Re: First Dog- Breeder Recommendations
We raised chocolate labs for over 20 years. They are a great dog. We bought a female about 15 years ago from Lorken Farms in Fremont WI. She was a beautiful dog. Her sire was Storms Riptide Star. They were good people to deal with and have a quality operation.
Our female had a good disposition, always wanting to please, hunted like there was no tomorrow. She also pointed.
The best male I had was sired by Pachanga Magnum Force. He was high energy, loved the water and also pointed.
Make sure who ever you buy from has an OFA certification on both parents. This is important because all labs are prone to hipdisplasia. The pups should have all shot, dewormed and vet checked before you pick them up.
I also recommend the parents be AKC certified.
Be prepared to spend a little money. We sold our pups for $800 to $1000 each. That doesn't mean that you can't get a good dog for less. We haven't breed dogs for over 7 years now but I still get calls from people asking me if and when we are going to have another litter.
As far as time of year I don't believe it matters. It's all about the time you spend with them. I bought my last male in November of 2005. He is like a robot when he hunts.
Also try and find someone in your area that trains labs. Pick their brain. See if you can help him train his dogs when he takes them out. That's how I learned. Go to a couple of field trials a lot can be learned there. It's also fun to participate.