Labrador Retrievers are some of the most loyal and friendly dogs out there. And they can make an excellent family pet. But before you make a commitment, you should know what to expect. Read through this quick guide on the Labrador retriever breed to get yourself prepared for the newest member of your family:
Labs are medium to large breed, weighing in at anywhere from 55 to 80 pounds. They’ll grow to a max height 1’9” to 2’ tall. They build is very sporty and fit but they are prone to obesity.
Their fur is short but they have a very thick coat. Most often, labs come in black, chocolate, or yellow. But we are seeing more and more white and red labs out as well. Some will try to tell you these last two are rare colors and charge more but they are not actually that rare or hard to come by.
The Labrador Retriever was bred to be both a companion and a helper. In fact, they were originally meant to help fishermen retriever nets, ropes, and fish in the North Atlantic. So they are natural hard workers and friends.
There natural willingness to help their owners is what makes them one of the most popular breeds to use as service animals for the disabled and elderly. They are also often use as search and rescue dogs.
All this is to say that when you bring home a lab, you are bringing home a family member that will naturally be loyal and helpful. They are also easier to train than other breeds because they are so eager to help and please.
However, this breeding also means they are extremely high energy (since they were meant to work very hard) so you will have to be prepared to give it plenty of exercise every day.
Labs are a pretty robust breed but there are some health issues you’ll want to be on the lookout for:
Here are the basics of how to take good care of your new Labrador Retriever:
While they are easier to train than other breeds, that doesn’t mean they are naturally obedient. They will chew and become destructive due to their high energy if they are not properly trained. So you do still need to go through the process.
You should use a blend of positive and negative reinforcement for labs because there are going to be behaviors you want to encourage and behaviors you want to stop. So use positive reinforcement to encourage good behaviors and negative reinforcement to stop bad behaviors.
Labs make a great family pet and as long as you’re prepared for their energy levels and appetite, you will get along very well together. However, be careful when shopping.
Labs are the number one dog in America and, as a result, there are lots of puppy mills and other unsavory places trying to pump out as many puppies as possible without taking proper care of them. So opt for a rescue instead or make sure to thoroughly vet your breeder before you buy.