Puppy Selection Policy

The breeder's role in the placement of their puppies is highly variable. Some breeders allow families to pick their puppy, usually in the order they received deposits. This practice doesn't take into consideration temperament, confidence level, training attitude, sound sensitivity, or activity level of the puppy. These characteristics can be highly variable. Unfortunately, most perspective owners lack the knowledge, experience, and time required to properly evaluate a litter. Some reputable breeders will either pick a puppy for their new families or assist them in the selection of the puppy that is the best match for them. 

A good match will benefit both the puppy and the new owners. Breeders that spend a lot of time with their puppies can identify the most energetic puppy, a bold one, a shy puppy, sound sensitivity one, and the mellow confident puppy. Perspective owners usually have a couple of brief visits with the puppies. Their first impressions are often misleading. A mellow, easygoing puppy may have a brief burst of energy while you are visiting with the puppies. A puppy that is very active and bold may have been playing while the other puppies were napping. This energetic puppy resting quietly in the corner during a your visit may seem to be calm and easygoing. Some experienced breeders evaluate their puppies and strive to match each puppy with the right home. 

My current puppy selection policy is based on many years of volunteering with Labrador Retriever Rescue and breeding Labrador Retrievers. As a rescue volunteer, I spoke with many people that needed to surrender their dog. Some of these owners realized that they had selected a puppy that was not a good fit for their family, and they made the decision to surrender their dogs to rescue. During the first few years as a breeder, I made recommendations but I allowed families to pick their puppy. I've learned from the successful placements as well as the problematic ones. For more than 20 years, I have carefully matched my puppies with their new owners.

The puppy selection process begins with information from you about your lifestyle, family dynamics, the activities you have in mind for your dog, and the characteristics you are looking for in a canine companion. I observe and evaluate my puppies as they grow and develop. Traits such as personality, temperament, training attitude, and activity level develop between 5 and 8 weeks of age. I spend time with each puppy individually during the last 2 weeks they are with me. My litters are tested by a trained professional when the puppies are at least 7 weeks old. Traits like independence, assertiveness, training attitude, confidence level, and sound sensitivity can be determined during this standardize testing procedure. Based on my observations, the results of the temperament tests, and your requests, I will identify the puppy or puppies that will most likely meets the needs and expectations of their new families. 

The puppies for first time dog owners, families with very young children, and seniors are carefully selected based on temperament, attitude, confidence, sound sensitivity, touch sensitivity, and activity level. In some litters there may not a puppy that will be a good match for these families. A sound sensitive puppy is not a good match for a busy household with several active children or a loud urban setting. A mellow easy-going puppy is a good match for a retired couple. A dominant puppy needs a home with an experienced dog owner. An active puppy is a good match for an active family. An independent puppy is more likely to adjust to being alone during the work day. Puppies and toddlers can be a very challenging combination. Both require close supervision, and sometimes the toddler and the puppy are going in different directions. Puppies tend to interact with young children as if they were litter mates. Playful puppies are often rough and mouthy with other puppies and little children. Their teeth are very sharp.  Excited puppies can easily knock over a toddler. It takes time to teach puppies that jumping and nipping is unacceptable behaviors.