Royalty British Kennels

The Finest Line of British Labradors
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Choosing A British Labrador Breeder

Katie Taking Care of Her Pups
Katie Taking Care of Her Pups
Choosing a high-quality breeder of the British Labrador is the most important step you can take. Here are some things you can do to be sure you're buying a British Lab puppy from a reputable breeder:

Visit the facility. Reputable breeders will be happy to let you visit their facility both prior to the pups being born, as well as when the pups are a few weeks old. The whelping area should be clean, sanitized, and have adequate shelter from the environment. An indoor facility designed specifically for dogs and whelping that is climate-controlled is optimal. A cardboard box in the kid's bedroom or a crate with chicken wire fencing should make you think twice about choosing that breeder.

Pay particular attention to the whelping area. A whelping

One Puppy Down, Seven To Go!
One Puppy Down, Seven To Go!
box made of wood can absorb urine, odors and germs. A whelping box made of impervious material is much more sanitary. Cleaning and disinfecting of the whelping box and surrounding area is essential to keep both mom and pups healthy at a critical stage in their lives and should be done periodically throughout the day.

If you are buying a puppy that will be shipped to you from out-of-state and can't make an on-site visit, request pictures - lots of them. Ask for pictures of the kennel facility, the whelping area, and pictures of both parents and other offspring from those parents.

Ask for references. Whether or not you visit the kennel facility, always ask for at least five references. Then follow up and call them. Most dog owners are more than happy to tell you about their dog. Be sure

Puppies in a Row
Puppies in a Row
to ask lots of questions to get a good feel for their level of satisfaction with the breeder. Also ask if they have any photos of their dog that they could email to you.

Find out the frequency of breeding. Female dogs come in to heat approximately every six months. Many breeders will breed their females every heat cycle, which means they are producing two litters of puppies every year. This schedule does not allow the female sufficient time to recover from the stress of one pregnancy before she is forced to go through another. Females should have at least one heat cycle, and sometimes two cycles, to allow their bodies to recover from giving birth. It's best to choose a breeder who only breeds his females dogs every other heat cycle, which is no more than once a year. 


the parents. Photos of the pups parents, along with their pedigrees, can give you a general idea of what the puppy will look like in the future, but there's nothing better than meeting the parents in person whenever possible. This will give you a much better indication of the puppy's future temperament and personality than photos alone ever could. Also ask to meet other offspring of the parents. The more you see, the more comfortable you'll be when making your final decision.

Talk to the breeder. A reputable breeder will literally spend hours with you, either on the phone or in person, talking about dogs and assessing your needs. He'll want to make sure his puppy is going to a good home and will probably ask you a lot of questions too! He should be very knowledgeable about dogs in general, but also about his breed

Katie 12 Hours After Giving Birth
Katie 12 Hours After Giving Birth
in particular, and be willing to share his knowledge with you.

Ask about hip/elbow/eye certification. Does the breeder test his breeding stock for congenital diseases/conditions, such as hip dysplasia, retinal dysplsia, etc.? A good breeder will have his breeding stocks' hips, elbows, and eyes certified and will provide you with copies upon request. The breeder should also offer a reasonable guarantee against health defects.

Ask about the puppies immunizations. Puppies need a specific series of vaccinations when they are young, as well as deworming medication. Be sure to ask for a record of vaccinations.

Look at the overall condition

of all the dogs. A reputable breeder should provide all his dogs with:

  • Adequate attention and affection
  • Nutritious dog food and fresh water
  • Adequate shelter
  • Vaccinations and parasite prevention
  • Proper vet care
  • Grooming
  • Exercise
  • Socialization
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