Litter of nine ‘employed’ puppies steals hearts in N.B.
A litter of nine pure-bred Labrador retrievers has arrived at a New Brunswick veterinary hospital and their futures are already laid out for them.
The two-week-old pups are currently nursing in Hampton, N.B., but in three months they’ll be sent to the fields to hunt like their mother.
Dr. Hugh Baird says Piper, the mother, was imported from England and the puppies are not only unique, but a rare find.
“These are the types of dogs that the queen has, for instance, that they use on the major shoots in Britain,” he says. "The working Labradors are athletes, they're bred for trained ability and to be really sound and agile and they look quite a bit different than what we see in the show ring today."
The breed is known for entering field trial competitions where the canines spend days competing against each other in the woods, hunting birds.
Baird says Piper has also proven to be the perfect family dog. At only two-years-old, her owner, Baird’s business partner Dr. Elisha Dickinson-Mills, says she's surprisingly calm.
“She's a really great, active dog, so you can take her outside and have a lot of fun but when you want her to relax just due to busy life, she's also happy just to lay around,” says Dickinson-Mills.
In six weeks the puppies will be sold for anywhere from $1,500 to $6,000. Baird says some of the pups will be sent to the United States by train and others will be shipped to Nova Scotia. He says once the dogs start competing they could be worth up to $30,000.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Mary Cranston.