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  • Available Older Dogs

    Available Older Dogs Occasionally, we may have an older puppy or dog available. An owner's circumstances may have changed requiring a puppy or older dog be re-homed or returned to us here at Aisling. If you are interested in being placed on a waiting list; please fill out the contact form found below. Thank you. ​ A special thanks to all of those who provided a home for the 7 puppies in our "foster litter" in 2023. We purchased this litter from their breeder when a change in life circumstances made it impossible for their breeder to continue to socialize, train and find responsible homes for the puppies. The litter was out of a son of our Roamin' and we wanted to ensure they remained out of puppy mills and out of the hands of inexperienced breeders. Our Aisling Families responded by helping us find those puppies the best homes possible and new members of our family were added. Our unending gratitude goes out to all who helped us find 7 11-week old puppies homes in 10 days! ​ There are no older dogs currently available. Older Dogs First name Last name Email Phone Message Submit


    Reservations Aisling offers Labrador puppies for sale through a process in which we get to know you and the environment our puppies will be living in once they leave our home. But before we get to the Contact Form, we want you to understand our policies and procedures. Thanks for taking the time to read this page through. Communication! At Aisling Labradors of NE Florida, it is our goal to treat our customers as we wish to be treated and we expect the same from those to whom we extend this courtesy . Once a reservation has been placed, we will communicate with you throughout the entire process. And we ask that in return, a prompt reply to our emails is received to confirm your ability to provide a home for the puppy being held for you. Those on our waiting lists receive all the same communications as our reservation holders. An email when.... our girl comes into season.... You will receive an email on day one of a heat so that you can begin to prepare for your puppy's arrival! An email when.... She has been bred and another when we have confirmed the pregnancy! Once the breeding has taken place, you will be provided with the approximate date of birth of your puppy. You will also hear the tentative dates of Puppy Pick Out and Go Home days so you can mark your calendars! An email when .... your puppy has been born! This is the most exciting email of all! This is when the dates for Pick Out and Pick Up will be made firm so you can clear your schedules and be ready to choose your puppy and then finally, welcome your new family member into your home. And the communication doesn't stop there. Our Facebook and Instagram page are updated several times each week with updates on the litter's progress and with weekly videos in our "Watch Them Grow" series. Puppy Pick Out Day! Appointment Email When the litter reaches 4 weeks of age, we schedule the appointments for Puppy Pick Out. Appointments are scheduled in the order of the receipt of reservations. ​ We ask that you confirm your appointment by the Monday following this email. Pick Out Day Using the information you have provided us through the journey from approval, we guide your choice of puppy based upon our assessment of temperament. ​ If you have a name already chosen for your new family member, we begin to call the puppy by that name. After Puppy Pick Out Day We send out our Puppy Care Packet via email before you bring home your new puppy. While you wait for Pick Up Day, this packet helps prepare you for the puppy's transition from our home to yours! Pick UP Day! Aisling Labradors puppies go home at 8 weeks of age with their first round of vaccinations completed and Health Certification as required by Florida Law. Appointments are nearly always scheduled on the Saturday following their 8 week birthday. Going home on a Saturday allows the weekend for the family to help the pup transition before returning to work and school on Monday. Microchips Your puppy comes home already microchipped. We recommend registering with AKC ReUnite as it is the most used database for Pure Bred Dogs in the U.S.; a one-time registration fee allows you to update your information for the lifetime of your dog. 30 Days of Free Insurance We provide 30 days of free insurance with no waiting period for accident and injury via Trupanion. You will also be offered an additional 30 days of free coverage when you register your puppy with the AKC. We HIGHLY recommend that your puppy is insured for at least the first two years as this is when injury and illness are most likely. Lifetime Support You will receive a puppy care packet in pdf form before Pick UP day to allow you time to learn or remember the best ways to feed, train and socialize your new family member. And we are always a phone call or email away! The Approval Process Reservations We generally accept 3 reservations per gender per litter; in a dual colored litter, we accept 2 reservations per gender of each color expected. ​ Puppies are considered sold when a reservation is made and is no longer made available to others, therefore reservations are non-refundable but transferrable one time. Contact Form The approval process begins with the contact form below. ​ We will respond via email within 24 hours in most cases. ​ If you are interested in moving forward in the approval process, please respond to the email. Available Older Dogs Approval Once the approval process has been completed and you have confirmed that you want to reserve a puppy from a specific litter, the reservation fee must be received within 24 hours. We consider the reservation closed upon receiving your confirmation; after that 24 hours, the reservation will be opened and made available to others. If you are interested in an older puppy or dog, please use the contact form on Available Older Dogs Contact Us (Puppy Approval Process) First name Email Last name Phone City and State Gender Color Continue We, like most other Breeders, reserve the right to use a different stud for any breeding. There may be times when a stud is not available due to health or other issues which may result in a litter of a different color due to the coat color genes all Labradors carry. The health and well-being of our Labradors comes first in all things. Thank you for your understanding. We also reserve the right to choose to keep any puppy that shows promise for our breeding program and to transfer or refund any reservation for any reason. Next: About Us Proud to register with the AKC Puppies are sold with a Limited AKC Registration and must be spayed or neutered at the appropriate age unless otherwise agreed. Full Registration is available to approved families interested in showing or breeding their Labrador under additional terms and conditions. The registered name of your puppy must include the prefix "Aisling's" to preserve your health warranty.

