Is Owning a Labrador Hard?

by Beth Satterfield

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The Labrador Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds in America, but is it easy to take care of them? Is it hard to own a Labrador, or is it difficult?

It is easier to own a labrador than other dog breeds. Labradors are easy to train, have high energy levels, shed often, and sometimes have health issues. However, they don’t typically have behavioral issues and are very friendly. Proper care and training from day one can make owning one much easier.

Now that you know that it is relatively easy to own a Labrador, you are likely wondering why they are easier to own than other dog breeds. Keep reading to find out.

Is Owning a Labrador Hard?

It is hard to have any pet, but they are easier to own and take care of than many other dog breeds because they don’t typically have any behavioral issues and they are extremely loveable. They are also extremely kind and love both children and other dogs.

It is hard to own any breed of dog because they are a large responsibility that requires a massive amount of attention from their owners. However, one of the reasons why Labradors are so popular, as they are one of the most popular dog breeds, is that they are easier to take care of and train than many other dog breeds.

What You Need to Know Before Getting a Labrador

Before you decide to adopt a Labrador, you need to know about their behavior, personality, energy levels, how often they shed, size, health issues, and how difficult it is to train them.

Behavior and Personality

Labrador Retrievers are kind, cuddly, and good with adults, children, and other dogs. They are not territorial or aggressive towards other dogs. My labrador used to roll over on her back when confronted by corgis or weiner dogs, even though they were much smaller than her. That is how friendly they are towards other dogs.

However, if they feel that their owners are being threatened, they will growl and bare their teeth. They may not bite the person who is threatening you, but they are relatively protective dogs. They are extremely devoted to their owners and loved ones.

Labradors are dogs with high amounts of energy, especially when they are puppies. When they are puppies, they bite and chew everything, but they typically grow out of that habit once they are 1-2 years old. (Source)

Labradors are wonderful companions, but they deal relatively well with being alone all day. They will be excited when greeting you at the door when you get home, and they may jump on you, but they aren’t likely to develop separation anxiety if they are alone.

Labradors love to cuddle, and they seem to think they are smaller than they actually are. If you want a dog to cuddle with, you should adopt a Labrador.

Is Owning a Labrador Hard?

Energy Levels

Labradors are dogs that have high energy levels, so they need to be exercised every day. Play with them, let them go swimming, or let them run around your backyard. They need at least 30 minutes of exercise every day.

Their energy levels do decrease slightly as they grow from a puppy to an adult, but they still have large amounts of energy. If your Labrador suddenly becomes lethargic, they are sick and need to be taken to the vet.

Shedding Habits

Labradors shed so much. When you pet your Labrador, you will remove some of their hair, and you will find dog hair on your clothing and furniture.

You can quell the amount of shedding of your Labrador by brushing them weekly. Some Labradors don’t enjoy being brushed, but some think of it as another way of being pet and, consequently, love being brushed. You can also bathe them about once a month.

To find out more about why Labradors shed so much, click here.

Size

Labradors are medium to large-sized dogs, so if you want a little dog you don’t want to adopt a Labrador. Labs grow to be 21-25 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh 55-80 pounds. (Source)

Health Issues

Labradors are relatively healthy, but they can suffer from the following health issues:

  • Elbow and Hip Dysplasia
  • Heart Disease
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Various Eye Conditions
  • Exercise-Induced Collapse (EIC)
  • Bloat
  • Disease
  • Obeseity

If your Labrador shows signs of illness or disease, call your veterinarian right away and take your dog in to be checked and treated. This will increase your Labrador’s lifespan and help keep your dog happy and healthy.

Training

Is Owning a Labrador Hard?

Labradors are one of the easiest breeds to train because they are smart and they want to please their owners. They are extremely food and treat-motivated, so when you are training your Labrador, keep a handful of treats on hand.

Although Labradors are easy to train, they are easily distracted, especially when they are puppies. It may take a while for you to be able to keep their attention for long periods of time, but if you remove distractions they will focus on you.

If you have an energetic Labrador, training will wear them out because it exercises both their minds and bodies. Only train them for about 15-30 minutes a day, and reward them when they do something correctly. Use simple commands at first, but you can move on to more complex tricks and commands after they learn the basics.

To find out exactly how smart Labradors are, click here.

Labrador Retrievers as a breed are some of the most loveable, loyal, and smart dogs that you can own. Although it is hard to own them because it is a big responsibility, the love and attention you receive back from them makes every second worth it.

Although it may take some time to train your Labrador, they are highly receptive to training, which is great when you have a puppy and need to potty-train it. Say the same commands repeatedly, and don’t be surprised if your puppy suddenly seems to forget its training, as that is normal.

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