Are Labrador Retrievers Good with Kids?

by Kern Campbell

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Are Labrador Retrievers Good with Kids?

If you have small children in your home, it’s important to consider the type of dog you’re buying. You need to ensure you are getting a breed that will be patient and understanding with your kids. A breed that’s more likely to be aggressive or territorial is not good for families. As a family, you have probably been Labradors as one of the top recommended dog breeds to own with small children. 

Labradors are known to be terrific with children of all ages. Their temperament is chill, and they are very low aggressive. They love being pet and cuddled. The easygoing attitude also means they are usually okay with children climbing and prodding them. Keep in mind their exact temperament will depend on how you train them though.

Training is everything when it comes to dogs. If not trained probably, any dog can be ill-mannered or rough around children. Labs also grow to a large size which means they might be able to hurt the children unintentionally if they get over-excited or over-enthusiastic.

Are Labradors a Good Dog to Have Around Children?

In general, Labradors are a good dog to have around children. They are not aggressive and are easy to train. This means you can teach them skills that will make them good companions for your children.

Labradors are better suited for older children though. Older children will have lots of energy and they can run around safely with the Labrador. This is a good match because the dog will be able to get their exercise in while your kids also stay active.

Labradors might also be better for older kids because they are less likely to injure them if they happen to jump on them or run fast.

Labradors can also be a good dog for younger children though as long as they are trained properly, and your children are taught proper ways to treat the dog. Always be mindful of the interactions between them though, especially when you first get the dog.

Can Labrador Retrievers Be Aggressive?

Any dog regardless of the breed has the capacity to be aggressive if you do not train them correctly. Labradors are generally not known to be aggressive though. If your Labrador shows signs of aggression when they are young, it could be because of the home they were first born into.

If you rescue a Labrador from an abusive home or previous home, they might also be more likely to be aggressive depending on how they were trained and treated before you became their home.

The good news is that Labradors are people pleasers and quick learners. So, they can quickly adapt to you and your lifestyle whether they are a puppy or a rescue dog. According to some studies, Labradors are five times less likely to attack than a German Shepherd or Doberman.

However, there have been some cases of injuries to children when Labradors get over-excited and jump or pounce on the children. You should always teach children proper protocols when it comes to pets. For example, show them how to hold puppies properly and explain to them that leg and tail pulling is not appropriate.

You should also teach your Labrador healthy habits when it comes to greeting the children. Try to train them to be gentler around the children. Teaching your Labrador not to jump on people is also a good idea. This way, you don’t have to worry about them jumping on anyone, including the children.

You should also teach your Labrador to walk beside while on the leash and on walks. This will ensure that they do not pull the children when they are walking them and potentially hurt them by causing them to fall.

Do Labrador Retrievers Make Good Family Pets?

Labradors are considered to be some of the best family dogs because they love companionship and are easy to train. However, if you don’t train or exercise them properly, they can get destructive.

They are bred to work hard and if you don’t allow them enough exercise and time outdoors, they may begin to bite things in the house or even destroy furniture. The same can apply if they are left alone for too long.

If your children are in school all day and you are at work, you might want to consider getting a dog walker or a neighbor to spend some time with your Labrador. This will ensure they don’t show aggression or anxiety towards you or the children if you aren’t home often.

They tend to be protective of their families, but they still welcome visitors and guests to your home. This makes them great guard dogs and they will always keep a watchful eye on your children.

Some of the top reasons why Labradors are great family pets are:

Easy to Train

Having children in the house means you have less time for dog training. With a Labrador though, this won’t be a problem. They pick up new commands easy and they aim to please you by showing their new skills.

They do need some structure to stay out of trouble, but not as much as other dogs.

Gentle Dispositions

Despite their big size, they have a gentle nature. When they are socialized well as puppies, they can adapt to any new situation. This makes it easy to leave the dog alone with teenage children because they will listen to everyone in the family, not just the one who trained them.

Less Grooming

Having a dog that constantly needs grooming can take time away from the family. Labradors only need an occasional bath and some nail trimming. This can be a fun family activity and it will save you money rather than paying for professional grooming.

Perfect for Family Activities

Labradors are great to take long for family activities such as camping and hiking. This means you can bring your dog along for all the family adventures rather than leaving him home or having to pay for a dog sitter. They will also love playing with the kids outdoors.

Loyal Companionship

Labradors are extremely loyal. They will protect the children and keep an eye on them. They will also happily sleep with the kids or hang out in their room if you let them.

Are Labrador Retrievers Good with Kids?

Helpful Cleaners

Labradors are known to be very happy around mealtime, so they will gladly clean up any leftover food or food you happen to drop on the floor. Keep in mind though that once you allow them to do this, they won’t stop. Only allow this behavior if you are okay with them doing it for a prolonged amount of time.

Can a Labrador Hurt Children?

While we discussed that Labradors have a gentle disposition, there are some things to keep in mind when you have such a big dog around small children. They are big and strong, often not knowing their strength and size. Labradors need to be trained not to jump on kids or anyone for that matter.

They also have strong long nails if not cut. This can mean they may accidentally scratch the children during playtime. Always make sure their nails are short to avoid injury to your skin and the skin of the kids.

They may also be more likely to get rowdy around children if they haven’t had enough playtime or exercise. Make sure your Labrador is well exercised so they’re less likely to jump on the kids and be rough with them.

Labradors are also known to be total pigs when it comes to food. They have no problem getting into the trash or eating what’s on the floor. This might not be ideal if you have small kids that play in the sitting room with small toys. Labradors may try to eat the things on the floor. You will need to ensure that all messes from the kids are cleaned promptly.

In general, yes, a Labrador can hurt children because they are much bigger in size. However, Labradors are not known for being aggressive towards people of any age. They are usually very gentle and loving. This is why many people choose them as family pets.

As discussed previously in the article though, it all comes down to training. A poorly trained Labrador can get aggressive and naughty, especially when left alone.

Final Thoughts

Getting a Labrador is a great choice if you have kids and want a loyal family dog. Getting the dog during the summertime or another month where everyone is home is an excellent way to ensure the dog gets the proper training they need. It will also help them accumulate to having the children around.

If you are getting a Labrador from someone else, ask them how they have trained the dog and they have small children. This will give you a picture of if the Labrador might be a good fit for your family or not.

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