Our Breeding Program
We have a couple of litters a year and believe that a Labrador can have it all … wonderful temperament, intelligence, retrieving instincts, good health, beauty and a will to please. We breed only when we want to keep a puppy for ourselves and every litter is carefully and thoughtfully planned. Puppies do not leave until they are 8 weeks of age, at which time they have been temperament tested and evaluated on structure so that we can determine which puppy or puppies will stay here as show prospects. There is not usually a clear distinction of which of our puppies are the “show puppies”. The differences in the pups that we keep and the ones placed as pets are very small and not usually even noticeable to the untrained eye. We sometimes keep more than one puppy from a litter for a few months so that we can see how they grow and determine which one will stay as our next show dog. Once we make a final decision we have older puppies or young adults available on occasion.
We do not sell dogs/puppy over the internet and require a prospective purchaser to visit our home to see and/or pick up their puppy. We do not ship dogs/puppies sight unseen.
Our puppies are sold on AKC Limited Registration and with a spay/neuter contract.
About Our Puppies
Health & Temperament
Health and temperament are paramount to us. Through selective breeding of wonderful temperaments for many generations, we are confident that our puppies will have only the best temperaments. Our dogs are proven in the show ring but they are far more than just a pretty dog. We have many champions and have owned and produced dogs who have gone on to earn many performance titles, work in Canine Literacy, work as service and therapy dogs, serve as wonderful family pets and personal hunting companions. We are proud to have co-bred the 2019 ACE Service dog of the year, Polly. Take a minute to WATCH this girl in action, with her owner and trainer, Rachel Husband. They are an amazing team and example of what makes a Labrador so incredible.
To help us breed sound dogs, all of the dogs we breed have had x-rays and determined to be free of dysplasia by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). We also have their eyes certified annually to be free of inheritable eye disorders by a board certified Veterinary Ophthalmologist (ACVO).
We believe that temperament has a very large genetic component and therefore we only breed dogs that exhibit a wonderful Labrador temperament, conformation, retrieving instincts and intelligence.
The test that we do is our best effort to ensure that our puppies are free of common congenital disorders. However, most congenital disorders have a polygenic mode of inheritance, meaning there is multiple gene involvement, making it impossible to determine with certainty that any puppy will be completely free from any disorder. Nutrition, exercise and other conditions will play a role in determining whether the puppy will develop certain disorders as well as help puppies grow into happy, healthy adults.
All of our puppies are examined by a board-certified veterinarian to ensure that the puppy is in good health before it goes to its new home. We also encourage every puppy buyer to have their new puppy examined by their veterinarian within 72 hours from the date of purchase. If it is determined that the puppy is not in good general health, with a written veterinarian statement and the puppies return, the entire purchase price will be refunded.
Puppies go home:
*vaccinated with a minimum of their first round of shots
*started on heartworm prevention
*started on early house training
We send every new family information to help them prepare for their new puppy about two weeks before the new puppy arrives. This includes information on diet and exercise, feeding, toy and equipment recommendations and training tips.
Puppy packets include a health certificate and shot records, AKC puppy papers and a written health guarantee.
Our puppies always have a home here! It is very important that our dog owners know that regardless of the reason, if at any time they are unable to keep their dog, it will always have a home here with us and can be returned – no questions asked – so that they can be re-homed.
Importance of Puppy Socialization
The socialization of puppies comes from two sources, human and canine. The first acts of socialization come from the interaction between mother and littermates. A mother teaches her puppies what is acceptable behavior. The mother to puppy and littermate to puppy socialization is invaluable and cannot be simulated in any way, which is why we do not allow any puppies to leave until they are 8 weeks of age.
Once the mother's work is well underway, it is our turn to assist in the process. Exposure to as many different noises, sights, smells and experiences is vital to producing a stable, well-tempered puppy. Car rides, collars, walking on leash, cats, other breeds of dogs, children, high pitched voices and crates all are seemingly simple, everyday stimuli that we expect our dogs to respond favorably to. We often take for granted that these are all new and therefore potentially threatening experiences for a puppy. When some one they have learned to trust exposes them to the new experience, it reduces the stress and can be quickly viewed in a favorable light. We believe in The Rule of Seven, written by Pat Hastings, AKC judge and author of The Puppy Puzzle, which offers these hints for socializing very young puppies.
Puppy socialization does not stop with the breeder. It is important that a new owner continue to reinforce positive new experiences. Puppy kindergarten is a wonderful chance for puppies to meet other young dogs of different breeds in a new and different environment. We would be happy to give you a list of books on training and the Labrador. A well socialized puppy is one that is happy, confident and ready to encounter his journey through life. With our love and understanding a puppy will develop to its full potential.
