Life with a labrador is super exciting.
Labradors are kind-tempered, active family dogs that suit people who can devote a significant amount of time to their training and mental and physical exercise. Contradictory to popular belief, they are not born trained and although kind-natured, they can be challenging as puppies and youngsters. They have a will to please and are food driven, which makes them ideal dogs to train.
Labradors love human companion. They love to snuggle with you anytime, anywhere. However, you have to remember that once small and fluffy, your labrador will grow bigger.
Physical and mental stimulation
While long walks in the park or at the beach with your new puppy sound exciting, you have to remember not to overexercise your puppy. There will be plenty of time to exercise when they grow up. A young puppy will most of all need mental stimulation, play and variety of experiences to become a balanced dog. Cold and windy walks are not nice, but there are no excuses. Letting your dog out to the garden three times a day is just not enough. Labradors need a regular amount of physical exercise and mental stimulation.
Labrador retriever is a double-coated breed. Their coat is dense to protect the skin from the cold. Their coat is relatively easy to keep clean however, they shed significantly. During the shedding seasons, you may need to brush your dog quite often. Despite your efforts, you can still expect hair all over your house, so be prepared for some extra cleaning.
Food! Food? Where is the food?
Labradors like their food, so it is relatively easy to train a lab using a food reward. Here at Over the Fence, we recommend using food rewards only at the initial stage of training. Later on, we recommend playing with your dog as the ultimate reward. Trust us, it will pay off when working with your dog in the field, obedience or agility ring, or when you simply forget to take treats for a walk.
The other side of being food oriented is that labradors do like to snack at all times and if allowed they will eat literally anything. Your dog’s meals should be divided into portions and adequately measured. Remember not to overfeed your lab. You will receive a manual on feeding your puppy as part of the ‘Lab Pup Pack’.
Labradors looooooooooove water. They will take any opportunity to dive in. This is great during the summer when you go for a nice long walk, but has to be considered as well during the winter when muddy puddles are the last thing you want your dog to get into.
Why is our breed description not all positive? Because we want you to carefully consider if a labrador is a good fit for you and your family. We want you to know what to expect when your puppy arrives and not to feel disappointed. We hope this information was helpful, but let us know if you have any concerns or questions about what to expect.