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Labrador retrievers are one of the more popular breeds for a family pet because of their ideal temperament. They are also great choices for hunting or working dogs because of their high intelligence.
There are both American and English Labrador breeds to choose from when deciding on a companion. The difference between these lines falls in the reason you are looking for a puppy. American Labradors are typically the ones you would choose when you want a family pet, while English Labradors are bred for a purpose, including hunting or working tasks.
Finding a reputable breeder is essential, so you know that you will be getting a healthy animal that you will not have problems with years later. It is important to know what to look for in a breeder when deciding on your next purchase of a companion.
Some factors to consider when exploring labrador retriever breeders are:
- Have complete health checks and health tests for all animals
- Take exceptional care of the breeding animals and all litters
- Are open to and can answer all questions
- Provide complete support after purchase
- They are well knowledgeable in the breed
- They are very selective about where they place their puppies
- Do not rehome the puppies until at least eight weeks of age
You must be satisfied with the breeder you choose to be certain that your puppy is coming from a place where they have been well-cared for. Make a list of questions or concerns you may have before visiting a potential breeder. This way, you are more equipped to make a solid decision on your companion.
Why Choose A Breeder?
You may question why you should choose a breeder rather than someone who just had a litter of puppies in their home. Why would you want to spend a great deal more money on a family pet that is AKC registered if you don’t want to breed or show them? There are numerous reasons why breeders are a better choice.
Puppies that you find on community listings may look healthy and are significantly cheaper, but they come with risks. These puppies may have their first immunization shots and a checkup from a local vet, but they will not have a complete DNA health check of the parents to ensure the absence of any genetic traits.
It is a roll of the dice when you choose puppies that do not come from proper bloodlines. You may get a dog that will cost you thousands of dollars in vet bills and even have a shorter life span. You may think that you are saving money by not using a breeder, but you could spend that money, and thousands more, later on down the road if your dog has health issues.
Breeders are very selective about the homes where the puppies go. They closely monitor their breeding females and will not overbreed them as many recreational owners may do with their pets. They will often take back your dog if, for any reason, you are unable to care for them, helping to keep the animals out of local shelters.
We have selected the ten best labrador retriever breeders in the USA so you can compare their facilities or breeding practices and make an informed decision on where your next beloved pet will come from.
Operating in Wheeler, Michigan, they have been in business since 2014. With 13 breeding females and three males currently, these English Labrador litters are carefully planned and spaced accordingly. There is a waitlist for available puppies.
Available anytime before and after adoption, they care about where the puppies go. Once approved, you will belong to their Elite Family, which has an annual reunion each year of any past litters. It is a large labrador community that is welcoming.
A member of the Bred with HEART (Health, Education, Accountability, Responsibility, Tradition) American Kennel Club program, they employ health testing and provide a 2-year hip and elbow guarantee, as well as a lifetime health guarantee against hereditary labrador diseases.
Located in Knoxville, Iowa, they specialize in training and breeding both American and English Labrador retrievers. They offer four types of training for puppies and dogs, depending on age and need. Whether you want a hunting dog or a loyal companion, Iowa Pointing Labs can help get your pup prepared for you.
They include a 26-month guarantee on the purchase of your puppy or dog to ensure that you are entirely satisfied. All litters have both parents listed and the grandparents of each side to ensure high breeding standards.
Being an American Kennel Club Breeder of Merit, Iowa Pointing Labs has been maintaining exceptionally high standards for over 10 years. These puppies do sell quickly, so contacting them ahead of time with a preference for color, sex, and age range is recommended to get on the list for an upcoming litter.
Empress Labradors lies on 5.5 acres of land near the Stateline of Illinois and Wisconsin, but its English labrador puppies end up all over the United States. Focusing on only the three pure colors of labs, yellow, black, and chocolate, they will not have silver or dilute genes from their litters.
They are an American Kennel Club Breeder of Merit and also provide handling services. They include 12 males and seven breeding females, and all of the Empress labradors have complete health checks and screening. They do have puppies each year that are donated for service purposes.
Visits are not available for puppies before five weeks of age, they must be vaccinated, and you can arrange one puppy playdate before they are placed in your home. Older dog visits are only set up ahead of time after securing a deposit.
Sitting on 10 acres in Red Bud, Illinois, Simpson’s Labrador Retrievers specialize in breeding American labs. These puppies fit well as family pets or as working dogs, available only in the original three colors of yellow, black, and chocolate.
