black labrador puppy with a blue collar

How to Buy a Labrador Puppy

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Want to know how to buy a labrador puppy? We have a deep dive for you today with all the details you need to know before you move ahead. Let’s get started.

A Labrador Retriever puppy is a great choice for anyone looking for a new young family pooch or a loyal companion, “go-with” dog.  Labs are typically very friendly, loyal, and trainable.  Labs have been a popular choice for years among families with kids and singles alike. 

Although just about any Lab will be a fantastic go-with companion, selecting a puppy is always a tough thing to do…they are all so cute and they all want a loving, forever home.  Their excited eyes, wagging tails, and smiling faces all say, “pick me…take me home…I will be your best bud!  Picking THE ONE is really, really hard to do–they all pull at your hearts…But choose you must. 

One of the first things to do is figure out where you’ll get your Lab pup. You have some options.  There are options and you should check them all out: 

These three are usually good Lab purchase and adoption sources.  Also, classified newspaper or magazine ads and local organizations sometimes prove to be good sources.  But, be careful!  Not all pet ads are placed by honest or knowledgeable sellers.  All options have both pros and cons, so it’s crucial to do your research.  Additionally, you should ask the seller:

  • The puppy’s age (The pup needs to be weaned and at least 8 weeks old!)
  • The puppy’s sex
  • The vaccination records
  • The pup’s disposition 

Be sure to ask about any past and current health problems and the potential for inherited health concerns.  Get a bonafide health certificate from the seller–if the seller doesn’t have one then pass and go see another seller.

yellow labrador puppy

How To Buy a Labrador Puppy

Buying from Breeders

Buying from a reputable breeder is very important–there are some bad apples out there so get references and do a background check. The breeder should only sell dogs he knows to have clean pedigrees and zero health issues.  If the breeder doesn’t do that–or ever gets pups from a puppy farm–then find a different breeder.

Finding a Reputable Breeder

Do your research.  Check with local dog breed clubs or breed organizations.  Research websites like the American Kennel Club, the UK Kennel Club or trustworthy breeder/trainer websites.  These organizations may offer a breeder referral service that can give you good breeder leads in your area. 

Also, ask for good breeder recommendations from other Labrador owners or local veterinarians. After you’ve made a list of potential breeders then do a brief background check (Hint: use their own websites or social sites for this).  Discount those with any obvious red flags like negative reviews or no clear explanation about their services.

Ask the Breeder

After refining your list of potential breeders then ask the following friendly questions:

  • Can I visit your facility and see the puppies and their parents?
  • What health testing have you done on the pups’ and their parents?
  • Do you have health and pedigree papers?
  • What are your dog breeding business core policies?
  • What kind of socialization and training do you give the puppies?
  • What are your health guarantees, if any?
  • What is your refund policy?

An honest breeder will answer these questions.  And, they will give you all the documents, including health certificates, at or before the time of sale.  Walk away if the breeder has no papers or makes excuses for not having them.  Buying any puppy is a big deal–only buy a healthy and well-adjusted puppy from a reputable breeder

Preparing for Your Puppy

Preparing for a new Labrador puppy is an exciting time–it can also be overwhelming. Following are some things to prepare for your new Lab pup.

Puppy-Proofing Your Home

Before you bring the Lab puppy home, first make sure your home is puppy-safe.  Think about it carefully–puppy-proof your home like you would for any baby. Excited puppies will pee so protect your valuables and be ready to clean up accidents.  Puppies, like little kids, are curious and excited when they come to a new home.  It’s so important to puppy-proof or just get rid of any potential hazards. For a handy guide on pet-proofing your home. download our free checklist.

Here are a few things you should do:

  • Secure any loose wires or cords
  • Put away any small objects that could be swallowed
  • Lock up or keep out of reach cleaning supplies and chemicals 
  • Toss out all dog poisonous house and yard plants
  • Gate off all areas that are off-limits to your puppy

Take these simple steps, you’ll be glad if you do and sad if you don’t.

Stock Up 

Before your puppy arrives, you’ll need to purchase some essential supplies. The following are a few things you’ll need to get:

Collar and leashChoose a collar that fits your puppy comfortably and a leash that is strong and durable.  Do not buy a retractable leash, they are dangerous.
Food and water bowlsChoose non-tip pet bowls that are the appropriate size for your puppy.  As the puppy grows get bigger bowls.
Puppy foodBuy a high-quality name brand puppy food that meets your puppy’s nutritional needs and one the pup likes.  Never give your puppy table scraps, left-overs, alcoholic drinks, sugar, salt, spices, or chocolate.
Crate or carrierBuy a pet crate or carrier that is the appropriate size for your puppy.  Use it for training, traveling, and napping only.  It is not a dog house!
Toys and chewsOnly buy toys and chews that are safe and appropriate for your puppy’s age, size, and that are vet approved. Avoid cheap, foreign made pet toys. Do not buy artificially flavored or salty treats.
Grooming suppliesBuy necessary grooming supplies like a dog brush, safe dog shampoo, and good dog nail clippers

Have these things on hand before the puppy arrives and you’ll avoid stressful panic buying, plus you’ll have the essentials you’ll need.

