We have the opportunity to have a pure breed Lab whos mother had passed away after giving birth. I don't know anything about Labs. If any of you who has one or had one or knows about them could you please share anything about them?
I owned a lab mix when I was a kid. She was without a doubt, the best dog I ever had. Labs are very high energy, and take a while to grow out of the puppy phase. They are also heavy shedders. Here is the link to the Labrador Retriever Club of America. That might be able to help you more with your questions.
My brother has a chocolate lab and a yellow lab x australian shepherd. Labs are easy to train but will become destructive and chew everything if not exercised enough or left alone too long. They also eat a lot and seem oblivious to pain. They have a tendency to be overweight as a result so it is important to exercise them a lot and don't overfeed. Labs are extremely loyal to their owners and love human companionship but they make terrible watchdogs! They shed like crazy too! Labs are suseptible to hip dysplasia and epilepsy. One of my brother's labs has it has to take 3 meds twice a day. don't be scared off by this as I think he was a puppy mill dog. Feed your pup adult food but in puppy quantities - many puppy foods cause the puppy to grow too fast and their body stuctures can't handle it and hence, hip dysplasia...also don't allow him to jump or run too hard during the first year of life as his young body isn't developed enough to handle it.
Everything said here is true. But what I didn't see mentioned was that they are great with kids too. They have such good hearts. As puppys they are a handful and can really be pains. My guy is almost a year old and he is still hyper and nutty. But he's great. Always happy. Loves kids and other dogs, even cats. Basically loves anyone who will pet him and give him a scratch. Thats probably why they're crummy watchdogs.
Labs are VERY high energy. They are working dogs originally. If you get a puppy especially, you need to be prepared for vigorous exercise time. And "being in the yard" is not good enough for a lab.
They are VERY connected to their people, in fact, they truly are people! My lab connects better with people than with other dogs, although is good and calm with other dogs.
They are known to be gentle, and have gentle mouths (hunting instinct) which does help when you have children. My lab uses her mouth a lot to communicate, and has been known to gently grab my hand to try and pull me in the right direction.
If exercised well, and socialized thoroughly, then later you will be blessed with a big bear rug that follows you everywhere, tries to eat everything in site, and just wants to sleep by you.
"Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else."
all due respect, that is not correct about vigorous exercise of a puppy. That is the clear way of creating joint problems. I've been working with Labs for almost 20 years. There is an appropriate time to begin the exercising and there is not. It's actually something I educate my clients on, "Over Exercising". Joints are not fully developed until 2 years of age on a large breed dog. If you over do it, you will end up with problems. This does not mean they are to sit around of course, but clearly you do not take a 6 month old Lab puppy on a mile run, or allow him/her to swim every day. Even a year old Lab pup should not be running miles a day. The joints are simply not ready. Again, I'm only referring to over doing it, not normal basic activity of a pup.