Labs, regardless of color, are great dogs. They're friendly, eager to please, reliable, good with kids, obedient, easy to train. Labs are the most popular breed in the US by far, in the AKC alone, labs registry numbers are around 150,000 dogs total. The next most popular breed is the Golden Retriever, with around 50,000. So that's a huge popularity. Unfortunately, that means that there's tons in animal shelters, and they're not the smartest dog you'll encounter. Labs crave human attention, which means this is really not a dog that should be an 'outside' dog. They're also very high energy dogs that can be very destructive when bored or left alone for long periods of time. Lots of people have tried to make this breed into an apartment dog, which is possible, as long as you give it plenty of exercise, and I mean more exercise than a 10 minute walk once a day. The more exercise and play you give the dog, the happier it will be IMHO. Labs are also (probaly because of the fact that they generally don't get enough exercise) prone to obesity. My husband's aunt has a lab that weighs 135 lbs, they're supposed to weigh about 75 or 80. In fact, most labs I've encountered have been overweight. If you decide to get a puppy, make sure ot have at least 10 different toys on hand so he has lots of choices as far as play toys, and most importantly, get a crate to keep it in when you're not at home. I know it seems cruel to some people but believe me, you want one if you don't want to come home and find stuff shredded, young labs LOVE to chew things. ANYTHING. A crate will help immensely with house training, provide the dog with a 'den', give you a place to put it for 'timeouts', as well as providing a safe place to put him when you're away from home. Don't believe that just putting a child gate up will be enough. Ours was limited to the kitchen and chewed up the wood on the chair and table legs, the doors to the cupboards. Nothing is sacred, trust me.
Actually I'm not a huge fan of labs but I don't hate them. They are usually a hand full, And I don't appreciate the missing articles of clothing.God forbid you put your shoes by the door, They usually hide them, or walk away with otherthings. They put everything in their mouths or eat everything.And they shed like you wouldn't beleive, so of course grooming needs to regular..And they have to greet everyone which not good for people that don't like dogs!weve fostered many pups got the Lyons foundation(they train dogs for the blind)Most of them would gather things in the house and hide things.I guess they are funny sometimes, by labs are not a pet for the back yard they need a life, hunting, outdoor activities they need to think.....
ahhh... now I LOVE my labs! I hunt test with them, and find them extremely companionable, loving, highly intelligent (note that I have field bred, not confirmation bred dogs), versatile, friendly animals. I have a chocolate, and got her from Erins Edge in Wisconsin. (dont' know where you are, but having a puppy shipped is not uncommon) I love my other dogs, but have to say my labs are my favorites. They are bred to work with people, and it shows. They pick on body language and moods very quickly, and seem very intuitive. They know when to bounce, and when to settle quietly under my desk. They DO take a lot of work - Sue is right. They are bred to hunt, and be energetic. Do not get one if you can't find outlets for the energy!! The confirmation dogs are often less energetic, but I also think they're not as smart as the field dogs... that's a huge debate between the lab people though - so we won't go there!! Good luck!! And if you need more info on labs in general, finding breeders, etc - do a search for Woodhaven labs (michigan I think) She has a HUGE library of articles on labs as well as just dogs in general, health, training, etc. She does NOT breed chocolates though.
On paper labs sound like great pets. I am even considering one. My brother has had a couple and a cousin of mine had one. My cousin trained his for hunting and worked with it a lot. It was a spectacular specimen. My brother's first lab was a blue ribbon winner from England. She would fetch until it would gasp and hack for air. It could find golf balls in the snow! She was amazing too. This dog had a pup. One would think the pup would be something special, unfortunately, it was dumber than dirt. This made it almost impossible to train it properly to utilize all of its energy. It developed a habit of roaming. One day it roamed too far and became mountain lion food. They are high energy, very high energy. If you can find a release for all of it they will be great to have around. If not, look for a Golden Retriever.
Thanks for your insight to my question. I think we want to stay with a more stable dog than a dobie. I really liked the German Shepherd Dog (GSD) we had. It could be trained for anything within a few minutes. Of course, it was bred for the police department. Our Golden is a perfect family dog but sheds like no tomorrow and isn't nearly as smart as the GSD. Before either of them, I had a Siberian Husky. It was the most beautiful dog I ever owned. It was also very loving and touched my heart the most. But we live in Southeast Texas now and not in the foothills of Colorado anymore. I don't want it to bake to death. That is why I was asking for advice on breads for down here. All of my favorite breads have heavy coats and built for snow.