  • Aisling Labradors of N.E. Florida

    Traditional Dual Purpose Labrador Puppies for sale f rom AKC Registered Champion Lines Aisling - dream, vision - Old Irish "aislinge" Located in North Florida near St. Augustine's beautiful beaches and the city of Jacksonville. Aisling Labrador's puppies for sale are bred for their health, temperament, the traditional retrieving and water drive. We also strive for the more moderate build of Labradors of the past. Parents are health tested, screened for joint health and inbreeding co-efficiency is calculated in our program. The child of breeders myself, I have lived with and loved Labradors since 1967. Breeding Philosophy at Aisling About Us Puppy Pick Out and Up Days are part of why we do this. The joy on the faces of each family member as they meet or arrive to take home their puppy makes lasting memories for all of us. Background audio on video Artist: Seven Nations Song: Waters Wide See the full version of this and other videos on our Video Page and follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more! Roamin' x Aila All Yellow Litter Arrival Anticipated in Winter of 2024 Yellow Females - Waiting List Available Yellow Males - Waiting List Available ​ ​ Waiting Lists are opened up after all reservations are sold. Jackson x Jette Black and Chocolate Litter Anticipated Arrival in Fall of 2023/Early Winter 2024 Chocolate Male - Waiting List Available Chocolate Female - Waiting LIst Available Black Male - Waiting List Available Black Females 1 Reservation Available ​ Waiting Lists are opened up after all reservations are sold. Jackson x Latte All Chocolate Litter Arrival Anticipated Winter/Spring 2024 Chocolate Females - 1 Reservation Available Chocolate Males - 2 Reservations Available ​ Waiting Lists are opened up after all reservations are sold. Home Reservations About About Us Our pack Socialization - A MUST! Dr. Dodd's Vaccine Protocol Visitation Policy One Puppy Policy Videos Available Older Dogs Documents/Photos Aisling Litter Photos Pupdates from our Aisling Families Roamin's Documents & Photos Jackson's Documents & Photos Latte's Documents & Photos Jette's Documents & Photos Aila's Documents & Photos Puppy Care First Things First New Puppy Shopping List Know Your Breed Training Spaying/Neutering Responsible Breeding HIP DYSPLASIA IN LABRADORS Elbow Dysplasia Genetic Health Testing Genetics of Color COI - Coefficienct of Inbreeding Weaning and Feeding

  • About | Aisling Labradors

    All "About Us" Pages Learn how we got started, meet our pack and see the policies we have evolved to over the years of our experience as breeders. About Us I was an Air Force Brat. My husband a Navy Brat. His family had GSD's. Mine bred Labradors! Read our story to learn about whether we breed English or American Labradors..... Our Pack Meet the Labradors with whom we share our life! Socialization Socialization is one of the most important thing a Breeder provides a litter. It sets the stage for the rest of their lives. Read about how we socialize the litters at each stage of their growth. Doctor Dodd's Vaccine Protocol We follow the vaccination protocol now being taught in all 27 Veterinary Schools in North America. Read about it here so you can prepare to bring home your Aisling Puppy. Visitation Policy Biosecurity is a issue for all breeders, but especially for those of us who don't house our Labradors in concrete kennel runs. Learn about our policy here. One Puppy At A Time Policy We would love for you to have two (or more!) Aisling puppies share your life. But we ask that there be a minimum of four months difference in age. See why.... Videos Our favorite videos of Life 'Round Aisling and of our "Watch Them Grow" Series on Facebook. Social Media Like and Follow Us on Facebook and Instagram for the most up-to-the-minute photos!