“The Rule of 7”
By the time a puppy is 7 weeks old it should have:
Been on 7 different surfaces, such as: carpet, concrete, wood, vinyl, grass, dirt, gravel, wood chips, newspaper, etc.
Played with 7 different types of objects, such as: big balls, small balls, soft fabric toys, fuzzy balls, squeaky toys, metal items, wooden items, paper/cardboard items, milk/soda jugs, etc.
Been in 7 different locations, including: front yard, backyard, basement, kitchen, car, garage, laundry room, bathroom, crate, kennel, etc.
Been exposed to 7 challenges, such as: climbed a box, climbed off a box, gone through a tunnel, climbed up steps, climbed down steps, climbed over obstacles, played hide and seek, gone in and out of a doorway with a step, etc.
Eaten from 7 different containers: metal, plastic, cardboard, paper, china, pie plate, frying pan, etc.
Eaten in 7 different locations: crate, yard, kitchen, basement, laundry room, bedroom, x-pen, etc.
Met and played with 7 new people, including children and the elderly.
Puppy Placement Policy
By the time our puppies are eight weeks old we know each of them very well and have performed a puppy temperament test to confirm what we know about each of them. We try very hard to learn as much as possible about each potential family so that we can carefully decide which puppy is the best fit for each family. Please do not be surprised that you are not allowed to pick your own puppy. If you'd like to hear how it works read some comments on Loved By Others.
Available Older Puppies/Adults
The show pups we keep are occasionally placed as older pups or adults for a variety of reasons. For example, a pup may be missing an adult tooth, the tailset may drop slightly, the eye color may be a shade too light or too dark, etc. None of the reasons we allow a puppy to leave usually impact their ability to be an outstanding family companion. They are socialized, crate trained, leash trained and have some basic obedience. And there are some advantages of getting an older puppy or adult. For a family that wants a Labrador companion but does not want to go through the puppy stages an older puppy or adult would be perfect.
Here are the top ten reasons people want an older puppy/adult:
1. Usually older puppies are housetrained.
2. Older puppies are not teething puppies and usually won’t chew on things they shouldn't.
3. Older puppies can focus better and have matured enough to learn quickly because their attention span is better.
4. Older puppies have learned what “no” means.
5. Older puppies settle in easily, because they’ve learned what it takes to get along with others and become part of a pack.
6. Older puppies have some basic training like leash training, crate training and basic manners.
7. Older puppies have already gone through a lot of the changes and have grown into the shape and personality they are going to have for the rest of their lives. Sometimes a cute, sweet puppy doesn't turn out like you expected.
8. Older puppies are instant companions — ready for hiking, car trips, and other things you like to do.
9. Older puppies are not as time consuming and do not require your time and attention like a baby puppy does.
10. Older puppies let you get a good night’s sleep because they’re accustomed to human schedules and don’t generally need nighttime feedings, comforting, or bathroom breaks.
All older dogs will be spayed and/or neutered. Please contact us to inquire. We do not always post these older puppy/adults on our website.
Let’s Talk about Price
Many people underestimate the ongoing financial burden of responsible dog ownership when considering a puppy, and instead focus on the upfront price of the dog. Your upfront cost is the smallest financial burden of owning a dog. The cost of a well-bred dog will be the least amount of money you ever spend on it. In an AKC survey of more than 1,000 dog owners, one-time costs (crate, neutering, bowls, leash, purchase price) averaged $2,100, while ongoing costs averaged $2,500 per year for items such as food, routine veterinarian care, boarding, treats and training. With the average lifespan of a dog being about 13 years, using these averages, you can expect to spend nearly $35,000 on a dog over the course of its lifetime. Even cutting these estimates in half, you can still expect to invest close to $20,000 in your pet. The difference in paying for a $100 dog or a $2,500 is, in the long term, a negligible difference. Your upfront costs will always be the least of your financial worries. That said, you should look for the best puppy you can find. A puppy whose parents were genetically tested prior to breeding and that come with a written health guarantee will cost more upfront, but in the long run could save you thousands of dollars in vet bills and ongoing treatment (not to mention heartache). Labradors, like all breeds, have health risks. Understand potential Health Risks. As breeders, testing our breeding dogs for genetic mutations gives us the knowledge to confidently select the proper mate, and the quality assurance to guarantee that the breeding is as free as possible from genetic issues. While we understand that the money invested in genetic testing does drive up the cost of our puppies we refuse to cut those corners to simply sell “cheap puppies”. We offer lifetime support to our puppy buyers and are always just a call or e-mail away to be a great resource for your Greenstone puppy.