Choosing Your Labrador Puppy

Select your Labrador puppy wisely. Here are some important things to keep in mind:

Puppy Temperament

The temperament or disposition of your newly acquired Labrador puppy needs to be watched closely for any unwanted behavior. Things like nervous barking, growling, biting, or fidgeting are indicators that something bothers or frightens the puppy.  In fact, before you even bring the puppy home, first observe his or her demeanor around littermates and when being handled by people. Then,  think about the temperament you really want in a dog. Some Lab puppies are more forceful, playful, and energetic, while others are quieter, laid back and less active.  If possible, spend a little time with the parents and litter to get a sense of their behavior and to observe each pup’s personality.

Puppy’s Health

The health of your Labrador puppy is paramount to its survival and crucial to your peace of mind.  Look for a puppy with clear eyes and a shiny coat. These are obvious signs that the pup is well-fed and not sick. Then, check for any outward signs of injury, infection or parasites. Check the other littermates to be sure the whole litter looks healthy and well-fed.  Finally, ask the breeder for proof of the puppy’s medical history and whether the pup has been given its vaccinations.

Puppy’s Appearance

The appearance of the Labrador puppy litter–especially the pup you’ve decided on–may sway your decision to buy or not.  You should notice things like normal size, eyes and nose, body temp, coat type, and coat color. If there is anything that is off, then don’t buy.  If there are one or more fur white spots, then the pup is not a purebred.   Be mindful that some coat colors may be temporary due to diet factors, skin allergies, or other temporary health issues.  But, ask questions and do your research before buying.  Buying the right Labrador puppy for you takes your careful consideration of several factors. Take your time and do your research to ensure you find the perfect furry companion for you and your family.

Bringing Your Puppy Home

After picking out your beautiful Labrador puppy–the time has come to introduce the excited pup to its new home. This can be an exciting time, but it’s important to make sure you’re prepared for your puppy’s arrival. 

Here are some tips to help make this as smooth as possible.

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The First Few Days

Your new puppy may feel tense or even pensive about their new surroundings. After all, it is a big change from what the puppy knows.  Expect the pup to mess on the floor once or more–oops accidents will happen, so be prepared for this–lots of towels, no anger.  It’s important to have patience.  You have to give your Lab pup time to adjust and feel right in his or her new digs. 

Here are some things you can do:

  • Make a quiet space for your puppy to rest and sleep. A crate is perfect for this.
  • Have lots of toys and teething chews to keep your pup busy.
  • Establish a routine for feeding, potty breaks, and playtime.
  • Introduce your puppy to family members and other pets slowly and carefully.
  • Be patient and understanding as your puppy gets used to their new home.

Training Your Puppy

Training your puppy is key to being a responsible pet owner. 

Here are some tips to help you train your pup:

  • Start with basic obedience commands like sit, stay, come, and down.
  • Use positive reinforcement like treats and praise, never use punishment. 
  • Always be consistent with your commands, praise, and discipline.
  • Establish a potty training routine for you and the pup–stick to it.
  • Socialize your puppy in a puppy training class and a safe dog park.

Bringing your new Labrador puppy home is a very exciting time.  But, you need to be prepared and patient. Good preparation and training will help your puppy quickly become used to his or her new home. 

Easy Peasy Puppy Squeezy

Steve Mann is a professional dog trainer and behaviorist with over 30 years of experience. As the founder of the Institute of Modern Dog Trainers, he has transformed the lives of over 100,000 dogs and their families.

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Final Thoughts

So today we have walked through the answer to the question, how to buy a labrador puppy? However, before buying a new Labrador puppy there are some “must-do” things. 

  • Always check out prospective sellers or breeders carefully.
  • Make sure your puppy is from a reputable source, not a puppy farm.
  • Be prepared for the time, effort, and expense that comes with raising a puppy. 

Lab puppies are a pure joy, but they need a lot of attention and care. You’ll have to provide your pup with lots of proper exercise, training, and socialization to maintain its happiness and health. You’ll also need to clean up the occasional potty accident or chewed up mess. You need to think about your lifestyle and living situation to be sure that you are a good fit for a Lab. Buying a Labrador puppy can be a fun experience, but it’s a long time commitment.  Puppies grow into adult dogs–be prepared for that. The shelters are full of Labs that were abandoned because of owner ignorance. However, If you really want a great dog and raise your pup right he or she will mature into a happy, healthy, and well-behaved companion for many years to come. 

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