  • Our Boys

    Our Pack! The Labradors We Share Our Life With ! Kindly, outgoing, eager to please and non-aggressive True Labrador Retriever temperament is as much a hallmark of the breed as the "otter" tail. Labrador Breed Standard Quail Meadow's Dunroamin' at Aisling English/Show Champion Lines Grandquest, Ridge View, Lubberline, Call Name: "Roamin" Phenotype: Yellow Genotype: eeBB (no hidden Chocolate {b}) Roamin's Pedigree Roamin' & Latte will have puppies for sale of 2023 Quail Meadows General Jackson (at Aisling) English/Show Champion Lines WILCARE, BELLEQUEST, LUBBERLINE, GRANDQUEST Call Name: Jackson Phenotype: Chocolate Genotype: bbEE (no hidden yellow) Jackson's Pedigree Jackson and Jette will have puppies for sale in 2023 Aisling's Cocoa Latte Dam: Kona (Retired) Sire: Little Cain (Retired) English/Show Champion Lines Willcare, Chambray, Weikenlin, Venetian Call Name Latte English/Bench Plus Field Lines for a more traditional build Phenotype: Chocolate Genotype: bbEE (no hidden Yellow) ​ Latte's Pedigree Roamin' and Latte will have puppies for sale in 2023 Aisling's Jette Black to the Future Call Name: Jette Dam: Kona (Retired) Sire: Roamin' English/Bench Champion Lines Grandquest, Ridge View, Lubberline, Phenotype: Black Genotype: BbEe (Carries all three colors) Jette's Pedigree Jackson & Jette will have puppies for sale in 2023 Aila-Bringer of Light to Aisling Sire: Ashe XVI Labroland International Champions/Windup International Champions/Sureshot/Razzle Dazzle Dam: Winter IG Labs Danfer Labs/Chablais/Ranbourne/Sandylands Phenotype: Yellow Genotype: B*ee Aila's Pedigree Roamin' & Aila will have puppies for sale in 2024 Our Retired Dogs Day after day, the whole day through -- Wherever my road inclined -- Four-feet said, "I am coming with you!" And trotted along behind. Rudyard Kipling Terremere's Raising a Little Cain at Aisling ​ Passport's Breagha Lass at Aisling Tru-Heart's More Organized Chaos at Aisling Tru-Heart's Kona of the Storm at Aisling Terremere's Dream A Little Dream At Aisling Next: Socialization~A Must!

