Thursday, June 23, 2011

Hip Dysplasia

Hip Dysplasia is most likely found in most large breed dogs. Mainly Labrador Retriever Puppies. It affects their hips and elbows, in regards to their development. It is seen in some cases as being mild and of course the variance can be severe. It can cause pain for the dog and be debilitating in later years. A lot of Labrador Breeders and scientists don’t fully understand the cause of this of this deformity, but what they think is that it is a multi-gene phenomenon of which 50% is congenial and the other 50% is environmental. (The way you take care of your Labrador Puppy) When a Labrador is a puppy it needs to be taken care of in non aggressive style. Easy gentle play while the pup is developing, no hard walking or active jumping, simple ball playing in the yard or with another puppy while the hip joints are forming is enough until the dog is mature and fully reaches his developmental potential as being fully developed and formed. This is usually at 18 months of age.
You must make sure your puppy is getting the right nutrition to have healthy hips. To see our nutrition page click this link
There really isn’t a way to check a new puppy under the age of one year old. WE can’t predict if or when the deformity will strike as there are many factors to consider in the way of raising and food abundance, weight bearing on the hip joints and mal nutrition. But there are some noticeable signs of suspecting Hip Dysplasia on your Labrador.
Here are some tell-tale signs:
• Stiffness or soreness when walking.
• No motivation to move or jump.
• Look for dislocation of the hip on both sides of the Labrador.
• Has trouble trying to get up from a lay-down position.
• Has trouble trying to walk up or down stairs.
• Obvious signs of being in pain: YELPING, OR GRUNTING.
A good breeder with a conscious is aiming to produce better puppies not just more of them.
Checking and certifying the hips and elbows with the OFA before entering into a breeding program to screen out potential hip and elbow problems.
Other helpful tasks your breeder can do to benefit the life style of the puppies in the early stages is:

Rule-of-7 and Early Neurological Stimulation Exercises which can be viewed at: and the breeder should practice these exercises every day for the first 2 weeks of your new born puppy beginning at 3 days old. Other causes that are known for this deformity would be diet, and being over-weight. You
There is really only one way to check if your Labrador has Hip Dysplasia; taking your lab to a vet and get x-rays. Unfortunately, there is no cure for Hip Dysplasia. But there are treatments to prevent it from getting worse and reduce the pain of the Hip Dysplasia. Some treatments include getting medication for your lab, or getting surgery.

The Labrador Retriever

The Labrador retriever: (or otherwise known as Labs) are one of the most popular breeds in the world. The reason why the Labrador retriever breed is so popular is because Labradors have been used for hundreds of years as catching and retrieving (which is where their name comes from)

The dogs of the Labrador breed are very kind, playful, obedient to their master, and most importantly are very safe around babies as well. For many years the Labrador breed has been used as an assistance dog for the blind, or anyone one that just needs a dog by their side, whatever the case may be, the Labrador breed of dogs is the perfect choice of dog for anyone.

The Labrador Appearance:
Size and Weight: Labrador adults can grow pretty large, the average weight for studs is around 65-90 pounds and the average weight for bitches is around 55–71 pounds. If a Labrador is 100 pounds or over, that means that it’s obese and the owner should cut down on how he or she feeds the lab. Labradors are known for their appetite and they absolutely love to eat.
Body: A Labrador retriever’s body should be muscular and a level top line.
Coat: Labradors have a very unique coat of fur. The Labrador is known for its short and thick hair, usually the colors of Labradors is all one solid color and doesn’t have spots of different colors. Colors: Fox Red, Black, White, Cream White, Yellow, and Chocolate Brown.
Head Size and Shape: The size and shape should be blocky and thick, with a pronounced stop and a slight pronounced brow.

Why Pick A Susana Labrador?

1. All our breeding dogs are hip x-rayed
2 Pups come with a written 1 and conditional 2 year guarantee – We stand behind all of our pups
3. We are supported by the AKC (American Kennel Club) and they do random inspections of our dogs and kennel; all pups are AKC registered
4. We do not in-breed; all our breeding dogs are line bred giving us the heads we like and the quality of dogs we breed.
5. Pups do not have dew claws removed. This can be dangerous to young 3 day old pups; and the English are not clipping anything off the dogs right now.
6. All pups go home with a manicure, Pedicure and a nice bath
7. For your convince, we are located in town; Simi Valley
8. All our dogs are either champion sired or come from reputable champion breeding bloodlines on both sides
9. We show our dogs and have 12 champions so far- thus, you are not supporting a puppy mill; we breed with integrity
10. All dogs and pups have AKC paperwork available when you pick up your puppy from us
11. All pups leave with current shots and have been wormed completely, and treated for parasites
12. All our males have DNA on profile with the AKC
13. We welcome anyone who would like to meet us and meet our dogs
14. Our dogs are clean and healthy and are also our pets; they are well trained and cared for and invited to come inside our home
15. Our kennel is neat and clean and sanitary, I employ a great staff who participate in animal health care to care for the pups and big dogs we have here.
16. We offer puppy starter kits with vitamins, cleansers, grooming products, crates, and a caring & training booklet, DVD’s and informational books on the breed
17. We offer potty, crate and obedience training,& boarding of your puppy while you are on your family vacation. We are full service. And very good at what we do
18. Providing you have e-mail, you will be receiving our quarterly newsletter’s packed with doggy do’s and don’ts and to update you on the latest upcoming information on our kennel and tips for your new puppy, along with weekly photos and updates, while your puppy develops
19. We offer a training tape DVD that covers most commonly asked questions on the caring and training of our pups- we make shopping easy and complete, and an educational experience
20. We are friendly, and helpful, professional, and encourage you to email us or call us for anything at anytime.
21. We have a great reputation; we offer a list of references, and are recommended by 6 vets in Southern California; references available upon request; we are experienced breeders, and have been breeding 10 years now.
22. You can become a fan of Susana Labradors; by going to our home page and exchange pup photos with other happy puppy owners.

Elbow Dysplasia

The following info was found at the Orthopedic Foundation For Animals (OFA) website:
Elbow dysplasia is a general term used to identify an inherited polygenic disease in the elbow of dogs. Three specific etiologies make up this disease and they can occur independently or in conjunction with one another. These etiologies include:
Pathology involving the medial coronoid of the ulna (FCP) Osteochondritis of the medial humeral condyle in the elbow joint (OCD) Ununited anconeal process (UAP) Studies have shown the inherited polygenic traits causing these etiologies are independent of one another. Clinical signs involve lameness which may remain subtle for long periods of time. No one can predict at what age lameness will occur in a dog due to a large number of genetic and environmental factors such as degree of severity of changes, rate of weight gain, amount of exercise, etc. Subtle changes in gait may be characterized by excessive inward deviation of the paw which raises the outside of the paw so that it receives less weight and distributes more mechanical weight on the outside (lateral) aspect of the elbow joint away from the lesions located on the inside of the joint. Range of motion in the elbow is also decreased.

Foods to keep away from dogs

Here at Susana Labradors and others that live with animals know that you should not give your dogs chocolate, but there are also other foods that dogs should not have. Many of us assume that vegetables, fruits and other edibles are not bad for our dogs but they can be very dangerous, and even deadly, to our dogs. Raisins and grapes can cause kidney failure in dogs so it is important to keep them away from those fruits. Labrador breeders will sometimes give their dogs left over dinner and not think of the consequences of it. For instance onions and garlic are in many delicious foods that cause serious health problems in dogs. The onions and garlic contain N-propyl disulfide, which destroys red blood cells, leading to hemolytic anemia. Vegetables are known to be a health food for humans and they are also healthy for dogs too, but it is important to make sure they do not ingest huge amounts at once. Thanksgiving has its own caveats but, don’t let your dog lick the turkey-roasting pan, "that’s the surefire way to give a dog a pancreatitis attack. You can pour a tablespoon of drippings over your dog’s food, but do not let him lick the pan clean our trained Labradors no better, but a young Labrador puppy would not know right from wrong, it needs you for guidance. On the bright side when you can’t resist giving your dog ice cream, go ahead and give them a little it’s not going to hurt. Early puppy training right from wrong with your super vision and guidance is the way to go. Of course avoid any ice cream flavor that contains chocolate, chocolate chips, or raisins. Some super markets sell ice cream that is made for dogs called frosty paws. If you’re looking for an AKC Labrador retriever we have a few available with some training and a few young pups ready to come home at 8 weeks of age this Christmas.

