Is a Labrador a Good Family Dog? (Answered!)

by Beth Satterfield

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Is a Labrador a Good Family Dog?

Labradors are one of the most famous breeds of dogs. They have sleek coats of fine fur that make them one of the more beautiful dog types, and they make fantastic service dogs because they’re smart and work hard. They want to please their owners more than anything.

Labradors make great family dogs when they have proper training. They are kind, friendly, great with children. They are medium-sized dogs. They love playing and cuddling with their owners, and they are versatile dogs that thrive in most environments. Labradors are known as family and working dogs.

There are many things that you need to consider when getting a dog, including their personality, their size, and how easy they are to train. It’s a big decision to add a new member to your family! Just because a lot of dog owners love their labs, doesn’t mean a Labrador will work with your family. See if a Labrador is a good fit for your family!

Temperament

Labradors are bred to be working dogs. This can come with advantages or disadvantages, depending on what sort of family you have. Labs also have lots of energy, which can be exhausting, especially if you’re looking into getting a young dog. Puppies are always more hyperactive than adult dogs.

Pros of Working Dogs

Working dogs like labs make great pets for families who like to train dogs. Labradors are tickled pink whenever they are asked to do something: sit, fetch, roll-over, etc., especially when they are given treats for their efforts. This can be extra fun for your kids, who can get a kick out of ordering the dog around.

Labs are fun for family activities, especially yard games. Frisbee, fetch, or even hide-and-seek sorts of games can be very engaging for your lab, and fun for the whole family. Working dogs love to feel needed, so they love your attention and running errands like fetching the paper.

Cons of Working Dogs

An energetic and people-pleasing dog requires patience and stamina. Labs can be hard to keep up with. When they’re not busy, they want to be, so it is up to you to give them something to do to keep them from getting into things they shouldn’t or getting so excited that they drive you crazy.

Temperament of Lab Puppies

Is a Labrador a Good Family Dog?

Like most puppies, lab puppies are furry balls of energy. They can also be very curious, which could get them into trouble, so keep a close eye on them! Labs require proper training to hone this energy and curiosity. These attributes, if honed correctly, can turn them into wonderful working adult dogs.

Some labs will take longer than others to grow out of this active phase; each dog is unique in personality and temperament! On average, you can expect your lab to be pretty spirited for the first 2 to 4 years.

Affection

Because of their personality, you might assume that labs are not cuddly dogs, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth! Labradors need a lot of physical attention from their owners. They thrive on knowing they are serving their purpose as a companion and helper.

You can show your dog your appreciation for all they do for you by cuddling with them frequently, doing a little rough-housing, and giving them a big hug before bedtime. Let them know you care and are happy with them! If you’re not a cuddler yourself, or if you have a family member who is allergic to dogs, a lab might not be the best choice of dog because they need lots of attention.

That said, labs are service dogs for a reason. Their cuddly nature makes them ideal for helping with mental and emotional illness. They want to make sure your needs are met just as much as you want to meet their needs.

Do Labs Bite?

This is an understandable concern, especially when you have young children. All dogs can potentially bite their owners, and labs are no different. However, with proper training as well as enough attention and jobs to do, your lab will probably not have a biting problem. A busy lab is a happy lab!

Are Labs Indoor or Outdoor Dogs?

One of the great things about labs is that they can function well as indoor or outdoor dogs! They were bred to be hunters, fishers, and farm dogs, so they are built to be outdoors. However, they depend a lot on affection from their family, so they might prefer to be inside with you.

Whether or not your lab is an inside or an outside dog really depends on their personality and how you’ve raised them. Some dogs just love to be outside, but others need more frequent attention from their owners. If you decide to get a lab, choosing whether or not they will live primarily inside or outside is something you’ll have to do together.

Is a Labrador a Good Family Dog?

That said, you should not leave your lab, or any dog for that matter, outside during extreme weather conditions. Severe storms, intensely cold or hot days, or polluted air should all be reasons to bring your dog inside. If you wouldn’t want to be outside for long periods of time, don’t make your dog do so.

Can I Keep a Lab in My Apartment?

Labradors need outlets for their energy. They need to get plenty of exercise and brain stimulation every day. This can be done in an apartment if you are willing to put in the effort to take your lab outside often to play and get their wiggles out.

Labs can also be large dogs, which might make them inconvenient in an apartment setting, but it doesn’t have to. If you have a smaller family that is active enough to keep your lab engaged and feeling appreciated, there is no reason not to have a lab in your apartment.

Labs make great pets for active families. They love to play, serve, and cuddle. If you can keep up with them and give them plenty of attention, they could be the perfect dog for you and your family!

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