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Southern Oak Kennels Headquarters
403 Hawkins St, Okolona, MS 38860

Labrador Health

Labrador Health

Our British Labradors excel in the field and in the home!

At SOK, we strive to breed British Labradors that will exhibit natural hunting ability, calm temperament, and excellent health. We believe that genetic health testing is a helpful tool that can be used to protect and improve the Labrador retriever breed. We closely examine our breeding stock’s hips, elbows, eyes, and DNA before entering our breeding program. These tests are done in order to give our very best effort in producing healthy puppies. That said, it is impossible to “breed out” dysplasia and cataracts, etc. A health guarantee is our way of putting our best foot forward in ensuring that you have a Labrador who is able to carry out the lifestyle and hunting expectations you have for your future puppy.

Our Labrador puppies are guaranteed to be non-affected by Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), Centronuclear Myopathy (CNM), and Exercise Induced Collapse (EIC). Our puppies’ hips and elbows are guaranteed a passing OFA score (normal elbows – fair, good, or excellent hips) for up to 30 months. Eyes are also guaranteed up to 30 months to pass a CERF eye exam.  If any dog should fail to meet any of these guaranteed health qualifications, please contact us as soon as possible, and a credit will be given for the value of the original puppy toward another puppy, started, or finished Labrador from our kennel.

Please note, our replacement guarantee is toward a replacement puppy or trained dog, NOT a refund. This replacement credit does not expire. We do not refund money for puppies.  Guaranteed Labradors do not need to be returned in order to receive a replacement.

OUR HEALTH GUARANTEE

GUARANTEED LABRADORS MUST:

Be in possession of the original owner.

If you sell an SOK Labrador to another individual or purchase one from someone other than SOK, the health guarantee for that dog is void.

Be kept in healthy living conditions, not neglected.

This is incredibly important, and if discovered that the Labrador in question has been living in a sub-par environment then the guarantee is subject to being voided.

Be examined by a certified veterinarian, ophthalmologist, or DNA interpretation lab.

Youtube and your friend down the road with 12 dogs is not the expert opinion we will depend on to determine the health of your Labrador.

Not have been neutered or spayed prior to 24 months of age.

If you cut them, we cut you, not literally, just as it relates to our health guarantee.

Not have been bred.

Seriously, breeding brings about an entire new set of potential problems and concerns if done incorrectly. As a result of this there is no way we can guarantee a labrador after it has been bred.

Not exhibit injuries due to trauma.

Finally, it must be stated that we will not guarantee a dog that has endured an injury due to a traumatic event such as if it is hit by a car, abducted by aliens or another event that is outside of the obvious responsibility of SOK. 

Health Guarantee

We closely examine our British labradors to ensure they are the best of the best.

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Genetic Carriers:

SOK guarantee covers affected dogs, not carriers. SOK will not test puppies from a litter with a carrier parent. We believe in breeding great dogs, and we are thankful for many great dogs in UK pedigrees who also happened to be carriers. If your dog is a carrier, he/she will never experience any health repercussions because of it.

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Dew Claws:

As of January 2014 we no longer remove dew claws from our puppies. After owning, training, handling, and hunting dozens of adult labrador retrievers imported from the UK with dew claws intact, not only have we not encountered any problems, but we have seen first-hand the benefits of dew claws. Our dogs are primarily waterfowl retrievers, and we often hunt in extreme conditions. Dogs with intact dew claws have a much easier time climbing from water back onto ice than dogs without them. In addition, new research indicates that there is a correlation between dew claw removal and tendonitis in working breeds. We do understand that injuries are a possibility with dew claws, just as they are with toe-nails, ACL’s, and just about everything else when it comes to working Labradors.

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Veterinary Fees:

Southern Oak Kennels is not responsible for any veterinary expenses without prior agreement.

British Labradors

How we select our British Labradors...

When selecting British Labradors for our breeding program, we carefully examine every aspect of the dog. As a general rule, we do not breed any dog that we wouldn’t want to personally own and hunt over. If a Labrador has an undesirable trait, their offspring likely will, too. There are several non-negotiable evaluations that take place before considering a dog for our program, such as sound hips and elbows, a clear eye test, size within the breed standard, a proven pedigree, etc. Once we have checked all of those boxes, we look at the overall personality of the dog. We want dogs who have great social skills, good drive and style in the field, and a true off-switch when not working. This off-switch extends beyond napping in the kennel. We want to see the dog’s ability to sit behind the line and quietly watch other dogs work without making noise or creeping.

Once we know a British Labrador meets these standards, we evaluate several aspects of field work. We want to breed Labrador retrievers who love the water, have a natural delivery to hand, charge hard going out and coming back for a retrieve, and are able to use their noses to work heavy cover. Labradors who are in our breeding program are team players who love to work together with their handler in the field. Essentially, we only want to breed the type of Labrador that enhances the hunting experience.

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