Any lab owners here?

posted 2 years ago in Pets
Post # 2
5935 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

I don’t currently own a lab however my brother does and so does my best friend (I’ve owned lab mixes previously and currently own a labradoodle). Labs aren’t my favorite dog breed so mainly because of the ones I’ve come across, which could be the fault of the owners (i.e. lack of training).

The pros are that they’re loyal dogs, good with kids, loving, and obedient. I see these as pros also: active, loves water, loves to play. Some might not like a dog as active though. All these pros are very important to have in a dog…to me anyways.

The cons I’ve noticed are they can be a little too active (read: hyper), messy (they love water so they tend to sling it everywhere), they tend to overeat if you don’t teach them early to only eat when hungry, they shed a lot, and they can stink. The only cons I’ve listed that I’ve noticed that can be really bad are the hyperness and the messiness. Obviously all puppies are hyper but labs are big, stocky dogs and it can cause some damage to your home lol. Also, I hate it when dogs get water everywhere when they drink. My brother’s dog actually used to put his from feet in his water bowl and “dig” out all the water. He also likes to jump in the horse trough and go for a “swim”. A lot of these cons can be fixed by properly training the dog, but too many people are too lazy to train properly and then they have an 80lb lab knocking people over when they come through the door.

As far as not having a fenced in yard, I’d either fence it in or be prepared to take the dog on long walks at least twice a day (morning and night). Labs need tons of exercise or their hyperness can be an issue. They can also get too bored and start to destroy the house. This is the same for every active dog breed though.

Post # 3
2696 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I don’t own a lab, but I do know a bit about the breed.

Because they are so popular, it’s really important to find a good breeder. They’re so over bred than many can have mental problems or genetic hip/joint issues.

The other thing is to remember that they’re originally a hunting breed. That makes them incredibly energetic, smart, and sometimes a handful. They’re also more apt to go after birds and other small animals, it’s instinctual.

Training and buring off energy is essential. I have a hunting breed (english setter) and for the first 2 years of his life, 2 walks per day, off leash were essential or he’d be a destructive, naughty mess of a creature. I hate the snow, but I would walk that dog in blizzard conditions for my sanity. lol

Crate training is also a really good tool for this breed. That will save you a lot of money (labs are really awesome at destroying things, lol).

Good luck and have fun 🙂 It’s great that you’re preparing yourself beforehand!

Post # 4
670 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

I own a lab and she is such a joy to have!! Oh my gosh, she is my light and my life, lol. We got her at the age of 7 weeks and it was soooo challenging! First night we had her she yipped and yelped in her crate (which is essential – you absilulty need to crate a lab puppy!) but by the 2nd night she I had to wake up in the middle of the night to check on her to make sure she hadnt died, lol.

First off, Labs are suuuppper smart, and hughly engergetic. If you dont always try to play with them, challenge them with a game, or give them proper excericse, they will find and make thier own fun, which usually ends up being destructive. I did the Puppy Good start training with her to learn how to work with her – turns out that was the best thing I could have done. 1st, it gives them socialization (which is a HUGE must for puppies in the early months otherwise the can become agrressive and territorial). It also taught me how to communicate with my welp and gave me insights on how she thinks. 

The biggest lesson that I MYSELF learned in Puppy Good Start is that Labs, and dogs in general, only want to behave in ways that gain them attention from their pack leaders, and that they will do anything they can to achieve this, even if it means destructive behavior as a means to get your attention. There is no inherently bad dog, so if your puppy is behaving negatively, it means you are not spending enough time burning energy and reinforcing good behaviors.

We don’t have a fence either, and now that she is almost 4 I will let her out to go potty without me by her side – but for only a couple minutes and I always keep an eye on her. Another reason to keep an eye on them is that Labs are notorius eaters and they will eat anything fowl they come across, then generally puke it up in your house later in the day. I could go on about the things she has eaten (even in the house that I thought was safely tucked away) only to have to cough up over $500 in the ER on more than one occasion.

Exercise is so essential, too. I try to work in at least 1 hour a day, out of the house either on the trails, hiking in the woods, or swimming/dock jumping with her. 1 hour seems good enough, now – but for the 1st 3 years of her life she was like the energizer bunny and would go all day, even after spending the day out and about. In the winter when its too cold for us both, I let her run on my treadmill – yes, I trained her to use the treadmill and she will even run on it with me, lol. She’s so funny!

I also agree with @urchin – for labs it is super important to find a good breeder as labs especially are prone to genetic ailements such as displaysia and skin conditions, etc. One thing to consider also, is do you want an American Labrador or and English Labrador? American Labs are your typical field labs, they tend to be taller in stature and have a lot more energy vs. the English labs who are blockier, more stout with plusher coats and a little bit less high energy levels. Both are good dogs, but they are different.

Anyway, lots and lots of information out there – good luck!

Post # 5
10384 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

Is there a local lab rescue by where you live? If you’re open to it, I’d really recommend going that route. Our black lab is a rescue and he is a dream of a dog.

Not all labs are high-energy, water-loving, bird-chasers. Ours, weirdly, is not (the lab I had growing up loved water/birds, but was also chilled out like our current lab). Our lab doesn’t chase our cat, either – his prey drive is just on the lower end for the breed.

We do not have a yard, so we do 4-5 walks a day for our guy. He (and we!) get lots of exercise that way, so it’s perfect. He’s a wonderful hiking buddy – we do 5-7 mile hikes every weekend and take him to the dog park 2x a week to keep him socialized.

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