Featured Breeder: Cooperslane Kennels

Periodically, we run a guest blog that we call “Featured Breeder”, featuring breeders we have met who breed dogs we have met who really impressed us!  This time we are pleased to feature Brian and Valerie Cooper,  of Cooperslane in Arthur, On.   We have met many of their puppies in our classes, and we have yet to meet one who was not an exemplary member of his breed.

Image Tucker is a beautiful example of a Cooperslane Labrador puppy!

We (my husband Brian and I) breed CKC registered Labrador Retrievers in all three colours; black, yellow and chocolate.  I love the breed because of the intelligence, loyalty and trainability.  Labs are the #1 breed for a family dog.  All our puppies are CKC (Canadian Kennel Club) registered.  They are vet checked, dewormed four time, microchipped, insured against accident and illness for the first six weeks in their new home and all puppies are all temperament tested

The biggest draw back to living with this breed is their need for exercise and stimulation.  They get into trouble if they aren’t properly exercised and because they are such a smart breed, they can quite often ‘out think’ their owners.

Our labs are very often used for Service Dog Organizations.   We work closely with Autism Dog Services out of Cambridge.   Just weeks ago we were invited to a graduation and we were very proud that four out of the six dogs that graduated were Cooperslane labs.

ImageSome Cooperslane dogs have gone on to careers as service dogs!

In the past I have tried Confirmation Showing but it just wasn’t my cup of tea.  I then tried obedience and found that very enjoyable.  Through this obedience training I came to work with, at one time four different Service Dog Organizations.

We hope new owners will first and foremost have their labs as a big part of their family.  We really encourage obedience training as soon as possible after picking up their pup.  If our owners want to try obedience, show, therapy dogs or field trials that would be wonderful but first we just want them to part of their family.   There’s nothing better than sitting on your porch with a cup of coffee and your lab by your feet enjoying the end (or any part) of the day.

People considering one our labs must be aware of the time commitment in raising a puppy, especially the first year.  Its a lot of fun but there are also LOTS of moments of pure chaos.  A huge amount of training and exercising goes into making a good companion dog.  Plus families need to realize it’s a long term commitment.  These dogs are not disposable.

We really encourage crate training and getting the puppy into a qualified training facility as soon as possible.  Plus, I’ve found the more you read and prepare yourself for the arrival of the puppy the better.  When families visit here for the first time they are given a video outlining the basis knowledge for when you first bring home your puppy;  how to start the housebreaking, how to begin crate training, how to deal with the nipping and biting, etc.   Then when the litter is six weeks of age we also email the families with reservations our ‘Cooperslane Puppy Package’.  It’s about 40 pages we put together over the years with information we feel is important for the families to have before they bring home the puppy.  The better prepared you are before the pup joins the family the easier it is to deal with issues that will arrive.  We also give suggestion of other books and literature to read.

ImagePuppies need to live with their families in the house.

We look for families that will give our puppies a nice family environment.  Our dogs are not meant to be tied to a doghouse.  They crave human contact and will give back lots of love and affection.  We do suggest to families with small children to step back and make sure their child can handle adding a puppy to the household.  Small puppies treat young children as their littermates and therefore can traumatize a child.  They only way pups first know how to play is with their mouth so there is a lot of biting and nipping which can really hurt.  The puppy needs to be taught how to play properly and it’s hard for a young child to grasp that.  Plus the new families need to realize their children being used to ‘dogs’ is not the same as their children being around ‘puppies’.   In the first initial correspondence I have with the families, I caution families with young children.

To live successfully with the breed is to know going in that the time comment can be huge especially the first couple of years.  Lots and lots of exercise and lots and lots of training. (A tired dog is a good dog).  It takes dedication to have a good companion dog.

Also families need to realize the financial commitment to having a lab (or any dog).  Labs LOVE to play and they play rough.  They think they can do anything and sometimes they injure themselves.  Labs also love to eat… EVERYTHING!   Those vet bills can be brutal.  We always encourage families to consider carrying health insurance on the dogs and offer several websites they can research.

