Once you have decided that a Labrador Retriever is the right dog for you and your family, you are now ready to begin the search for a puppy that will hopefully be an ideal pet for the entire household, one that will be fun training to retrieve and can be used as such during the hunting season.
Whether it would be a male or a female is something that you need to decide before buying a Labrador Retriever. For those who want to acquire a hunting dog, a male is preferable because a female may come in heat just when she is needed as a retriever. However, in other circumstances, there is really not much difference; each sex has advantages and disadvantages. Either will wander if enticed away by neighboring dogs, or stay at home to be
with their family.
For the prospective dog owner, a good way to find the right Lab is to go to dog shows. There are dog magazines that you can buy that list the shows with dates and where they are going to be held. At a dog show, talk with as many people as possible, especially with those who will put you in touch with active breeders. Unfortunately, many successful breeders are
“kennel blind,” believing so strongly in their own type of Labrador that they do not see the faults in their stock. However, breeders are flattered when a serious beginner asks their advice; and the more intelligent the questions asked, the more interest there is in helping the new breeder to get started. The successful breeder is the one with many satisfied customers, and it is important for the beginner to talk with owners of Labradors from some of these kennels before visiting the place.
This is a big country, and you may end up buying a high-priced puppy from a person you have never seen, so you have to make sure that you will get what you are paying for. This involves talking with a great many Labrador owners and breeders and eventually deciding
upon a breeder whose advice you believe to be trustworthy. No one is infallible; miracles rarely happen and we never get perfection, but with proper research and planning, mistakes can be minimized when buying a puppy which you hope will be a superior, all-purpose pet.
At first, the beginner can rarely see the difference between one puppy or dog within a breed and another, especially if they are all the same color. It takes constant training of the eye to distinguish various differences between the Labradors one has the opportunity to see. Also, there is more involved than visual appearance in selecting the ideal puppy. A beginner will be more capable in choosing the right breeder than the right puppy and should rely upon the breeder to make the selection.