If you are looking to get a dog for the first time or have had (or still have) a dog and are looking for another then you have come to the right spot. Labrador Retrievers are the most popular breed of dog in the United States and Canada and they could be right for you. It does not matter if you have never owned a dog before or have always been around dogs, these kind, gentle, athletic and intelligent dogs make for great pets but there are some things to consider to know if they are right for you and your family.
There is of course a financial cost. Not only the cost to purchase the dog but for it to receive proper veterinary care and the cost to keep it healthy and stimulated with food and toys. These costs add up and they can add up quickly. Check out the prices of food or toys and call around to see what veterinarians would charge since the dog will need to be vaccinated. Don’t forget as well that many municipalities also require licenses for dogs so once all of that is tallied make sure that you can afford it. No one wants to have to give up a beloved family pet because you can’t afford to take care of it, especially once you’ve become attached to it. If you can and are ready to make the financial commitment then there are some other considerations.
Labrador Retrievers are active animals, especially American Labs. They need room in the home to be active and just to stretch themselves out. They are large dogs after all. Even puppies go all over (don’t forget to remove anything breakable from shelves our countertops before adopting!) as they bounce around and burn excess energy. They also like to chew on things so remove anything that looks like it could be chewed on to remove the temptation. If this is a concern for you a Lab may not be right for you or you should move your things to a closed off room.
There is also their bathroom needs. Labrador puppies have to use the bathroom a lot. Young puppies may even need to use it every 15 to 20 minutes. For people who live in an apartment this could be problematic even as the puppy matures. An indoor puppy toilet can be set up and some people use their crate in conjunction with early training. These crates can take up a lot of room and since some apartments have limited space this may not work. It is best to have a yard that they can do their business in.
Time is also a consideration. Labrador puppies need attention and if left alone for hours on end they can develop some poor behavioral traits. While an older Lab can cope with being alone for hours at a time puppies and younger Labs should not be left alone. Of course you have to go to work so that you can pay for your Lab so what can you do? A neighbor or relative might be willing to take the dog for the day and there are dog sitters that are available. There is also the exercise that the Lab needs. Labrador Retrievers like to exercise and that can come in different ways and that does not just include walking. Some need an hour or more of exercise per day or more, and while that may also be beneficial to you, some people just do not have the time to commit to that. They are also powerful dogs so having a younger child do the walking is also not really feasible.
Another question to ask is what is your lifestyle like? If you travel a lot a Labrador Retriever is probably not the best breed of dog to pick from. Do you like sleeping in? That could be a thing of the past with a Lab (of course it could be a thing of the past with just about any pet) and we hope you don’t mind be awoken in the middle of the night when your Lab has to go outside to do its business. Will they also fit in with the family? Labrador Retrievers are not good dogs to have around young children who will try to grab it and could try to stomp or kick them. While a situation with young children can work it is difficult to care for both a young child and train a Lab at the same time. It would be best to wait until the child is about 5 or 6 years old before considering a Lab as a pet.
Labrador Retrievers can make for a great companion or family pet, especially a British Lab from Rock Spring Labs. If you are ready to make the time and financial commitment then check us out. You will be bringing home a breed of dog that is considered by some to be the perfect dog. If it is right for you, check us out.
Dogs have boundless enthusiasm but no sense of shame. I should have a dog as a life coach.