As most of our litters are sold before they are born or shortly after we invite families to visit.  That is for our peace of mind but we also realize families need to feel comfortable with us, to check out our facilities and meet the dogs.

ImageThe Labrador needs a lot of attention and exercise to grow up to his full potential.

We put pictures of the puppies on our website (starting on the Monday following their birth) and update the photos every Monday afternoon. This allows the new puppy owners to see the growth of their new family member right from “day 1”.  Lots of our new puppy owners have a scrapbook of pictures even before the puppy is taken home.  When the puppies are four weeks old we invite the new owners to come for a visit and a cuddle.

We have a ’48 hour wait’ period here.  What this means is that if, when you visit the kennel, you fall in love with a pup that is eight weeks of age or older, you will not be able to take the pup home with you that day. As mentioned above, most of our pups are sold well before they are eight weeks of age but sometimes families have to back away from a reservation for personal reasons.  When this happens, that pup becomes available.  The families interested in that 8 week old pup are asked ‘wait 48 hours’ before picking the puppy up.  This, we feel helps eliminate impulse purchasing of a puppy.  Plus, it gives you time to prepare for the puppy (crate, food, dishes, chew toys, etc.)  We also like to email our “Puppy Package” to the families to read BEFORE they pick up their pup.  We like the families to know about our ’48 wait period’ ahead of time so they aren’t disappointed that they aren’t able to take the puppy home with them that first day.

We do have a website that update constantly.  Please visit us at www.cooperslane.com  plus we have a Cooperslane Kennel Facebook page.

Featured Breeder: Cooperslane Kennels

10 thoughts on “Featured Breeder: Cooperslane Kennels

  1. Nicole S says:

    We met Valerie and Brian in mid November when we visited Cooperslane to be sure they were the right breeder for us. We left very impressed with them and their beautiful dogs and quickly got on a waiting list for our choice of up coming litters. Since then we have done extensive hours of research and prep, asked Valerie about 1000 questions, each met with a thoughtful response, and enjoyed the exciting photos and updates about our pup! I can tell how dedicated and caring they are towards their dogs and clients by the care given to potential owners, how healthy and loving their dogs are, and the time and effort they put into placing the pups. We have really enjoyed our visits and interactions with Cooperslane and highly recommend them if you are considering a lab puppy for a new family member. We are finally picking up our puppy on Saturday, and we are very glad to have Valerie and Brian’s support through the puppy stages and beyond!

    1. Congratulations on your new addition! If you are in the region, get in touch and we can add you to one of our Every Puppy Deserves Puppy Classes next week! We also have a FREE Puppy Play Group you can join. We believe so strongly in the match between good breeding and early training that we offer puppy classes for free for pups of the right age. You can reach me at sue@dogsinthepark.ca for more information.

  2. Our 2 1/2 year old yellow lab came from Cooperslane, as did my parents 9 year old black and their chocolate who unfortunately isn’t with us anymore. They are amazing family dogs, for kids and adults. Cooperslane truly does care not only about the health and happiness of their dogs and pups but also the adjustment and life of the pup/dog within the family. Going through their “adoption” of a pup is treated like a true family member being adopted into your family. Our dogs have always been a part of our family and always will be! Cooperslane truly cares!!!

  3. Vicki Kuula-Ross says:

    We lost a very special part of our family 2 years ago and it was so painful to have to say goodbye to our beloved Golden Retriever Sally. I vowed I would never go through that pain again. That vow lasted 10 months. Our home just wasn’t right without a dog. So as a family with 2 pre teen boys we set our seeking the perfect dog for us. We were so happy when we discovered Cooperslane Kennels. We were so impressed with our tour of the Kennel. The dogs were extremely well cared for, clean and well mannered, not to mention Gorgeous. Valerie and Brian are a wealth of knowledge when it comes to this breed and they were more than helpful. We picked up our boy a year ago and after a lot of hard work, dedication, patience and tonnes of love and understanding we have a Beautiful Black Lab. He is so loving an devoted. (he still gets into trouble however when he hasn’t had enough exercise). We have all taken a role in his training and we all share in his care. With 4 walks a day this fella can settle down nicely at night and he really loves to curl up in your lap if given the chance. We love this dog so much, I never thought it possible. Thank you so Much Valerie and Brian

