Some people wish to become pet parents but worry about the responsibility. One of the best dog breeds to keep is the Labrador Retriever.
Are Labradors Hard To Raise?
Labrador Retrievers are easy to raise. They are loveable and not very demanding compared to other dog breeds. Naturally, Labradors are easy to teach because they are always eager to please their owners.
Deciding to own a labrador is not a simple decision because they demand to be taken care of from when they are puppies to their old age.
Such needs include feeding, grooming, training, exercising and companionship. But with the right knowledge and dedication, you will find that raising a labrador is easy.
While all it takes to own a puppy is to get one from a breeder, there is much more to do once this happens.
Most breeders will release puppies after 8 weeks since many puppies can survive independently without their mothers at this stage. However, dog breeds have varied needs, affecting how easy or difficult it is to care for them.
When you consider the level of responsibilities that comes with taking care of a dog, this is not an easy thing. Most dog breeds are problematic to handle because of stubbornness and other traits.
Fortunately, Labradors are easier to deal with, which is why they are among the most popular family dogs globally.
What you Should Understand Before Getting a Labrador
Every new pet parent aspiring to get a Labrador needs to do some due diligence. It is not enough to admire and want the puppies badly. Do some research and know precisely what you are getting yourself into.
Some of the things you should pay attention to are the dog’s personality, level of energy, and general behaviors.
You also want to know more about their mental and physical health conditions. It is also equally essential to see if they have special grooming or feeding needs.
The details of such information can help you make a decision you won’t regret. It is one thing to want a dog and another to have the capacity to care for it.
Behavior and its Influence on your Choice
Labradors have distinct behaviors that you won’t see in other dog breeds. The good news is that Labradors are good-natured.
These dogs are kind and always friendly, even to children and strangers.
You can rest assured that they are not the aggressive type. Additionally, these dogs are not territorial and are likely to roll down even when smaller dogs attempt to attack them. They are super friendly and only get protective or defensive if they have to.
Please do not assume that they are not able to attack, though.
These dogs are incredibly loyal and will jump into action to protect their owners when they sense they are in danger. If you want a best friend for a dog, then the Labrador is an excellent choice.
Another habit you need to pay attention to is their highly dynamic nature. These dogs will jump and want to play all the time. This can be overwhelming if you don’t know how to handle it.
Make sure to schedule at least 2 hours every day to exercise them. You should also get chew toys for the puppies if you want your household items to stay unaffected.
Be ready to cuddle and be affectionate since labs enjoy cuddling and petting too much.
Beware of Energy Levels
Labradors have a lot of energy at any given time. Fortunately, they are also not picky with the activities they like. You can run, go for a swim, or even play fetch and other activities with them as long as you keep them moving and working.
The idea is to keep them busy and ensure they use most of their energy. Only let your lab back indoors when they are tired of them to sleep and recharge.
Be careful not to let them get bored since they can quickly develop strange behavioral traits that can be impossible to manage.
It is also a good idea to monitor their energy levels too. Labrador puppies are going to be more energetic than adults. However, when you notice dullness and a lack of energy, this could be a sign that the dog is sick and a vet needs to come on board.
Look at their Shedding Traits
Labradors shed their fur frequently. This is something to note since you will always have fur and hair everywhere around the house.
You can attempt to manage this fur by getting them unique beds and seats.
Alternatively, get dog blankets for when you want to cuddle with your lab on the couch. You can also take control of the shedding by grooming them frequently. Brush their skin every week and bathe them often to stay on top of this issue.
When adopting a Labrador, you may want to consider their sizes vs. living space. Labradors are generally medium-sized dogs.
As such, they can live anywhere, including smaller spaces like apartments.
You also want to know if the size is manageable. This is an essential factor for those with kids. It can be scary to have huge dogs around your children, especially young ones.
Each dog breed comes with a few health concerns. Some diseases and conditions affect certain dog breeds and not others. It is essential to understand this so as not to be caught unawares if your dog falls victim.
Generally, Labradors may struggle with the following ailments/ conditions.
- Elbow and Hip Dysplasia
- Obesity in Labradors
- Heart Disease
- Muscle Weakness
- Exercise-Induced Collapse (EIC)
- Multiple eye conditions
If you suspect your dog is suffering from any known or unknown disease, make sure to call your vet. It is easier to have a situation handled when you act fast. Make sure to have a vet number on the speed dial for such times.
Realize that Labradors are good-tempered dogs and, as such, will not give you any trouble during training. It is always a good idea to train your Labrador early and stay persistent.
Every dog needs to learn at least some basic obedience commands. Whether you want to have the Labrador professionally trained so that they can compete in competitions or not, get them to learn the basics.
Simple things such as potty training your Labrador, crate training, and sleep training will make keeping and raising your Labrador much more enjoyable.
Overall, though, Labradors are not problematic.
They are always eager to learn and want to please their owners. Throw in a few of their favorite treats during training, and they will look forward to the session. Training your lab will make them more disciplined and manageable, benefiting everyone around them.
Evaluate Your Capacity to Own a Labrador
Once you know what it takes to be a Labrador owner, carefully analyze your capabilities. Are you in a position to provide everything the dog will need?
It is not a straight curve. Labradors, like other dogs, have basic and special needs. These cost money and time, which you must be ready to commit to.
However, considering the loyalty and undivided love the lab offers you as the owner, it is worth every dollar spent.
All you need to do is devise a proper plan and set a budget for them. Identify the breeder you want to get your lab from and start learning everything about Labradors as early as possible.
While it is true that you won’t get to master everything, prepping is an excellent first step. Be open-minded and ready to learn on the job. Labradors make it very easy to become a pet parent.
Labradors are good dogs for first-time parents. Consider getting yourself one if you want to try raising a dog without too many disappointments.
- Labradors are easy dogs to keep and raise
- Learning everything about Labradors makes raising them easy
- It is essential to train your Labradors to foster better behavioral responses.
- Get your Labrador puppy from a reliable breeder.
- It is always fun to raise a Labrador.