Labrador Retrievers?

Breed specific discussion of your favorite breed.

Moderators: emmabeth, BoardHost

Wilkie
Posts: 144
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2012 3:11 am

Labrador Retrievers?

Post by Wilkie » Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:04 pm

Can anyone who has knowledgeable experience with the breed tell me about them, the pro and cons, health, training, temperament and breed specifics. I've done research, but either info is outdated or contradicts other info. It's just easier to gather info from experienced Lab parents rather than ending up misinformed due to contradicting info.

Thank you for any advice given. I know a number of Labs, but I never made one apart of my family.

bendog
Posts: 2188
Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2011 7:42 am

Re: Labrador Retrievers?

Post by bendog » Wed Jul 18, 2012 6:51 am

Haven't owned one myself but from ones that I do know they are:

Lively, friendly, love water, very food and toy motivated (and hence very trainable), sometimes prone to over-exhuberence, seeking attention, bringing toys etc so need lots to do and lots of exercise.

Cons: Chew lots, shed lots, slobber a bit, prone to getting overweight (usually due to underexercise - they need a LOT of exercise), bouncy and energetic (jump up at people if not trained).

Health - hip displasia common so if getting a puppy make sure parents hip scores are known.

I don't think I've ever met a Lab that wasn't friendly with people, and most seem pretty friendly with dogs too.

User avatar
rachel540
Posts: 515
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:31 am
Location: West Yorkshire

Re: Labrador Retrievers?

Post by rachel540 » Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:16 am

Hi! I thought I would share my experiences so far, apologies for the mammoth message…. I am a new Labrador owner, Pepper is almost one and she has been so much fun! We got her when she was 8 weeks old from a reputable pedigree breeder, she is working bred and therefore much leaner and full of energy. The difference between working and show was summed up to me….. “a working lab can go on a long walk come home, quick drink, and be ready to go again, while a show lab will quite happily settle in front of the fire for a nap”. This is true of Pepper.

She is full of energy, so loving, always wanting to be with you and into whatever you are doing. She loves walks, swimming, exploring. She isn’t that food orientated, her ball is her world and focuses on nothing else. She is jumpy, wiggly, fussy and the best thing we ever did.

I read lots of books when deciding what breed to go for, and even more when we had our heart set on this particular litter. So what the books didn’t tell me…..

Chewing – this is quite dismissed in the books I read, everyone knows Labs chew but seriously its unbelievable! So far Pepper has eaten our kitchen cupboards, the stainless steel handle on the cooker, all the dials on the washer and cooker, pulled the telephone connection box off the wall, proceeded to chew a hole in the wall, various cushions, books, etc. At the moment she has the run of downstairs, there is only the large furniture left and we still pray she doesn’t decide to destroy that too. Her siblings from the same litter have taken down coffee tables, dining table chairs, tools, glasses….the list is endless.

The best advice I was given on this forum was not to think about all the things I DON’T want Pepper to do but concentrate on what I DO want her to do when in the house alone…the answer was sleep. She has a walk before she is left for 4 hours each day with a puzzle box and chew, usually her favourite – a frozen carrot, then its zzzzzz.

Shedding – I was under the impression Labs shed twice a year, summer coat and winter coat…er no! Not true, it’s constant. We have to brush Pepper everyday to reduce the amount of hairs that work their way into everything.

Excited – so puppies are excited about everything, I get it, but come on is everything really THAT exciting haha! It is hard to get Pepper to control this and sit and wait during greetings, we’ve had a few incidents with Pepper head butting people and their sensitive areas (obviously horrifically embarrassing at the time but hilarious thinking back on it!) she’s also knocked me down a few times. And all people can say is “oh it’ll be a couple of years until she calms down yet” when she was small it was adorable, now she is big it’s hard work.

Energy – oh my goodness the energy they have! As puppies this is hard to manage when following the 5 minute rule for walks (bones don’t harden until 1-1½ years and as they are prone to hip problems you need to try your best to stick to it) saying that we managed up until 10 months when we couldn’t limit her any longer and she now has 1hour 30mins a day with longer walks at weekends. Mental exercise is also vital, they are such eager learners and so quick to pick things up it will make you so proud!

Saying all this, the god and the bad, I wouldn’t change one tiny thing about her, it all adds to her gorgeous personality and we are prepared to put in the hard work and train her the best we can, but mostly just enjoy every minute.

As I have kept in touch with a couple of the owners of Peppers siblings we can’t help but compare and they are all different, some hate swimming, some love it, some lounge around at home chilling, while others are crazy demanding attention with endless energy, some are friendly with everyone and anything, others are timid and shy.

The only advise I can give is be ready for a bumpy ride, get your home not just puppy safe but Lab safe and I would always recommend a good breeder.

Good Luck! :D
Pictures of Pepper viewtopic.php?f=31&t=14364

User avatar
Nettle
Posts: 10537
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:40 pm

Re: Labrador Retrievers?

Post by Nettle » Fri Jul 27, 2012 1:48 pm

Some labs, particularly males, can be very dodgy with other dogs.

All the labs I encounter are no respectors of personal space and would rather cannon into you than stop or go round you. This can actually cause some serious injuries. They are masters of the body-slam, with their whole weight.

They are generally very people-friendly :)
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS

User avatar
Suzette
Posts: 1503
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2011 6:45 am

Re: Labrador Retrievers?