Barking Dogs

Excessive barking is one of the many behavioral problems that dog owners find annoying. Although barking of dogs is considered to be normal, it can become unbearable when your Labrador barks excessively, but there are ways to stop our Labradors from barking. However, with some dog behavior training techniques, you can easily stop your dog from barking excessively. Most people don’t know how to train their dogs not to bark but the only successful way is to know the reason behind the excessive barking. In this blog we share information about Labradors that bark from It is important to keep your dog physically active because if you don’t it can make your Labradors frustrated and it may result in unwanted barking. Here at Susana’s Labradors we make sure to give our Labradors as much attention so they don’t feel neglected or bored. We also professionally train our Labradors and Labrador puppies. We use certain commands when training our Labradors like, “sit”, “stay”, '”down”, and “no bark”. Successful ways to use these commands are not by just saying it to your dog but by making sure they obey what you are saying. All of our Chocolate Labrador Puppies, Fox Red Labrador Puppies, White Labrador Puppies, Black Labrador Puppies, Chocolate Labrador Puppy, and Yellow Labrador Puppies are trained when they are puppies by our commands so when they are ready to go home they are all trained and they obey , “sit”, “stay”, '”down”, and “no bark”. All dogs have no clue if it’s good or bad to bark unless you tell them, and that’s why it is easiest to train your Labrador when he or she is a puppy so they don’t know the difference. Training you Labradors not to bark is achievable. All it requires is practice and patience to get the desired result from your Labrador.

Why choose Life’s Abundance food?

Although you may think all pet food manufacturers have your pet’s best interests in mind, this is not always the case. All of our Yellow Labrador Puppies, Chocolate Labrador Puppies, Fox Red Labrador Puppies, White Labrador Puppies, and our Black Labrador Puppies love the food “Life’s Abundance”. We encourage all other Labrador owners to choose this food too. Life’s Abundance contains no artificial flavors, no artificial colors, no corn or corn gluten, no wheat or wheat gluten. This food is a balanced blend of calcium and phosphorous to support growing and ageing bones. We all want our Labradors to stay as healthy as they can and that’s why you should choose Life’s Abundance food. Most people don’t look to see what their dog’s food contains and they pick food that is not as good for them. Dogs need vitamins just like humans do and in Life’s Abundance there are vitamins that include A. C, AND E, it also contains Omega-3 fatty acids for healthy skin and a shiny coat. Labradors tend do get into things and get dirty just like any other dog and we love to see our dogs with healthy teeth and strong bones, which is why this food includes calcium and phosphorus. A healthy food is the best food for our Labradors because nothings more important than to see our dogs happy. Here at Susana’s Labradors all of our Labradors are active, strong and healthy and it’s because we feed them the best choice, “Life’s Abundance”. In this blog we found information about this food on You can also find more information about this food on our website under Labrador nutrition, which includes the amount of servings you should give you Labrador at what age and how much he or she weighs.

