Have you ever stepped outside on a beautiful day and wished you had someone to pass the time with? Have you ever felt sad or lonely and craved attention from others? Ever been lost or in need of guidance? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you don’t need a new BFF or a GPS. There is one simple solution to all of your problems, a Labrador!
It’s true what they say, “A dog is a man’s best friend”; however, more specifically a Labrador is a man’s best friend! Continue reading to learn all about the loyal Labrador and decide if they are the right addition to your home!
Meet the Labrador
A Doggie Dossier
Labradors are on the larger end measuring in at about 20 to 25 inches in height, and about 60 to 90 lbs. Their coloring can range from chocolate or black to yellow and gold. Labs are known for their loyalty and friendliness and have a life expectancy of about 12 years.
History of the Lab
Labs were first bred in Newfoundland. They are descendants of the St. John’s water dog, who were exceptional at diving for and fetching fishing equipment, which explains the Labrador’s affinity for water and swimming. Even though the Lab originated in Newfoundland, their amazing reputation has made them a very popular pet in many different countries!
Reasons to Love the Labrador
If we ranked the temperaments of every dog breed, labs would bring home the gold! Because Labradors are known for being friendly with families, kids, and other dogs, they are a great addition to any home! Not only are labs loving, but they are also loyal! Their alertness makes them great watchdogs! Who wouldn’t want a loyal Labrador protecting their family? Although they are protective, labs are quick to adjust when guests enter a home and the family shows no signs of distress.
Labradors are not only great domestic pets but are also known to be working dogs. Labs are highly intelligent which makes them easy to train. What do you get when you combine affection and brains? A service dog! Their jobs can include service work (such as a therapy dog), or even sniffing for bombs!
A History of Service
What do you get when you combine an affectionate personality with high intelligence? The perfect recipe for a service dog! Since labs are inclined to be friendly and kind, this makes them an amazing emotional support dog or seeing eye dog. Labradors are even known to take their abilities to the next level by completing search and rescue tasks or sniffing for bombs!
Reasons to Re-evaluate the Labrador
Even though Labs are great pets, it is normal to have some hesitation when welcoming an animal into a home!
Caring for a Labrador is crucial. As an owner, you would be responsible for brushing their coat, and teeth, cleaning ears, and keeping up with vet appointments. These appointments are necessary since Labs are prone to heart disorders, hip dysplasia, and cataracts. Since Labradors are deep-chested, they also commonly suffer from bloat, which affects their stomach.
Labs are known for their shedding! This means that you will have dog hair on your floor and stuck to all your clothes, but it also poses a risk to anyone suffering from allergies. If you are someone with allergies, a hypoallergenic dog such as Maltese might be a better option.
Since Labs are high-energy and smart, they like to be engaged! A happy Lab is one that is not just going on walks to stay active but also training their mind. Labradors should be taught to perform tricks and play with toys that create a puzzle, such as a Snuffle mat that allows them to sniff for and discover toys independently. Many prospective dog owners speculate about the monetary costs of bringing a dog into their home while disregarding the time commitment necessary to be a pet owner. Money can be made, but lost time is never found again. It is important to consider whether taking care of a dog is a way you would like to spend your free time.
Intelligence… it’s a blessing and a curse! While the benefits of having a bright dog are undeniable, this also means your dog might outsmart you! Funny youtube videos of dogs wiggling doorknobs open are not so funny when they happen in real life! Labrador owners need to be prepared for not just a dog that is simply trained, but a dog that is full of surprises!
After considering all of the responsibilities that a Lab requires, some may jump ship. However, every single pet comes with a commitment that those who are willing to put in the time to care for their Labrador will reap the benefits they bring and gain a lifelong companion!
Written By: Faith Dwyer