A dog with a high play drive, which you can tell by their wanting carry something in their mouth and retrieve it is the best kind. They are easy to train and love to hunt, retrieve etc. You do not need food to motivate them just a ball. I am kind of surprised the Vet did not know that especially about labs. Sorry to here Sadie has an illness. I think you need some guineas to take care of the ticks. I do not think we picked more than 3 ticks off our dogs last year thanks to the Guineas.