A little about understanding your dog

Our Labrador pups in training at Susana Labradors have been working on sit; lay down, stay, crate training, come, and leash walking. We also begin working on high 5 and potty training. They're just about ready for you to continue their training; some of our pups come to you fully trained in every way. These pups have been on field trips in puppy safe places to gain exposure to new beginnings. I tell everyone that it is just like bringing a baby home from the hospital. You need to watch them and take care of them and make sure they are always safe. It can be work, so don’t kid yourself. But it is very rewarding and we feel the house is not a home without a furry friend bounding about.
The Labrador pups in training are puppy’s we select, and at about 6 weeks of age, begin working with them on how to behave.
With any puppy or young adult, remember you have to continue their training in everything you do. If you don’t want them jumping on you, do not ever let them do that. Warn them first anticipating that they might jump out of excitement. Then give them a correction if they fail. I have found that a jumping dog is just excited, and wants a little attention, and they cannot resist a jump up. Keep the energy level low. Isolate yourself with your new best friend away from children and other pets when you train. One on one is the best until you really get to know him. Speak slowly and clearly and in a clam manner. Pets can get over stimulated by tone of voice alone. Lots of times, your dog will respond to the word “gentle” or “settle”. He will almost crumble to the ground and submissively lay on his back for a belly scratch.
I recently took in a lab male rescue. The owners said the dog was incorrigible, and wouldn’t learn or behave or give eye contact. Isn’t potty trained, very hyper, will not settle down is dog aggressive, etc. etc. So you have to analyze what was his living condition before? Was he allowed to come in the house often? When in the house was he left to roam and do whatever he thought best? Who was his role model? Another dog, perhaps that is unmannered, untrained, or aggressive with him? Or another dog, that the family favored, and the new dog was thrown outside or basically ignored. Was the training one on one? Was he allowed to be worked with alone while indoors? Was he the first dog, and once the new puppy came in, was he then thrown outside? The couple told me they had another dog, which was a well mannered pit bull, a real good dog, they conveyed. While I am not too familiar with other breeds, I think pits are animal aggressive, but I could be wrong. Could it be possible the pitt was aggressive towards the lab? Could that be why they told me he was aggressive…standing up for himself perhaps? Maybe that dog was allowed to come in. Since the lab was ill behaved the couple felt discouraged, gave up, so the dog was never worked with one on one, so he would be a nice house dog once inside. Imagine living with a brother or sister who was a straight A student, and you are just getting by…the honor student gets many more privileges than you, naturally…therefore, it may make you try harder in school, but, if you don’t understand the material, and have no guidance, or help, you will never be able to comprehend, thus, you remain a kid just getting by with D’s…instead you rebel against your sibling, act out negatively for attention, as you have been basically cast aside, and some attention is better than nothing at all. Imagine how that must feel? Someone other than you being favored. Sometimes these facts are not conveyed to you when bringing in a dog or a rescue, and you have to start at square one and do the math…figure him out, so to speak. Pretend that you have just adopted a child from another country who doesn’t speak our language and vice versa. The entire relationship is going to be about trying to communicate and figure each other out. Observe him, give him some guidance, set up some ground rules, and let him know it is going to be your way..Not his. There is only one big dog. That needs to be you. It takes time, and patience. But they are all worth it in the end. Believe me, they are individuals, and each is different; like children, but all worthy of appreciation and with a few tricks which I will convey, you can, with time bring a dog around.
One day in the infancy of my training, I cooked a nice dinner for my husband and family. It was homemade lasagna, I worked hard on it all day, and the meal was sure to be a success. We all sat down to eat, and under my arm, was the ill mannered family pet. Looking for a head scratch and table hand out. He kept knocking my arm off the table so it would fall on his head. I remember to this day saying “put him out, were eating!!” My husband said “no, he needs to learn how to behave while we eat, and if you throw him out, he will never learn” While he was right and It made perfect sense, it was a bit of an inconvenience, I agreed and we endured. From then on, I now train all my pups and dogs to wait on a pillow. The pillow can moved from room to room, and set next to the kitchen table a distance away. The dog can lie on the pillow, and wait while we eat not bothering us. You need to throw him a treat from time to time and say “Good Wait”. We have done this for others that come here for training and the new owners are amazed at how nice this is.
Of course, everyone knows you don’t feed him from the table or he will assume this is the way he is to behave. Begging for handouts.
We believe you need to be firm, but come from love. And hey, a few dog bones and yummy treats along the way for good behavior, really work. Yellow Labradors, Black Labradors, fox red Labradors are all the same when it comes to training, really food motivated, like a man, and a way to his heart is through his stomach.
He came to me with dirty teeth, a gnarly ear infection, and was obese. I mean really fat. It looked like he ate their other dog!! We run our Susana Labradors pretty lean, and I remember him when he was first here, and he was a gorgeous chocolate Labrador with a waistline. This doesn’t even look like the same dog. So, think of it….a dog that doesn’t feel good can be ornery. This is attributed to part of his problem by my assessment. Poor thing. Plus, when your fat, and we all have our fat days..we feel sluggish, bored, and tired. I know last month, when I had a tooth ache, my whole head felt like it was exploding, and for days I was cranky. The littlest interruptions unglued me… until the problem cleared up, I then returned to myself again. In the 4 days I have had him, the dog is working with me at my side, with treats, and ball playing, swimming after the tennis ball, and love and attention. He has lost 3 lbs, on my diet and exercise program already. Geez, that is almost a pound a day…(wish it worked like that for humans) He probably felt fat and dumpy, sluggish, and therefore wasn’t getting the proper exercise he needed as he just couldn’t keep up. A dog without exercise, and fresh air, becomes a behavioral problem. Caser Milan is a big advocate of exercise, rest, discipline. I tend to agree. No wonder they said he was aggressive…he wasn’t exercised enough, and was pent up. A tired dog is a lazy happy dog, with all the piss and vinegar worked out of him. When my daughter has emotional flare ups, being a teen, I tell her not to bash a hole in the wall, go for a jog, run as fast as you can for as long as you can. Get it out of your system. Same with a dog.
This dog swims in the pool daily, and exercises in the yard with a ball and a few other dogs. Man, he jumps in the water from the side of the pool and sticks his head under to get the ball. I know he loves it and makes him feel accomplished, when I say “Atta boy” Good job!!!
He is living with a female and 2 male Labradors of mine, one, of which is un-neutered. Both young dogs, but I have not seen any aggression in him at all and I believe it is because he is happy and taken care of. At first, my boy was a little snarly at the presence of this new male and they had a small standoff with hair sticking up, me supervising, but I corrected them both, petted each of them in front of each other, swam them together in the pool, and loved and scratched them both so that they didn’t feel slided with my love and attention and all was well and has been well since. He is rewarded when he does well, and disciplined when he does wrong. It is that simple. Just like a child. You wouldn’t let your 3 year old walk up to someone and kick them in the leg. Although very amusing, it is bad behavior. You would scold him, tell him to say he is sorry, and give him some consequences to face. This is the same with any dog. Young or old, trained somewhat or fully trained. A fully trained Labrador would have already learned right from wrong by living with me and my host of trainers, from the beginning, but you still have to remind them if they falter. So don’t ever buy a trained dog and expect it to be 100% from the beginning. Remember, any dog needs to learn it YOUR way. Your life, rules, consequences are different than mine. The dog needs a firm trainer.
We are working on his dirty ears daily. I use a commercial ear cleaner every day with a baby wipe, and every other day I use a mixture of my special blend. I use ¼ white vinegar, with 2 drops of tea tree oil, the rest is water, a touch of antibacterial liquid soap, and a splash of alcohol. I flush his ear canal, with a generous amount of the solution, massage the outside of his ears, one by one, and use a baby wipe wrapped around my index finger. After he shakes his head I can remove the black junk out of his ears. With ear cleaning it is not an easy fix…it is something you have to plan on doing every day and believe me, they do not like it. I think he appreciates it, trusts me, and knows I am trying to help him. In no time I feel I will be able to make this miserable dog who is suffering, a happy healthy and sound good boy. I scaled his teeth with my dental tool, while he lay down in my lap I re-enforced him that he was safe. “Gentle, settle, good boy” In a soft smooth voice. Spend some time, nothing happens fast. He will feel uncomfortable if you rush. I brushed his teeth with my dog tooth paste and that took care of that. One down! It took forever, but I was not giving up. I am the only one now in his world that has not given up on him…and I will not let that happen to him again. He is a great project dog, who needs me, and I feel good every day I wake up and look at his adorable face, and know that because of me, I will have made a dramatic difference in this dog’s life.
The dog is very responsive to my tone of voice and knows that with a treat he is ready to behave. He has come to trust me, love me, and generally wants to behave. He just needs guidance and direction and place to belong where he won’t be ignored. Once inside the home he lifted his leg and peeded on my shelf where my cook books are kept. This happened when I wasn’t watching. Because I didn’t see him do it, it was really my fault. Sure, he should know better, and that was one of our lessons, mine and his. For me, I should have been watching him to observe what he was doing, and if I saw him lift his leg even a tiny bit, I could have reminded him to get outside for that. Because I discovered this later, I still brought him over to the pee spot and showed it to him scolded him in a very disapproving voice, and put him straight outside…reinforcing the phrase “We go potty outside! “ To date, he has not since peed in the house. But I am watching him every minute, confining him and me to one room at a time, and sitting with him by the sofa while he lies at my feet on a short leash. This way I am always in control. I take him out often and am constantly offering him a chance to eliminate outside every hour to every two hours now. Eventually, I will be able to read him and he will let me know when he needs to go outside. This will come in time. We are still getting to know each other.
He does all his tricks for treats with me perfectly. Like my physical trainer at the gym once said “muscles in our bodies never forget”; I believe the same goes for dogs. If they know something, they will repeat it for you if you ask them to do so with a reward at hand. You have to make it fun for them. He was trained in the beginning, he just was obviously ignored, and the training started was taken for granted. A dog will test you once home, so you have to be ready for that. Dogs need love and attention and constant reminding and supervision, at first until they can be trusted. I suggest keeping them confined to one room at a time. Give them a blanket or dog bed with a toy or a bone, something to do while you are busy. Watch them, and when they stand up, bring them outside, and do this often. Eventually, they will get it. It doesn’t happen overnight, but if you just throw them outside, and leave them, it will never happen. This is a neglected dog that just needed an up-do on his behavioral skills. Remember, there are no bad dogs, just bad trainers. You don’t have to be a trainer to have success with your pooch. You need a general understanding of dogs, and tons of patience to get results. Remember, nothing good happens overnight. If you love someone bad enough, you will forgive them; not give up on them, correct them, so they can please you. A lover in your bed cannot please you without getting to know what you like. This needs to be communicated. Great lovers are not born; they are taught. This is the same way for a friendship, or any relationship, and the same with a dog. Communication is the key. The dogs generally do not want to do wrong. They want to please you, but again, they need guidance. If you don’t have the time to put into a dog, even a fully trained dog, then you should refrain from getting one at all. It is a shame that there are so many great dogs in the world that have been taken for granted, and basically ignored. Realize it is a commitment. In this case, the owners being ignorant could have had a really great dog, if they would have contacted a trainer, read a book, or just did a few simple things as I have done here. But to assume the dog is good to go…in your home is a huge understatement. My home is different from yours and the sights and sounds are completely my own. So with any dog there is an adjustment period, of at least 2 weeks to a month. Depending on what the dog previously knows and has been taught or gone through. Slow introduction, to the house, making it less confusing for him to find the appropriate door to go to let you know he has to go out is one thing. I try to make it as simple as possible adding new avenues and challenges slowly along the way. Each day and week, we add a few more things. This is the only way they grow into new endeavors. They need to be exposed, slowly. With time and patience, a loving and understanding heart, you can do it….here is a photo of this wonderful dog who will be up for adoption soon. Let us know if you like him and would like to consider him as a potential family member in your home. I advise that he be the only dog right now, as too many other distractions will just detour what skills I have managed to teach him.

