For the past five years, we have been breeding beautiful, show-type, blocky head "English" Labrador Retrievers. Our very first Labrador was our beautiful chocolate girl Rosie, who stole our hearts as a puppy the moment we saw her picture. Even though she was all the way over in Ukraine, we knew she was the perfect girl to start our English Lab breeding program with, and we brought her into our family in 2017. Since then, having seven children of our own and living with labs for years now, we truly believe this breed is the best family dog anyone could ask for. Gentle and calm in nature, with the always-wagging-tail, friendly to all, stranger to none. They love to relax and hang out with the family in the living room, yet they're eager and ready at a moment's notice to go for that ball or take a long swim (or better yet, a combination of the two). We know from personal experience that there is no better companion than the English Lab.
While the Happiest Labrador began in Colorado, we have since made the move to the beautiful state of Tennessee. There were several reasons for this move, but the main ones were that we wanted more privacy and more land for our family and our dogs. When we found the most gorgeous 80-acre piece of property with a river on it in Northern TN, we instantly knew that was the new Happiest Labs site. We are temporarily living on a smaller property while we build a house on our dream land, but we are incredibly excited about what the future holds for us in Tennessee!
Having been in the Lab world for a bit now, we know the most famous and beautiful lines in the world, we know what we like, and we consistently breed and produce the type we are looking for! We believe our productions speak for themselves. We chose to breed the English-type Labrador instead of the American because of their stocky build, blocky heads, and thick, always wagging tails. They are also known for having calmer, less crazy temperaments than their American counterparts. Having met many American and English Labradors over the years, we can absolutely attest to this personality difference, and love how the English Lab is much more even-tempered than the American Lab, while still being active and loving the ball and the water, just like a true Labrador Retriever.
We approach breeding in a very professional manner, beginning with the careful selection of parents in order to ensure health. This includes testing DNA for genetic diseases and studying pedigrees the world over to create the look and type we want in our puppies. Only after careful selection do we move forward with breeding, and to ensure pregnancy and maximize puppy count, we monitor progesterone once our moms are in season. On occasion, if the male we are planning to use is far away or for some reason either the stud or dam is reluctant to breed naturally, we will use AI for the breeding. Now that mom is bred, we keep a close watch on her throughout pregnancy. At four weeks we do an ultrasound to confirm pregnancy and get a rough puppy count, and a couple of days before the due date, we run an x-ray to get a more accurate guess on how many puppies mama is due with. With very small litters, with extremely large litters, or if we see that the individual puppies are unusually big, a c-section may be necessary. When this is not the case, careful attentiveness (and, more often than not, an all-nighter) is mandatory.
This is just the beginning! Now that we've done the groundwork, we have eight weeks of precious, exhausting, messy, stressful, and wonderful puppy care. Our top priorities at this stage are health, cleanliness, and socialization. We have our puppy feeders, pen cleaners, med and dewormer distributers, puppy socializers, and puppy photographers all built-in with our family! This is why what we do works so well, as everyone gets a chance to pitch in and help. It's a great experience for the kids, gives them a good work ethic, and gives the puppies the socialization and handling they need. Only after receiving their first round of shots and dewormer, a vet check, a clean bill of health, and your puppy reaches a minimum of eight weeks of age is he or she ready to go home! Our absolute top priority is to send healthy, happy, socialized puppies into loving, caring homes, and everything we do works towards this goal.
We love all colors of Labradors and over the years have bred black, chocolate and yellow, although chocolate and black have been our main focus in the past. Far more important to us than color is our emphasis on structure and beauty, temperament, and health. We think you would be hard-pressed to find a better structured, higher quality Lab throughout the United States, and the world over, than the puppies produced here. They really are the Happiest Labs.
If you think one of our puppies would be the perfect fit for you, please do not hesitate to reach out for further information!