Labrador Retrievers are great service dogs
Labrador retrievers are intelligent and loyal dogs. They are often used as service or rescue dogs but are also much-loved family dogs in the USA, Europe, and many other parts of the world. They make great therapy and service dogs for the blind and disabled.
Labradors are perfect for families with children and go along very well with other pets in the household.
There are two different breeds of Labrador Retriever, American, and English. English Labradors are larger and stronger, and the American ones somewhat taller and more slender.
Labrador retriever is a perfect dog for people who never had a dog before (as a first dog).
Character and Temperament
This breed is popular in many parts of the world, and we know why. Labradors are intelligent, loving, loyal, balanced dogs and very fast learners. They are also very playful and love to swim. Their temperament is very lovable and jolly and very rarely aggressive or nervous. They always enjoy time spent with their owners. Most of the time, they are friendly to other dogs, cats, and other pets in the family.
Aggression in Labrador Retrievers is rare, and it occurs with very bad socialization or isolation of the dog.
Labradors need a lot of mental and physical activity, so they are not suitable for people who are all day at work and rarely have time.
Training and Socialization
Labradors are strong and very energetic. Proper early socialization is essential. The puppy needs exposure to different people and situations. Early training will help him grow into a balanced and well-mannered adult dog. If we notice any bad habits at an early age (puppy), we can correct them right there. Generally, Labrador Retrievers are intelligent, loyal, energetic, and eager companions, and thrive best when included in different family activities. As mentioned before, Labradors need daily mental and physical activity to stay healthy and fit (also to prevent obesity).
Compatibility With Children
Labrador Retrievers love kids and enjoy their playful energy (since they both have lots of energy for playing and running). However, you need to teach your children how to properly interact with the dog, and vice-versa. Especially children who don’t live with the dog need to be supervised, as they might not know how to behave around the dog (pulling the tail, etc).
Labrador Retrievers are highly energetic and playful and require daily exercise. If they don’t get enough exercise, that can manifest in destructive behavior (destroying furniture, etc.), or hyperactivity (jumping on people, etc.).
As their name tells us, they love to retrieve, but they also love to swim. They can be used as hunting dogs or engaged in different dog sports. Labs make great service, rescue, and guide dogs. The police often use them to detect drugs and explosives.
Labradors are generally a healthy breed. Breeders will often monitor their dogs for hip and elbow dysplasia, heart and eye conditions, and breed only healthy dogs.
Young labs can suffer from EIC (exercise-induced collapse), in times of heavy exercise. This condition is recessive (the dog needs to have 2 copies of the mutation in his genes). Therefore, this can be avoided when getting the dog from a certified breeder.
These are a few other conditions that might appear in some dogs or older ones. Your dog might never suffer from any of these, but it’s important to know them.
- Eye Problems: Some Labs have eye problems that run from minor visual issues such as cataracts or even retinal atrophy. Many of these are hereditary but can have them treated. If not treated, your dog could go blind.
- Muscular Dystrophy is another disease that is inherited. You find it more in male than in female, and it shows up as early as the tenth week. There is presently no cure.
- Dysplasia is a treatable disease that is a common problem with Labs. It is caused by the joints developing poorly and can cause degeneration of the cartilage. You can treat it with drugs but may require surgery.
- Epilepsy – Labradors can suffer from Epilepsy. Consult your vet in cases of unusual or frantic behavior, uncontrolled running, signs of seizures, etc. Grooming
Labradors don’t need to be bathed often. They only require bathing if they get very dirty. Too frequent bathing can dry out their skin.
They need to be brushed at least once a week, which will also stimulate natural oils to keep the skin and fur healthy. Clean and brush their teeth frequently (without toothpaste), and nails trimmed regularly.
For more in-depth information click here.