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 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 “good” or “excellent.” After researching nutrition for dogs, we made the decision to feed raw meat/bones (Homemade and Instincts Raw) and Life's Abundance & TLC 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.
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.
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. Our 3 daughters primarily care for the puppies and since Puppy Culture requires daily interaction, they are each assigned the responsibility of caring for 2 or 3 puppies. This ensures each puppies receives daily interaction and training. During the puppies eight weeks, the new families are welcome to visit the puppies.
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.