Socializing our Labradors

Many of us enjoy taking our dogs for walks or simply taking them for car rides, but we all know it’s important for our Labradors to behave well when they are outside of their normal environment. Our Labradors need lots of confidence and ease which is why it’s important for you to expose your dogs to new environments. You can take them to parks to interact with other dogs or have different people over so they see new faces. In a perfect world, we could protect our dogs from negative, anxious and frightening situations. In the real world, we must help our dogs learn how to cope and respond, in a healthy and acceptable manner, to the spectrum of people, animals, places and things they might encounter along the road of life. Between the ages 3 and 12 weeks the influences that surround our Labradors are long-lasting influences and that’s why here at Susana’s Labradors we make sure we give all our puppies love and attention. The mothers of the puppies are also a very big influence on them as a young puppy. All of our moms of the Yellow, Chocolate, Fox red, White and, black Labrador Puppies give love to their puppies and give them all undivided equal attention. People tend to move to a new home or new city and their Labradors begin to become fearful and/or aggressive because they are around new people and around other dogs that they are not aware of. A way to prevent your Labrador from being unfriendly in your new environment is to continue to socialize in adult hood. They do need continuous socialization throughout their lives. We take our dogs for walks and let them socialize with our other dogs and let them see unfamiliar faces as they get older to prevent them from becoming fearful or aggressive. To find more information and dog tips on socializing you can go to

How to build a relationship with your Labrador

Many of us wonder how we can build a better relationship with our Labrador. Building a relationship with your dog takes time and patience. You have to build a sense of trust, develop communication, spend quality time, massage you Labrador, and teach your dog commands. Having a good relationship with your dog starts with respect. Training your dog to have good behavior and teaching your Labrador commands is a positive way to gain respect. Spending quality time with your dog helps to build your relationship. Our Labrador Stud’s and Labrador females are big role models on their Labrador puppies, and that’s why here at Susana’s Labradors we have strong relationships with our adult dogs and all of our other Labradors. Developing communication is the key to a better relationship with your dog you can establish a different tone and hand gestures for positive and negative reinforcement to help your labrador differentiate whether his or her actions were good or bad. Spending quality time with your dog can help you get to know one another, for example you can take your Labrador on a walk, going to the park or throwing a ball. Set up a routine with your dog that you’re Labrador can look forward to and know what comes next. Giving your dog lots of attention always helps in building a strong relationship, massaging your Labrador can help your dog to feel comfortable with you and strengthen your bond. This also gives him the one-on-one time dogs thrive on. It is important for your dog to have trust in you because you are responsible for your Labrador and they look up to you. He or she needs to know that you are there to take care of him and keep him safe. Feed him, give him fresh water and give him a warm place to sleep to instill trust.

Crate Training Your Labrador

All dogs need a place to stay, here at Susana Labradors we highly recommend crate training our puppies. This blog will help you learn how to train your Labrador in a crate. The best way to train them in crates is when they are puppies so they are use to the crate, and the routine you have them on. When you are first training your puppy in the crate throw something in his or her crate that they will like so they will learn to go in. When your dog gives you a signal that he has to go to the bathroom take him to a place you would like him to go. Make it a routine and let him out every so often. When feeding your Labrador give him or her food after you let them out to go to the bathroom. Giving your Labrador a command for when they go to the bathroom will help you with your routine and soon enough they will get use to it. Where do you put the crate? Make it his or her room where there isn’t too much, like a laundry room or somewhere he can play. When your puppy does what you tell them make sure to praise them with a treat so they know what they are doing is good. When you are feeding your Labrador make sure to feed them twice a day, in the morning and in the afternoon. If you are interested in any of our crate trained Labrador puppies we have Fox Red Labrador Puppies, White Labrador Puppies, Yellow Labrador Puppies, and Black Labrador Puppies that are very well trained. If you would like more information about crate training your lab you can go to, where we found more information about how to crate train our dogs.

Building a Dog's Life

Some of us wonder why our dogs misbehave for example they are aggressive, they chew your furniture, they are not potty trained, or are constantly sick. The most important events of your Labradors life are within the first year. That is when they need to be potty trained, crate trained, learn not to chew on things or nip, exercising them, make sure they are not aggressive, and put them on a good diet and nutrition. A good dogs starts with a good owner and good surroundings. A dog's health and quality of life are highly dependent upon how he or she is treated as a puppy. After your puppy is trained you must still keep up with the training and stick to a routine. Another important thing is to surround your Labrador around unfamiliar faces to help them not be afraid or aggressive. Keeping your puppy under a good diet and making sure he has nutrition, this will also help with his or her exercising. Your labs diet and nutrition should be kept up as they get older because it’s important for them to stay healthy. Every puppy nips and chews on things and the best thing for you to do is to be understanding. Puppies do not know right from wrong and good training commands will help your Labrador know not to chew on your furniture or nip on your clothes. In our previous blogs we talk about how to crate train and potty train our Labradors. Treating your lab well and showing him lots of attention makes a big affect on their life as they get older. If you are interested in a trained Labrador puppy we have White Labrador Puppies, and Fox Red Labrador Puppies available that will be ready for Christmas time. To find out more about building a dog’s life you can go to

Keeping your lab warm in the winter

During the winter is when you realize your dog might be cold. It is also the time when you are buying them new blankets and beds for them. It’s important to keep them warm because you don’t want them to get sick. Our dogs are our number one priority and in this blog we are giving you good tips about how we keep our dogs warm. All of our Labradors have a nice area to sleep and they each have their own dog house. For our puppies we keep heating lights over them when it is cold. It’s important for our puppies to be warm because they’re not as developed as the older dogs. You can also get a sweater for your dog to keep warm. Allergies are big in the winter for dogs and also humans, keeping your lab in a safe place where they will be warm will prevent them from getting sick. You can also Increase your labs calorie intake during the winter, according to the American Kennel Club. Extra calories help the dog maintain its body temperature during cold weather. In winter is when your dog will begin to shed the summer coat and grow a winter one. To stimulate new healthy growth and provide for robust skin, it is imperative the coat be brushed and combed daily during the shedding season. We brush our Labradors once a day everyday to make sure they always have a perfect coat. This blog is important in winter time because we don’t want our dogs to get sick and at Susana Labradors we care for all of our Labradors and Labrador puppies. If you want to find out more about the tips you should know in the winter time you can go to

The best way to groom your Labrador

Most of our frustrations about having a dog are that they shed. For example they may shed on your couches or beds and fur can get in the cracks of your house. Your Labrador is going to shed whether you like it or not but there are ways to help them not shed as much. Brushing your dog daily can be one of the many causes of why your Labrador sheds. It is important to brush them every day. You might think that they only need one type of brush but there are several different brushes that you can use to get the unwanted fur off of your dog. You can also go to to see the brushes you should use when grooming your Labrador. It also shows you how to use these brushes and in what order. There really isn’t a big difference in the shedding of your dog in the winter then in the summer. Keep in mind that you must maintain their grooming to keep them from shedding as much. Having a puppy can be frustrating to groom and its important to When your Lab is still young the grooming sessions are probably going to be a frustrating experience. Your puppy will be more interested in playing then sitting quietly to let you groom them. The first step when grooming your Labrador retriever is to train it to sit quietly and enjoy the moment. You will need to be patient and consistent to teach your puppy to behave during its grooming sessions. You need to create a grooming kit for your dog. A small rubber container with a lid is an excellent way to keep all of your grooming supplies in one place. Eventually your Labrador retriever will recognize the grooming kit. The items that should be in your grooming kit are; a bristle brush, wire slicker brush, a narrow and wide toothed comb, toenail clippers, a short haired rake and a pair of toenail clippers. If you are grooming your Labrador retriever daily you won't need most of these items very often, but as long as they are in your grooming kit you'll have them for the times you need them.

