Gochee's Labrador Puppies
We are a Christian homeschooling family of 5 that love our Labradors. We live in the country on the outskirts of Sherrard, Illinois. When we were well into our homeschooling journey with our 3 daughters, they started discussing “what I want to be when I grow up.” Our oldest expressed an interest in breeding Labs. It is the family’s favorite breed, after all. After extensive research, we decided it would be a great opportunity to teach them small business management, work ethics, morals, economics, public relations, advertising and much more.
We have always held the position if you do something, do it right, or don't do it at all. For breeding, this means the short and long-term health of our puppies is a top priority. This refrains us from breeding designer labs, such as mini or dilutes. We also do extensive genetic testing through Paw Print Genetics or Embark to make sure all of our dogs are clear of known genetic health issues. To help ensure the puppies do not have hereditary hip dysplasia, the sire and dam are OFA or PennHIP tested and must receive a rating equivalent to "fair", “good” or “excellent.” After researching nutrition for dogs, we made the decision to feed raw meat/bones (Homemade and Albright) and Life's Abundance & PawTree dog food.
Our dogs hold titles in a variety of different sports, including Therapy Dog, Dock Diving, Canine Good Citizen, Working Certificates, Certified Pointing Retriever, Junior Hunt and IABCA titles. When they are not competing, they enjoy swimming, hunting, hanging around the house, visiting nursing homes, and playing with our horse Cooper. Maggie Lou enjoys trying to teach Cooper how to “squeak” a tennis ball.
In 2012 our first litter was born. What an adventure it has been! We started with one female. Eight years later we have expanded quite a bit. As of 2020, we have implemented Guardian Homes to ensure all of "our girls" are spoiled in a family setting.
In 2015 we implemented Puppy Culture. Although we were already following most of the Puppy Culture protocol, it gave us clear organization and a timeline. Puppy Culture lays the foundation for emotional stability and learning – giving the puppies the best start in life.
In 2021 we implemented Empowered Breeder curriculum which includes a 10-step body handling protocol and puppy evaluations.
In November of 2021 Meghan graduated from the Karen Pryor Dog Training Professional Program.
Our puppies are born and raised in our house. From the time mom is ready to deliver, all the way through the crate and potty training phase, we can be found sleeping right next to mom and the puppies so we are readily available. Each litter is raised and cared for by one of our teenagers. The puppies receive individual and group attention, training, and socialization opportunities.
We post weekly updates on our Facebook page during their 8 weeks with us and we are available for support, advice and updates after puppies are in their forever homes.