Labrador Breeders

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Lab Breeders, Waterfowl Sporting Dogs, Yellow or Black Labrador Retriever Duck Hunting Dogs Training and Puppies For Sale by Ashland Kennel - Trained Lab Breeders
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FOR ALL YOUR DOG TRAINING SUPPLIES - The man who owns is a personal friend of mine and will take care of you and exactly what you need to start training on the "right track"!

Ashland Kennel's helpful hints on:
How to Choose a "Super Duck- Retriever Puppy" 
Then ...Teaching your Puppy Obedience that works

Choosing a Retriever Puppy:
There are a lot of very important things to look for when you begin your search for a new Retriever Puppy. What you want in a Retriever Puppy :

1. Intelligence - for Train ability

2. Desire - The desire to Retrieve is where a strong field pedigree comes in

3. Genetic Soundness - OFA ( Orthopedic Foundation for Animals)and Written      Guarantees

First, start with a reputable breeder. A reputable breeder should offer a pedigree on the puppy ( the puppies history / family tree ), A Written Hip and Eye Guarantee, OFA Numbers on the sire and dam and Health Records indicating the date and types of Puppy Shots and Worming. Beware of buying a puppy out of the paper or from someone who has two "Good Hunting Dogs" that he bred but has not bothered to check out the hips on the sire or dam for Hip Dysplasia. This is extremely important as Hip Dysplasia is 99% Hereditary. OFA is the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals and will certify the dogs hips with a rating of Excellent, Good or Fair at 2 years of age. They also grade a dogs hips for Dysplasia - Borderline, Mild, Moderate and Severe. At Hardlabor Creek Kennel ....we only breed dogs with OFA certification of Excellent and Good. You can see Ashland's Written Hip and Eye Guarantee on our web site at .  Do not confuse AKC Registered with OFA Certified. Although  AKC registration is important - it costs only $20.00 to register a litter... Ask for OFA Certification numbers on the sire and dam! For more information on Hip Dysplasia visit OFA's web site at .

Next, you want a puppy that is Intelligent and Full of the Desire to Retrieve!! This is where the pedigree comes into play. Look at the accomplishments of the Sire and Dam/Titles in the pedigree - these titles should be abundant in the first generations - not one or two titles beginning 3 generations back. Here are some of the abbreviations you should look for in the pedigree -

FC - Field Champion
AFC- Amateur Field Champion
NFC- National Field Champion
NAFC - National Amateur Field Champion
CFC, CAFC, CNFC, CNAFC - are Canadian Field Titles
MH - Master Hunter

These titles are STRONG indications that the pup is produced from a "Proven Background" One of the best ways to learn about the titles and what the dogs have to do to earn the titles is to attend an AKC Licenced Hunting Test or Field Trial.  I am on the Board of Directors of the Atlanta Retriever Club- also Co-Chair the Atlanta Retriever Club Hunt Test & Field Trial held every Spring.

The desire to retrieve is something in the puppy or not- You cannot make them want to retrieve!! You can always take a little bit out but you cannot put it in them ... That's why getting a puppy from a "good breeding" is so important. The pedigree makes a difference!! An excellent way to bring out this desire to retrieve is to start the puppies on birds early. We introduce Ashalnd's "Super Duck Puppies" to "live" pigeons at 5 weeks and everyday after so they are exposed to birds before they even go home Ducks have a strong odor for a young puppy... Doves are not good to start out with... as the feathers come out in the pups mouth making it undesirable. "Live" pigeons are ideal - Remember you do not shoot sticks, tennis balls and bumpers when your hunting.

Other important considerations:

Are the puppies active and alert?
Are the puppies clean?
Have they been raised in the house with proper socialization or born and left outside in a kennel?
What are the puppies fed? A good Premium Puppy Food such as Pro-Plan or Iams or Cheap Grocery store brand?
Have the puppies been socialized well?

Do not be afraid to ask questions. Your new puppy will be an important long-time member of your family therefore getting a puppy from a "Good Breeding" is essential.

Teaching Obedience:

1. Now that you have your new puppy... How and when should you begin teaching obedience? You do not have to be a taskmaster to get your puppy to behave. Proper Obedience training is essential right from the start- Establish boundaries and have frequent short, playful sessions that emphasize communication and interaction. You can teach your puppy to listen and learn.

Your puppy is like a sponge, ready to soak up knowledge to give him the confidence and security to be a well-behaved adult. So it's important to START EARLY - but remember puppies have a very short attention span. Keep your session about 10- ~ 5 minutes and always end your session on a positive note -when your puppy has accomplished what you have been trying to achieve. At Ashland  Kennel we use 3 basic commands - HERE, SIT and HEEL.

The first lesson we start with is "HERE". I use the command "here" not "come' but whatever you use be consistent, and make sure everyone in the family is consistent with the commands. "Here" is important ,as we want the puppies always coming to us and minding - it could also save your dogs life someday. Using small treats ( we use Pup-A-Roni Lean treats ) is an excellent way to begin teaching "here". Have the treats readily available, squat down and say "here", "here", "here" with the dogs name on the assumption they will come to you. When he does, reward him with a treat, then back up a few steps and repeat again, then again. Soon the puppy will be at your feet, like a little snapping turtle - looking for his treat, but they will come to you when you say the command" here". Don't scold him if he comes to slowly; this will only teach him to avoid you in the future. Be positive and make this fun! The treats will be replaced for praise as the puppy grows. This method for teaching "HERE" works if you are consistent!!

Stand behind his rear legs. Say the command "SIT" and gently apply pressure on his rear legs- he will sit then give him a treat and praise him readily - "Good Sit". Again be positive and make this fun.

"HEEL" starts with a choke chain and leash at about 8-9 weeks. Begin letting your puppy walk along beside you while saying "Heel". Do not let this become a pulling and choking session - give him small treats to let him know it is "ok" to be restrained on the leash. After a few sessions and he has gotten used to the leash, keep his shoulder at your knee (this is 'Heel" ) and say "Heel". Then after a few sessions and he's heeling beside you well ,begin taking sharp turns, pull the leash gently to keep him at your knee and walk slowly in a square saying "heel". Then stand in front of him and teach him to come into heel beside you ( not behind you). Sometimes we used treats to guide them into a ¼ circle beside your leg - to the heel position. We teach our dogs to heel on both sides. For competition/trials this in invaluable and also for hunting. Its not easy to get a left handed dog to heel on the right -if you get stuck on the wrong side of the boat.

The most important things to remember when teaching your puppy obedience are:

1. Keep the sessions short - His attention span is short
2. Be Positive
3. Use treats as rewards for good behavior
4. Be Consistent - Dogs learn by repetition - this is imperative
Raising a puppy should not be all hard work - it should also be fun. Be positive, praise him and reward him for good behavior. Starting obedience early is important. Controlling him as a puppy allows you to control him as an adult. Hence you will have a puppy that is socially acceptable and a joy to be with at all times. Ashland Kennel is happy to answer all your questions about "Super Duck Puppies" and Retriever Training. Please e-mail us at and visit our web site at . Ashland Kennel- Experience makes a Difference. Fully Licensed and Insured