Is a Labrador Retriever the Right Dog Breed for You?
If you want a dog that has a bubbly personality and a strong desire
to make you happy, you may want to consider buying a Labrador Retriever.
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.
The Labrador Retriever 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. Labs are known for their 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 Labrador Retriever's coat
is almost waterproof.
Labrador Retrievers are 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. Labs usually enjoy the water,
which makes them ideal boating or fishing companions.
These dogs require plenty of exercise, especially when they are young
and full of energy. They do not make good apartment dogs, as they require
plenty of room to run and play. A home with a fenced yard is the ideal
situation for a Lab. 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 Labrador Retrievers are high energy dogs 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 Lab as a hunting
dog, you will need to buy dog food that contains plenty of protein.
Most Labrador Retrievers make excellent family dogs and love being around
children. However, some Labs do not have good temperaments, so, if it is
at all possible, be sure you meet both parents before buying a 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 Labs are such big dogs, 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 Lab 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.
Labrador Retrievers need very little grooming. You should brush
your dog once a week to remove loose hair and dirt. Also, you will
need to trim
your Labrador's nails when they grow too long. Finally, you will have
to check for ticks after your dog has been playing outdoors.
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.