Have you considered a standard poodle? They are smart, agile, not too huge, loyal, good with kids - really nice all around dogs (when they aren't being mixed up with every other known breed=hahahha) You don't have to groom them all "froofy" - I really like them. Might be a decent compromise. (dont' think of them as oversized yappy little poodles -they really are nice dogs)
leesgrl we agree on alot of things i love the standard poodle they are excellent all around dogs i am suprised more familys don't have one as they are perfect for most. As for labs they are not a fav of mine.for one i don't like all the sheding hair and then they have the oily coat.The best looking labs i have seen are working labs in field and hunting i also attribute this to swimming labs love to swim were made for it i think most would not be fat if they were exersiced like they should be.I think labs make good country dogs.
I have a lab. They are very, very energetic when young. Need lots of exercise and need to be trained well. They don't fawn over you like a golden retreiver when training, I can see mine's mind working when training: "do I want to obey this? What else would be more fun?" But overall are smart and not difficult to train. I used lots of praise and random treats sometimes and got good results. There are 2 types, as someone mentioned, Field type and the english type. Field type more leggy and lean, from what I've heard much more energy. The English type is more stocky with shorter legs, broader head, and calmer (as a generalization.) I have the English type. Extremely strong! Very loving, so sweet, people dogs, Love kids, gentle if they can control that exuberance, don't like to be alone (not good as an outside dog- mine is basically a house dog.) Be very careful finding one. Talk to a lot of breeders and find out what health testing they do. Ask to see hip OFA reports for a few generations of both parents. Lots and lots of hip dysplasia. I know someone who has spent thousands on hip replacements for hers. There are eye problems, too. Ask for CERF testing on parents and ancestors. You can look on the internet on the OFA website if you have registered names of the parents. They are prone to allergies and ear problems. Read up on temperament testing in puppies so you can evaluate them. Keep their weight reasonable or you will contribute to orthopedic problems in the dog. MIne doesn't like to retrieve on land. But she'll retrieve in water all day long! Mine was difficult to housetrain. Took a long time and lots of paper towels! She barks very little, but the field lab next door barks a whole lot. Mine is protective, however. She really watches out for my daughter when we are taking a hike. She has gotten between us and someone she perceived as a threat. They chew and chew! I have good luck with Nylabones. Till she was 3 I couldn't leave anything out or it would be in her mouth. NOw, she's much better. She would, however, pick something up and come to me with it in her mouth as if to ask, "is this okay?" Teach the "out" command soon. She learned it very well. Overall, as a book I have says, "what a fabulous tank of a dog."
Chocoalte Labs are no different than the other Lab colors. My mothers, friends, sister has a Labrador that I like to play with. I was over at their house one day with their dogs. One is a Yellow Lab and the other is a Golden Retriever. The Yellow Lab wanted to swim thhe whole time. She was so entergetic and played in the pool for hours. She barked and jumped and wanted everybody to throw her frisbee and ball. Only get one of these dogs if you want an entergetic dog.
Did you know? · The Labrador Retriever did not come from Labrador, but from Newfoundland. · In England, no Labrador can become a bench show champion unless it has a working certificate also. · The Labrador Retriever is one of the prime breeds selected as guide and rescue dogs. So you want to own a Labrador Retriever? The Labrador Retriever is gentle with children and the elderly. If it is intended as a pet, keep in mind that Labrador puppies are full of energy. The Labrador Retriever has a stable temperament and adapts to new surroundings easily. The Labrador Retriever is not an aggresive dog, but it will bark to ward off strangers. Breed Standard General Appearance The Labrador Retriever is a strongly built, medium-sized, short-coupled, dog possessing a sound, athletic, well-balanced conformation that enables it to function as a retrieving gun dog; the substance and soundness to hunt waterfowl or upland game for long hours under difficult conditions; the character and quality to win in the show ring; and the temperament to be a family companion. Physical features and mental characteristics should denote a dog bred to perform as an efficient Retriever of game with a stable temperament suitable for a variety of pursuits beyond the hunting environment. The most distinguishing characteristics of the Labrador Retriever are its short, dense, weather resistant coat; an "otter" tail; a clean-cut head with broad back skull and moderate stop; powerful jaws; and its "kind," friendly eyes, expressing character, intelligence and good temperament. Above all, a Labrador Retriever must be well balanced, enabling it to move in the show ring or work in the field with little or no effort. The typical Labrador possesses style and quality without over refinement, and substance without lumber or cloddiness. The Labrador is bred primarily as a working gun dog; structure and soundness are of great importance. Size, Proportion and Substance Size--The height at the withers for a dog is 22½ to 24½ inches; for a bitch is 21½ to 23½ inches. Any variance greater than ½ inch above or below these