Labrador Retrievers are one of the most popular breeds amongst pet parents since they have a number of exceptional qualities. Not only are they one of the most widely used dog breeds for service animals and guide dogs, but they also tend to be very friendly and outgoing and lovely dogs who are really willing to please. Most Labradors are great family pets and they can also be trained to hunt or take part in obedience competitions. As a breed, they tend to be intelligent, easy to train, and very enthusiastic. However, before adding a Lab to your family, it’s important to consider some vital factors and make sure that you and your family are ready.
Labradors tend to be very sociable, outgoing dogs, and they need companionship and attention throughout the day. If you are not at home throughout the day, you will likely need to make some arrangements for your Lab such as a dog walker or a friend dropping in to spend some time with them or take them on a walk. This breed of dog tends to be very energetic and they will need a decent amount of exercise; you’ll need to take your Lab on daily walks and be sure to make plenty of time for training.
Your Lab puppy might be small and cuddly right now, but don’t forget the amount of space that she is going to need as she grows. A Labrador Retriever might not be the best choice of dog breed if you live in a small flat or only have a tiny garden space unless you live close to a field or park where you can easily take her to run and stretch her legs.
Whether you’re buying a Labrador puppy or paying an adoption fee to take one on from a shelter, don’t just consider the initial fee of adding a Labrador to your family. It’s important to consider the other expenses that you are likely to incur as a pet parent.
Labradors are a large breed, and this usually means that you’ll have to buy more food for them compared to a smaller dog. Think about the type of food that you want to feed your lab and how much it will cost on a regular basis. If you want to put him on a raw food diet, Bella and Duke’s handy calculator can help you determine how much food your dog will need and how much it will cost you per week or month. Raw is often the best food for Labradors since it provides them with all the nutrients that they need to stay at an ideal weight. It also ensures they have plenty of energy, better digestion and a shiny coat. You can find health tips for Labradors at the Bella and Duke website, to help you make sure that your Lab is only getting the best diet.
Labradors tend to grow up rather quickly and even though he’s a cute little puppy now, it won’t be long before he is large and clumsy. While it can be cute to watch, consider whether a Labrador is going to be the right choice of dog breed for your family, especially if you have small children. Young Labradors can be very excitable and exuberant when showing affection and since they grow quite fast, they might unintentionally hurt a small child when bounding around and playing.
Having a Labrador as part of your family will most likely mean big changes to your lifestyle unless you are already the type of person who goes on long walks and spends a lot of time outdoors. A Lab might not be the best choice of dog breed for you if you are often working away from home or travelling for extended periods; if this is the case then you’ll need to consider whether somebody will be there to give your dog the attention and exercise that they need.
Labs have been known to live up to fifteen years, and your dog will depend on you for care, love and companionship for the rest of his life, so consider whether you are ready to commit to him for this amount of time. And, bear in mind that Labradors tend to take around three years to fully mature from puppyhood, which will mean a strong commitment to training is needed – this breed is notorious for chewing, so it’s important to make sure that you’re not only financially committed to training classes and buying dog toys, but also putting the time in to train your puppy to avoid potential destructive behaviour as early as possible.
Labradors can make ideal family pets, but it’s important to make sure that you are the right fit for owning this type of dog before you bring one home.