About our Kennel
Quality Labs in Northern California
Marble Mountain Kennels is a family owned and operated kennel that produces about a dozen litters a year. We produce Labrador Retrievers with both outstanding natural hunting skills and well-balanced, personable dispositions. We are located in the northern extreme of California in the heart of the Pacific flyway, where quail and pheasant can still be found in their natural setting with the beautiful backdrop of the Marble Mountains.
What sets us apart from other breeders? First of all, we are not show dog breeders and, although our dogs are certainly beautiful, looks are not our primary concern. We breed for brains and our dogs come from champion working lines. Other working dog breeders choose primarily championship breeding lines without regard for the companion factor. We choose to breed to field champion dogs who possess sweet, gentle dispositions and make great companions in addition to that full-steam-ahead hunting drive. Of course, it's up to you, but we prefer dogs that aren't bouncing off the walls. (Lately we have been getting more requests for super high-energy, high-drive dogs for detection training and they don't necessarily want or need that softer, gentler side, but you'll find more about those dogs at our sister site: MMDetectionDogs.com.) We find that our dogs are easier to train, more pleasant, and just plain easier to be with. Pete calls this high power vs. low key dichotomy an "on-off" switch. We hope you'll come to the same conclusion when you look over our dogs' pedigrees and make your decision regarding adopting a dog or puppy from us.
We strive to produce dogs with the following six traits: 1) superior intelligence, 2) terrific personalities, 3) outstanding hunting desire, 4) natural pointing instinct, 5) superb looks, and 6) proven pedigrees. We would like these dogs to be equally welcome in your home as companions, in your duck blind as a retrieving machine, in the grain field as a pheasant pointing and retrieving partner, or at the hunt test or field trial as a competitor. We are also making an effort, with most breedings, to produce natural-born pointing retrievers.
We hunt over our dogs, and choose to use our labs in both upland and water fowling situations. We are looking for true versatility in the best gun dog breed developed--the pointing Labrador Retriever.
We also believe that you hunt with a dog 30-40 days a year (if you are really lucky), but you live with him 365 days a year. So a gentle disposition and good socialization are extremely important to our breeding program. (For a real job I run a summer camp for kids, so our dogs must be good around adults and children).
People often comment on how attractive our web presence is, but we hope that it is not just a great home page that they appreciate. We work hard to give you the information that will be most valuable in helping you choose your next canine companion. As we continue to develop our website, all of the primary dogs mentioned will have multiple photographs, a pedigree, and a helpful description. When you click on "upcoming litters" you will learn valuable information on the parents, see the puppies’ pedigree, view pictures as the puppies mature, and have a link to our live puppycam to watch these pups eat, sleep and play.
Internet assistance is great, but we also know that for many a big decision like a new dog will often lead to more specific questions and we would love to talk to you about any questions you might have.
About Pointing Labs
Pointing Labs are a new wrinkle in the hunting dog world, and for some the idea of a Lab as a pointer is just too extreme. But, for a hunter like me who wants to hunt it all, and loves the temperament of a Labrador, a pointing Lab is hard to beat. We are aware that dogs bred with superior intelligence, good looks, and a calm disposition will be valuable in many other areas as well. We currently have dogs working as search and rescue team members, military and security bomb and drug detection agents, advertising models, elder comfort dogs, obedience and agility players, members of student projects, and hunt test and field trial competitors.
Pointing Labs have been bred in kennels in the United States for the last 80 years, but have become popular in the last 20 or so. They are, to those who hunt with them, the best of both worlds. They are patient in the blind, love water, and handle cold temperatures well. At the same time they quarter, search out and point sitting birds, but can also flush running birds. They are absolutely deadly on pheasants, quail and all kinds of waterfowl. But please note that NOT ALL PUPPIES POSSESS THE NATURAL POINTING TRAIT. This is due to the fact that we have chosen to emphasize superior hunting ability, intelligence, and disposition above the pointing trait. However, the more generations of pointing in the background, the stronger are your possibilities of getting a dog that points. Many of our litters have 3-8 generations of known pointing Labs.