heights is a disqualification. Approximate weight of dogs and bitches in working condition: dogs 65 to 80 pounds; bitches 55 to 70 pounds. The minimum height ranges set forth in the paragraph above shall not apply to dogs or bitches under twelve months of age. Proportion--Short-coupled; length from the point of the shoulder to the point of the rump is equal to or slightly longer than the distance from the withers to the ground. Distance from the elbow to the ground should be equal to one half of the height at the withers. The brisket should extend to the elbows, but not perceptibly deeper. The body must be of sufficient length to permit a straight, free and efficient stride; but the dog should never appear low and long or tall and leggy in outline. Substance--Substance and bone proportionate to the overall dog. Light, "weedy" individuals are definitely incorrect; equally objectionable are cloddy lumbering specimens. Labrador Retrievers shall be shown in working condition well-muscled and without excess fat. Head Skull--The skull should be wide; well developed but without exaggeration. The skull and foreface should be on parallel planes and of approximately equal length. There should be a moderate stop--the brow slightly pronounced so that the skull is not absolutely in a straight line with the nose. The brow ridges aid in defining the stop. The head should be clean-cut and free from fleshy cheeks; the bony structure of the skull chiseled beneath the eye with no prominence in the cheek. The skull may show some median line; the occipital bone is not conspicuous in mature dogs. Lips should not be squared off or pendulous, but fall away in a curve toward the throat. A wedge-shape head, or a head long and narrow in muzzle and back skull is incorrect as are massive, cheeky heads. The jaws are powerful and free from snippiness-- the muzzle neither long and narrow nor short and stubby. Nose-- The nose should be wide and the nostrils well-developed. The nose should be black on black or yellow dogs, and brown on chocolates. Nose color fading to a lighter shade is not a fault. A thoroughly pink nose or one lacking in any pigment is a disqualification. Teeth--The teeth should be strong and regular with a scissors bite; the lower teeth just behind, but touching the inner side of the upper incisors. A level bite is acceptable, but not desirable. Undershot, overshot, or misaligned teeth are serious faults. Full dentition is preferred. Missing molars or pre-molars are serious faults. Ears--The ears should hang moderately close to the head, set rather far back, and somewhat low on the skull; slightly above eye level. Ears should not be large and heavy, but in proportion with the skull and reach to the inside of the eye when pulled forward. Eyes--Kind, friendly eyes imparting good temperament, intelligence and alertness are a hallmark of the breed. They should be of medium size, set well apart, and neither protruding nor deep set. Eye color should be brown in black and yellow Labradors, and brown or hazel in chocolates. Black, or yellow eyes give a harsh expression and are undesirable. Small eyes, set close together or round prominent eyes are not typical of the breed. Eye rims are black in black and yellow Labradors; and brown in chocolates. Eye rims without pigmentation is a disqualification. Neck, Topline and Body Neck--The neck should be of proper length to allow the dog to retrieve game easily. It should be muscular and free from throatiness. The neck should rise strongly from the shoulders with a moderate arch. A short, thick neck or a "ewe" neck is incorrect. Topline--The back is strong and the topline is level from the withers to the croup when standing or moving. However, the loin should show evidence of flexibility for athletic endeavor. Body--The Labrador should be short-coupled, with good spring of ribs tapering to a moderately wide chest. The Labrador should not be narrow chested; giving the appearance of hollowness between the front legs, nor should it have a wide spreading, bulldog-like front. Correct chest conformation will result in tapering between the front legs that allows unrestricted forelimb movement. Chest breadth that is either too wide or too narrow for efficient movement and stamina is incorrect. Slab-sided individuals are not typical of the breed; equally objectionable are rotund or barrel chested specimens. The underline is almost straight, with little or no tuck-up in mature animals. Loins should be short, wide and strong; extending to well developed, powerful hindquarters. When viewed from the side, the Labrador Retriever shows a well-developed, but not exaggerated forechest. Tail--The tail is a distinguishing feature of the breed. It should be very thick at the base, gradually tapering toward the tip, of medium length, and extending no longer than to the hock. The tail should be free from feathering and clothed thickly all around with the Labrador's short, dense coat, thus having that peculiar rounded appearance that has been described as the "otter" tail. The tail should follow the topline in repose or when in motion. It may be carried gaily, but should not curl over the back. Extremely short tails or long thin tails are serious faults. The tail completes the balance of the Labrador by giving it a flowing line from the top of the head to the tip of the tail. Docking or otherwise altering the length or natural carriage of the tail is a disqualification. Forequarters Forequarters should be muscular, well coordinated and balanced with the hindquarters. Shoulders--The shoulders are well laid-back, long and sloping, forming an angle with the upper arm of approximately 90 degrees that permits the dog to move his forelegs