Here at Canvasback Retrievers our dogs are paired, health tested and cared for to produce quality, genetically sound, healthy and intelligent hunting companions. We strive to produce good looking dogs from a mix of show and hunt test lines with the drive and smarts to make any owner proud at the house and in the field.
All of our pups are whelped and raised in our home and are introduced to feathers by the time you pick them up at 8 weeks old. We provide lots of positive experiences to our lab pups so that the transition to their new forever homes goes as smooth as possible.
We truly believe (and there is research supporting) that every experience a puppy has influences how he or she turns out as an adult. Because of this, making sure the experiences they have before they are 12 weeks old are GOOD is incredibly important. This is why we practice Puppy Culture! Even though it's not "standard" gun dog prep, we still do a lot of the things (feathers, obstacles, confidence building) that are done by other breeders. It's helpful in getting a puppy to be emotionally steady and consistent in how they handle being startled, walking on new surfaces, terrain change, new environments and really anything unknown. Anyone who hunts knows a dog that isn't able to handle a new situation will have a very hard time. Running away from scary things is the last thing you want your gun dog to do!
Making sure the dogs get the best start really starts with the breeder. Puppy Culture is a program that helps each pup be as solid as it can be to go home and learn to hunt with you and your family.
Puppies are introduced to these things at minimum while here with us:
Feathers | Kennels | Recall (here) | Taking treats nicely | Sitting to ask for attention | Other Dogs | House training | Retrieving | Hard, Soft, Pokey, floor surfaces and rugs | Woods/tall grass | Separation from the litter | Playing with dogs that aren't their mom | Multiple different toys | Loud noises/startle recovery | Wobbly surfaces | Early Neurological Stimulation