All pups will have dew claws removed, first shots, and a full guarantee on hips, elbows, eyes, general health, and hunting desire. Your pick in the litter is determined by the date on which your $200 deposit is received. Deposits can be made with the condition that you get either the gender or the color puppy you desire. Deposits are otherwise non-refundable, but can be transferred to a future litter if desired. There is a puppy reservation form that should be filled out by all prospective owners. This form can be reproduced by clicking below and printing out the form. By emailing the reservation form and a copy of your check you can hold your spot for 7 days until your check can arrive in the mail.
Printable Puppy Reservation & Policy Form
Puppy Raising Process
Marble Mountain Kennels is not a large kennel and we are proud of the care that each of our females and their litters are given. Our unique approach in breeding is to place many breeding females in homes where they will be loved, trained and hunted. This process allows them to develop fully as dogs, live a satisfying life. It also gives us a chance to evaluate them in the type of setting in which we intend their offspring to thrive.
Our studs are treated well at our kennel too. They get to run several miles a day, hunt during hunting season, and hang out with their buddies in a nice outdoor area with plenty of shelter from the elements. They each take their turn being "free" around our house, as well, so they can protect our summer garden from deer and ground squirrels or just be loved on by our family.
Marble Mountain Kennels has a state of the art whelping kennel facility to care for our litters. The kennel was designed to allow us to house our new litters in a safe, clean, and stimulating environment.
Finally, we believe that the socializing process is crucial to a healthy puppy. Fortunately, our three daughters and two sons love puppies and play with them daily. But, to insure that puppies get enough interaction when we all get busy, we hire students (or call friends or staff from the next-door Kidder Creek Camp) to come and play with puppies. It's a tough job, but somebody has to do it!
If you are looking for a quality Lab, or know someone who is, call and make your reservations soon. Our litters generally go quickly. Females usually go the quickest. Often more than half the litter is spoken for before they are born.
At five weeks old we mark puppies with colored collars and start to make observations about their behavior. As the puppies approach adoption age we put the pups through puppy profile tests. This allows us to have some clue as to where the individual pups rank with their littermates in a variety of different traits. It also gives us an idea of which puppy will be best suited to which family, since some puppies might be better placed in a hunting family, whereas other puppies might fit better in a non-hunting family. Puppies are ideally adopted out between seven and nine weeks of age.
Loss of a Canine Companion
We understand that about 70 percent of you contact us because you have lost a long-time, faithful friend and member of your family. We know that you're still grieving and that it has taken courage to begin a search for a new puppy. I like what Cesar Milan says about coping with a dog's death and the importance of taking time to mourn and build up your emotional stamina to the point that you can become the pack leader--the boss--for your new dog. The good news is that you are familiar with the time, patience and commitment necessary for owning a dog. You've been there, you've counted the cost, and you're ready to take that next step. Many people call us to share stories of their lost canine companions. Many people get choked up. We want you to know that you're in the majority and you should not be embarrassed. We don't mind a few tears.
Dogs are amazingly personable creatures. They sense your emotions. They're full of such life; each one is so unique in temperament. And, of course, they love their humans unconditionally. They need us and we're not ashamed to admit that we need them too. A new puppy will not help you to forget your loss, but he or she will enhance the happy memories you already have and add many new and special ones to enrich your life even more.
We enjoy helping you, our customers. Thanks to your business, we are able to help others via financial contributions to the following non-profit organizations:
Photos of our Kennels and Facility
Some of you have asked for photos of our kennels and facility. We used to have them on our website and somehow they disappeared after we had our webmaster update our site. We have looked all over for those old photos and can't locate them, so we'll have to take new ones. Meanwhile, a couple of years ago a film crew filmed part of a movie at our place. Julie took a few photos of the excitement and got some shots of our kennels and facility. You can see them below: (By the way, the film is called Redwood Highway and, unfortunately, the trailer doesn't show any of our dogs or puppies, but Connie is the featured mama dogs, if you're interested in watching the film.)