As you may know, Labradors were originally gun dogs, picked specifically for their retrieving abilities. Of course, Labradors can do much more than that but that was their original purpose. These clever dogs can undertake most dog tasks with ease.
Regardless, nowadays they are more house-pets, less gun dogs, however they are still used for that by some people. The Labrador is the most popular dog in the United States, and he is in the top 5 in several other major countries. Now you would expect that the most popular dog has to be good, otherwise he wouldn’t be there.
Actually, Labradors have all the qualities you want your family pet to have. They are bright, happy, tolerant and easy-going and are quite easy to teach. They’re great with children and have some watchdog instincts. It’s an all-in-one package that doesn’t seem to come with any drawbacks.
The Labrador is an exceptional dog breed
The Lab is a big dog and you need to watch out for his tail. I wouldn’t recommend you have anything on the coffee table when he’s around. He has a strong tail and is set just high enough to completely bypass any corners your table might muster.
Labradors need early socialization just like any dog, but they ease into it since they’re naturally very outgoing and friendly. So far this breed is rounding up very nicely yet it has only one concern. You need to keep a very sharp eye on their weight.
You see, Labradors need exercise; they are very active and love to play around, whether it’s fetch or whatever else. Now you of course know that all dogs need exercise to be healthy, but Labradors need it so they don’t become overweight. With a Chihuahua, for example, you’re fine if you skip a day or two.
You might be fine if you skip a day for your Labrador, but once you start you’ll skip more and more, and pretty soon he’ll be 30 pounds heavier and you’ll sit in your couch thinking he just eats too much.
There’s this delicate balance between diet and exercise. He won’t get enough nutrients if you feed him only so much so he doesn’t get overweight without any exercise. He needs more food but he must balance it with enough exercise. So Labradors require a little more attention to their diet than other breeds.
Should you get a Labrador Retriever?
There are a lot of other things to talk about, and you can’t decide whether or not a Labrador is right for you just like that. You need to weigh your lifestyle and how much you’re willing to change to accommodate this dog. As I said, the most important aspect is exercise.
You need to provide enough exercise and you need to take care of housetraining, walking on a loose leash and so on if you want to have a well-behaved dog. Early obedience training is also useful and, since they’re very smart and love to please they are easy to train in the most basic commands.
Ultimately, it comes down to your behavior, whether he’ll grow up well-behaved or a nightmare. But there are many things people do that imprint very bad habits in their dogs’ minds, and those are fairly difficult to eliminate once they’re set into his behavior.