Please don't purchase a dog from Pinyan Labs. We did, and it was a terrible mistake. Our 3 year old Silver Lab that we bought from Pinyan, had to be put down two days ago.
Our dog, Ruger, was not right from the start. We picked him up from Pinyans when Ruger was 6 weeks old, and we weren't allowed to see the kennel area, our pup (we really weren't sure that it was the pup we agreed on or not, Ron said it was) was put into an enclosed trailer parked in his driveway, so we did not see the breeding conditions. On the way back down to St Louis, our pup had diarhea and kept itching like he had fleas. We had him checked at the vet, he had worms and ear mites and fleas. Ruger had digestive troubles for over a year. We had the hardest time potty training him, and we own a number of labs, right now 2 rescue labs, so we are VERY familiar with labs and how to train them. One other weird thing we noticed immediately when we picked Ruger up, was that he was extremely independent, he didn't cry for his siblings, or wimper, almost like he had been away from his mom and siblings for quite some time. We were amazed at this the first night that we had him.
Ruger was so unlike any other of the labs we have had, entirely different behavior pattern, which most labs are very similar. He was an aggressive dog from the start. For two years, Ruger had ear infections. Routine visits to the vet to get meds were often, and Ruger's ears were never clear, it was like the infection never went away, just subsided a bit. Ruger's hair would thin in patches, and he always had a very dry type of fur, again, uncharacteristic of labs which usually have an oilier coat for water. We tried numerous types and brands of foods, even the canned food from the vet. Nothing improved. After about a year, Ruger's eyes were not straight at times, almost slightly cross eyed. Visitors noticed it immediately and commented on his weird eyes.
As Ruger got older, his aggression increased. Our other two labs are docile, and very laid back. Ruger was constantly on the offensive, and could not relax, even with the other dogs. Ruger also developed weird habits, such as putting his mouth on a pillow from our couch, and he would literally sit in one spot with the pillow in his mouth, as he would enter into a transient state and huff and puff for an hour at a time. Ruger also seemed to have a form of severe ADD. He would do things like tip over our trash can, I would scold him, and within two minutes he would be back in the trash can, he could just not keep a focus on anything for more than a minute or two.
Well, I can go on and on, we have had so many behavioral and health issues with Ruger I could make a much longer list. However, Ruger was part of the family, and we loved him. We considered him to be a special needs type of pet, and accepted him as such, but all along, we could not figure out what was wrong with him, neither could the vets (they mentioned possible breeding problems). Over the last 6 months, Ruger's near vision became very poor, he could not see a snack when I tossed it to him, he then had to sniff the ground until he could find his treat. And we suspect that this is part of the reason that he became more and more aggressive in time. He was mostly blind at times, for things close by. He literally would have his hair up on his back, nose curled back showing his teeth like a wolf, growling and snarling, right as he would enter attack mode, just for someone walking by on the street, or when he heard the garage door go up or down. He bit at one of our small kids during Thanksgiving one year, again, in attack mode, something that I have never witnessed from the dozen or so other labs that we have had.
Unfortunately, Ruger's aggression and behavior, forced us to put him down recently. The neighbors called the police to report that Ruger had escaped his buried fence, and was fighting with their animals, and the neighbors were fearful of Ruger because he would advance towards them, once again in attack mode. We knew that Ruger had problems, but when the safety of others came into play, we were forced to put him down.
We always questioned the quality of breeding at Pinyan's from day one after picking up Ruger. There was a nervousness of Ron that we could not explain, it gave us a strange feeling about the entire situation, then after we realized that Ruger was not right, we more understood that Ruger was just a product of a puppy mill type of operation, that fronted itself as a professional, caring breeder. Right now my wife and I are grieving over the decision that we were forced to make to put Ruger down, and I am writing this in hopes to prevent the torture and inferior lives of future puppies, and spare the emotions of caring pet owners.
I had a gut feeling about this guy, the moment we stepped into his trailer, so did my wife. It was strange. And now we know why. Please don't make the same mistake that we did.