Excellence

We realize how big of a commitment bringing a Labrador puppy into your family is. It’s potentially a 15+ year journey of love, connection, protection, bonding and joy. We keep this at the front of our minds with everything we do. We want your experience with us to be EXCELLENT. From the first time you visit our website through “gotcha day” and as your puppy grows into adulthood, we want you to feel that you made the best decision you could on the breeder you chose. For us, our dogs are not a means to an end. They are such a huge part of our lives. We get to spend so much time with them and their well being is of utmost importance to us. We strive to always improve. Improve our lineage, our kennel set up, our website, our interaction with people and of course the quality of our puppies. We thank God for every puppy that is born and pray for the future family of that puppy. We don’t take what we do lightly, we want to do the best we can, every time. We hope and pray that you feel that you had an excellent experience with Michigan Elite Labradors!

Nature vs. Nurture

We have witnessed, time and time again, how informing a family of the nature of a puppy will help them tremendously with the specific training needs of that puppy. All puppies are different. Within a litter of 8 puppies, we will have puppies that have a more assertive nature, puppies with a balanced nature and puppies with a more submissive nature. With proper nurture from their new families, any of those puppies would be the perfect family companion. More assertive puppies require steady boundaries and steady praise/correction. Balanced puppies require an equal amount of praise and correction with consistency. More submissive puppies require a lot of love and cuddles to give confidence to come out of their shell. No matter the nature of the puppy, with the correct nurturing the puppy will be a very balanced and wonderful member of your family.

We have many families in need of a service dog and knowing the nature of a puppy helps us determine the most successful service dog candidates when they are very young.

In order to determine the nature of a puppy, we as breeders have to SPEND TIME with the litter. Hours per day, every single day from the day they are born. It’s the only way to do it right. We give our puppies a lot of time and touches, we know them inside and out by the time they are ready to go to their new families. This helps us be able to let you make a very informed decision when you’re picking out your puppy.

Another tool we use is aptitude testing. When puppies are 7 weeks old, we put each of them through 10 exercises and score them on how they complete each exercise. It’s not an absolute, definitive answer to their specific nature but it’s a helpful tool we use. All of our puppies go through this testing and we’ve found it to be beneficial. It’s called the Volhard Puppy Aptitude Test.

If you choose to get a puppy from us, we’ll make sure you’re very well informed as they grow and we’ll give you specific tips on the puppy you choose to help nurture them into the perfect companion for you and your family.

In Wheeler, MI they were born and raised…

In the breeder world, people lie. I guess that’s true in the world in general, but when dealing with animals who can’t speak for themselves, lying is something we see too much of. One thing you can be sure with us is that we have integrity. Being honest and having God’s blessing are so important to us and we’ll never compromise on that.

It’s come to our attention that there are other breeders are telling people that we buy random litters of puppies and resell them. That’s simply not true. All of our puppies are born right here in our home and raised everyday with us. We have NEVER bought any puppies to resell and we never will. All of our puppies are ours from our lines that we’ve strived for 15 years to always improve. All of our adult Labradors live right here with us too. We hope that clears up any misinformation!

“Pleasure in the Job puts Perfection in the Work”

Recently, my (Steve) Dad retired from working over 40 years on the railroad. As a kid, I remember the phone ringing in the middle of the night several nights per week and then his truck pulling out of the driveway along with all of the other sacrifices he made to provide for his family. He passed his work ethic and the desire to accomplish to his children, both my sister and I are wired in those similar ways.

We held a retirement party for him and on the way home, I looked at Alisha and said, “You know, I already feel like I’m retired. I get to do what I absolutely love everyday and do it alongside my family.” She wholeheartedly agreed and we’ve been relishing in that realization ever since.

We LOVE Labradors. That capitalization is not exaggerated, we really really LOVE them. They are so much intertwined in our lives and we wouldn’t have it any other way. If we had a million dollars in the bank, you’d still find us doing the exact same thing we’re doing now- Experiencing the love of Labradors and helping other families experience that as well. It’s so rewarding!

It’s also so….much….work…. but it never feels that way. Getting up all hours of the night to check on puppies, cleaning, cleaning and cleaning some more, training Labs and grooming and bathing them, along with the countless other every day things we do are just so fun to us.

We’re absolutely blessed to be able to be with our dogs all day every day. We worked, saved, planned and dreamed of the day we’d be able to give our Labs the time and love they deserved and we’re finally here!

Being “retired” is a great feeling and we hope all of the MEL’s out there feel the same way about us as we do about them.

Julie Varchetti

Finding MEL was one of the greatest blessings to our family. We are the proud parents of the smartest, sweetest, most laid back lab, Gracie. Steve Karp and family are incredible to work with and truly care for their puppies and the families who adopt from them. If I could give 100 stars, I would! If you’re searching for a lab, look no further.

Kara Bunbury

We cannot say enough great things about M.E.L. and owner Steve Karp. Steve is very hands on throughout the entire process- sending weekly updates until the pups come home and remaining in contact thereafter. Our handsome male puppy is not only the best looking lab we’ve ever had, but his temperament and personality are both absolutely perfect. Everywhere we go people ask what breeder he came from. We’ve had labs our entire life from various breeders, but we are now and forever will be, a “Michigan Elite Labs” family!

Melissa Koontz

After a tragic & sudden loss from our last Labrador (non MEL) we were on the hunt for another English Lab & came across Michigan Elite Labradors web page. I instantly knew they were the right breeder for us, I contacted Steve and he answered all my questions and concerns before I got on the waiting list (which wasn’t a long wait even tho I was 9th in line). We got many (very cute) updates on our soon to be little puppy. The whole experience was very relaxing & easy going, you can tell Steve & his family put so much love & time into ALL of their puppies. We feel honored to be apart of the Michigan Elite Labrador family!

Jill Price

We were looking for a pure bred lab but were very skeptical about many breeders until we found Michigan Elite Labs. We knew after our first contact with them we found the breeder we were looking for. Stan is 10 months old and we love him to pieces. If you are looking for a pure bred lab you have found the perfect breeder. We couldn’t have possibly asked for anything more with our baby!

Butch Benzenbauer

We are so blessed to have found Michigan Elite Labradors 4 years ago. We live in Central Indiana & drove to Michigan to pick up our gorgeous baby puppy. Our Ruby is smart, loving & beautiful. Everyone loves Ruby & Ruby loves everyone. We would never think of going anywhere but Michigan Elite to get a Lab. Steve & Alisha really care about their Labs. Steve is always just a phone call away if you have any questions. Steve is very knowledgeable about his Labrador Retrievers. In 2015 our Ruby was on the cover of “JUST LABS” magazine. If you want an amazing Labrador puppy check out Michigan Elite Labradors you will be glad you did!

Rich Tota

My family has been extremely happy with our MEL experience. From the first contact with Steve, you are reassured with their dedication to the breed and the MEL family that you become a part of.
It’s said that one of the best signs of a “good product” is repeat customers. We’re proud to be an example of that, with 2 MEL dogs in our home. Temperament, physical health and the characteristics of MEL dogs are perfection. Our 2 1/2 year old and now 8 month old males are amazing dogs and family members.
The added benefit of the MEL owners group is also a great perk. We’ve made amazing friends through the group, which is reinforced each year at the annual reunion.
I would not hesitate to recommend Michigan Elite Labradors to family and friends!