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  Email me for more info about planned litters.

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About our breeding practices

Devoted to producing only the best, Fireside Labradors breeds infrequently, usually 0-2 litters per year.  Each puppy is special here.  Pups are born in the dining room and are a part of the family.  Every one gets individual cuddling and attention every day.  

We want all our babies to have wonderful loving lifelong homes, so do understand that when you contact us we will be asking you questions to make sure that your family will be a good match for a Labrador.  If a Lab isn't the right breed for you, or a pup from a different breeder would suit you better, we will be happy to make a referral.    

Puppies need a lot of time and attention.  At 8 weeks old, they have to go out every few hours during the day, and sometimes once or twice during the night.  They don't know a toy from a remote control, and they will chew or carry everything they can reach.  They can't be just left at home 8 hours a day, day after day.  They need need to be watched every minute, just like toddlers do.  They need your time, love, play, and training.  But, people do have jobs, and if you work full time that doesn't necessarily mean you can't get a dog.  If you can arrange to come home for lunchtime for a few months, a pup will be alright.  Others have flexible hours so family members can stagger their schedules.  Some people have a family member, neighbor, or dogsitter come in at lunchtime.  Doggy daycares are another option, though alternative arrangements should be made until the pup has completed its puppy shots.  For some families an older puppy or adult dog might be a better option.  Please contact me for information on available adults, or consider a breed rescue.

All pet puppies from Fireside Labs are sold with a spay/neuter contract and AKC limited (non-breeding) registration.  If you are an established breeder/exhibitor or looking to start out in dog shows, contact me and we can discuss arrangements. 

We are responsible for our pups for life, and if for any reason you cannot keep your dog, we will always take it back and provide or find a new home.  

We do not ship puppies.  We want to meet all our puppy buyers in person, and ensure that we have a good match.  Be prepared to travel here in person to meet your pup when it is ready to go home.  

Fireside Labs does all we can to give our pups a healthy start.  We only breed from dogs with certified hips, elbows, hearts and eyes.  We also DNA test for EIC.  This gives the best chance of avoiding genetic problems such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and PRA.  We stand behind our efforts with a health warranty, which is included in our adoption contract.  Puppies are wormed, vaccinated, and if it's during the mosquito season they are started on heartworm preventive.  

Dew claws are not removed.  Dewclaws are the dogs' "thumbs" and they use them for holding things, cornering, and bank climbing.  So why have you heard that dewclaws should be removed?  This is an unnecessary and outdated practice.  The dewclaws are a small toe located on the insides of the front wrists.  Because they are higher on the leg they are not always in contact with the ground.   Years ago, when people didn't bother to cut their dogs' toenails, the nails would wear down through contact with the ground.  Because the dewclaws don't contact the ground all the time, they didn't wear as fast as they grew, so these nails grew very long.  Then they would catch on things and the nail would be torn off.  This was a horrible bloody mess, so people just started cutting off the toe at 3 days old, to avoid this problem.  These days though, we've realized that if we just keep the dogs' nails trimmed, this is not a problem.  At Fireside we believe it's better to trim nails than to cut off a puppy's toes.  If for aesthetic reasons you particularly want the dewclaws removed, it can be done later at the time the dog is neutered for a small additional charge.  It is an amputation though, and should not be taken lightly.

So you want to get a puppy?  What next?

When you contact us, we will ask each other questions to determine if a Fireside Labrador is the right dog for you, and if you are the right family for a Fireside Labrador.  If we both approve each other, the next step is to reserve a pup and put down a deposit.  (The balance of the adoption price is payable when you pick up your puppy.)  When you make the reservation you may specify gender and color.  If you are flexible on either of those so much the better, because that gives more pups to choose from. 

It is strongly recommended that you reserve your pup early.  The majority of our pups are spoken for before they are born.  A litter might have several of your preferred color/gender, or only one or two.  Reservations are honored in the order the deposits are received, so getting your deposit in early gives you the best odds that we'll have a puppy for you of the color and gender you prefer. 

Once you are on the list, we will keep you updated about the breeding, pregnancy and whelping (delivery), and the pups' progress.  If there is no pup available of the color and gender reserved, you will have the option of selecting another color or gender if available, carrying over your reservation to a future litter, or receiving your deposit back.  The deposit is not refundable if I do have a pup available for you.  

We do not breed just to produce puppies to sell.  We always breed with the interest of producing a show puppy to keep for ourselves.  So bear in mind that we always reserve the option to keep any pups we choose.  The puppies are graded for several characteristics at various times, but the final evaluation is done at 7-8 weeks of age.  For this reason, we may not always know until the pups are ready to go, which pups will be available. 

After spending 8 weeks with the puppies, getting to know them as individuals, and doing a formal evaluation of their retrieving drive, temperament and structure, we have a very good understanding of what each puppy is like.  We will ask you questions to get to know your family and so determine which sort of pup would be the best fit for your family.  For this reason, we match each family to the best pup for them, of the color and gender they selected.  Some people would prefer to select their pup themselves, but even if you visit several times you cannot know the pups personalities as well as we do.  This method has always worked very well for us.  Time and time again adopters have said to us, "I don't know how you did it, you picked the PERFECT puppy for our family."  The best advice from experts is, you pick the breeder that you trust, and then trust the breeder to find the right puppy for you.

Another great thing about this method is there really is no first pick, second pick, etc.  No two homes are exactly alike, and so each family has a different ideal puppy.  Doing it this way every family gets the pup best matched to them, so everyone gets first pick.  While there really isn't a pick order, there are only so many available pups of any gender or color.  Reservations are honored in the order received.  

Puppies are ready to go home at 8 weeks old.  Once we are getting close to that date we will make arrangements for your pickup.  Don't expect to be here and gone in 15 minutes.. the pickup process takes at least an hour or two.  We will spend lots of time introducing you to your new family member, going over your contract and paperwork, and providing care and training instructions.  

Our relationship doesn't end once you take your new puppy home with you.  We are available to answer your questions for the lifetime of your dog, and beyond.  We hope you will keep in touch, and especially send pictures.  We always love to hear from our families.  




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