Relationships - Pets & People

The greatest joys in life are simple. The wise know that true happiness comes in a squirmy, furry package with four legs and a tail. And just to be crystal clear here, we’re talking about having a Labrador retriever pet. Either a dog or a puppy. At Susana Labradors we offer both. From time to time we retire our young adult male and females already trained Labradors. You can view them by going to our web site and having a look at. But having a pet (because no one really owns a pet, do they?) is just the beginning. We at Susana Labradors want to make sure you get exactly that. Whether it is a Yellow Labrador retriever, or a fox red, or a beautiful black lab puppy.
We make picking out the puppy easy. We are with these puppies since birth and once they leave their mother and gain some independence, we can usually spot a puppy in the group that would match up to your individual needs. By watching them we can determine personiality traits. By filling out our puppy application is a great start, as it will let us get to know you and your family. That way when we spot that perfect match, the guess work is eliminated.
Forged over years of mutual care-taking, afternoon cuddles on the couch, and the simple passage of time, the human-animal relationship reminds us that, well…we’re human. Why exactly is sharing your life with an animal so affirming and rewarding? Let’s find out. We gathered this study from our friends at home again pet recovery. Here’s what we found out.
We’re so _________ together
Several bona fide scientific studies prove that people benefit from their pets in terms of health: stress reduction, lowered blood pressure, mental stimulation, etc. That’s fabulous rhetoric to get your office to endorse take-your-pet-to-work Fridays, but pet people know all that already, and that’s not really what seals the deal.
We asked our community members to tell us about the kind of relationship they have with their pets. Their responses reveal something very interesting:
• Katie from KY, My dog is my heart dog. She does photo shoots, I blog about her, she travels everywhere with me...and I do mean everywhere. (The only exception is the grocery store.) Right now, I have the luxury of planning my life where I can take her everywhere and we can do so much!
• Carrie from CA, My dog is my crazy, amazing, hilarious play buddy!
• Teresa from CA, My dog, Bianca is my bed mate. She is the love of my life, and we understand each other.
• Michelle, CA I love Gracie more than life itself. I bring her to work every day, and she is so well trained and invited and accepted everywhere.
• Michael from NY, I love my little dog. He’s my best friend and my constant companion through thick and thin. He’s always there for me, and I try to be there for him. I try never to take him for granted.
Even though the types of relationships described are as different as you and me, they all point to one thing: Pets know how to bring out the very best in their human companions. Think about it. When was the last time Fido skipped a brisk walk or Fluffy told you to splurge on that second bowl of ice cream? Never. Fido and Fluffy are too busy drawing out that deeply caring and nurturing side of you by willingly offering their care and affection—all the time. From early on in our breeding program, we give our puppies ENS. This helps to stimulate them and get them more acclimated to the real world. Not many breeders understand this age old method, and we are lucky to have done the advanced research which has enabled us to practice this with all of our upcoming litters. To read about this and see the short video Click Here and see this amazing technique that has helped our puppies adapt into society from an early age.
When you get right down to it, pets and people are just anything and everything they want to be, together. We bring out the best in each other, and the possibilities for happiness are endless.
Huggin’ it out, everyday
We wouldn’t be doing pet relationships justice if we didn’t focus on one of the most indisputably rewarding parts: physical affection. No matter how it’s served—hugs, kisses, cuddles, or snuggles—receiving a very special just-for-you dose of daily affection keeps us feeling light, young, and warm all over. It’s pretty mushy stuff, but we’d be lying if we said we didn’t live for it.
Apparently, you feel the same way and aren’t the least bit shy about it. Here’s what our community members said when asked how they show their pets they love them:
• Stacey from IA, Hugs & nose kisses!
• Alex from IL, Treats and belly rubs 24/7.
• SnorkinOrkin from NV, snuggles, and kisses, and treats, and, and, and... ♥ :o)
So if you don’t have a pet…it’s time you improved your life…remember the puppy stage is time consuming to get the puppy trained to your liking, and it requires time and attention and patience. It is not for everyone. But we have a few options for you.. Sometimes a trained Labrador puppy is a bit easier. Visit our training page to see who we are working on and maybe it would be a great fit for you and your family.
We offer both. Trained and semi trained pups. If you think you would like to bypass the entire puppy phase, we offer trained young adults here as well. Be sure to check our site continually, as we post randomly.
Face it, there is never a good time to get a dog…but there will never be. So rather than pass….jump in, let the professionals at Susana Labradors help you select your puppy or junior or adult dog. Get some initial training underway from Susana Labs, and let them board and care for your puppy when you take a trip or a family get away.
We are full service, so we have everything from crates, bed and toys and food right here. We know what products work and don’t. We also offer doggie day care to break up the routine from time to time. So take advantage of all of our great services, and don’t let the little things stop you from being a proud owner of a pure bred quality Labrador puppy or young adult from Susana Labradors.

Five Essential Nutrients for Skin and Coat Health

Keeping your companion animal’s skin healthy and coat shiny can prove challenging. Even though you might already feed a quality food, and brush and shampoo regularly, there’s more to this area of pet care than you might think. Veterinarians will tell you that the condition of the skin can be a good indicator of a pet’s overall health and nutrition status. That’s why wise pet parents should monitor their companion animal for any of these tell-tale signs …
• Dry, flaky skin or a dull, brittle coat
• Oily, foul smelling skin or a matted coat
• Thin coat, excessive hair loss or red, blotchy skin
• Excessive scratching (especially, seasonally)
The skin is the largest organ in the body and requires proteins and other nutrients. It’s not surprising that subtle changes in the amount of nutrients supplied to the skin can have a noticeable effect on its overall condition.

Fortunately, many pets eat complete-and-balanced pet foods that meet the nutrient profiles specified by expert panels and regulatory bodies. However, there are other factors that can lead to nutrient deficiencies. Pet foods that are improperly stored in the home, or in warehouses for many months without climate control prior to entering your home, can have reduced nutrient availability. Deficiencies may also arise when an animal is unable to digest, absorb or utilize nutrients as a result of genetic, environmental or stress factors, or some diseases. Even if your companion animal eats a nutritious diet, her skin takes a backseat to the rest of her organs … in essence, only receiving the “leftovers”. Therefore, I believe it’s important to supplement with additional nutrients, to help your furry one achieve skin and coat health. However, you don’t want to just start adding these things on your own. You can over dose your pet and upset the entire balance and actually make him sick or worsen the condition. Stick to a healthy, holistic product that is all natural and will be absorbed into the delicate system. We recommend Nuvet supplements. They have proven to be the best on the market. You can’t find these in stores as they are made fresh, and can be ordered directly. While you cannot possibly get everything your body needs in just dog kibble alone, it is necessary to supplement.
Here are the top five essential nutrients you should consider for optimal skin and coat health:
1. Omega-3 Poly-Unsaturated Fatty Acids
The importance of balanced supplementation of omega-3 fatty acids cannot be stressed enough. Omega-3 fatty acids play a structural role in cell membranes, help resolve inflammation and are vital for maintaining normal skin structure and function. Omega-3’s are fragile molecules and prolonged storage or improperly balanced vitamin E can deplete levels of fatty acids in food and supplements. Signs that your pet may be suffering from a deficiency of these nutrients include a dull, dry coat and dander.
2. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is an antioxidant vital to the maintenance of skin cell membrane stability and protection against free-radical damage. Also, vitamin E interacts with many nutrients while in the body, including omega-3 fatty acids, to promote optimal skin health.
3. Zinc
Zinc is critical for regulating different aspects of skin cell metabolism. Its presence is involved in skin cell replication. Zinc is essential to the body’s response to disease and inflammation and is involved in the metabolism of another crucial skin nutrient, vitamin A. Signs of a zinc deficiency include: a dull, dry coat; localized redness; hair loss; and scales that appear on the legs, around the mouth or on the eyelids.
4. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is involved in skin cell growth and repair. It is essential to maintain the integrity of the skin barrier and the proper growth of hair and nails. Vitamin A also supports the production of healthy oils in the skin. Both deficiency and excess vitamin A can lead to skin problems such as hair loss, poor coat quality and increased susceptibility to bacterial infections, which is why the correct balance of vitamin A is so critically important in the diet.
5. Vitamin B
The B-complex vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, d-pantothenic acid, niacin, pyridoxine, B12 and biotin) work in concert with the nutrients mentioned above to coordinate energy metabolism and synthetic processes. B vitamins are water-soluble, and therefore can’t be stored in the body. The balanced daily intake of these vitamins is vital to overall health. Dry, flaky dander and hair loss are the signs most consistently associated with B-vitamin deficiencies.
An important take-away from this discussion is that all these nutrients, while each important in their own right, work in concert with one another, and with other nutrients in the body. That’s why it’s incredibly important that these nutrients be provided in a balanced, holistic way. As you can see, some of the deficiency symptoms overlap (e.g., a dull, dry coat and dandruff could signal a deficiency of any or all of these nutrients). I urge you to choose a balanced skin-and-coat supplement, and to work with your veterinarian to ensure that your companion animal is receiving all the nutrients he or she needs to shine. At Susana Labradors, we have found an awesome supplement called “Nuvet” like a one a day, it helps to keep our yellow Labradors, black Labradors where you can spot dander on the fur, and our fox red Labradors coats free of hot spots, and helps boost the immune system of our Labrador puppies. You can read more about this all natural product, lead free on our nutrition and health page.

