Today we’d like to introduce you to Angela Shropshire.
Angela, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Over the course of my life, I have had many dogs. I have had an Irish Setter, a Golden Retriever, a Cocker Spaniel and many Labrador Retrievers. Of all these breeds my best bonding experiences and fondest memories are of my labs. In my opinion, that particular breed has always yielded loyal, affectionate, loving, trainable and personable dogs. This has transcended into labs becoming my favorite breed of dog.
One of the labs I have now, Naya, is the reason why I started breeding dogs. From the time I brought Naya home, she has grown to become a member of our family. Naya sleeps in our beds, watches TV with us, she swims in our pond while we plant in the garden, and she keeps me company in my office when I am working. Naya has also gone on most of our family vacations. All in all, I can easily call Naya my companion. We even talk to each other: in her language and in mine yet somehow, we know what the other is saying. She has specific looks for when she wants food or she wants to play. She has a particular bark for when she is hungry and yet another for when she wants to go outside. I find that she seems to have her own sense of humor, and one that is especially mischievous. As Naya grew up into such an extraordinary part of our family I realized that I had a desire to begin breeding Labradors. I guess in a way, I wanted others to experience what I was experiencing with Naya.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It was very important to me from the beginning that I was doing everything I could to maintain the integrity of the breed and to be taken seriously as a breeder. As an American Kennel Club’s Bred with H.E.A.R.T. program breeder, I have a commitment to ensure the health and well-being of my puppies and that process begins even before breeding. It was essential for me to do a lot of background research within the breeding community as well as an in-depth study of all the requirements that go together with the puppies’ upbringing. It was a learning process to say the least. However, because of my love for my pets, I was willing to take all of the right steps to ensure that this process was done to the highest standard. Breed specific health screenings that include DNA testing for possible genetic diseases, STD testing, orthopedic and ophthalmology exams are all required before breeding can take place to be a part of this program. My overall concern is for the welfare of these animals.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
Retriever Ridge Labradors breeds purebred America Kennel Club registered Fox Red and Yellow Labrador Retrievers. We are a small family kennel located in Cartersville, Georgia on a 20-acre farm. The puppies are raised within our home and socialized with our family during their upbringing. We have established a nurturing and loving home environment that creates a solid foundation for each puppy within the first eight weeks of their life. Our goal is to breed for good temperament, family companionship, and hunting partnerships.
Because our puppies play with their mom as well as other adolescent labs they are able to learn about the roles within a pack. Before the puppies are taken to their new homes they are already familiar with sleeping in a crate, playing in a pen, and exploring outside. They have been potty trained, ridden in a car and been introduced to a variety of scents. These activities help them adapt quickly to new home environments.
I continually receive photos, text messages and emails from the families indicating what joy they are receiving from their new family member. I have received photos of puppies playing in the water at the lake, digging in the sand at the beach, participating in Easter egg hunts, and even being introduced to various farm animals. Those messages bring me so much happiness for these families and their puppies. It is also a bittersweet moment for me because I have been with the puppies since birth and I sometimes get attached. However, I am proud that I was able to raise puppies that connect with their families so well and it encourages me to continue to do so.
- Address: Retriever Ridge Labradors
143 Lucas Lane SW
Cartersville, GA 30120
- Website: www.retrieverridgelabradors.com
- Phone: 770-330-1629
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/retrieverridgelabradors/
Brittany Fincher, CC Photography
Angela A. Shropshire