Frequently Asked Questions
1) Is there a difference between the personalities of a male vs a female?Yes, generally speaking there is a difference between male and female dogs. In the wild, the female is the pack leader, responsible for procreation and providing food for the puppies. The male is the lover with little care other than his "manly duties". The same holds true of our domesticated dogs. Males are much sweeter, more loyal, better companions than females, although each animal is an individual and traits do vary. We always recommend males for companionship.
2)Do you recommend the dogs be kept indoors or outdoors?Dogs, especially labs, are so people oriented that it's very important to allow them your companionship as much as possible. That means they need to be where you are. In Arizona, indoor housing is a must because of our inhumanely hot summers. Labs like to be cool, love to swim and cherish human companionship. As a responsible owner, you will need to accomodate those needs. As all beings do, they also need a fair amount of sunshine for optimal health. That's where our vitamin D comes from.
3)I saw your puppies are trained to a doggy door, does that mean that we would need to get a door to the outside so that it can go to the bathroom?Doggie doors make life so much easier for both puppy and master, however, they are not a must. At about 4 weeks of age, we provide the opportunity for our puppies to start potty training themselves with access to a doggie door. Mother nature provides the desire to not soil their den and life is so much easier for all of us. When they go home, they're old pros at running outside to potty. Those without doggie doors must watch for signs of urgency and show their puppy through the door they are going to use. They catch on very quickly, usually 2-3 days, because they already have the desire to not soil their den.
4)How do you feel about crate training?Crate training is a personal choice but we do recommend you start out with a crate. Puppies, like babies, need a place to stay where they are safe (and your belongings are safe) when you cannot watch them. A crate is a great "playpen" indoors when you must leave the puppy alone. Dogs also view crates as their personal space or den. They grow quite fond of them and feel safe in their little dens. Puppies also need protection from little humans sometimes and their crate is a convenient place for them to get some peace. When traveling, your puppy feels much more secure in his crate. It's something familiar he can depend on. Most of our clients use crates when their puppies are young but put them away once they can be trusted alone in their new home.
5)Do you have an obedience school that you recommend?We do recommend "Top Dog Arizona" (www.topdogaz.com) for Training. Shawn is an exceptional trainer using only positive reinforcement. He has trained and competed on an international level and resides right here in Chandler, AZ. We are very fortunate. We include his info in our puppy packets.
7)Ive heard that by going through a responsible breeder, you get a healthier dog.... is this true?The health of our puppies is first and foremost, followed by temperament. All breeders primarily produce companion dogs. Only a small percentage, if any, of a litter become show champions. As responsible breeders, our goal is to produce puppies that will live long, healthy lives requiring little veterinarian care. Much research and years of experience has gone in to the way we raise our puppies. You will want to read over our web site carefully to become familiar with the natural rearing protocol we recommend. In other words, you pay for what you get. If health is important, go to a responsible breeder.
8) Do I still need to continue the raw feeding once I get my puppy home?
Our labs are set apart because of their outstanding health. They are raised naturally which means they are fed appropriately and we do not put any poisons in, on or around them. Their health shines through in their beautiful coats, teeth, breath, and longevity. Only on rare occasions do they need veterinary care. We have lots of great info on our web site about diet and vaccines. Please read through it to acquaint yourself with natural rearing. If you want to ensure the excellent health we have worked so hard to instill in your puppy, it is only wise to continue the natural rearing protocol we have established. I provide easy instructions for you to follow and I'm always available to answer questions. I'll even send home a couple of meals so you can see amounts, variety, etc.
9)Do the dogs do okay on their own, or would it be better for us to get two?Seldom do we recommend two puppies from the same litter at the same time, especially to a first time dog owner. If you want two dogs, we recommend a second puppy when the first is about a year old. That way you've had time to train your puppy and become familiar with the needs of one dog. At one year, that puppy will help train a second with his knowledge of good manners and your job will be much easier. This also assures that each pup will bond to their human family and not just to each other.
10) What do I need to do to prepare for my new puppy's arrival at homeThe key to bringing a puppy into your home is to think things through well before the big day.
Most people spend months preparing for the arrival of a new baby. They're just as likely, however, to bring a baby dog home on a whim, without any preparation at all. Small wonder they find themselves playing catch-up for weeks, months, years, or even "getting rid of" the dog as they struggle to recover from the mistakes made in the pup's formative months. The wise puppy-owner-to-be puts much thought into pre-puppy preparation.
There's lots of puppy stuff you'll need to make your puppy comfortable, happy, and successful as he learns to adapt to your alien environment. Here's a short list to get you started:
Crate - facilitates housetraining and prevents puppy misbehavior. 27 x 42 is our recommendation to accommodate puppy to adult dog, wire crate is best for ventilation, can get them with puppy dividers, can cover with blanket for privacy. An old blanket or beach towel is good for bedding at this age.
Puppy pen/exercise pen - expands the "den" concept of a crate to a slightly larger area. Can be set up adjacent to a doggie door.
Collar, ID tag, leash, and/or harness We recommend a martingale type training collar for puppies.
Seat belt - Use a restraint that fastens to your car's seat belts and your dog's harness (never a collar) or crate for car
Clicker - use as a reward marker.
Treats - A clicker, of course, is nothing without an accompanying reward. We recommend our homemade liver treats (recipe in puppy packet)
Long line - the long line is an ideal tool to help your dog learn to come reliably.
Kong toys - a chew-resistant (not chew-proof), rubber toy with a hollow center.
Balls, interactive toys, fetch toys. (No stuffed animals at this point)
Grooming tools - Choose combs and brushes appropriate for your dog's type of coat. We recommend a flea comb and a furminator.Pans We recommend a tin pan for feeding and a metal bucket with handle for water that can be secured with a clip to something stationary.Kiddie Play Pool To facilitate pups intro to swimming and to cool off in summer heat