in an easy manner with strong forward reach. Ideally, the length of the shoulder blade should equal the length of the upper arm. Straight shoulder blades, short upper arms or heavily muscled or loaded shoulders, all restricting free movement, are incorrect. Front Legs--When viewed from the front, the legs should be straight with good strong bone. Too much bone is as undesirable as too little bone, and short legged, heavy boned individuals are not typical of the breed. Viewed from the side, the elbows should be directly under the withers, and the front legs should be perpendicular to the ground and well under the body. The elbows should be close to the ribs without looseness. Tied-in elbows or being "out at the elbows" interfere with free movement and are serious faults. Pasterns should be strong and short and should slope slightly from the perpendicular line of the leg. Feet are strong and compact, with well-arched toes and well-developed pads. Dew claws may be removed. Splayed feet, hare feet, knuckling over, or feet turning in or out are serious faults. Hindquarters The Labrador's hindquarters are broad, muscular and well-developed from the hip to the hock with well-turned stifles and strong short hocks. Viewed from the rear, the hind legs are straight and parallel. Viewed from the side, the angulation of the rear legs is in balance with the front. The hind legs are strongly boned, muscled with moderate angulation at the stifle, and powerful, clearly defined thighs. The stifle is strong and there is no slippage of the patellae while in motion or when standing. The hock joints are strong, well let down and do not slip or hyper-extend while in motion or when standing. Angulation of both stifle and hock joint is such as to achieve the optimal balance of drive and traction. When standing the rear toes are only slightly behind the point of the rump. Over angulation produces a sloping topline not typical of the breed. Feet are strong and compact, with well-arched toes and well-developed pads. Cow-hocks, spread hocks, sickle hocks and over-angulation are serious structural defects and are to be faulted. Coat The coat is a distinctive feature of the Labrador Retriever. It should be short, straight and very dense, giving a fairly hard feeling to the hand. The Labrador should have a soft, weather-resistant undercoat that provides protection from water, cold and all types of ground cover. A slight wave down the back is permissible. Woolly coats, soft silky coats, and sparse slick coats are not typical of the breed, and should be severely penalized. Color The Labrador Retriever coat colors are black, yellow and chocolate. Any other color or a combination of colors is a disqualification. A small white spot on the chest is permissible, but not desirable. White hairs from aging or scarring are not to be misinterpreted as brindling. Black--Blacks are all black. A black with brindle markings or a black with tan markings is a disqualification. Yellow--Yellows may range in color from fox-red to light cream, with variations in shading on the ears, back, and underparts of the dog. Chocolate--Chocolates can vary in shade from light to dark chocolate. Chocolate with brindle or tan markings is a disqualification. Movement Movement of the Labrador Retriever should be free and effortless. When watching a dog move toward oneself, there should be no sign of elbows out. Rather, the elbows should be held neatly to the body with the legs not too close together. Moving straight forward without pacing or weaving, the legs should form straight lines, with all parts moving in the same plane. Upon viewing the dog from the rear, one should have the impression that the hind legs move as nearly as possible in a parallel line with the front legs. The hocks should do their full share of the work, flexing well, giving the appearance of power and strength. When viewed from the side, the shoulders should move freely and effortlessly, and the foreleg should reach forward close to the ground with extension. A short, choppy movement or high knee action indicates a straight shoulder; paddling indicates long, weak pasterns; and a short, stilted rear gait indicates a straight rear assembly; all are serious faults. Movement faults interfering with performance including weaving; side-winding; crossing over; high knee action; paddling; and short, choppy movement, should be severely penalized. Temperament True Labrador Retriever temperament is as much a hallmark of the breed as the "otter" tail. The ideal disposition is one of a kindly, outgoing, tractable nature; eager to please and non-aggressive towards man or animal. The Labrador has much that appeals to people; his gentle ways, intelligence and adaptability make him an ideal dog. Aggressiveness towards humans or other animals, or any evidence of shyness in an adult should be severely penalized. this should cover it all Elmo.
hello.i've got a chocolate lab.he is close to 100lbs.he is a sweet heart but is very protective of his property.he is great with my 1yr old son, our dogs, and my sister's cat.he was a rescue from someone that was gonna take him to the pound. he was only about 12 wks old. he even had papers on him.it wasn't planed but i took him in anyways and was planning to adopt him out but my dad decieded to keep him. we've had him for about 1 1/2 yrs now and he is great but very protective of his family.hope you find what your lookinf for, good luck!!
i love labs, they are smart, easy and eager to learn. love the water, love people and usually are great with other dogs also. my boss has two yellows, they are wonderful, cgc, tdi, field training, agility. they love the water and love pleasing you. great choice for a pet.