How to brush your dog's teeth

While many people like the smell of puppy breath, the same can’t be said for “Dog breath”. It’s almost universally considered as eye-stingingly unpleasant. This phrase has even been used as a play-ground insult! While it’s a joke to some, when you look at the science behind foul panting, it’s clear that bad breath is anything but funny.
In fact, bad breath is epidemic, affecting four out of five companion animals over the age of three. Additionally, this condition could be a sign of dental disease, which can lead to health consequences throughout the whole body, not just in the mouth. As some veterinarians have rightly noted, infections of the gums and teeth can spread to other parts of the body, including the heart, kidneys and intestinal tract … even the joints!
Brushing your dog’s teeth and providing them with dental snacks are two ways to help improve the health of teeth and gums, especially in reducing the build-up of plaque. Unfortunately, however, many pet parents find brushing frustrating, which can result in a stressful experience for pets.
Susana labs brushes once a week, but we have heard that every day is more regular for brushing of our Yellow Labradors. Our Labrador puppy’s from the beginning are getting used to regular brushing of the teeth before they go home and this will get them used to it and once the puppy becomes a dog, it will tolerate it. So, start young even though they don’t need it right away, and you will have a great dog that will learn to love it later, once grown.
We use a liver flavored paste, made for dogs as most human tooth paste has aspertaine in it and this is poinous for our canine friends. We put the size of a pea on the toothbrush and in a circular motion scrub each tooth getting as far back as the eye can see. It’s that simple.
All our Susana Labradors, yellow Labradors, black Labradors, and our fox reds all get a tooth brushing and teeth scaling if needed every week. But brushing on a regular basis is a must.

Parenting Emotionally Challenged Pooches

In the last few months, we’ve been besieged with images and stories of destruction, the magnitude of which is difficult to comprehend: Australian floods, New Zealand earthquakes, and most recently the devastating earthquakes and tsunami in Japan. While the loss of human life and the impact on the human survivors makes up the majority of the coverage, we know that many of these people included pets in their families. What are the lasting impacts on behavior of the surviving companion animals? Is it true, as many people believe, that the emotional scars caused by trauma (whether it’s due to a natural event like an earthquake, or an unnatural act like physical or mental abuse) can lead to fearful or aggressive behavior? Just how common is emotional scarring in companion animals? The answers to these questions may surprise you.
The unfortunate companion animals affected by recent environmental catastrophes are likely experiencing what we call “post traumatic stress disorder” (PTSD). PTSD is a recognized anxiety disorder induced by exposure to life-threatening trauma. Widely recognized as a diagnosis for people, PTSD has actually been studied in non-human animals, too. Research has actually shown that the brains of traumatized animals exhibit chemistries that differ from non-traumatized animals! True PTSD, however, is relatively rare in companion animals, developing as a result of a significant life-threatening event or predatory trauma.
If your dog has undergone a traumatic event, there are warning signs of PTSD, which include hiding, loss of house training, barking, loss of appetite and diminished interest in interacting with his human companions. It can also include out-of-character aggression. If your dog ever does go through a life-threatening or catastrophic event, veterinarians recommend providing a safe, secure area such as a crate, bathroom or laundry room, where your dog can get away from noise, people and other pets. Put familiar, comforting objects in the space, such as their own bed, favorite toys and/or an article of your clothing. Try and maintain a consistent routine, especially with regards to feedings, walks and play times. Like the traumatized pets in Australia, any pet that undergoes life-threatening trauma needs safety, a dependable routine, behavioral (and perhaps medical) intervention as soon as possible.
What about fear and aggression in non-traumatized dogs? We already know that true PTSD in dogs is rare, but too many shelter animals have been rescued from abusive or neglectful situations, so it’s not unusual for them to have fear or aggression issues.
Believe it or not, some dogs are genetically predisposed to experience heightened fear. Just as people can be shy or outgoing, dogs show similar personality inclinations. Other dogs will experience fear due to a specific trauma, such a frightening thunderstorm. While some argue that abuse, especially for young dogs, leads to PTSD, what is more likely is that rescue animals are simply poorly socialized during the critical developmental period between 3-16 weeks of age. At this age, puppies undergo a rapid learning process, making it the ideal window of opportunity for socialization. When puppies fail to encounter appropriate socialization during this critical period, they can develop fear or aggression later in life.

Bringing your puppy home

If a puppy is taken away from his mother and litter too early, he may miss out on important behavioral and emotional development stages. Ideally, a puppy can be adopted anytime after 8 weeks of age. If the pup is left at the breeders much longer he may miss out on training. We begin to train our puppies in the crate and leash while they reside here until they find their forever family. This helps in the attitude and Mannering of the puppy so it actually will be desirable to a family and will get the attention and respect and love it will need. Just thrown out to the yard doesn’t help anyone. Especially the dog. They need to feel wanted and need to feel like they have a place to belong. This is what happens eventually once they find a home. But if we at Susana Labradors find a puppy in a litter that is over 9 weeks old without a prospective family..that pup is brought up to the house and lives with us like a family member, until we can find him or her a wonderful home. I think our clients appreciate that. So many puppy mills and back yard breeders are only out for the money the pups bring in. We pride ourselves on the care taken to raise each and every puppy and the way we qualify our buyers so that there is some insurance as to the well being of one of our pups.
At first, you will have to keep your puppy sheltered in your home and yard. Check with your veterinarian to make sure your puppy has been vaccinated adequately before introducing him to other dogs. Usually at around 13 weeks old, about a week after his second vaccination, you may start to gently introduce your puppy to other people and dogs, thereby starting the socialization process. Earlier socialization may be done with screened people and pets to minimize risk of disease spread. Be careful, as there are so many things your puppy can catch that can be life threatening. We recommend that you wait entirely if possible from any exposure to other dogs (other than the ones you own)
Remember, wherever you get your puppy, your first task will be to arrange an appointment with your vet for a health check, to make sure he's in good condition. Remember that a puppy is more than a financial investment; it's an emotional one, too. A little research and some careful thinking now will pay off for the both of you in the future.

