*Where are you located? We are in the Central Valley of California about 2 miles off the 99 freeway near Modesto. About 90 min. east of San Francisco Bay Area, 90 min south of Sacramento, 90 min north of Fresno and 90 min west of Yosemite.
*What will have been done to the 7 wk pups when they are ready for adoption? Besides being carried around like newborn babies by our kids, they will have been vet checked, wormed three times and depending on when you pick them up,, may have had shots. They will also be litter box (with wood shavings) trained and discouraged from gnawing human hands as well as socialized to cats and other situations.
*How much are your pups? It depends on the litter and the dogs used; the best pedigrees are of course more expensive to breed. The last I checked, the big breeders with the champions I use sell their pups to pet homes for between $2000-$3000. As our line has improved, our prices have increased and we rarely have pups available now for less than $1800. If you are looking for a bargain, you may want to look elsewhere. Here in the valley there are many backyard breeders and it's not uncommon to see AKC Lab pups listed in the local papers for $800-$1000. Our dogs are not for everyone; only those able to discern the very best in disposition, health and structure will be interested. A lot of thought and planning goes into each breeding and tons of time and effort go into truly hand-raising the pups. At our house it's a team effort and it takes a lot of work to do it right. Feel free to inquire though if you are trying to stay within a budget and I can tell you about the upcoming litters and their various prices.
*What is the best way to secure a pup? If you think you want one of our pups, it's really best to send a fully-refundable deposit of $200 and the check does not even get cashed. It just sits in a file in the order it was received so I can keep the pick fair. That would secure your place in the queue and put you in a special file that I contact when pups becomes available. We have lots of inquires but I can only correspond with those serious enough to send in a deposit. Let us know if you'd like our mailing address. If you change your mind for any reason, your deposit check will be shredded and/or returned... no questions asked. It's sort of a "no loose" option because if you end-up getting a pup, you'll have a high pick and if it doesn't work out for some reason, it's all good, because you get your check back. Situations change and we don't ever want anyone to feel obligated or pressured into owning one of our dogs because of a forfeited deposit.
*I've sent you a deposit, can you tell me where I stand in the pick? When there were just a few deposits on a future litter, it was easy to give people an idea. But now it's really not possible until the pups have been born and I have communicated with each person in the queue. Especially since I encourage people to back out without loosing their deposit if their situation changes from less than optimal, one can move up fairly quickly. So, please bare with me until I hear back from everyone. I will then pass on what I've learned including where you stand. Usually, that's not until the pups are several weeks old.
*Tell me about the "pick days". Basically, a weekend date is set when the pups are at least 7 weeks old. People that have placed deposits on pups are scheduled to come and pick their pup about an hour apart. As mentioned above, picks are given in the order the deposits are received, we actually use the postmark date on the envelopes. Directions and last-minute details will be sent about 1 week before the pick day, but most of the info you will need is at the bottom of the "Are You Sure..." page.
*When is the best time to meet the parent dogs? The mama dogs all live with their guardian families until they come back to our home to whelp. And usually her family wants her back ASAP, so she is usually not still with us on pick day. If you'd like to meet her, you may want to come another time; ideally when the pups are between 3-4 weeks old. Their eyes will be open and their mama will still be nursing. Dewey is the only dog we have here at our home, but you are welcome to come meet him anytime.
*What form of payments do you accept? Cash of course, but we are happy to take personal checks (with 7 day hold--sorry, I've been burned before), cashier's check or money order. it’s less than 7 days to pick-up, then it needs to be a method other than personal check.
*Do you offer a written health guarantee? Yes we do. We are responsible for bringing these pups into the world and we will take responsibility for their genetic health as well. The parents have been x-rayed for genetic defects, and for those over two years old, most of those x-rays have been submitted to O.F.A. and received their certification. But our vet told us that if we breed long enough, we are going to see defects show up eventually as they exist in every line... even those that are so very careful in breeding only the best. A spaniel breeder once said, "I defy any two parents to produce 8 to 12 children all the same that are perfectly healthy and none have allergies, need glasses, braces etc." I guess it's the same with dogs. Even so, we want to be a responsible breeder, so we guarantee our pups are free from hip and elbow defects for 26 months (2 months longer than most breeders.) More details are available on the health guarantee.
*Are your dogs hips and elbows cleared? Absolutely! As mentioned above, all potential parents are x-rayed for hip dysplasia and bad elbows before they are ever bred. However, those x rays can not be submitted to O.F.A. before their second birthday. Some get submitted to OFA for their rating, but even the preliminary x rays are read by professionals. We only breed those dogs who hips are either GOOD or EXCELLENT, unlike some breeders who also breed FAIR ... because "Hey, at least they're not POOR".
*Do you ship puppies to other parts of the country/world? No, I'm sorry. Not unless we can figure out a way to have them fly on someones lap and not be shipped as cargo, otherwise, it's not going to happen. Though I haven't done it yet, I may make an exception for a started pup because they are older and will feel secure in their crate with their familiar bed and toys. I just need to learn more about how they are shipped.
*Do you provide references of past owners? Absolutely! We have a list of those we know would be more than happy to chat with you. We also try to have a puppy reunion each year and you could always talk with our dog owners personally there if you'd like. Unfortunately, we no longer have a private place to meet as my parents sold their lovely ranch. If you hear of a place, let us know and we'll get the reunions back on the calendar! In the meantime, we have added a whole page of references and will try to include new notes and photos as they are received.
*What will I need to know or have on hand before I bring home my pup? Great question! Please see the bottom of the "Are You Sure" page.
*Tell me about your Guardian Pups. As you may have read on our "About Us" page, we are committed to breeding only the best stock and doing it in a way that allows each dog to live in a loving home. When we have a litter, we watch for and then place the pups we think are the best with hopes of breeding them someday. Rather than have them grow up in a kennel as breeding stock, they live all their days with their guardian family. See more info on our "About us and our dogs" page
*Is there anything else we should know? Our first priority is to make sure each pup is adopted into a loving, committed home, so please don't be offended if we quiz you a bit before we actually sell you a pup. We want to make sure it's a good fit for all involved. We will also require that you sign an agreement in which you promise to provide the dog with proper care and puppy training. Most litters are sold before the pups are even born, but if each one does not end up in a wonderful home, we will not breed again.
*RECAP: So,why should we consider one of your pups?
26 month written health guarantee
Best quality; without the use of kennels
Our girls never have more than 2 litters; some just have one
Generations of good hips and elbows
Excellent conformation and structure;
blocky heads, shorter snouts, big barrel chests, otter type tails (though the girls always look more feminine:)
Gentle, calm and sweet dispositions
Highly intelligent, very fast learners
Athletic, fun dogs from mellow, non-hyper lines
Born in our home, hand-raised and nurtured with care
We incorporate the new Super Dog Early Neurological Stimulation into handling of pups
Well socialized to variety of situations including cats
Litter box trained at 5 weeks, so they house and crate train very easily
...Did we leave anything out? If so, just let us know.
2006 Mia / Tank Reunion Romp
I am quite behind on posting photos - hopefully I can get the more recent romp photos up here soon.