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Sweet Tea

Our foundation Chocolate female Sweet Tea sitting in front of flowers

Sweet Tea’s Daughter Julie

Chocolate female Julie standing right side picture
Chocolate female Missy fetching bumper in field

Rick’s Retrievers Story

Our journey began in 2014 when my wife and I decided it was time to get a Chocolate lab to have in our lives. in the past we both had labs and we were missing that part of our lives. So we started our search with due diligence to get a female chocolate lab with genetic and OFA health clearances as we knew we wanted to build on a good foundation. our search led us to Oklahoma where we found our precious girl Sweet Tea. she was an amazing dog and I began her training. in 2016 Sweet Tea earned her Junior Hunter title in hunt tests, this same year we bred her for the first time. from this litter we kept our girl Julie. in 2018 we had litters from both Sweet Tea and Julie sadly we lost both of them in December of 2018.

with lots of prayer and reflection we chose to keep a female from Sweet Tea’s litter to continue on. The girl we kept is Brandy and she is an amazing girl.

Chocolate female Brandy standing in the front yard
Brandy in front yard

In 2019 we added our Sire Whiskey, and our 2 other girls Bailey and Derby to our breeding program.

Whiskey sitting in the front yard
Whiskey Sitting
Chocolate female Bailey standing in back yard
Bailey Ready to work
chocolate female Derby Sitting in the front yard
Derby Sitting

Our Achievements

During our journey we have been able to achieve some great milestones. in November of 2020 we received our Official AKC Kennel Name the process to achieve this took us five years and we are very proud of this achievement, we are also recognized as AKC Breeders of H.E.A.R.T (Heath, Education, Accountability, Responsibility, and Tradition). in April of 2021 we became members of the Good Dog Breeder society which is overseen by a group of Veterinarians who developed this society for breeders who choose to do genetic testing and OFA clearances for their dogs. We currently are rated as Excellent breeders on the Good Dog site, and in December of 2022 we achieved Derby’s official OFA CHIC number (Canine Health Information Center).

Our Mission

Our Mission and Vision With our breeding program is to maintain the breed standard while developing a very versatile and moderately tempered bloodline with Genetic and OFA clearances. We have achieved this goal and our puppies have gone on to become hunters, family dogs, therapy dogs, companion animals and nationally certified search and rescue dogs.

Sweet Tea and her training bumpers
Sweet Tea showing off her new bumpers
Male Chocolate Puppy sitting in front of flowers
2022 Male puppy
Dani Female chocolate lab standing on rock by a lake
Dani on the Rock
2014 Chocolate female Sweet Tea with a log
Sweet Tea and her log
Rick and his Chocolate female Sweet Tea and Sweet Tea's first duck
Sweet Tea’s First Duck

Our Hall of Fame Labs

Rick and Sweet Tea our Chocolate lab female with her junior hunter title ribbons
Rick Showing off Sweet Tea and her Junior hunter ribbons
Sweet Tea and her training bumpers
Sweet Tea showing off her new bumpers

Julie Girl and Missy Sweet Tea’s Daughter’s.

Chocolate female Julie standing right side picture
Julie focused and standing
Chocolate female Missy standing in grass
Missy focused on business

Julie and Missy pups

Chocolate Female Dani standing on a rock by the lake
Dani on the Rock
Chocolate female Missy puppy named Renn chilling on the couch
Renn chilin on the couch
The pictures to the left in Loving Memory of our 2 precious girls Sweet Tea and Julie.

Our Tribute 2 our precious girls Sweet Tea (2014-2018) and Julie (2016-2018)

Owner Stories

Dana R. May 2022

I found Rick’s Retrievers through a friend’s recommendation. I had been looking for several months, trying to find a breeder that was doing genetic testing and actively working to breed issues out of the breed. I didn’t want a backyard puppy mill. I was incredibly impressed with what I saw in this program. It’s clear that Rick is dedicated to breeding quality animals that will be great in the field and in a family. Our Annie has impressed us again and again with her intelligence and instincts. The first day we had her she was sitting on command, recalling to her name, and had already learned the routine of cleaning her paws before coming in the house. I’m already recommending Rick’s puppies to everyone I know that’s looking for a great addition to their family.

Eric G. Dec 2022

Absolutely incredible breeder from beginning to end. Very responsive and professional. I even had the chance to take them up on their offer “if you ever need any help…” and they have provided tons of constant advice and training that has been beyond helpful. If you’re thinking of getting a lab from anywhere, look no further. Cannot highly enough recommend Rick’s Retrievers!

Tiffany Gross January 2023

Getting Buckeye was a simple process. There was 3 males available and Rick’s Retrievers let me meet the pups in person and pick the best pup for me. When he came available for pickup the whole process took maybe 30 mins and I got to take him home. Buckeye is so amazing and he gets so many compliments about how friendly he is and how beautiful his coat is! He is very easy to train and has never had a problem with meeting new people and other dogs/ animals. He’s around 7 months now and is a cuddle bug. I’m so thankful to have went through Rick’s Retrievers because Buckeye is the best dog I could’ve asked for.

Buckeye Going to new home
Buckeye good Sit
Tiffany and Buckeye

Anthony Bentz March 2023

Rick is very knowledgeable of the breed and his dogs are second to none. We absolutely love our little Penny and in just 3 days she rings the bell to go outside and potty. Can’t wait to get her out and continue with her training after she’s up to date with all of her shots. I would recommend Rick’s Retrievers to anyone looking for a quality Chocolate Lab.

