We often get asked why we don’t allow visits. This is not surprising given the number of “what to do when buying a dog” websites that advocate for visiting the breeder and meeting the puppy parents before purchasing a puppy or getting on a Waiting List. The problem with these sites is their priority is the buyer, not the health and safety of the puppies or the breeder. This means you can’t come visit the adult dogs or me, without also visiting our puppies and their Mom(s).
I have a strong commitment to the health and well-being of our puppies and adult dogs, as well as the safety of our family. Our reasons for not allowing visits make sense from a responsible breeder's perspective. I'll summarize the key points:
Puppy Safety: Puppies have fragile immune systems, and bringing in outside visitors can expose them to diseases that could be fatal. Maintaining a controlled and clean environment is crucial to their health.
Stressed Mothers and Puppies: New mothers are emotionally sensitive and can become stressed by unfamiliar visitors. This stress can affect their milk production and, consequently, the well-being of the puppies they are caring for.
Accidents and Safety: Unfamiliar visitors can cause mother dogs to become anxious and react quickly, potentially leading to accidents that harm the puppies. My personal experience with such incidents underscores the importance of keeping a calm and controlled atmosphere.
Guardianship: As the guardian of the puppies during their early weeks, you hold a responsibility to protect them and ensure their well-being. This level of care extends to considering potential risks posed by visitors.
Safety of Dogs and Family: Allowing strangers into my home can pose a threat to the safety of both my family and my dogs. It's essential to prioritize our safety over casual visits.
Serious Buyers: We emphasize that only serious and committed buyers are granted access, as their commitment shows an understanding of the importance of maintaining a controlled environment for the puppies' health and safety.
Transparency: We offer references and reviews as a way for potential buyers to verify the authenticity and quality of our breeding practices. This demonstrates our willingness to provide information and build trust.
Social Media and Updates: We are actively engaged in providing updates through social media to keep interested parties informed about the puppies' growth and progress.
Deposit Process: We clarify that buyers who have placed a deposit will have the opportunity to select their puppies at the time of pickup, ensuring that they are involved in the process.
We often get asked why we don’t allow visits. This is not surprising given the number of “what to do when buying a dog” websites that advocate for visiting the breeder and meeting the puppy parents before purchasing a puppy or getting on a Waiting List. The problem with these sites is their priority is the buyer, not the health and safety of the puppies or the breeder. We do understand that side of it, but the reality of it are listed below. This means you can’t come visit the adult dogs or me, without also visiting our puppies and their Mom(s).
*Safety of the Puppies:
Puppy’s immune systems are very immature. Many unsuspecting visitors have brought disease (parvovirus, distemper, etc) with them when visiting puppies, the result of which could be the death of the entire litter. I personally know several breeders who have lost entire litters to parvovirus brought in by visitors.
*Stressed out Moms create stressed out puppies. A new mother is emotionally charged and in hyper-protective mode. When a stranger comes to visit, Mom(s) becomes stressed causing her body to create cortisol, which goes into the milk. The puppies consume this cortisol-rich milk and become stressed themselves.
*Panicked Moms can hurt puppies. When a stranger comes to visit a mother dog’s state of mind changes rapidly. She feels threatened and moves quickly to assess the threat. Many Moms have unintentionally stepped on or crushed a puppy in their urgency to get out of the whelping box to assess the threat. I had a momma step on 2 puppies, they had to get stitches at a few days old. One made it and one didn't. It's very heartbreaking.
*I don’t ‘own’ the puppies. Usually All the puppies are sold to families. I am simply the guardian. However, I have been entrusted with the care of these puppies for the first critical weeks of their lives. As guardian of other peoples’ dogs, I must do everything I can to protect them. If one of the puppies was yours, I’m certain you would expect me to do that for your puppy.
*Safety of my Dogs and Family:
People that email me are strangers. I don’t know anything about you other than the fact you emailed me with basic information (which may or may not be true) about yourself and your family. I am inviting you, a stranger, into my home. This creates a threat to the safety of my dogs and my family. I enjoy caring and playing with my own dogs, which is why I breed to begin with.
*We are not a petting zoo.
Some people think visiting puppies is a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon. I will not compromise the health and safety of my puppies, my dogs, and my family so someone can snuggle with puppies. Only serious and committed buyers are worthy of that compromise. So, how can we help you have confidence we aren’t a puppy mill or a fake website asking for your $250 deposit? We are very happy to provide references of families who have our puppies as well as see our reviews on our Facebook Page Arkansas Labs. We thank you for your understanding that we will not compromise on the health and safety of our puppies and hope you see this as a positive quality of a reputable breeder.
I'm very active on social media and will provide weekly pictures and videos as the puppies grow, For those who have placed a deposit, you will be able to pick out your puppy at the time of pickup.