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  • Puppy Care

    Puppy Care - First Things First Why is crate training good for dogs? Are crate trained dogs happy? Why does having a schedule provide structure for your puppy or dog? How important is play in learning? How much do you feed a labrador puppy? Read on to see our recommendations.... Crate Training ~ Read more We recommend that prior to bringing your puppy home, you acquire an 42" Crate that will serve your puppy through all life stages. Crates come with a divider that allows you to limit the available space for the puppy until such time as they require the entire crate for comfort. Crate training provides safety and security for puppy during the "rapid growth" period (from 8 weeks until approximately 9 months) it aids in "house breaking" the puppy as most will not soil their "den" and it allows for the confinement of the dog after spaying, neutering, or recovery from illness or injury. Labrador's are "piranha puppies" - the crate offers a safe place will limit the chance that shoes, books and other items will be destroyed by puppy teeth And it protects your puppy from any older dogs you may have in your home; from over-stimulating attention that might be given to the puppy by your children or visitors to your home; and finally, it is a sure way to protect them from ingesting things that are dangerous or that may require surgery to remove. ​Raising a puppy is very similar to raising a toddler; silence is not always golden and nap-time is looked forward to by the parents! Feeding and Weight Read more The rapid rate of growth plus the high energy levels of most Labrador Puppies means that they are burning off calories at a near constant rate. ​Feed three - four times per day - multiple small meals act like a time-release capsule, ensuring that their energy is fed by the calories they take in each day with no slumps. Weight: Your puppy should weigh 2 pounds per week of life on average until nearly reaching their adult weight. Don't over-feed: 8 week old puppies need about 1440 Kcal per day. You can find the kcal per cup on the bag of food (if not, give the company a call). Divide however many cups equal this amount over the number of meals you have decided to feed. If your puppy seems to be growing too fast, immediately lessen the daily caloric intake by switching to an ALL LIFE STAGES food - NOT an adult food! And remember that TREATS count towards their daily calorie limits. If you must use "high value treats" in your training, give them less of their kibble during meals. Our Puppies weight between 65 lb. and 85 lb. at about 12 months of age. This is your goal for your own Aisling Puppy. A Lab that weighs 100 lbs is very likely over-weight - a heavy Lab is NOT a bragging point and in fact, may contribute to join issues. At 24 months, your Lab may weigh closer to 100 lbs but this will depend upon not only muscles but bones of the mature Labrador. Use a Body Condition Chart to determine if 100 plus lbs is a good weight for YOUR mature dog. ​Most Vets will allow you to stop in and weigh your puppy during the rapid growth period. In the beginning you can use your own scale by weighing yourself alone, then the puppy and doing the math to see how much your puppy weighs. Protect Hips & Elbows~ Read more 5 Minute Rule: Limit forced exercise (leashed walking, retrieving etc.) to 5 minutes per month of age. (8 week old - 10 minutes/12 week old -15 minutes and so on. Don't rush the "trick" training either; it is much more important that your puppy learn the house rules the first month home than it is that they learn to roll-over or shake paws. ​ Monitor Free Play~ Read more Free play is important and allows the dog to adjust its own turns and stops safely. ​Swimming is a great energy burner. ​Labradors have a very high pain tolerance and love to have fun so regulating their exercise will be up to you! ​They WILL continue playing even after an injury unless it is very severe. Setting a schedule ~ Read more Use the natural sleep wake play routine to set the schedule. Young puppies sleep 18 - 20 hours a day, make sure it is done in the crate and house training is going to be so much easier. Sleep then Wake/Potty, Eat/Potty, Play/Potty and Repeat - Set your schedule according to that already ingrained schedule. Out of the crate - Outside for potty on demand (no play until potty is done/praise and say "free"), Outside or inside play for 20 - 30 minutes and (after potty if it was inside play) pop into the crate with a Kong because he is going to be ready to go sleep. ​As the days go by, work towards a schedule like this: 10 a.m​. - Noon = Crate Nap 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. = Crate Nap. These forced rest periods will go a long way to avoid over-stimulating your young puppy and provide you with breaks for your own sanity! At about six - seven months, move to a 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. = Crate Rest schedule which we continue until 18 months to 2 years of age depending upon the energy level and reliability of the individual dog to behave. Continue to crate at night until at least 12 months. A Safe Environment~ Read more In the context of raising a puppy, environment consists of everything that is not genetic. Exercise and Nutrition are included under the term "environment". Dysplasia is 30% a genetic predisposition and 70% the