  4. Just wanted to point out that the Cooperslane link at the bottom of the article is wrong. It’s missing the s.

    On a different note: I got my 1st dog from Brian and Valerie. Great people, amazing dogs. MacKenzie has such a nice temperament, and I’ve been learning a lot from her these past 7-8 months. I can’t imagine my life without her.
    I don’t know if it’s true of all Cooperslane labs, but MacKenzie really really craves human touch. She does the cutest things, like leaning against my legs when I’m cooking in the kitchen 🙂

  5. Tisha Koebel says:

    When we went to meet Valerie and Brian we were still reeling a bit from the loss if our 13 year old black lab. No matter what anyone says, it doesn’t hurt any less if your dog passes when it’s “older”. We were impressed right from the start. The kennel is clean, gorgeous and well organized. Brian and Valerie are approachable, knowledgeable and will answer any question you have. Long story short, we picked up our beautiful black lab in Aug 2013 and have been so pleased with her. She embodies all traits that make the Labrador such a wonderful family member. I can’t imagine Calypso not being in our lives, she has surpassed all my expectations. We thank you so much, Brian and Valerie, for doing what you do, yours is to be an example to be followed.

    The Koebel Family

  6. kangy22 says:

    We bought our lab, Vincent, from Val and Brian at Cooperslane. Val was wonderful about answering all of the questions I had about the breed and – just as importantly – asking lots of questions of her own. She seemed dedicated to placing “her” pups with the right people. As a first time dog owner (I didn’t count the dogs I had as a child), it was wonderful to be provided with so much information on adjusting to life with our new family member. Val was great, too, at answering e-mails and phone calls with the questions and concerns I had during Vincent’s first few months with us.
    Vincent has been an absolute joy in our lives. He has an amazingly calm temperament that seems to be a trademark of Cooperslane dogs. We’ve met many of Vincent’s half brothers and sisters at the local dog park and have yet to meet one that wasn’t declared “wonderful” by the owners. I would heartily recommend Cooperslane to anyone considering this breed.
    Now… if only they could breed labs that didn’t want to eat everything 🙂

    As a side note: I have frequently encountered people who speak up about their disdain that we chose to buy our puppy from a breeder. Some of them are reasonably polite and content themselves with a “MY dog is a rescue”. Others are downright mean. Most of them seem to think that by buying from a breeder we are (a) responsible for leaving another dog wasting away at the Humane Society and/or (b) some kind of snob, and/or (c ) idiots for spending “so much money”. I think that if more people bought from responsible breeders, there would be far fewer dogs at the Humane Society (or other dog rescue organizations). And the cost of buying a dog from the breeder (not much more than the latest Xbox plus a game or two) is NOTHING compared to the cost of vet bills, food, toys, equipment, more toys, more vet bills, boarding while on holidays, more toys… I’ll jump down from my soapbox now 🙂

  7. Helen Fotiou says:

    my husband and i visited 5 other breeders before we met Valerie and Brian. We were impressed with their kennel, their hospitality and their knowledge and concern for the breed. We cannot express how much we were satisfied with our overall visit and the steps we had to take to be put on the list. We finally became pet parents to a gorgeous yellow ( he was more white ) who we named George. He is now 7yrs old and still full of life. He makes us happy and fills our days with smiles, laughs and lots of love. We highly recommend Cooperslane for their love and understanding of the breed. They are very well known and we have met many many dogs from Cooperslane. They have a distinct look and when you see one walking with its owner you will know it a COOPERSLANE PUP.

    Great work Valerie and Brian

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