Who we are, where we started, how stuff works at Stargate Kennels
Breeding beautiful Chocolate Labrador Retrievers.
Stargate Kennels started as a hobby in 1996. I have had labs all of my adult life and had wanted to breed them for a long time. When we finally aquired a property with acreage, I knew it was time. My wife got to do her Quarter Horses, and I got to have my chocolate lab puppies. I built the kennel that existed only in my head up to that time, an insulated concrete block building, with air conditioning, electric heating, and water, cool in summer and warm in winter. I planted an elm tree in the kennels "backyard", poured a "patio" and built 4 separate inside/outside dog runs and 2 puppy pens. Since then the tree has grown to 30+ feet high and just about as wide putting the backyard and patio in deep shade. I installed a travel trailer in the "front yard", turned it into an office and planted more trees. Future plans call for a pond for my waterdogs, but for now they make do with a couple of large plastic wading pools. And of course, I built and maintain the website myself.
My hobby has grown rather unexpectedly, due to some unforseen cirumstances. The website has been sucessful beyond all expectations, and with only 3 females I never had enough puppies and I was having to tell folks that we have no puppies and none expected soon. (I actually had a form letter I emailed to that effect.) Then folks who had previously purchased puppies from me started to ask if I could help with breeding them. One thing led to another, I offered to provide stud service, and sell their puppies from my website, and suddenly a kind of cooperative was born. Now, the majority of my puppies are born to dames belonging to my friends and customers, they spend their early puppyhood being spoiled by moms and dads, and kids, and cousins, and neighbors. Puppy pens get set up in kitchens, living rooms, back porchs, garages and the puppies are the center of attention. What we have is the best of home breeding but with a controlled breeding program.
In 2001 I began to offer nationwide personal delivery for most of my litters, mainly because I just have a hard time putting a little puppy in a crate in the belly of an airplane. I do still ship by air once in a while, (I prefer Delta Pets First) but most of the time I show up at your door and hand you your puppy, pass out advise, answer your questions, and kind of get to be "Santa Claus with puppy dogs", which is very rewarding. Many folks ask to visit the kennel and see the puppies in person, and that's just fine, but there are not 20 dames and puppies all over the place. Anyone is welcome to come visit Bud and Rosie and Babe and Missy, and little Krystal, and the occasionl litter I get to have here all to myself, just call or email to be sure I am here, as I seem to be travelling quite often these days :o).
Finally, I offer boarding services, but only to folks who have purchased a puppy from me. If you live close enough, and just aren't comfortable with your local boarding kennels, call or email and I'll board your puppy for you while you are gone. I find this actually quite enjoyable, getting to see and play with my puppies when they are older. I get to see how they turn out! I can also offer hunt/retrieve training by Jim McBride, my Minnesota hunting/fishing fanatic friend who owns Gunner, Cocoa and Ashley. He is an excellent trainer, both Gunner and Ashley are acomplished retrievers, and he has a year old female, "Kiss", who is absolutely astounding in her abilities.