Currently, there are 10 breeding females with one male stud. They do utilize studs from other AKC Registered kennels for breeding purposes. All animals have health clearance checks and have lifetime breeder support. Visits are not permitted until eight weeks of age to prevent any health complications.
Deposits are recommended for upcoming litters to secure a spot, and you need to fill out a questionnaire for eligibility.
Smoky Mtn Labradors operates in Knoxville, Tennessee breeding some of the best English Labrador retrievers in the United States. With five breeding females and one sire, Moose, the litters are exceptional. Moose is an AKC Grand Champion and is available for stud purposes.
All puppies have a full health check and come with a guarantee covering hip and elbow problems. Visits are not currently available before pickup times, but they do offer frequent photo updates while you wait.
To continue their exceptional bloodlines, they keep one extraordinary puppy from each litter. There are limited spots each year, so deposits are essential to get on the list for upcoming litters.
6. Dawson Labs
Sitting on 1.5 acres just north of Kansas City in Claycomo, Missouri, Dawson Labs have been breeding English labs since 2008. With three females on-site, only two are of breeding age currently. They have one sire on site but have an offsite program of past puppies for later breeding purposes.
Enlisting in disease testing and health check practices ensure that all of their puppies will be free of numerous genetic disorders. The available health guarantee is only valid for puppies that continue their preset nutrition and vitamin regime set by Dawson Labs.
Visits are welcome to become socialized with your puppy before you take them home. If you cannot care for your animal at any time after they leave, you are free to return them to Dawson Labs.
Since 1992 in Marshalltown, Iowa, Hunters Point Kennel breeds yellow, chocolate, and black pointing labs on nine acres of land. With their 16 breeding females and seven males, there is a large variety to the bloodlines.
Coming with a 26-month health guarantee, they ensure you get the best hunting dog or family companion possible. You may keep a dog that shows a condition and are eligible for a replacement puppy of equal breeding value without cost with proof of sterilization. If you breed your dog before 24-months of age, the health guarantee is void.
Hunters Point Kennel enlists in several jump-start exercises for stimulation, temperament equalization, feeding training with pistols, and bird introduction over the course of several weeks.
Residing in Hart County of northern Georgia, Horizon Labradors has been operating since 2001 on 60 acres. Their AKC labradors come from long lines of champions and are available in the traditional three colors of yellow, chocolate, and black.
They have 10 each of yellow and chocolate females and two black females that are for breeding. With four yellow and two chocolate males in their breeding program, this aids in diverse bloodlines for future litters.
All puppies come with a health guarantee, but for validity, they must be using NuVet Plus Vitamins until 26 months of age. If any Hip Dysplasia issues are apparent, you will be eligible for a replacement puppy of equal value or will have to pay the difference for a puppy of higher value.
Greenwood, Mississippi, is home to Silver & Charcoal Kennels, operating for over two decades, providing some of the most popular silver, charcoal, red, white, and champagne-colored labrador retrievers.
Six males and six females make up the breeding lines at Silver & Charcoal Kennels, giving an exceptional variety of colors for litters each year. Deposits are required for upcoming litters and sell out quite quickly due to their uncommon coloring.
Each puppy comes with a 24-month health guarantee against genetic defects as long as the puppy has been taking NuVet vitamins during the first 24 months of age. This guarantee ensures that you will receive a replacement puppy at no cost if diagnostics show any health problems.
Yearly, they will donate one or two puppies to a veteran suffering from PTSD to help aid the transition home.
Snowy Pines White Labs sits on 120 acres in the Ozark Mountains. Here is the perfect space to breed and raise exceptional white English Labrador retrievers.
Using very attentive staff in a state-of-the-art facility, they breed and train puppies from their 22 females and five males of exceptional bloodlines. This ensures the best demeanor in your new companion from their litters.
Belonging to the Bred with Heart Breeding program of the American Kennel Club, you will be certain that your new friend will be healthy and all animals are appropriately taken care of. You can set up a time to visit the breeder anytime by making an appointment.
There are many breeders around the United States, so finding one you are comfortable with is important. If you are at a facility and do not feel at ease with their practices or methods, you can and should walk away. It is your right when deciding on a new family pet or working animal.
You will be sure to get a healthy animal that has been well taken care of when you choose a labrador retriever from one of these 10 breeders. These animals are treated as part of the family, and they truly care about where the puppies will be living as they grow. Getting a lab from a reputable breeder means that you will have peace of mind that your dog will be healthy now and for years to come.
These AKC registered animals are an investment for your family. By spending the time and money researching breeders and finding the right puppy for you, there will be no surprises later as your dog grows and matures.