet, exercise, veterinary care, and frequent interaction with visitors. 
  • I do not have an outdoor kennel structure. I share my home with my dogs and their puppies. My canine kids have access to a large fenced-in yard via a dog door. 
  • My dogs and their puppies are fed Fromm dog food. 
  • My girls are at least 2 1/2 years old before they are bred. Most of them are retired from breeding after their second litter. They live out their natural life with me, so you will usually be able to meet with several relatives of the puppies.
  • I provide my puppies with an environment that promotes their physical and mental development. For the first month, the puppies are in whelping box in the guest bedroom. I move the puppies into a spacious pen in my sunroom when they are 4 weeks old. Weather permitting, the puppies play outside in a fenced-in patio area and a 10 foot by 34 foot grassy pen. They play in and around two toddler playhouses and several toddler climbing toys. In warm weather, the puppies play in a small wading pool. 
  • My puppies have numerous visitors so they are well socialized. They are exposed to a variety of sights, sounds, and surfaces. During the last 2 weeks the puppies are with me, I bring each puppy into the main areas in the house. The are exposed to household sounds including the vacuum cleaner, dish washer, telephone, TV, and the radio.
  • The puppies receive the first vaccination against several canine diseases and prophylactic treatment for parasites before they go to their new homes. 
My puppies are carefully placed in approved homes.     
  • I encourage prospective owners to describe the traits they find desirable in Labradors, and to provide me with information about their lifestyle and family dynamics. 
  • I observe and evaluate them as they grow. The puppies are also temperament tested by an experienced dog trainer when they are at least 7 weeks old. There is usually some difference in the personality, activity level, confidence, sound and touch sensitivity of the puppies in the litter. 
  • Based on the results of the temperament tests and my observations, I will identify the puppy or puppies that will most likely meet the needs and expectations of their my owners. The preferences of the prospective owners are always considered. 
  • There may not be a puppy in every litter that is suitable for some families. 
  • The selection of a puppy to be placed in a home with young children, a time buyers, and a senior couple will receive careful consideration. 
  • For more information, please read my Puppy Selection Policy posted in the Nursery Section.
The purpose of the sales agreement is to protect the puppy, the breeder, and the buyers. 
  • My primary goal to provide for the safety and well being of each puppy. I also hope to remain on friendly terms with the new owners. The sales agreement states my obligations to the new owners as well as the obligations of the owner to me and to the puppy. 
  • I retain an interest in all the dogs from my breeding program throughout the dog's life. I am available to help with problems or concerns. My puppies are returnable at any age for any reason. 
  • A detailed written health guarantee is included in the sales agreement. I stand behind my puppies with a new puppy or a partial refund if specific problem develops. 
My puppies are placed with AKC limited registration. 
  • The offspring of dogs with limited registration can not be registered with AKC. 
  • Dogs with limited registration can participate in numerous AKC activities including obedience, field trials, agility, and tracking.
A spay/neuter agreement is included in the sales agreement. 
  • These surgeries are an important aspect of responsible dog ownership. 
  • The reproductive hormones of the endocrine system have an essential role in the growth and development of dogs. Based on recent studies, the practice of spaying and neutering puppies is associated with numerous health risks including shortened lifespan, bone cancer, obesity, hypothyroidism, abnormal bone growth and development, CCL ruptures, hip dysplasia, and urinary incontinence in females. 
  • The risk of these health problems can be significantly reduced if the surgeries are done near or post maturity. 
The Buyer(s) can return the puppy or dog to the Breeder at any age, for any reason. 
  • A puppy that is returned within 7 days from the date of transfer will receive a full refund. 
  • The puppy must be in the same condition as he or she was at the time transfer.
  • Also, the appropriate AKC paperwork must be completed.  
I will be available to answer questions as long as you own your Sunset Labrador. 
  • I have a gained lot of experience raising the puppies I keep, retraining the rescued Labradors I fostered, and helping other owners solve problems with their puppies and dogs. 
  • I will be available to help new owners with problems and concerns throughout the dog's lifetime.