Your healthy Lab

Keep your dog healthy by keeping yourself informed. Learn about the warning signs and symptoms of many common dog diseases. You can also pick up a few recovery tips to help speed up the healing process. Choose from the items below to read about a certain disease. All our Susana labs adults and Labrador puppy’s have been pretty lucky so far, but we hear of all kinds of strange things that can happen, and we try to inform everyone so that you can save yourself and your pet some unnecessary frustrations along the way.
Allergic Dermatitis
Is your dog scratching or licking more than usual, or is his skin rough, flaky or irritated? If so, then he might be suffering from a skin condition, and your veterinarian may recommend tests to identify the exact reason. We at Susana Labradors believe in omega 3 fish oil put directly in the food bowl at feeding times. Also we have had great success with the Life’s abundance food and the Nuvet supplements. The Nu Vet supplements have actually healed some of our skin problems over the years.
Arthritis and Joint Pain
Arthritis is a general term for abnormal changes in a joint. These changes occur when cartilage is worn away faster than it can be replaced. Cartilage acts as a cushion to protect the bones. When it wears away, joints become swollen and painful. All our yellow Labradors are put on Nu joint plus supplements from early on as it helps with the development of the joints by adding MSN and Chondriton and glucosamine, to help with the onset of Hip Dysplasia, and the growth of the soft cartilage in Labrador puppies and our Labrador young adults.
Brain Aging and Behavioral Changes in Dogs
It's important to remember that aging is a natural part of your dog's life. And as your dog ages, she may begin to act differently. Aging takes a toll on a dog's entire body, including her brain. This may lead to behavioral changes.
Cancer in Dogs
In many ways, your dog is a lot like you. You both need the basics of proper nutrition and exercise to stay active and healthy. The bad news: Dogs can develop cancer, just like humans. The good news: Dogs have cancer treatments, just like humans. The supplements we use aid in the onset of Cancer, using healing herbs.
Dental Disease in Dogs
Spending a lot of face time with your pooch is a fun time for both of you - until you get a whiff of his breath! Taking care of your pet's teeth can do more than just freshen his breath - it could improve his quality of life. Susana Labradors brushes our dogs teeth often to prevent the dangers of liver and kidney disease.
Developmental Growth Disorders in Puppies
Proper nutrition is the best opportunity to keep your puppy healthy throughout her life. If you start her with good nutrition and give her adequate veterinary care from the beginning, her chances of developing a growth disorder are greatly reduced.
Diabetes Mellitus in Dogs
If your dog appears weak or thirsty, frequently urinates, experiences rapid weight loss, is depressed, or has abdominal pain, she could be diabetic.
Food Allergy and Food Intolerance in Dogs
Allergies aren't fun for anyone, but especially not for your dog who can't tell you what's making him so sick. If your dog vomits frequently, has diarrhea, irritated skin, a poor coat condition or hair loss, then he may have a food allergy.
Gastrointestinal Disorders in Dogs
Gastrointestinal (GI) disorders and diseases affect a dog's stomach and intestines, resulting in pain and other problems.
Heart Disease in Dogs
No matter your dog's size, he has a big heart - metaphorically speaking, of course. He has a personality all his own, he is a loyal companion and seems to know when you need a good laugh.
Kidney Disease in Dogs
The kidneys, the frequently forgotten but life-sustaining organs, remove waste from the bloodstream and regulate fluids in the body. If the kidneys are not able to do their job, the result could be life threatening for your dog.
Liver Disease in Dogs
The liver performs numerous important functions for your dog's body, including the filtering of toxins from the bloodstream. Because the liver works to rid the body of so many different substances, it is susceptible to damage from many different sources.
Serious Illness, Accidents and Surgery in Dogs
Imagine being hurt or injured and not able to ask for what you need to feel better. That is exactly what your dog feels during a serious illness, or after an accident or surgery.
Urinary Tract Disease in Dogs
You already know the food you feed your dog is extremely important in keeping him healthy.
Weight Management in Dogs
How can you tell if your dog is overweight? First, your veterinarian will weigh your dog at her regular check-ups. Between check-ups, place your hands on her side - are her ribs hard to feel or even impossible to feel? If so, she is likely overweight. We at Susana Labradors keep our males and female Labradors on the lean side. An overweight dog is sloppy and unhealthy and cannot keep up with the active family and can suffer serious health risks including death. Exercise in the proper amount and not snacking too much on people food and a serious dog kibble are the best measures.
You can change your pet's life. Start now……visit our nutrition site for a great beginning and get a healthy pup from a reputable breeder from the beginning and avoid all these serious potential health disorders by just buying any pup. Remember you will have your Susana Labrador a long time…longer than you may own your car. So be smart, remember good labs aren’t cheap, and cheap labs aren’t good! References available upon request.

Six Ways to Whittle Your Pet’s Waistline

According to a 2009 study published by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 34 million dogs and 54 million cats are classified as overweight. Sadly, these staggering numbers continue to rise. Just like in humans, obesity is now the biggest health threat to pets in the U.S. Excess weight lowers metabolism, increases appetite and can worsen other medical conditions, such as arthritis and respiratory problems.
If your pet needs surgery, extra fat can make it more difficult for a surgeon to operate and increase the chances of complications with anesthesia. With nearly half the nation’s pet population afflicted with weight issues, chances are you or someone you know has a pet that is affected. Here are six tips to help your pet shed unwanted pounds and keep the weight off for good.
1. Increased Awareness
There are two main causes of obesity in pets: too many calories and too little exercise. Secondary factors can also come into play, such as genetic factors of a given breed or the sex of the animal. A quick online search will reveal whether or not your breed is prone to weight gain. And be aware that neutered, middle-aged and female pets are more likely to have weight issues. Here at Susana Labradors we keep our adult dogs on the lean side.
The discouraging fact is that many pet parents accept their overweight pets as ‘normal’, or deny the problem altogether, making the problem less likely to be addressed.
Weight is not always the best indicator due to individual variation. For example, one Doberman may be trim at 70 pounds and another trim at 90. In addition, a drooping stomach does not always mean an animal is fat, especially in cats. The best way to determine whether or not your pet is overweight is to have your veterinarian do an assessment.
2. Change Your Lifestyle
Let’s face it … far too many Americans lead sedentary lifestyles, and their pets are following suit. It is no secret that we like to sit and eat at the same time, so if we are going to help ourselves and our pets avoid becoming the next victims of the obesity epidemic, we need to get everybody moving more and eating less.
Realize that everything your pet eats has calories – yes, including treats – so you can begin to reduce calories right away simply by providing low-calorie treats, such as Life’s Abundance’s Wholesome Hearts. You can order these through our website, sold by the makers of the food we like and recommend called Life’s Abundance. Go to: and scroll down to the green box to place your order for the right food and healthy treats. Susana Labradors found this food over one year ago, and when you see our Labrador puppies, and Labrador adults, we attribute it to the healthy holistic great food and supplements we give our pets here.
Increasing exercise is good for everybody. Long walks and playing fetch are good ways to bond with your dog, and you can get your cat moving with a feather wand or a laser pointer. Here’s a fun tip: cats love to chase small balls. Throw five or six little balls around and watch the fun … retrieve all the balls at once if you want to minimize your trips across the room. We run our yellow Labradors (which we have most of) in the arena in a group situation so they get the most interaction with other dogs and compete over who gets the ball, for 20 minutes or so, and then we do this again later on in the day.
3. Feed Frequent Small Meals and Measure Amounts
Did you know that every time you eat, you burn calories? The same is true for our companion animals. So measure the food amount for the whole day and divide it into several smaller meals. You can also feed a low-calorie treat or vegetable in between each small meal. It is vital that you measure the food, even if you free-feed. If your pet needs to lose weight, you can reduce portions by 30% without jeopardizing your pet’s health.
Remember that when pets beg for a treat, often what they really want is attention. Instead of a treat, how about a hug or a nice grooming session?
Consider supplementing a cat or small dog’s diet with canned food. Canned food often has a high moisture content, which helps your companion animal feel full with fewer calories. Remember to keep the overall calorie count consistent, even if you change their diet.
If you begin a weight-loss regimen and don’t see any results within two weeks, be sure to discuss other options with your veterinarian.
4. Keep Records
Food journals are not only very effective weight-management tools for people, they are for pets, too. Start by keeping records for seven days, tracking everything that you feed your companion animals. We often don’t realize how much we are really feeding until we see it mapped out.
Remember increase the exercise and feed less food, especially at night when the dogs are less active.
5. Weight-Loss Medication
The FDA recently approved Slentrol, a weight-loss medication approved for canine use. The exact mechanism of this drug remains unknown, but researchers believe that it helps suppress the appetite and inhibit the absorption of fat. If you have tried all other options and still aren’t having success, or if your dog’s weight is putting his health in jeopardy, you may want to talk to your veterinarian about this new pharmaceutical offering.
6. Dietary Supplements
Many hormones can be controlled with phytonutrients. Resveratrol, sourced from the skin of grapes, has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, increase metabolic rate, boost physical endurance and reduce fat mass. Quercetin, found in fruits, vegetables, leaves and grains, has been shown to fight inflammation in obese patients. Leptin is a new hormonal supplement that suppresses appetites and is being used to facilitate weight-loss. Researchers have discovered that diabetic dogs have low levels of leptin, which can lead to overeating. Furthermore, researchers found that by adding leptin to the diet, canine appetites are noticeably suppressed. I caution you to only use these supplements under the supervision of your vet, as the proper dosages vary from animal to animal (for example, leptin can at certain dosages have the opposite effect, actually increasing appetites).
With a little bit of effort, a minimal investment in time and big helpings of love and patience, you can help your companion animal lose excess weight and maximize their chances for a longer, healthier and happier lifetime.
Dr. Jane Bicks, DVM creator of the great food we buy and recommend to all of our Labrador familys.

