I completely blame Linda and Fred from Happy Labs Kennels for all of this. They are family after all and family are always a good target to blame when you don't want to admit you're a softy at heart. It all started out with Bones, a water loving English Lab who is absolutely gorgeous. We would take him out on hikes, walks, or bike rides and people would always compliment us on him. He really is gorgeous, but it wasn't just his looks that people liked, it is his personality. He will posture and pose with the best of them, but when it comes down to it he is just a nice guy that just wants to be everyone's friend. So Bones won us over and we have never regretted it.
Now of course that is not the end, we decided we needed another Lab because our old beagle and our rescue mix couldn't keep up with Bones, so a while after he turned two we drove down to Salt Lake City and picked up Tempi from Crescent View Labradors. She is a big clown and fits right in with the rest of our circus. Bone's is her best friend in her mind I swear, not necessarily in his but definitely in hers. Now at 11 months Tempi is keeping up with Bones in almost every way. With the exception that while hiking Bones assumes we will catch up where as Tempi makes sure we do before pushing forward.
Then we added one other wonderful girl in our family/pack, which is Andromeda. This is where I get to blame Fred and Linda. So in the not so distant past we received a phone call from Linda. During the call she explains that she could not decide between Phoebe and Andromeda while at Midnightsky's Labradors so she purchased them both and was wondering if we might be interested in one. Of course Mary Ellen is a softy to and gets all excited about it. Now this could of been one of those moments where I as the man of the house could of put my foot down and tried to express my feelings in a no nonsense manner that would of just been ignored but I didn't, grandma raised me better than that. So I kept my pride by not arguing the losing side and went for a drive with the wife and the dogs to meet Andromeda. Thus started what is to be known hence forth as Bear Bones Labradors. So I guess you can say our story is much like many others, we fell in love with the breed; with a little help from Fred and Linda of course, we decided to become breeders. Oh and the name of the Bear Bones Labradors, comes from being in Montana (bear) and our love for that block head Bones. - Brandon Crabtree 2020
Now we are fully committed to breeding beautiful Labradors. We started with great dogs who have Breton Gate linage and we have diversified our breeding lines. Ebony from Winter Valley Labs was sired by a beautiful boy imported from Spain. Winnie and Paddington have Devanley's and Muskelunge linage. In 2021 we brought Bluebonnet in from Texas Star Labradors and she comes from Eastern European lines. 2023 we are welcoming Rosslyn who is a granddaughter to Dickendall Arnold. - Mary Ellen
Well its not a kennel for one, its a home. We are what many would classify as a "hobby kennel", I still say its a home. We are not going to turn out 35 puppies at a time, sorry its just not going to happen. Our dogs are not raised in a barn or in cages, they live in the house with us. They are an everyday part of our lives and so are their pups until they go to their new homes. We believe responsible owners make the best owners.
We are located in Frenchtown Montana, and our aim is to breed calm family friendly dogs that have the good qualities of both pure English and American/English Labradors. Their bloodlines are strong in the areas of show, therapy, and hunting. Every Bear Bones Labrador must pass extensive genetic and veterinary tests before we will allow them to breed. The AKC allows for breeding as young as eight months but OFA will not certify hips and elbows until the dogs mature at the age of two.
Our dogs are all tested for the recommended Labrador panel by DDC Veterinary and PawPrints Genetics. Additionally we test for Copper Toxicosis, which we believe should be on the panel. We also color test, but color is never the primary factor in breeding. For us health and disposition always come first and foremost. To us a dog is a member of the family and as such needs to be cared for as one. We do everything we can to ensure that the puppy you receive is healthy and in good order.
As the primary breeder at Bear Bones Labradors, Mary Ellen works closely with all the dogs to ensure the pairings she selects will provide the best companion possible. - Brandon Crabtree