environment provided from birth to eight weeks by the Breeder and from 8 weeks to 12 months by the new family. Flooring: We highly recommend you place secure area rugs in rooms your puppy will be walking, running and playing in. TEACH them to stay "on the carpe​t" from DAY ONE. The slipping and sliding as a puppy runs through the home, making sharp turns as they go through a doorway can cause repetitive trauma to their growing joints. DON'T overdo leash training with lots of sits and turns during the early months. Never push on your puppy's hips to force a sit. Exercise: Are you a jogger? If so, when your puppy reaches maturity (18 months - 2 years), he or she will be a wonderful partner on those jogs...but not until then. Forced running on hard surfaces, and even grassy runs, are very damaging to a young dogs joints. Some Vets STILL recommend jogging with a Labrador under the age of two who is high energy - DO NOT LISTEN to that advice. Deal with excess energy with feed cubes, puzzle feeders and training sessions Mental exercise is as exhausting to a young puppy as physical exercise. No Stairs until 12 Weeks! Read more Carry your puppy up and down staircases until after 12 weeks; then progress to walking them up and down while on a short leash to control their speed. Teach your dog to WALK up stairs and not to run or jump down them; if they begin to run up or down when they reach adolescence (8 months or so), go back to the leash until they are in the habit of walking the staircase in both directions. Restrict the use of stairs to only when it is necessary i.e. down in the morning and up for bedtime. We have a crate on each floor for our puppies. Retrieving~ Read more Introduce this early but limit the number of times you request a retrieval and the distance required for it to what is appropriate for the age and development of your puppy. There are some studies that show that dogs that retrieve every day are more prone to limit this until they are at least 12 months old. ROLL a ball rather than throwing it; save the frisbee until they are two years old; teach them to retrieve a thrown stick or bumper AFTER it hits the ground by training to a release command - all of this helps to protect your puppy's growing bones and muscles AND allows it to still have fun! Learning thru play~Toys Read more I mentioned earlier that Labradors are piranha puppies! Having a wide variety of toys available (along with crate training) will go a long way to helping you stay sane! ​Anything KONG. Just make sure it is for "the strong chewer" Nylabones Pull Toys Balls of all sizes Frozen Ropes. These help with teething pain. Ice Cubes. They also help with teething pain. An old milk carton. Just remove the cap and ring. ​Try to have as many textures as possible available for your puppy. You can substitute a nyabone when your puppy is chewing on a hard surface and a softer toy when they are chewing on your throw. ​For more ideas, check out our New Puppy Shopping List. Teach House Rules FIRST Read more House Rules include but are not limited to the following: Not being allowed on the furniture No running from room to room No jumping up at feeding time "Just Be" - Encourage puppy to just be beside you rather than demanding attention Play Dates ~ Read more Many people schedule play dates or dog park visits into their week to help socialize their dog. Again, this is very good but must be done with caution. Try to match the age of the dogs your puppy will be playing with; research shows that there is much less damage to the joints, tendons and muscles when growing puppies play with others at or near the same age. Also, evaluate the play style of the dogs involved; some dogs play much more aggressively, mouth grabbing legs or deliberately taking the feet out from under their playmate. This need for caution is not permanent....but is necessary to give your puppy every advantage in attaining maturity without longterm physical damage. Avoid being a weekend warrior! If you work full time and your dog spends 40 - 50 hours a week alone or crated with about an hour each evening devoted to exercise, don't exercise it for several hours on Saturday and Sunday. Remember the "5 Minute Rule". A consistent schedule of balanced exercise and activity is best for the growing Labrador. Of course, this doesn't mean that you can't take them to the beach on Saturday (take plenty of fresh water and limit the beach trip to about two hours) or on a hike on Sunday. It just means that you need to be careful not to overdo the activity. If they get an hour a day Monday - Friday, then they should have only a hour or two a day of heavy exercise on Saturday and Sunday until they are 2 years old. Consider a RAMP~ Read more Jumping in and out of your truck may cause repetitive trauma to the knees and elbows. Along these same lines, do NOT allow your puppy to jump off beds, couches and chairs. Their joints cannot take repeated trauma without some damage occurring during their growth period. Hip and Elbow Dysplasia are not the only issues that this type of behavior can lead to; OCD is another concern. All large breed dogs, and some medium breeds, are susceptible to these conditions through repeated trauma throughout the rapid growth period and until maturity. Remember, healthy joints and bones are 30% genetic predisposition and 70% the environment you are providing them. Next: Shopping List

