Today’s breed, the Labrador Retriever, is the number one favorite dog in America, as we talked about a couple of weeks before Christmas. That post was meant to be informative, perhaps preventative. Today’s is meant to take you to the next step in your dog journey, if the Labrador Retriever is what Santa brought your family for Christmas. Today’s post is obviously gently recycled. The Labrador Retriever is an amazing dog.
First, allow me to direct you to friend’s blog, a Lab owner who can be even more helpful than I am.The No Dog About It dogs feature a lovely yellow Lab. Though I’ve had a Labrador Retriever in the past, and have been well acquainted with the breed over the years, current owners will have their fingers on the pulse of the breed. That said, let’s talk about your new family member, shall we? I went to a trusted source, the AKC site, to start.
Yellow, black and chocolate – your Lab choices are simple when it comes to color. The hair is short. And water-resistant! Wanna know why? The Labrador Retriever is a water dog! Originally bred in Canada (Newfoundland) to help with fishing, they were then cross bred with Setters and honed as game retrievers. That’s right – huntin’ and fishin’ dog. The ideal outdoorsman’s dog.
But surely, you say, the majority of the nation is not comprised of hunting and fishing people? Why on earth would the Lab be the most popular dog in America? Over and over again? Why would your average family get a dog which averages out at 65 to 70 pounds full grown?
Man’s Best Friend
I don’t know how many of y’all have seen this short clip, but it’s safe to say that your puppy and full grown Lab will act like the “dog” in this film.
For a long time. Man’s best friend for life. Labs are easy first dogs. Easily trained. Easy to live and be with. They’re close to the perfect dog. But they behave very much like their puppy selves for a long time. And socializing the Labrador Retriever is very important. Like most dogs, they’ll need to go with you anywhere and everywhere that’s dog friendly, especially when they’re pups. Get used to people and other dogs.
Labrador Retrievers make good watch dogs, letting your know when someone is in the yard or at the door. They probably won’t bite an intruder, though. They’re very sweet, playful dogs. And full of ENERGY!
They’re really hunting dogs, see. They like to be outside. They’re a good candidate for obedience school, for hiking and camping, for sports. And OMG – for swimming. And swimming, and swimming, and swimming … Long story short, your Lab will require regular exercise. Did I mention they’re full of energy? Clumsy as all get out, but energetic.
Last, but not least, and probably one of the most common reasons Lab puppies are surrendered for adoption in about February, is that Labrador Retrievers are mouthy. You only wish they’d talk back – they chew. Think of their purpose – the Lab fetches, or retrieves, the duck, and brings it back to you. In your home there is no duck. Only shoes. And magazines. And furniture. And socks. And whatever else is lying around.
Toddler Proofing for Dogs
See, this is where I think I can help. In addition to walking your Lab puppy every morning, putting things where the dog can’t reach them (much like toddler proofing your house), and having dog chew toys available, DO NOT start your puppy’s life by chewing and tugging with objects which are NOT his toys. It’s cute now when he’s little, but he won’t understand, later, why he cannot chew on said sock or stuffed animal. From the very beginning, ONLY the puppy’s chew toys are allowed for play. Seriously.
My Hunny played with our first puppy when he vacuumed. He’d chase her with the vacuum, she’d growl, bark, bite the vacuum. Cute. And she never understood that it wasn’t hers to chew. We went through about a vacuum a year until she passed. I’m too serious. Don’t start habits you’ll regret just because they’re cute. Similar to teaching a toddler to cuss. It’s cute until Grandma hears it. Or when they’re six.
In addition to chew toys, Jones Natural Chews offers such treats as Woofermen, Bully Sticks, Hooves and Porkscrews for chewing puppies. Remember to supervise chewing, but your Lab puppy is sure to love any of these treats. As the dog gets older, it will still want to chew, so maybe try moving up to a Saddle Knuckle. Mmmm. My dogs love the Saddle Knuckles.
Here’s to a long and happy life with your Lab pup! And I’m serious about your popping over to No Dog About It. Good blog. You’ll like it. While you’re popping around, pop over to this post and enter our Rib Roller giveaway! Your dog will be ever so grateful.
Spreading the good chews …