What we find important
We try to provide as much information as possible on the phone or on e-mail when someone is interested in a puppy, information which we think is important to know. We hope that everyone has thought thoroughly before wanting to take on a labrador puppy.
To own a Labrador puppy is fantastic but it is not always ‘a walk in the park’ and it can be a lot of work! You have to walk frequently with the pup, house train them and pups need a lot of attention, at the start they need to eat 4 times a day and most importantly the upbringing.

We like to know that everyone wanting a pup has already done their homework. Puppies do not remain small for long; they grow quickly and like children go through puberty. Dogs have to fit into a family (in their eyes a pack) and they feel at their best at the bottom of the pack. A labrador likes to have a ‘boss’ which acts accordingly. When the puppy is good then he needs to be rewarded, bad behaviour is best ignored. Bad behaviour is also a form of attention-seeking and punishing this behaviour is also seen as attention. We also advise that you go on a puppy course and thereafter a course for younger dogs. There is also a lot of literature about dogtraining. Training also helps bonding between owner and dog and the benefit you have at a later stage of the dog’s life is very rewarding. The dog will love you and you will love your dog even more! The dog has to enjoy being around you so you always have to be the best thing he or she knows. If the puppy runs away but comes back in the end, do not punish him/her. Reward him with a high pitched voice and be happy…a piece of sausage also goes a long way…the next time he runs off he will (more than likely) run back quicker!

Character & health
The character and health of your labrador is very important. A lot of this comes from their parents. The litters bred by us are responsible combinations and comply with the regulations of the Dutch Labrador Association. The owner also has a big role to play. You can also form the character of your pup by how you treat your puppy. You can protect the health of your pup by sticking with certain rules. What we absolutely prohibit are skiddy floors. Parket or shiny wooden floors are fatal for the labrador’s joints.
Our advice is to place large pieces of carpet on these floors until the pup is around 1 year old.

Walks on the beach with soft sand is very straining for the joints in the elbows and also walking stairs should not be done before the puppy reaches its first year. If your labrador walks up the stairs accidently then carry him down. Walking too far is also not good for the hips and elbows. Just remember: for every month the walk should consist of only 5 minutes. So a four month old puppy should not walk any longer than 20 minutes. A 9 month old pup no longer than 45 minutes for the longest walk!

Good nutrition is important. There are a lot of brands on offer. Our advice is to continue with the brand of dog food that was given by the breeder. At a later stage you can change to another brand by mixing this together with the original brand so that the puppy can slowly come accustom to it. A sudden spurt in growth is not good for the bones or joints. In order to avoid this you can change to adult food at an earlier stage than given on the required date provided on the puppy food pack.

We also advise you to use a bench for your puppy. Many people find this cruel but babies also sleep in their cots. Make sure that your puppy sees the bench as a quiet place to rest where he/she is not disturbed. Reward the puppy with something tasty every time he goes into the bench. Never allow the puppy to determine when he comes out of the bench ignoring barking or whining. Take him out at the moment that he is quiet. No treat is needed at this point as the reward is that he is allowed out. The owner determines this! You can slowly build this trust up and eventually you can leave him in there when you go to do your grocery shopping or a well-earned sleep. You may have to set your alarm in order to make sure he doesn’t dirty in his own bench during the night. Wake him before he wakes you and with a possible dirtied bench. There is no need to put a water bowl in the bench. Make sure that a bowl with water is taken away before the last walk.

You also determine when we the puppy plays. The toys are yours. You give the toys to them and take them away whenever you want. You need to teach him a command like ‘let go’. Growling is not a good sign or something to encourage in a tug of war.
Let the labrador ‘think’. Thinking makes a labrador tired and they have the intelligence and the will to please to do this. One great game is hiding treats in the garden or living room and letting them find them by using their nose. Provide a command to them and let them sniff out the treats.
Most importantly enjoy the puppy time, before you know it they are no longer a puppy anymore and a grown up labrador.
A trustworthy companion who always welcomes you home with his tail wagging and always happy to see you! Your dog will give you comfort and sleeps by your feet on a cold winter night. Insured: a friend for life!

Hans Stigt en Rodney W. Egerton
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