  • About Us

    Our goal is to produce Dual Purpose Labradors that embody both the working traits and moderate body structure of the Traditional Labrador Retriever. Our Labradors are family members; litters are whelped and weaned in our home where socialization and the groundwork for training begins immediately. This leads to secure, well adjusted, easy to train Labrador puppies for sale that will be your perfect companion. Our Story I was an Air Force Brat. My husband was a Navy Brat. His family raised German Shepherd Dogs while mine bred and raised Labradors. Our first dog together was a German Shepherd. After his passing, I convinced my husband to try a Labrador; her name was Jenna and she was soon joined by Shanna. Read more By 2005, we had adopted / rescued two black Labs in need of re-homing who personified the opposite ends of where the Breed had been taken since my parents had retired their breeding program. Our Murphy was the size of a Shetland Pony but long bodied and thin legged; loved retrieving and water. The other boy was short, heavy and obsessed with retrieving but would tire quickly; he could live without ever setting a toe in water. Adopted at 2 and 3 respectively, we adored both these lads but neither of them resembled the Labs I had grown up with. I began to talk to Breeders about working with them to establish our own breeding program. Finally finding one willing to grant us full registration, in the spring of 2006, we brought home our Callie, the daughter of an International Champion. Raising her for the purpose of breeding her, I quickly realized that she had no water drive and very little retrieve drive either. A wonderful and gorgeous companion, she too was not the Labrador I had known in my childhood. I began to research just what had been going on in the breeding world; here is what I learned...Although there is only ONE standard of the breed for Labradors, over the years, years of breeding with a goal of producing Labs that fit both the working traits and conformation requirements needed for the potential of becoming a Dual Champion, had morphed into two types of Breeders - typically known as American (Field) or English (Show). Field bred Labs are bred with the working traits in mind to be competitive in field-trial events; when I was a child, my parents referred to these as “American Labs” with a lighter bone structure, longer legs, a thinner or single layer coat, a longer muzzle and heads not as broad (our Murphy was a Field bred Labrador). Breeders looked for dogs that exhibited these working traits very strongly; the "look" was not as important as those traits. Show (or sometimes "Bench") bred Labs are bred with a “look” in mind; a look that would satisfy the Conformation Judging. Subjective judging had led to the more moderate looking Labrador that I knew as a child gradually being replaced with a stockier dog, heavier bone structure and shorter legs, with a coat so much more dense that it adds an appearance of an even heavier dog, and the "block head” I knew as a child becoming more square and the muzzle shorter. Concerned primarily with winning in a show ring, breeders cared less about the working traits of their dogs. Although there are those who say that the two "types" of Labradors differ in energy levels, in my experience, that difference is not in one being "hyper" and the other "laid back". It is the body type affecting the length of time energy is sustained. But more concerning to me was the appearance of a loss of drive for retrieving and water play in the Show lines as well as the fact that both Indie and Callie were fearful; neither ever became comfortable leaving our home despite consistent socializing. We made the decision not to breed Callie. Six years after deciding that we would not breed our Callie, we began to look for Breeders who shared our vision to produce traditional Labrador Retrievers that embodied all the physical and working traits of the dogs who were the companions of my childhood - in other words, more moderate in stature and retaining all the working traits and the fearless nature of the traditional Labrador. On June 20th 2013 we brought home Angus Demetrius planning on his being the foundation of our program. Unfortunately, despite the Excellent and Normal ratings of both his Sire and Dam; Angus was diagnosed with mild to moderate Hip Dysplasia at the age of 10 months and the decision was made to neuter him. With heavy hearts, we moved forward raising Kona and Dreama with the goal of slow growth and a controlled environment. In 2016/17, both were certified with Excellent hips and Normal elbows and our breeding journey began. Finally, a Dream more than 30 years in the making came true. The dogs that influenced our goals MURPHY INDIE CALLIE Meet Our Current Pack

