See our Upcoming Litters page for more information on our current or planned litters!
To apply for a Shelquin Labrador puppy, the first step is to read all of the information on this page, and then complete and return the Puppy Questionnaire. After we receive your completed questionnaire via Email, the next step is a phone conversation or visit to our home.
We breed the three standard accepted colors, primarily focusing on Chocolates and Blacks with occasional Yellow puppies, once or twice a year. Our puppies are born and raised in our home, socialized with other dogs, children, and the noises of a busy household.
Our goal is to produce beautiful Labradors, that are healthy, intelligent, and most importantly, have that trademark Labrador Temperament. The Labrador Temperament is a hallmark of the breed, “kindly, outgoing, tractable nature; eager to please and nonaggressive towards man or animal...his gentle ways, intelligence and adaptability make him an ideal dog." Stud dogs are chosen with their temperament in mind to complement the sweet nature of my girls. All of the dogs used in our breeding program are over two years of age, and screened for health clearances. Many heritable disorders have a polygenic mode of inheritance (multiple genes involved), but nutrition, exercise and lifestyle also play a role making it impossible to know that any puppy will be completely free from these disorders. There are no guarantees with Mother Nature, even with full health clearances on both parents, although we do our best to ensure the healthiest puppies we are able to based on these clearances. The minimum health clearances we do, and expect of the stud dogs we use, are; OFA certified Hips and Elbows, annual OFA eye exams by a Board Certified ACVO Veterinary Ophthalmologist, DNA tested for the genes responsible for Progressive Retinal Atrophy (prcd-PRA), EIC (Exercise Induced Collapse) HNPK (Hereditary Nasal Parakeratosis,) DD (Dilution Clear/Normal/Non Carrier) and a Color Doppler Echocardiogram of the heart.
We use the following methods that we have found prepare our puppies to be well-adjusted, confident family companions as well as prepared for competition in all venues, such as conformation showing, hunt testing, and obedience.
We use the "Early Neurological Stimulation", also known as "Developing High Achievers" program. A series of 5 exercises stimulate the puppies immature neurological systems, in a specific time window, (day 3 to 16) and has been shown to produce a more calm, confident, easier-to-train puppy and eventual adult dog.
I have started using the Puppy Culture program, and have found that I have already been doing most of the activities, but the program offers a nice timeline to follow, by age in weeks and individual stages.
We also utilize the "Rule Of Seven's". Pat Hastings (AKC Judge and Author of "The Puppy Puzzle") offers these hints for socializing very young puppies: Rule Of Seven's:
- Been on 7 different surfaces,
- Played with 7 different types of objects,
- Been in 7 different locations,
- Been exposed to 7 challenges,
- Eaten from 7 different containers,
- Eaten in 7 different locations,
- Met and played with 7 new people.
By the time our puppies are eight weeks of age, we know each of them very well, and by 7-8 weeks have performed temperament testing, bird testing, and structure evaluation to confirm our observations. We select the puppy(s) we are going to keep as show prospects, then match each potential family with a puppy that is the best fit for their family. We do our best to consider color and gender preferences, as much as is possible. There are usually very minor differences (such as tail-set, or eye shape) between show a prospect puppy and pet puppy, and only discernible to a trained eye. Please do not be surprised that you are not allowed to pick your puppy. Our puppies stay here until 8 weeks old to make sure they spend that time learning from their litter-mates and mother, (and us) and that they are ready to begin housetraining, crate training, and basic obedience.
According to USDA/APHIS regulations, we do not ship puppies sight unseen, no exceptions.
We reserve the right to refuse to sell a puppy to any individual(s) for any reason we see fit.
When the puppies are ready to go home they will have been vaccinated once, wormed on a set schedule, microchipped, and have had a well-puppy Vet check.
All companion puppies are sold with "Limited Registration", you can compete with your dog in any AKC sanctioned event, (agility, obedience, rally, hunt tests, etc...), but will be ineligible for Breed Ring Conformation Competition, and ineligible to be used for breeding purposes. This helps to ensure responsible breeding, and helps prevent pet overpopulation.
If you are interested in one of our puppies and would like to be placed on our waiting list, please fill out our puppy questionnaire. Once a breeding is planned puppies are usually spoken for before they are born, this is true with most reputable breeders, so plan ahead and get on a list early, to ensure a puppy in the time frame you are looking for. I suggest starting to research breeders and looking for the right puppy 6 months to a year before you are ready.
Suggested Reading: Please see the articles we have listed on our Links page as well.
Books we recommend, loosely in order of preference:
"The Art of Raising a Puppy" By the Monks of New Skete
"Labrador Retrievers for Dummies" By Joel Walton Eve Adamson
"How to Raise a Puppy You Can Live With" By Clarice Rutherford and David Neil
"Mother Knows Best: The Natural Way to Train Your Dog" By Carol Lea Benjamin
"How to Housebreak Your Puppy in as Little as Seven Days" By Sadie Dale
"Surviving Your Dog's Adolescence" By Carol Lea Benjamin
"How to Be your Dogs Best Friend: A Training Manual for Dog Owners" By the Monks of New Skete
"The Other End of the Leash" By Patricia McConnell