Why do I sometimes have youngsters available?
When I breed a litter, I keep most puppies from the litter who are structurally correct in hopes that one or two will become a part of my breeding, showing and/or hunt trial program. As these puppies grow, sometimes I will decide that I like one puppy more than another, probably for some very small insignificant detail that you are unlikely to ever notice. In that case, I will offer that puppy or youngster available for sale to a pet home on a limited AKC registration. These older puppies DO NOT HAVE LESS VALUE than the normal pet puppies who leave here at 9 weeks, they actually HAVE MORE VALUE because they have significant qualities to keep them as hopefuls for my program. The older puppies will also have more vaccinations - four core vaccines plus rabies - than the puppies who go to pet homes at 9-weeks. These youngsters many times have finished their vaccinations for a year! Sometimes as I begin DNA clearances for genetic markers for conditions which can be prevalent in Labrador Retrievers; I will decide to let a youngster go if they "carry" a DNA marker for one of conditions I test for. The genetic tests routinely screen for are (PRA) progressive retinal atrophy, EIC (exercise induced collapse), HNPK (hereditary nasal parakeratosis) as a minimum. Many of my dogs have complete "Labrador panels" done which include CNM (centronuclear myopathy), DM (degenerative myelopathy), CYS (cystinuria), D Locus (dilute color gene), L Locus (long haired gene). DNA testing may reveal a dog "carries" a genetic marker, or the dog is "affected" by the condition. Just because the dog "carries" a DNA marker, that does not mean the dog will ever actually get the disease/condition. Also even if a dog is "affected", that does not mean the dog will ever have any symptoms from that condition. Doing these DNA tests help reputable breeders keep from reproducing the condition in future generations. When we know a dog "carries" a genetic marker, we do not breed it to another dog that "carries" that same genetic marker. Because of purposeful breeding practices and special care, I will sometimes choose to let a dog go to a pet home if they have certain DNA markers. Also when the dogs reach 2 years of age they can be evaluated by the Orthopedic Association for Animals for hip and elbow dysplasia. Sometimes fantastic dogs may fail to become OFA certified. If the dogs cannot be OFA certified, I will not breed them. Many times a dog could have a slight condition that may never affect the dog and the dog most times will continue to live a normal full life as a PET, but would no longer be suitable for the rigors of showing, hunt trials, obedience, dock diving, breeding and other performance related activities. Although I have not yet had a dog who could not pass OFA certifications, it can happen to otherwise wonderful dogs. As you can see, there is a LONG ROAD for a puppy to go to make it as a show or breeding prospect! Only a few select dogs stay in the Rebel Land program. I also let my dogs go to FOREVER PET HOMES when they retire from performance related activities, showing and breeding. In that case I will spay or neuter the dog and sell them as well trained, ready-made companions to FOREVER HOMES. These older dogs are real treasures! They are calm, house trained and can come into a FOREVER PET HOME without any real adjustment period because they are already perfect!