  • Weaning and Feeding

    Weaning & Feeding For the new puppy parent or new breeder...... Weaning - The process of transitioning a puppy from a milk based diet to a dry food for puppies 21 days - A shallow pan of water to test that the lapping instinct is intact. In between - 1 dish of formula daily if needed 28 days(?) - Mush - ground puppy food with a formula Weaning and Feeding For New Breeders ​ Part of being a Breeding is constantly researching (listening to other breeders/reading up on new scientific studies) to determine what is best for the long term health and growth of our puppies. As new Breeders, we follow the advise of our mentors or do it the way it has always been done. But, nothing stays the same forever, we no longer send puppies home at 6 weeks and need therefore to being weaning at 21 days. Since they are staying with us longer because of new scientific data, maybe we should take another look at when to begin weaning as well. It seemed to me, with the litters I over-saw in 2017, to make sense that if the litter was ready to be litter box trained on day 21 they were ready to be weaned as well. But with each new litter, I began to realize that my Dams were not starting the weaning process on day 21. Watching them showed me two important things: ​ Shorter feeding times do not indicate the Dam is ready to wean Supply and demand is well established​ Pups are proficient at getting what they need The Dam spending less time caring for the pups does not indicate she is ready to wean.​ Pups are able to regulate their own body temp and go potty on their own​ The Dam is ready to rejoin the pack knowing that pups are less needy The Dam is ready to wean when she regurgitates her last meal for the pups to eat. I know, it sounds disgusting, but this is what happens in the wild and female dogs, for the most part, mother on pure instinct and instinct tells them when it is time to wean. So, if the Dam isn't regurgitating for her litter on day 21, it seems to me that we are starting the weaning process too early and if we are, we should be asking ourselves whether we are contributing to the potential of individual puppies in our litters developing food allergies later in life? When to introduce Mush to a litter At 21 days, the pups are able to do their business on their own so don't need their Dam to stimulate which means the Dam will begin to rejoin her pack leaving the pups for longer and longer periods. She will return to the pups to allow nursing; when the pups begin to suckle, the milk is immediately let down and they are very proficient at drinking and filling up very quickly. The Dam rarely stays in the box for more than 10 minutes where before, she was in for much longer. It appears that she is "done" with them and ready to wean them, but if you watch more closely, many times, that isn't the case because in another three hours, she will be asking to go back in with the litter for another feed. Take careful note of how over the next week or so, she begin to spread out those feeding times to first four hours and then longer. ​ Watch her head at one of those feedings because it will be low to the ground - you might even think it is because she is sad and in pain - but you will see her quietly regurgitate her food and begin to eat it. The first time, one puppy might notice and leave the teat to eat alongside her, but often, it is the next day before that happens. Wait a few days and most of the litter will leave the teat and eat along side their Mom. THIS is the signal that she is ready to wean them and this is the signal I personally feel we need to be waiting to see before introducing mush. This could begin on day 21 or, as I see in most of my litters, it may happen on day 27 or 28. ​ Weaning isn't just about getting the litter to stop nursing off of their Dam; it is about transitioning them from a natural milk based diet to a dog food diet. It is also about their digestive tract learning to process a different diet and this may be the most important reason to delay weaning. ​ As a moderator on a Breeding Help board, I have seen that many breeders rush to feed the litter 4 meals a day sometimes all in one day and sometimes over the first four days. Since the puppies digestive tracts are still developing, this always seemed wrong to me. ​ We introduced a shallow dish of water at 21 days, a shallow dish of formula at 22 days and their first bowl of mush on the 23rd day (on or about - it depends upon the litter). A new meal was then introduced every 3 days afterwards until they were getting 4 meals. That question of whether I was rushing was always niggling at the back of my mind as I watched my girls delay that regurgitation of a meal until at least a week later. By the fourth year of breeding, I began to listen to my gut and delay introducing mush until I had seen the Dam regurgitate a meal for them and the puppies showing interest in eating with her. ​ Now, there are reasons why supplementing what a litter is getting naturally from their Dam on day 21 might be the best decision (a puppy falling behind or a huge litter that is wearing down the Dam); but even then, I have come to believe that supplementing with a shallow dish of formula/milk replacer might be better for the litter in the long run than introducing mush too early. Watching to see if the difference to that puppy or to the Dam's condition is enough before adding another meal is most likely the best course to follow. Our new protocol beginning with the Bree x Cain 2021 litter: ​ Day 21 - IF needed, one meal per day of formula/milk replacer Day 28 - One meal per day of mush IF the Dam has regurgitated Day 34 - Two meals Day 39 - Three meals plus free feeding (see below) This protocol is of course not set in stone and has been adjusted according to the individual Dam's behavior. Kona typically was done nursing by 6 weeks while Dreama didn't finish until 7 weeks and still allowed what we learned was "comfort suckling" for a minute or two all the way until the puppies were carried out the gate to their new lives. Bree delays weaning until day 26 or 27 and Latte and Jette are regurgitating at about day 30. ​ Best practice is letting your Dam show you when they instinctively sense that the litter is ready to move to eating dry food. Free-Feeding Our Aisling Litters​ Why do we free-feed our litters when we DO NOT recommend free feeding once the puppies leave us? (Labs for the most part should never be free fed!) Most Labrador puppies devour their dish of food and while in the litter, this is no different. There are been many dishes of mush that went to the ground due to the mad rush of a litter to be first to the bowl and far too many times I saw a puppy choke due to eating too fast. I soon realized that they were "fighting" over the food; fast eaters were getting most of the meal. This was "training" the puppies to eat even faster to ensure they got enough to be full. Separating them by slow and fast eaters or large and smaller puppies helped some but not enough. Giving each puppy their own bowl didn't slow them down either. After watching this through several litters, I ordered some flat-backed buckets that hang on the panels of the ex-pen and once the puppies were eating dry food and drinking water, I filled those buckets with dry food. While they were eating from their dishes, I placed the buckets in the pen. This meant that they investigated the buckets but didn't gorge or fight to get to them because they were already filled up from their meal (which of course, they ate far too fast, pushing and shoving their way to the dishes). As the rest of the day went by, I saw individual puppies stroll over to a bucket and eat slowly from it. Just a bite or two usually. And when I brought them their next meal in a dish? No rushing at all. Most took the time to get a cuddle and a pat from me, some continued to play for a bit or nap! While that was encouraging, the best part was that over the next week, those lighter puppies began to put on weight more steadily and by the 8 week puppy weigh in, they were nearly uniform in weight. And when they all went to their new homes? I didn't get so many emails and texts and phone calls about how the puppies devoured in two seconds anything that was put in front of them asking me what they could do to slow them down! From 7 - 8 weeks of age, we remove the food filled buckets at night to get them used to going through the night without being able to nibble on something and feed them four times each day rather than three. Feeding for Owners Our " Puppy Care " page has quite a bit of information regarding feeding your Labrador Puppy. And for those who are bringing home an Aisling puppy, we provide even more detail in our pdf's which are emailed to you before your puppy comes home. Like weaning, our ever-growing knowledge and our experience in raising our own Labrador puppies evolves our protocols. While in the past, we recommended feeding your puppy THREE times a day, there is a growing body of data that indicates feeding FOUR times a day through at least 20 weeks of age is far better. The rapid growth and high energy level of puppies means they burn calories at a high rate. Spreading their nutrition over four meals for longer than 8 weeks appears to help regulate their growth patterns and protect the density of their bones. For more information, please visit the Puppy Care page Next: Responsible Breeding

