This is my first post to the site and I'm just looking for basic information. Within the next 2 years I'll be graduating the police academy and shortly after that, I'll be moving out of my house. I've done light research so far on Labs and I was curious as to what others make of a black lab being a good breed for a 1st time dog owner.
Also, being a cop would it be bad for the dog considering that I work shift work so I don't have a strict daily schedual?
My personal case gets a bit complicated as to that I have some allergies (some that I havn't grown out of since childhood) but I'm not allergic to dogs with the type of fur that labs and husky's have.
I think you just need to see what kind of hours you will be working. Different shifts do not bother most pets unless it becomes extended hours. After that you have to see how you feel. If you work all night are still going to want to come home and play with a active dog. Most labs are very energetic, and lots of fun. They love water, playing ball, and giving big wet kisses. You will have lab hair on everything you own. Other then that it is really up to the time you feel you can devote to the animal. If you are comming home tired, or working extended hours, I would wait. If not get a furry best friend.
thanks for the reply. I'm a very energetic person and spend a lot of my time when i'm not at work outdoors. I kayak in warm weather, run and go to the gym 4 to 5 days a week. Currently my work shifts are either early... like 9am to 5pm... or late from 5pm to 1am. Even gettin out of work at 1am I always go to the gym. Being only 22 my energy levels are near boundless. Often I'll work 10 to 12 hour days and when I come home I rarely nap. Frankly I've been worried that a black lab wouldn't be able to keep up with me. I've been an avid dog lover my entire life but due to my parents and young allergies i could never own one so I'm tryin to spend a lot of time researching to make sure I could handle a dog and a dog could handle my lifestyle. I recently emailed a dog breeder to ask if I would be able to spend some time with their labs to test my allergies but havnt gotten a reply. I basically want to be a breeders slave for a day to see how my body would tolerate multiple labs. I only want 1 dog but I want to expose myself to as many as possible at one time to be on the safe side. Is asking a breeder to spend time with multiple dogs outlandish of me? I just don't want to appear foolish, rather than trying to play it safe. Assuming my allergies hold up and I can compete on the same energy level as a lab, could you safely recommend me buying one as a 1st timer?
I don't think what you are asking is outlandish. If a breeder is bothered by you wanting to test your allergies, I would move on to another. That one wasn't worth the time. I have Mini Aussies, and that are great. I do belive a lab could keep up with you, and it would be a wonderful choice for your energy level. The biggest thing to remember, is labs are very prone to hip displasia, so make sure whoever you get one from has the OFA tests done. I don't know what state your in, so I don't belive I can recommend anyone. I know a breeder in Ohio, and one in Maryland. I think you are doing everything great. Trying to test your allergies is a wonderful idea, and is something everyone should do. I know, I groom dogs for a living, and breed them. I am allergic to them also. Claratin is wonderful drug
claratin used to work for me until they changed the formula! the only thing i use to control the rare allergic attacks i get are those inhalers. i'm giving myself 2 years to do my reading and homework on labs to make sure my allergies can handle it. not to mention make sure my wallet can handle it. i'm a recent college graduate and needless to say i'm fairly broke for the time being... damn student loans... the breeded i emailed said that they are busy in march but theyd love to have me spend time with their labs in april. i really apperciate them giving me the time... i think they could sense that i'm going to ask a lot of questions and make sure i know everything i could possibly want to know about labs. are all labs prone to chewing everything? i know a couple that has a lab in a small apartment and he chews the molding around the floor and corners of walls. is that normal behavior or did they not train their dog well? another question i have is - american vs. british labs? other than country of origin i cant find many differences... besides british labs are slightly more calm. i love the sharp features in the 'show labs' as opposed the 'feild labs'. can you offer any info on american labs vs. brit labs and feild labs vs. show labs?
opps i forgot to add this... i live in the southern part of New Jersey. I'm about 20 minutes outside of Philadelphia... to the east of Philly. And about 45 minutes from the Jersey shore... to the west. Maryland is only a 2 to 3 hour drive for me depending on what side of the state i'd be driving. When, assuming i can handle a lab, i'm ready to get a dog, driving up to 3 hours to find the best possible breeder is something i'd be very willing to do.
I think you are going to be a great parent to any dog you choose to get. You seem to be willing to do your homework and research, rather than just jumping in feet first. One suggestion I'd like to make is to maybe check with a local pet store? Recently, my husband and I were in PetSmart getting dog food and of course, those can't-live-without treats, and they were actually conducting adoptions! Someone had abandoned a black lab and her puppies. PetSmart rescued them, bathed them, provided vet checks and placed them up for adoption! There were also other breeds, some were pups and some were adults. I just thought it was the best thing. You may have your heart set on a more reputable breeder rather than rescues but it's just a thought. As I said, any dog will be lucky to have such a caring and dedicated owner and I wish you the very best in your search!
Thanks for all your input. As for adoption, I would really like to do that to save a dog. Unfortunately due to my allergies I'm afraid that if I adopt a lab it will not be pure-bred and I would be allergic to the "non-lab" part and I wouldn't be doing the dog or myself any favors in the end.
Ha, I graduated from Rutgers last May and I've spent more time researching labs over the past few months than I have in my 4 years at college.