Mr and Mrs Bentz with their female chocolate lab puppy Princess Penelope Ann
Mr. & Mrs. Bentz with Princess Penelope Ann
Princess Penelope Ann Sitting Pretty
Nap Time for the Princess

Greg & Lisa February 2023

In January we travelled from Friday Harbor, Washington to Idaho to pick up our puppy from Rick’s Retriever’s.
Ricks wife had been a classmate of my husbands and their dogs and testimonials made our decision easy to get a puppy from them. We live so far away that we let Rick pick our little girl for us and to say we are happy does not even come close. She is so smart, beautiful and loving. We could not be happier and are so in love with her.
She is a beautiful, shiny deep brown with incredible green eyes. Her confirmation is gorgeous and she is extremely responsive and very loyal. I take her to work with me every day and she is everyone’s favorite.
When we went to pick her up, they had a new litter and it took every ounce of restraint not to get another dog. Rick let my husband help him weigh the little angels as he is diligent in their care from the moment they are born to when they are adopted. We were able to meet his adult dogs and every age in between, they were all so well cared for, we knew we had a special puppy.
Thank you, Rick and Misti!

Greg and Lisa Truesdale
Friday Harbor, Washington

Greg, Lisa and Renn
Renn Female chocolate lab laying in grass looking focused
Renn Laying in the Grass
Renn Chilling out

Gordon & Ruth Olson and their Girl Coco

I just wanted to give you an update on Coco. In short, she is still very much a puppy but has turned into a wonderful dog and companion for Ruth and I. She loves everyone actually. 

Coco has also exceeded expectations as a bird dog. She is funny but she points the birds as if she is waiting for us to get closer before flushing them. She makes every single retrieve and chases down any birds that were wounded. She s great on the whistle, hunts close moving right to left, knows all of the hand signals and brings each retrieve to hand. Coco swims like a fish and isn’t gun shy whatsoever. 

I wanted to update you because I know that some people may think that if they purchase one of your pups rather than from a breeder / (hunt) trainer they may not be getting a dog that will hunt. I want to ensure you that this dog is field trial quality and is getter better every week on blind retrieves. 

Thank you,

Gordon & Ruth & Coco

Picture of my grandson with Coco after we cleaned some birds.

Some of our Happy Puppy Owners

Camilo and his male chocolate lab puppy Rocky
Camilo his mom and his new puppy Rocky
Camilo with his male chocolate lab Rocky
Camilo and Rocky
Chocolate lab puppy with new owners
Happy Bailey puppy owners
Chocolate lab male puppy with his new little girl
Bodhi with his new little girl
Happy Chocolate lab Puppy Family
Happy new Puppy Owners
The Johnsons with their new Puppy
Kiski girl with her new family
All smiles with the new Puppy
Sam and his Boy Hershey


Here are some of the commonly asked questions puppy buyers have.

What is the process for buying a puppy?

The first step is in our process is to fill out our puppy buyer application so we can get to know you and see if your going to be a good fit for one of our puppies.

Do you have the parents ?

We have all of the Dams on site and one sire on site, at this time we do breed to an amazing outside Sire named Bear who resides with my friend in California.

Can we meet the parents ?

Yes we are Happy to have you meet our parents, and we can do this by appointment prior to puppy pickup or on puppy pickup day. We do have a health protocol in place where we ask you to not have any contact with other dogs prior to coming to our facility, and we have sanitizer for the protection of our puppies and parents.

Do you offer a health guarantee ?

Yes at Rick’s Retrievers we offer a Health guarantee for both Hips and Eyes as outlined in our contract, a copy of which will be provided for your review. Also our puppies receive a Veterinarian Health check at 7 weeks old prior to going home.

When can the puppy go home ?

We send the Puppies home at 8 weeks old. We find that this is the optimal age for the bonding process with their new families.

What transportation options are available ?

We recommend coming to our facility to pick up your puppy. If travelling by Plane we HIGHLY RECOMMEND flying the puppy in the cabin with you. We have had great results with United , and Delta airlines be the most puppy transport friendly carriers. Prior to your pick up date we will email an informational packet that has great pointers on travelling with puppies either by car or Plane.

How do we reserve our puppy ?

In order to reserve your puppy with Rick’s Retrievers, we require a $250.00 NON Refundable deposit. Your deposit places you on our puppy pick of litter list for the litter you choose. If for some unseen circumstance you need to move your puppy pick to a later litter we will transfer your pick to the next litter available.

Recommended Reading

Here are my go to publications for training Labrador retriever puppies

The Complete Labrador Handbook: The Essential Guide for New & Prospective Labrador Owners. This book is a Great Overall book for puppy buyers who have never trained a puppy or for the individual that has some experience with training a puppy. I Highly recommend this book it is a great resource.

Author: Linda Whitman

Water Dog: This is one of my favorite Duck dog training books. It is an oldie but it is still very relevant to todays training. I have trained a lot of Duck dogs with these methods.

Author: Richard Wolters & Art Smith

Tom Dokken’s Retriever Training: This is a modern day book for basic training methods for your future Duck Dog. I personally have this book and it is a great wealth of training information and a great resource for beginner to seasoned trainers.

Author: Tom Dokken

The 10-Minute Retriever: How to Make a Well-Mannered, Obedient and Enthusiastic Gun Dog in 10 Minutes a Day.

This is another great book for the individual who wants to train their own duck dog but time is a limitation. This book will help guide you on how to train a well rounded well mannered duck dog.

Author: John Dahl

Before you get a Dog, You can’t quite Imagine what living with one might be like;
Afterward you can’t Imagine living any other way.

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