  • Spaying/Neutering

    Spaying and Neutering "Among male and female dogs with early-age gonadectomy, hip dysplasia, noise phobias, and sexual behaviors were increased...." C. Victor Spain DVM, PhD, Janet M. Scarlett DVM, PhD, and Katherine A. Houpt VMD, PhD, DACVB Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association Dogs gonadectomized at ≤ 6 months of age had significantly increased odds of developing a behavioral disorder. The younger the age at gonadectomy, the earlier the mean age at diagnosis of mast cell cancer, cancers other than mast cell, hemangiosarcoma, lymphoma, all cancers combined, a behavioral disorder, or fear of storms. Frontiers in Veterinary Science In previous studies on the Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever and German Shepherd Dog, neutering before a year of age was associated with increased risks of one or more joint disorders, 2–4 times that of intact dogs. The increase was particularly seen with dogs neutered by 6 months of age. Rachel Eddleman, DVM Waiting until your dog is older decreases the likelihood of female urinary incontinence, orthopedic problems including cranial cruciate ligament tears, and certain cancers. Cardiac Tumors occurred with similar frequency in males and females, but the relative risk for spayed females was >4 times that for intact females. For HSA, spayed females had >5 times greater relative risk than did intact females. The risk for castrated males was slightly greater than that for intact males, which had 2.4 times the relative risk of intact females. Thus, neutering appeared to increase the risk of cardiac tumor in both sexes. Intact females were least likely to develop a cardiac tumor, whereas spayed females were most likely to develop a tumor. Twelve breeds had greater than average risk of developing a cardiac tumor, whereas 17 had lower risk. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association February 1, 2014, Vol. 244, No. 3, Pages 309-319 J R Slauterbeck 1, K Pankratz, K T Xu, S C Bozeman, D M Hardy Females that had ovariohysterectomy and males that had orchiectomy had a significantly higher prevalence of anterior cruciate ligament rupture than the sexually intact dogs. Larger dogs had an increased prevalence of anterior cruciate ligament injury compared with smaller or medium-sized dogs, with the increased rupture rates for sterilized animals holding across breeds and sizes. Sterilization of either gender increased the prevalence of anterior cruciate ligament injury, suggesting a potential effect of gonadal gender on prevalence of injury of this ligament. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association C. Victor Spain DVM, PhD, Janet M. Scarlett DVM, PhD, and Katherine A. Houpt VMD, PhD, DACVB Results—Among female dogs, early-age gonadectomy was associated with increased rate of cystitis and decreasing age at gonadectomy was associated with increased rate of urinary incontinence. Among male and female dogs with early-age gonadectomy, hip dysplasia, noise phobias, and sexual behaviors were increased.... AVMA American Veterinary Medical Association M Christine Zink 1, Parvene Farhoody, Samra E Elser, Lynda D Ruffini, Tom A Gibbons, Randall H Rieger Results— Females gonadectomized at ≤ 12 months of age and males and females gonadectomized at > 12 months of age had significantly increased odds of developing hemangiosarcoma, compared with the odds for sexually intact dogs. s. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association HIP AND ELBOW WARRANTY In order for our Hip and Elbow Warranty to remain in effect, we require that: Males be neutered no earlier than 18 months and preferably at 24 months. ​ Females be spayed AFTER 12 months of age and 3 months AFTER their heat cycle (to reduce risk of bleeding during surgery). While ultimately the choice is yours when to spay or neuter your puppy, unless it is to save t he life of an Aisling Puppy (i.e. Pyom etra in a female or testicular torsion or other disorder in a male), alteration earlier than the recommended ages will void the Hip and Elbow Warranty offered by Aisling Labradors due to the increased risk of joint disorders. While we support spay and neuter AFTER a dog has sexually matured, we feel that Dog Owners deserve to know the risks that come with that decision. Next: Hip Dysplasia

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