The Labrador Retriever dog has a bubbly temperament and a powerful desire to make people happy. Of course, these big, exuberant dogs aren't for everyone. Before you buy one of these roly-poly little puppies, you may want to consider some of the plusses and minuses of the breed.
This is a powerful, dependable dog. This breed weighs from 55 to 80 pounds and stand 21 to 24 inches tall at the shoulder. These dogs have quite a lot of stamina and can work or play for hours on end. The Lab is known for it's soft chocolate brown eyes and thick, rounded tail.
Their coats can be black, yellow or chocolate, with black Labs being most commonly available. The dense hair of the coat of this dog is almost waterproof.
The breed is classified as part of the American Kennel Club's Sporting Group. These dogs were bred to spend hours retrieving game from areas that hunters had trouble getting in to. These dogs generally enjoys the water, which makes them ideal boating or fishing companions.
These dogs require a great deal of exercise, especially when they are young and full of energy. They do not make good apartment dogs, as they need plenty of room to run and play. A home with a fenced yard is the ideal location for this dog. Even if he has space to play, he may need to go for a daily walk or romp in the park to burn off some energy.
Since this is a high energy dog with plenty of muscle, they eat quite a bit of food. While your puppy is growing up, you may want to feed it food that is especially formulated to help large breed dogs develop healthy bones.
If you are planning to use your labrador as a hunting dog, you will need to buy dog food that contains plenty of protein.
Most make exceptional family dogs and love being around children. Nevertheless, some Labs do not have good temperaments, so, if it is at all possible, be sure you meet both parents before buying a Labrador Retriever puppy.
If your children are still small, you may want to wait until they are steady on their feet before buying a Lab puppy. These dogs can knock toddlers over just by wagging their powerful tails.
Since this is such a big dog, it is important to start training your puppy at eight to twelve weeks of age. Be sure you work with your puppy to keep it from jumping up, as a full grown labrador can bowl people over with an enthusiastic greeting. You may want to take puppy obedience classes to socialize him and get some training help, as Labs can be a bit head strong at times.
The Labrador Retriever needs very little grooming. You should brush your dog once a week to remove loose hair and dirt. Also, you will need to trim his nails when they grow too long. Finally, you will have to check for ticks after your dog has been playing outdoors.
Here, in brief are some good reasons why you may want to own a Labrador Retriever
Labs love human company and would happily pass every minute of every day with their owners.
Labs love outdoor activities. They enjoy nearly any type of outdoor recreation, especially if it requires passing time with their human companions.
Labs are hunting dogs, but can do more than just hunt. After a day spent hunting, the Labrador Retriever can easily change from hunter to household pet.
Labradors will be gentle with your children. This is a major personality trait of the Lab. But don't leave any dog on it's own with a young child.
Labs don't need a lot of grooming apart from brushing and the odd bath. Lab's have a short, dense coat that looks neat with the minimum of maintenance.
If you like working with dogs, Labrador Retrievers have always been working dogs and are happiest when they've got a job to do, no matter how basic.
They have tons of enthusiasm. Labs take ages to mature mentally, so a Lab who seems like an adult to look at, may still be a puppy deep down. Labs retain their enthusiasm for most of their life, so. If you want a dog who will gleefully take part in whatever it is you're doing, the Lab is an excellent choice.
Labs are people dogs. They enjoy working with people, playing with people and just being in people's company. The Lab's good-natured characteristics normally extends to friends, neighbors and anyone they meet
They are very energetic and have boundless energy. You'll probably tire out long before your Lab does.
You want a dog who's tough and athletic. Labs are not known for being careful and refined, but for their boisterous high spirits. They are bred for hard physical work so the Lab is well furnished to manage the rigors of even the most dynamic family.
They are the positives, but before you commit to owning one, here are some things you should also consider.
Labs are active, energetic dogs. If you prefer to pass your hours reading or with some other quite pastime, a Lab probably isn't the best choice.
Labs shed more hair than you might think, even though they have a relatively short coat.
They can be quite destructive as they love to chew. All puppies will chew, but some Labs still chew into adulthood.
Labs remain puppies for a long time. Most dogs have matured physically and mentally when they are about one year of age. Labs have matured physically by then also, but mental maturity can take longer, so be prepared for an animal with the mind of a puppy but the strength of a fully grown dog.
Labradors are at risk from a number of genetic disorders. Most breeds have their share but Labs are susceptible to several that can cause serious health problems such as blindness, muscle abnormalities and crippling lameness like Hip Dysplasia Although examination and certification programs have decreased the incidence of certain genetic diseases, parental documentation doesn't guarantee that the puppies will be healthy.
Labraor retrievers can be obstinate. Training a Lab involves patience and perseverance to make him do things you want him to do.
Labs aren't opposed to rolling in mud, or anything else wet and smelly they can find.
Labs can be always around your feet. A Lab's idea of company is passing every minute of every day with their owner. This can drive some people mad
Labs like to retrieve things, that's what they are, and what they were bred to do, but sometimes they are not fussy what they retrieve or bring home to their owners.
Labs are big dogs and even a medium size, over enthusiastic Lab can easily knock over a toddler or small child. They are not really a dog for a small house or apartment.
If you want a friendly dog who is eager to please and don't mind some occasional stubbornness, then a Labrador Retriever may very well be the perfect breed for you.