Are you thinking about getting a Labrador Retriever puppy? Want to know if they are good family dogs? Here are the Top 10 Answers for your Labrador Retriever Questions from a Lab owner.
A few months ago I decided Ruby, my Goldendoodle needed a playmate. I’m lucky enough to work from home, but I was busy working in my home office and didn’t feel like I was giving her enough attention. She needed a buddy!
I had to think long and hard about my requirements for a second dog.
Here’s my List on what I Required in a new Dog:
- Easy coat to take care of. Ruby is wonderful, but her coat takes constant work.
- Family friendly and good with kids.
- Easily trained.
- Good health
- Had the energy levels to keep up with Ruby who loves to run.
I thought about getting a Golden Retriever. But I have friends who had Labrador Retrievers and Ruby loves playing with them.
I knew they were great family dogs and easily trained because about 10 years prior we’d had a Black Lab as a family dog.
Meet Callie my White/Yellow Labrador Retriever
Someone I knew had a litter of Labrador puppies and asked if I wanted to have one. It was like fate interceded! Of course, I was in the car within an hour to go look at these sweet babies!
It didn’t even take 2 minutes and I knew we were taking home a puppy! We named her Callie! But we had questions about Labrador Retrievers.
Callie was the sweetest baby and she and Ruby bonded immediately. They started sleeping together the day we brought Callie home.
However, she was not easily potty trained! You know how they say the older dog would teach the younger dog. Not so in my case! By the second week, I was wondering what I had done.
In fact, training the second dog to potty was much harder. I trained Ruby to ring the bell when she wanted out. Callie just couldn’t or wouldn’t ring the bell. She would touch it with her nose, mainly to get a treat.
Even though, I was taking her out on a strict potty schedule of every 30 minutes, but she would inevitably still poop or pee in the house!
I did eventually get Callie potty trained. I guess I cheated because after week three, I bought a doggie door to the backyard!
She goes out like a champ. Even Ruby is now going out the doggie door.
Why I didn’t get one earlier, I’ll never know. They are fantastic.
The dogs love being able to go in and out as they please. Life became much easier with the dog door.
Callie is a fantastic dog. In fact, if I wanted a third dog I think I’d get another Lab. ( No offense Ruby! I love you! )
What’s Good about Labrador Retriever’s?
Labrador Retrievers are America’s number one popular dog and with good reason. They are fantastic family dogs who enjoy staying home as much as they do taking a long hike in the woods.
There are 2 distinct breeds of Labrador Retrievers, English and American.
Each is breed for different things. The main differences are physical and temperamental differences.
No matter which one you choose, they will probably be the best companion you’ve ever had. Both are wonderful dogs and choices.
English Labrador Retrievers versus American Labrador Retrievers.
English Labs – Callie is an English Labrador retriever. English labs are medium-sized and heavier looking dogs. They have blockier chest and barrel type chests. A wider head and powerful looking neck.
They look more like the typical breed standard when full grown because they have the thicker necks, shorter bodies and shorter legs. Their coats are thicker than an American lab.
Another distinction is the otter like a tail on an English lab. They have a straighter, thicker tail built to help them swim through water. They are the ultimate water dog!
American Labs – These labs are slimmer and more athletic looking with a narrow face and longer noses. They have a thinner coat compared to the English lab and a longer neck.
American labs tails are longer and many curl up at the end. American Labs have longer legs and look taller.
They are great playmates for kids and families.
Which Should I get American or English lab
Either! Both types of labs are sweet and loving dogs who will do anything to please their owners.
An American lab can have a higher energy level than an English lab. Therefore, the American labs will need more exercise than their counterparts.
We know English labs for their quiet and calm demeanors. They are mellow pets.
Are Labrador Retrievers good for Allergy Sufferers?
No! Unfortunately not.
While studies have shown that Labrador Retrievers have lower allergen levels than other breeds because of their love of swimming, they are not hypoallergenic.
Labrador Retrievers shed a lot, especially in the spring and summer months. That’s bad news for those suffering from pet allergies.
If you’re looking for a hypoallergenic dog, you must look for a Poodle, Labradoodle ( f1b ) or Yorkshire terriers.
What are the most Common Allergies do Labrador Retrievers have?
Food allergies are number one allergies for Labrador Retrievers.
Callie is allergic to chicken. It causes her to itch non-stop.
Most Labrador Retrievers have some kind of food allergies mainly because of these ingredients:
- Chicken is the number one allergy in labs.
- Chicken eggs
Food allergies in Labs include itchy skin, hair loss, ear infections and skin infections. They can also have a frequency in bowel movements.
While you can treat pet allergies with antibiotics, they will return once they halt the antibiotics.
Do Labrador Retrievers love Cold Weather and the Snow?
Labs love the snow! Your dogs should never live outdoors as it can get to cold. However, Labrador Retriever’s love cold weather to play outside.
Labradors have a short, dense double water-repellant coat that helps keep them warm outdoors.
Cold weather shouldn’t be an issue for many dogs until it falls below 45 degrees.
I always use baby wipes on my dog’s paws, underbelly and face and tails after playing outside if it’s snowing.
What Colors do Labrador Retriever’s come in?
Basically there are only three different Labrador colors recognized by the AKC.
- Brown ( Chocolate or Liver colored )
- White or Yellow
However, in practice there are many more shades of yellow colors in Labs from pale white to the fox red.
Have you heard of Silver Lab’s? While this is not a traditionally recognized color they have become more and more popular.
What is the Average Lifespan of a Labrador Retriever?
The average life span of a lab is 10-14 years. A recent study suggests that Chocolate Labs live the shorter lives than Black or Yellow Labs.
There are many factors in the life span of a Lab. They include diet, healthcare management and even inherited disease.
It’s important to have your Lab vet checked yearly to keep it as healthy as possible.
Do Labrador Retriever’s shed?
Oh, my yes! They do! A lot in the spring and summer months.
I vacuum my house daily, if not twice a day during shedding season.
I keep a lint roller in my house, my car and even in my bedroom. I come home and I have my dog’s hair on my jeans. I leave and I have dog hair on my jeans.
You can help control shedding by brushing your dog daily. They have also known me to vacuum Callie!
What’s good about Labrador Retriever’s?
If you’re thinking of getting one, do it! Best decision you’ll ever make! If you’ve already got a lab, you know what great dogs they make.
Labrador’s are one of the best dogs for kids. They are smart, good-natured and take everything in stride as long as they are with you.
The friendly Labrador Retriever loves everyone!
They are great dogs that I highly recommend if looking for a new family member.