Iron Spike Ranch is located in the Lakes Region of East Texas,
nestled between lakes Sam Rayburn and Livingston.
We raise high quality Labrador Retrievers of excellent conformation and temperament with sound bodies and a strong retrieving drive.
See our ranch website: http://www.ironspikeranch.com
Jump Start Gun Dog Pups
Puppies that perform water retrieves at 4 months of age?
It's not a fluke - time and time again, our pups are water retrieving
and returning to hand by 4 or 5 months of age. Our secret?
Start 'em young and deeply engrain the desire to 'play' retrieve!
This love for the sport and humans will last them a lifetime.
Our Lab puppies begin "jump start" training at just 3 to 10 weeks old. They build a solid foundation in the basics and are
ready for more advanced training by 4-6 months old.
Our Field Labs
Conformation: The ancestral Labrador Retrievers, also known as the Lesser Newfoundlands, were exported to Great Britain where their hardiness, insatiable love of sport and great trainability quickly won them the favor of many sportsmen. British dog owners crossed the dogs (referred to as 'Labradors') with their retrievers. This was the inception of the field version of the breed, which the British sportsmen then referred to as 'Labrador Retrievers.'
These outcrossings resulted in a taller, leaner version of the breed - which one often sees at work in the field today. Field Labs quickly won acceptance with many American sportsmen because of their abilty to perform and their taller, leaner build which facilitates practical field work. As a result, the field Labrador Retriever has grown in popularity here in America.
We breed field Labs with a focus on big, blocky heads and large muzzles to facilitate proper carrying of game. We also aim for a body style & energy level that can handle challenging terrain & conditions.
Our Quality Guarantees
Temperament: We will never knowingly sell a dog with a poor temperament. Aggressive or overly timid dogs are not acceptable in our breeding program or for release to the public at large.
Guarantee: All of our dogs are AKC registered and come with a health guarantee, temperament rating, training checklist and certified pedigree. Our females OFA 'excellent' or 'good' and our males OFA 'good' or 'fair'. This orthopedic rating certifies that our breeding dogs are free of hip dysplasia - a hereditary condition that when present in the parents, could be passed on to pups.
Re-homing: All sales transactions take place via our sales contract which not only requires that our dogs be placed in appropriate homes, but also allows for re-homing in the event a buyer's situation changes to negatively impact the dog.
Initial Training & Socialization
Our labs are ducky dogs who get their initial introduction to field and water games at the ponds here on our ranch.
Birth - 21 days: Training and socialization officially begins when pups attain 21 days of age, but from birth, pups are handled to a high degree. This establishes an imprint to humans that will remain with our dogs for the rest of their lives. Imprinting forms the foundation for a dog's desire and capacity to work for human companions. One trip to our kennels will show our pups firmly bonded to humans by 28 days of age.
The retrieving instinct is encouraged and the desire to perform instilled in our pups beginning as early as 14 days, never later than 21 days.
28 - 49 days: Basic house-breaking and obedience training - "sit", "stay" and "here" is introduced between 28 and 49 days of age. Outings begin at 28 days of age.
35 - 120 days: Field outings with mentor adult dogs occur from days 35-120. Pups begin retrieving games and are introduced to the field and ponds as well as whistle and gun sounds.
Pups are available for sale once they have graduated from our Jump-Start Gun Dog academy. They will have received their full series of vaccinations and initial de-wormings. They will be ready to start on a heartworm preventative program. Before release, all dogs will undergo a final breeder and veterinarian inspection, receive a rabies vaccine and be implanted with a microchip.