Our Goals in Our Labrador Retriever Breeding Program

Hunting Labrador Retriever Breeder
Ducktowns Sheza Tomboy "Frankie"

Our Vision

Our love for the Labrador Retriever runs deep.  We are striving to bred top quality bloodlines for the Avid Duck Hunter and Family Companions.  At Ducktown Retrievers our dogs are our family companions in the house as well as in the field. We are breeding for genetically sound puppies that come from proven hunting lines and have produced quality hunting labradors.

My first priority is that you should have fun with your dogs, enjoy their love and companionship. We believe in versatility and my dogs are accomplished performance and hunting dogs. My philosophy is simple when it comes to Labrador Retrievers.  DTR's looks for a desire and/or drive, good health, sound structure, good temperament,  athleticism, and able to do what the Labrador Retrievers standard says they are bred to do…. to be versatile, confident, excellent hunting companions,  eager to please, & love what they do.

Even with the best of retriever pedigrees you can still have a dog that is difficult to train, has a poor temperament, or has low bird drive. We spend a lot of time researching and matching different pedigrees while studying a dog’s individual personality, the way they learn (are they trainable) how they respond to different situations?  Our goal is to look for a cross that will produce the best results.  My good friend and mentor taught me early on “look past the paper”.

What We Look For In Our Breeding Stock

The Labrador Retriever is a strongly built, medium-sized, short-coupled, dog possessing a sound, athletic, well-balanced conformation that enables it to function as a retrieving gun dog; the substance and soundness to hunt waterfowl or upland game for long hours under difficult conditions and the temperament to be a family companion.

  1. Sires are always titled dogs with top quality pedigrees.
  2. Dams are working retrievers, titled, or raised and trained by professionals that can obtain objective criteria to help us maintain an open mind to the strengths and the weakness of our bloodlines;
  3. All breeding stock have OFA certified hips (excellent or good) and OFA certified elbows. A Veterinary Ophthalmologist certifies eyes free of hereditary diseases.

Labrador Retrievers; How do instincts and drive motivate behavior?

Retrieving Maniac:   Drives are the motivation, while instincts are the ability to do something.

Although many talk about dog instincts and drives as if they’re the same thing, there is a subtle difference.  The higher the drive, then the greater the chance of overall success in training and competitive performance. Drives are strong, compelling, almost irresistible urges that spur a dog into performing a particular action. Such as the drive to eat (food drive) or the drive to reproduce (sex drive).

Instincts are natural abilities a dog’s born with that allow it to perform a task without having had to learn how. Such as the instinct to suckle (satisfying the food drive) or the instinct on how to mate (satisfying the sex drive).  Dogs have different degrees of interest in retrieving.    One can have pulsating drive but if paired with a lack of intelligence or a low degree of tractability, then the dog will probably not be successful.

Intelligence;  Dogs have different levels of intelligence. The smarter dog progresses more quickly in training and also retains more than one who has a lesser degree of native intelligence.


Drives can be strengthened and developed in your lab and used to bring out wanted behaviors, but unwanted ones are very hard if not impossible to completely get rid of.

The key to developing a well-adjusted Labrador is finding a balance between his natural behaviors and the pet you would like him to be. Accomplish this by finding alternative means for your lab to release the pent-up energy associated with his power drives. 


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