31 Days to a Better Dog

Start 2011 right with a training makeover for your dog Being a member of the AKC has its advantages. This information was in their recent news letter if anyone has not read it yet, it is worth the read. By Mychelle Blake: Mychelle Blake, MSW, CDBC a certified dog-behavior consultant. PetPartners, Inc the provider of the AKC Pet Healthcare Plan thought the readers of the Barking Bulletin would find the article as interesting as we did. Mychelle Blake the author, graciously agreed to let us reprint the original article in our current edition. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did! As a dog trainer, I often hear owners saying they were surprised to find out how a dog would change their lives. Alisa, from Greenville, South Carolina, tells of her experience with her new puppy, Moka, a Flat-Coated Retriever: "The one thing I forgot about having a puppy is how much time they take initially. She is a puppy, so I knew we would have to train her, and I knew we would have to watch her, but I forgot that I have to watch her closely until she learns what is allowed and what is not allowed. It's like having another baby!" Which is what we at Susana Labradors always tell our new clients interested in purchasing a puppy. Whether it is a yellow Labrador or a fox red Labrador puppy, color makes no difference. They are all time and attention. Sometimes new owners find that the dog they've taken on is a mismatch for their lifestyle. Jeannie Loeb, from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, says excess energy posed a problem. "I found myself having to wake before dawn every morning to walk the dog (not at a leisurely pace!) for about an hour. Then my husband and four children would take the dog for a walk during the evenings. And yet, this was not enough exercise for her and so she was getting into all sorts of mischief at home." But don't despair. With preparation, consistency, and a plan, you can mold a well-mannered pup and brush up on the etiquette of older dogs. Start now! Every interaction with your dog is a training opportunity. Getting Started: When beginning training, it's a good idea to sit down and write out a plan. Tracking daily interactions with your dog can help you to see how you are progressing with basic manners. If you live in a militiaperson household, it can assist with one of the key issues to watch out for in training-consistency! Take your written plan and post it in a common area of your household where everyone can see it-on your refrigerator, on the family computer, or even above your dog's bed or crate. Make sure all family members enter their data in the chart. It's also important to take the time each day to discuss progress, such as at the dinner table, or while you walk the dog together as a family at night.
1. Invest in a good set of baby gates and use them to keep your puppy from getting into trouble in your house.
2. Get a variety of toys for your puppy, but only leave four to five down at any time. Rotate them regularly so your puppy doesn't get bored and try to play with inappropriate objects-like your shoes!
3. Begin crate training. Aside from helping with house training, having a dog who is comfortable in a crate can be a real asset. Crate-trained dogs are less stressed when they need to be confined due to an illness or during transport.
4. Start looking for training classes now, especially those leading to the AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy® or AKC's Canine Good Citizen® program awards. You may find a listing of CGC evaluators and S.T.A.R. Puppy trainers at Also, check the APDT website's trainer-search feature at
5. For multiperson households, create a "cue chart," listing all of the behaviors you are trying to teach and the corresponding cue words. That way everyone stays on the same page and your puppy will learn faster!
6. Use your dog's bed or crate as part of his training regimen-you can train him to do a "go to bed" or "crate" cue by bringing him to his bed or crate and rewarding him for staying. This is a useful behavior to have when visitors come over, or when you want to eat a meal at the dinner table without your puppy underfoot.
7. Have you "puppy proofed" your home? If you have, it's time for a recheck! Review your puppy's access to your household furniture and goods often, as things may change when the puppy gets bigger and more active.
8. Socialization Tip: Visit your veterinary clinic often with your puppy to help him learn that it's a great place to be. Bring a handful of treats or a favorite toy with you, and have the puppy meet the staff.
9. Food-stuffed toys are a great way to keep your puppy occupied while you are busy. Fill the toys with kibble and other treats, or even regularly feed him his breakfast and dinner through these toys.
10. Reinforce the four-on-the-floor rule! While it's cute now for a little puppy to jump up on people, this will quickly get annoying as he gets bigger, especially with medium and large breeds.
11. Get your puppy used to being handled right away! Gently play with his paws, ears, tail, head, and body while rewarding him with treats or getting to play with a favorite toy. A dog who is comfortable being handled will find veterinary and grooming visits much less stressful.
12. If you have children in the house, make sure they understand how to play properly with the puppy; don't allow any "roughhousing," which can increase mouthy and nippy behavior.
13. Socialization Tip: Visit dog-friendly stores with your puppy. Some businesses that typically allow dogs include home improvement stores, garden nurseries, and of course, pet-supply stores.
14. Teach your dog the "name game"-call your dog's name in a happy, excited tone of voice and reward him when he looks at you. Wait until he is no longer paying attention, and repeat. This game teaches your dog to pay attention to his name.
15. Vary the rewards. Every dog is different, so have the family make a list of what your dog enjoys-try to use a mix of food and non-food rewards, such as toys, praise, brushing, or getting to go outside. Every dog's list of "favorites" will be unique.
16. Socialization Tip: Many coffee shops and restaurants with outdoor areas allow you to sit out with your dog. So enjoy an outing and latte with your pup.
17. Use feeding times to train the sit and wait commands. Ask your puppy to sit before you place his food bowl down, and ask him to wait before you allow him to walk over to the bowl to begin eating.
18. Choose a marker signal. A marker can be a sound, like the one a clicker makes, or a word such as Yes! Pair this signal with a treat, toy, or other reward. Eventually when you phase out the reward item, the dog will understand that the marker signal means he did something right.
19. Start teaching your puppy to walk on leash right away-without the leash! Practice in your backyard off-leash by keeping some treats in your hand by your leg, and rewarding your puppy for walking close to you. Gradually work up to hiding the treats and rewarding your puppy for voluntarily following you closely.
20. Get your children involved with tricks training. Tricks are fun and low stress since they are not among the critical skills a dog needs to know.
21. Socialization Tip: Visit local parks where you know children will be. Even if you have children, the more children your puppy is exposed to, the better. Find parks with a variety of people, sights, and sounds for your puppy to get used to.
22. Make sure everyone is aware of attention-seeking behaviors, such as whining, jumping up, barking, pawing, licking, nudging, pushing, and even stealing. Your whole family, particularly children, should be aware of these behaviors and know to ignore them.
23. Are there toddlers in the home? Teach your puppy to do a down-stay whenever your toddler is in a high chair. You can even teach your toddler to give the hand signal for down or sit and toss the puppy a treat.
24. Teach your puppy to target your hand and teach this to your children as well-this way the dog learns that when he greets people, he is positioning his head by their hands, rather than by their heads.
25. Socialization Tip: Choose puppy classes over dog parks. You don't have control over the kinds of dogs at a dog park, and young puppies might find the activity overwhelming. Another alternative is to find friends who have dogs with good temperaments and arrange play dates.
26. Encourage your puppy to learn to settle. If there is nap time in your household for the children, it should be nap time for the dog as well. Offer the puppy a food-stuffed toy or a chew in the crate or on a dog bed. This reinforces calm, quiet behavior.
27. Housetraining troubles? Make sure you are monitoring your puppy's intake of food and water, and exercise schedule. Most puppies eliminate right after they eat, play, and wake up.
28. Is your puppy getting enough exercise? Every puppy has different needs so research the energy levels of your dog's breed or breed mix. In addition to walking, exercise may include throwing a toy in the backyard and teaching fetch.
29. Cement the "recall" or come command through games. Play "round-robin recalls" by having different members of the family call your puppy and as the puppy comes to them and is rewarded, have the next person call, and so on. You can also play "hide and seek" in your house or yard and reward yourdog for finding you.
30. Once your dog is doing well with practicing behaviors like sit, stay, and down, take him outside in areas with more distractions to practice these skills. This will help to "proof" these behaviors.Good job! Treat yourself and your puppy by having fun time to build your relationship-go on a hike, play fetch in a park, or visit the pet store to get a new toy and a social visit. Here at our ranch these are the techniques we use in our training camp. You can learn from this and do it yourself at home. If not, let us train your puppy for you and expect a few accidents along the way as they are still quite young...but all of this can be handled from the beginning here and that way it is more enjoyable for you as a pet owner.