Post by Suzette » Fri Jul 27, 2012 2:00 pm

I can tell you from personal experience (my sister and brother-in-law have owned/raised labs for 30 years) that you cannot have anything breakable or of value on your coffee or end tables in your living room if you own a lab. When they're happy (which is pretty much all the time), those tails will sweep a table clean in one swipe! :lol:
My avatar is Piper, my sweet Pembroke Corgi. b. 5/11/11

User avatar
JudyN
Posts: 6664
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:20 pm
Location: Dorset, UK
Contact:

Re: Labrador Retrievers?

Post by JudyN » Fri Jul 27, 2012 2:43 pm

Being jumped on by a wet labrador is like having a large sopping wet sponge thrown at you. They're even more absorbent than the loo paper they advertise :lol:
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

Wilkie
Posts: 144
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2012 3:11 am

Re: Labrador Retrievers?

Post by Wilkie » Sat Jul 28, 2012 1:06 pm

The Lab I met felt the need to use me as a form of exercise. You know that wall stretch exercise where you stretch your arms out again a wall? Well, that's exactly what happened to me and I was not expecting it. He's a really sweet boy overall, and he's quite strong! I was told that he was still a couple months old, but he was huge :shock: . He hasn't grown into his feet yet; it looks like he has clown shoes.

User avatar
Nettle
Posts: 10537
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:40 pm

Re: Labrador Retrievers?

Post by Nettle » Sat Jul 28, 2012 1:52 pm

Love those labrador feet! :lol:
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS

Wilkie
Posts: 144
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2012 3:11 am

Re: Labrador Retrievers?

Post by Wilkie » Sun Jul 29, 2012 6:14 pm

Nettle wrote:Love those labrador feet! :lol:
He was all different shapes. He had long floppy ears, a skinny body and head, long legs, clown shoes and a battering ram for a tail. I fell in love with his awkward appearance. I am still looking around and deciding what kind of dog I want to give a forever home to, but I'm pretty interested in a Lab. All of this information posted has become very helpful. I am already used to things getting knock over with my dog.

Vicki.C87
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:53 am
Location: Cheshire, England

Re: Labrador Retrievers?

Post by Vicki.C87 » Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:55 am

I recently got a Labrador puppy, Rogue, who is now 11 weeks. I would say that they make excellent additions to the family.

I have found her to be:

very intelligent and quick to learn.

affectionate

sociable: gets on very well with my Mum's dog, loves seeing the neighbours, is learning to be calm with Mum's cat and is very good with my 5 yr old nephew.

One thing I would say is that when I told people I was thinking of getting a Labrador they all mentioned the above qualities and then said to watch out for chewing as Labs are known for it. Although I did listen, I wasn't quite prepared for just how much! She does like to chew...and a lot more than any dog my parents have had as puppies in the past.This is the only thing that I am finding hard with her at the moment but I am assured that it is a case of persistence consistency, and time.

Overall, if chewing is the only potential issue I can think of to mention, I would say that they make excellent additions to the family! :D

Wilkie
Posts: 144
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2012 3:11 am

Re: Labrador Retrievers?

Post by Wilkie » Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:15 pm

How do you keep them from chewing you out of house and home?

User avatar
Nettle
Posts: 10537
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:40 pm

Re: Labrador Retrievers?

Post by Nettle » Fri Aug 03, 2012 2:01 am

Wilkie wrote:How do you keep them from chewing you out of house and home?

You give them loads of safe things to chew, exercise appropriately for age, make puzzle toys (mental tiredness is good) and put away or screen off everything you don't want chewed. When you can't directly supervise, leave the dog in a safe area with lots to occupy it - just as you would with a child.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS

User avatar
rachel540
Posts: 515
Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:31 am
Location: West Yorkshire

Re: Labrador Retrievers?

Post by rachel540 » Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:01 am

Nettle wrote:
Wilkie wrote:How do you keep them from chewing you out of house and home?

You give them loads of safe things to chew, exercise appropriately for age, make puzzle toys (mental tiredness is good) and put away or screen off everything you don't want chewed. When you can't directly supervise, leave the dog in a safe area with lots to occupy it - just as you would with a child.
They are an unstoppable force especially when teeching or bored so Nettle's advice as always is perfect! It's a natural thing so don't stop it just redirect it. I have found that Pepper chews to relax or when she's sleepy and a nylon bone is ideal for this (or her blanket which she loves).
Pictures of Pepper viewtopic.php?f=31&t=14364

Vicki.C87
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:53 am
Location: Cheshire, England

Re: Labrador Retrievers?

Post by Vicki.C87 » Sat Aug 04, 2012 4:13 am

Wilkie wrote:How do you keep them from chewing you out of house and home?
We give Rogue loads to chew, offer her the right things to chew when she chews the wrong things and give her puzzles etc.

With anything that is dangerous for her to chew we use bitter apple. Some people don't like it and say that their dogs like the taste but it does the trick with Rogue. I know some would say that this way of deterring her is not a solution but Rogue took a liking to the wires to our TV and it is hard to cover them up, so I felt better using something to deter her just in case I wasn't quite fast enough to stop her (don't want an electrocuted puppy)! The first time she tried to chew it when the stuff was sprayed on she pulled back in disgust...tried again a couple of times and now leaves the wires to the TV alone completely.

User avatar
Nettle
Posts: 10537
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:40 pm

Re: Labrador Retrievers?

Post by Nettle » Sat Aug 04, 2012 4:15 am

Anyone having issues with wires - get thee down to a DIY store and get some wide plastic pipes. Feed the wires through these. Job done.

Works for table legs/other furniture too.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest