WHY A LABRADOR RETRIEVER HUNTING PUPPY FROM HIDDEN SPRINGS?
We are raising English style Labrador Retrievers with excellent attitudes, that have the natural talent to become Master Hunters, show champions, personal hunting dogs and affectionate family members. The Dual Purpose Labrador.
Why choose a Labrador retriever puppy from Hidden Springs Labradors?
We believe that the Labrador retriever was always meant to be a good looking dog that has the natural talent to perform, both as a water dog retrieving various types of waterfowl and to excel as an upland hunter, using their nose to detect and subsequently flush and retrieve downed upland birds. Their intelligence, manners and aptitude to please makes them excel as therapy dogs, guide dogs, search and rescue, and treasured family members.
The good looks are defined in the AKC breed standards as strongly built, short coupled, double coated, water resistant coat, otter tail, with a clean cut head and broad back skull. The Labrador retriever must be able to move in the show arena, in the field ,and be a strong swimmer.
This is the “dual purpose” Labrador Retriever.
We breed to this standard. we will not breed our girls until they have achieved the highest AKC hunting titlepossible(unless accidentlly bred) and also possess the show, or “English Labrador style” looks. This is opposite of the Labrador that is considered to have the field trial body and temperament, which many people do enjoy. We spend many dollars and considerable time training for AKC hunt tests. In fact training, showing, hunt test and show dogs, and raising high quality puppies are Edna’s full time job. She has taken her dogs to the highest level obtainable with much effort.
We believe that the female or Dam side is most important to our breeding program.It takes longer for us to achieve our girl’s titles prior to breeding, at age four to five, and therefore have fewer litters. There are many individuals/kennels that do not prove their girls and just breed them from age two.
The bloodlines of our dogs are most important as it gives them the potential to excel in their training and overall hunting abilities.The more proven hunt test titles in the pedigree, the better chance of producing a finished dog. It is easier to work with a dog that has the hunting desire in their genes.Likewise, the more “show” qualities they possess, the closer to the standard they will be. And you will have a good looking Labrador Retriever.Our goal is the dual purpose Labrador Retriever.
Goose is a rare example of a dual purpose Labrador, to the max. He is one of a handful of AKC Grand Champion show dogs that have also achieved an AKC Master Hunter title.Hidden Springs bred, trained, and showed him to his advanced titles.He is the 45th Labrador Retriever in breed history to become a champion/master hunter.Edna also bred and trained the 56th dual champion, and also the 9th female champion/master hunter in breed history. By the way, there are only 80 as of aug ’23. Our kennel has proven that we stand with the very best in producing the highest quality talented English type Labrador Retrievers ever.We aren’t the well-known old kennel names; however we are making a mark with the dual purpose Labrador. Labradors are supposed to be good looking, and Labradors are supposed to be talented hunter-retrievers.
Our dogs start at the AKC Junior hunter level. This test is what the usual hunter is satisfied doing.To title, the dog must pass 4 junior tests.They must retrieve 2 single birds in water and 2 single birds on land, returning the bird to your hand.
Once our dogs achieve their Jr. Hunter title, they must pass 4 Senior tests to title. The Senior dog must retrieve double birds on land and separately double birds in the water. Two go down, retrieve 1 then remember where the other bird is, retrieve it and deliver to hand. They must also do a Blind retrieve.A bird is hidden approx. 100 yards away.Using hand signals and a whistle, you direct your dog to the bird. The Senior dog must honor another dog off leash.Your dog sits facing the gunners, hears the shot and watches the bird fall.They must sit there while the other dog is released to fetch the birds. They don’t break or will be DQed.
And then there is the Master level AKC hunt test.Junior is fun and everyone roots for each other.There is a great sense of accomplishment and relief when you are new at this game and your dog passes.The Senior level is a hard step up to doing doubles, blinds, and honoring. At Master, the scenarios are much more difficult.But difficult it gets! 3 different scenarios; 3 birds go down in the water, your dog remembers where they are and retrieves them one at a time and delivers to hand, 3 birds go down on the land, your dog remembers where they are and retrieves them. 3 birds go down on a combination of land and water, your dog remembers them and retrieves them. There are 2 hidden blinds one on land and one in the water. Using a whistle and hand signals you must direct your dog to the bird. The master dog must also honor off leash.5 separate tests must be passed to title and the best part is that other people are still rooting for your dog.
As you can see, the tests get abnormally harder and the trainer must be able to get the most from their dog.Having the proven bloodlines is a must.Edna excels at this; putting the best breeding’s together for best results, training for best results, and having puppies that have the best opportunities to excel up to your expectations.Our dogs have also accomplished titles in obedience, rally and in therapy.
Our dogs must have the proper clearances before they will be bred.They get their clearances.For us, they must have good or excellent hips, nothing less and their elbows normal, if they are 2 years old. Eyes are certified clear of defects. Stud dogs must have cardiac clearances.
Our puppies are whelped and live in the living room in a special whelping box made with rails to keep them safe from the mother rolling on them.They have a heated floor and a heat lamp to keep them warm.In approx. 1 month the puppies are moved to our converted garage area which is also heated and insulated and is a part of the house.They are acclimated to the sounds and smells of the house as well as other dogs. As they are getting older, we present them with wings, dead birds and live birds so that the smell is ingrained into their memory.It’s amazing to see them show their immediate interest. We add children’s toys to their area as playing with them promote confidence.Puppies are started on a high quality puppy food and are eating 3 times per day when released to their new homes at 8 weeks.
We are confident that you will be highly satisfied with your new puppy from hidden springs or we will give your money back upon return of your puppy and a wellness vet clearance.