About Summerland Labradors
We are the Bunker family and we love Labradors.
Why Did We Choose Labradors?
We adopted our first Labrador Retriever many years ago - her name is Belle and she is still with us, although now retired from breeding. This amazing dog easily won our hearts and changed our lives forever. We discovered the wonders of the Labrador breed through Belle's daily demonstrations of intelligence and enthusiasm; she loves people and is great with our kids. While we have always been dog lovers, had many of them growing up, our experience with Belle made the decision that for us: Labs are the ideal breed of dog.
Labradors were originally bred and selected for their willingness to please and work for humans. We appreciate that Labs are so versatile. They make excellent family companions - happily accompany you on walks, keep your children safe, reassure the awkward teenager, accomplish daily chores on the farm or ranch, and still ready for the occasional hunt.
Labs are used extensively for search and rescue. They are the eyes for people who cannot use their own. As therapy dogs they give comfort to the infirm. They are service dogs for people with debilitating conditions (one of our puppies recently became a seizure response dog). The intelligence of Labs and their ability to be trained for these jobs is truly remarkable. Their unselfish devotion to humans fills our hearts.
The growing years:
Summerland Labradors training and breeding philosophy has evolved throughout the years. We realized early on that specific objectives were needed to develop our ideal in the Labrador Retriever world…one dog for the field and family, as well as the show ring, agility, rally, and more. With our present breeding program, we are producing outstanding Labs that show a tremendous amount of natural desire, are enthusiastic retrievers, yet have calm, stable temperaments with unsurpassed trainability. We try to pair sires with dams that will complement each other and produce litters with these desirable traits.
Once the pups are born it is not over. We invest countless hours evaluating the puppies in order to place them in the right homes. During the first weeks, we work to give the pups a solid base that will carry over into their later life, including specific intelligence enhancing exercises. Breeding is very important, but the management, nutrition, nurturing, and training complete the Labrador Retriever's needs.
Occasionally, over the years, we have seen a well-bred pup become a mediocre adult due to lack of proper care and inadequate socialization. While we are responsible for the breeding, whelping, and the first eight weeks, the new owners are responsible for the next fifteen years. In an attempt to bridge possible gaps, we make ourselves available to guide and counsel the new owner, not just the first few days, but anytime during the dog's life.
Where we're going:
While all puppies are adorable, we want our Labs to grow into exceptionally handsome adults. This means that we will continue our best efforts in producing pups that conform to the highest American Kennel Club standards and display vibrant health and soundness.
Our focus will continue to be on the English-type Labradors - black, yellow, chocolate - breeding for show, obedience and agility competition, hunting, therapy and service dogs... and most of all, wonderful, easy-to-live-with, family companions. We want nice calm dogs that are both competent in the field and comfortable on your couch. This will always include OFA certified hips and elbows, and annual eye CERF certificates; puppies selectively bred, well socialized, and blessed with that wonderful devotion and "you walk on water" temperament.
Over the years, many things have changed at Summerland Labradors, but one thing will never change - our love for Labs. The Labrador Retriever is truly the dog for all reasons and all seasons.