So, as I have already mentioned, the Labrador Retriever is a very beautiful breed making it extremely popular in many countries as a family pet. They make incredible family dogs due to their friendly and sensitive nature with a very playful personality. The breed is extremely social by nature and is very well-known for being a great companion for children. Obviously, as with all dog breeds, you must socialise and train your pup properly from a young age in order to have a well-balanced dog that gets along with all. Socialisation is key if you are bringing your dog into a relatively busy household where there’s new people coming round, other animals and small children.
Unfortunately, the Labrador is known to be prone to quite a few health issues so vet bills can be quite expensive. As with all dog breeds, they can be more prone to particular health conditions, which is incredibly important to be aware of before bringing a Lab into your home. For this breed, you should expect to see health clearances from the breeder which have been completed by a certified scheme. Certain health conditions that Labradors are more prone to include hip and elbow dysplasia, bone conditions, cataracts, epilepsy, eye diseases, heart defects, muscular conditions, skin conditions, bacterial infections in the tail and ear infections. Being aware of this prior to getting a dog is significantly important since, as an owner, you need to be able to care for your dog in the way they require which could mean some large vet bills.
The Labrador, as a breed, is well renowned for being highly trainable due to their high intelligence and eagerness to please their owners. Alongside other highly trainable breeds, Labradors are one of the most used breeds as service and therapy dogs due to their impressive trainability and sensitive nature. Training your pup consistently from a young age will be sure to prevent any unwanted bad habits or destructive behaviours from developing as your dog grows older. Labs are known to form very strong bonds with their families but can also be trained to be left on their own which can be helpful for those who work during the day.
Depending on the kind of person you are and your daily lifestyle this next point could be a pro or a con of the Labrador Retriever. They are very active and lively dogs who need a large amount of regular exercise in order to stay fit and healthy. Adult Labs need at least 2 hours of exercise each day which should be a combination of daily walks and off-lead runs with plenty of playtime and mental stimulation. This breed is highly intelligent and so needs to be kept busy mentally as well as physically to be happy pups. They have a large amount of energy and it needs to be released to prevent them from developing any bad habits or unwanted destructive behaviours. They are well-built and strong dogs with a very athletic build, so they require this large amount of exercise to keep fit and healthy. Also, Labs are commonly known to become easily obese if not exercised and fed properly – which is another reason why they need appropriate levels to stay healthy.
They are a very loving dog and thrive off their humans’ love and companionship, but as I mentioned earlier, they can be trained to be left on their own for periods of time with the proper training from a young age. If they are left alone for too long, they can become distressed and develop destructive behaviours which is not fair on them. So, depending on your routines and the adaptability of those routines this may be a positive or negative trait of the Lab.
Labradors are pretty heavy shedders which is something to be aware of when looking into getting a dog if you are not someone who could deal with finding hair pretty much everywhere. Their coat however doesn’t require a large amount of grooming, but in order to reduce how much hair you find around your home you should brush them daily to remove any loose hairs. Again, this may be a pro, but could be a con depending on you and your preferences and lifestyle.
The Labrador Retriever is a truly beautiful breed with high intelligence and a loving and friendly personality towards all. However, it is important to consider both the pros and the cons to a breed before deciding if they are the pup for you.