Bringing a dog into your home and life can be a big decision. Not only will this new family member require your time, but it will also require a good about of love and responsibility. Of course, not all dogs are created equal, so you will also need to decide which breed is right for you, your family, and your home. Considered one of the smartest breeds in the world, the Labrador retriever can be a great option, but proper care and training will still be required to ensure your dog is happy and healthy. Here are a few key facts to know about the lab.
Labs Still Need to Be Trained
The Labrador retriever is smart. The breed has a great deal of patience and a strong desire to please their master. Even though they have these wonderful traits, the lab will still need to be trained.
If you are adopting a lab retriever puppy, make sure to start this training right away. Potty-training will require some time, but it is important to focus your time and energy on this important task. Walk your dog as much as possible and provide your lab with healthy treats each time they go "potty" and each time they "ask" to go outdoors to use the bathroom.
You will also need to take time to socialize your lab with other dogs. Take your puppy/adult lab to the veterinarian for a checkup as recommended, which will keep your dog healthy and allow them to socialize with different people and animals. Also, dog parks are great places to socialize your lab while letting them burn some energy.
Labs are Water Dogs
One surprising fact most people do not realize is that labs are water dogs, meaning they were bred to work and swim in the water.
Labs have webbed feet, which help them swim efficiently and effectively. In addition, this amazing dog breed has a double coat, which provides ample insulation they need while in the water.
If you have a water source nearby, allow your lab to play and swim, if possible, but always keep your eye on them to ensure they are safe.
Labs Need Exercise and Space
Labs love to run and work, so they need plenty of exercise and space. If you live in an apartment-style home, make sure to take your dog out for long walks and runs daily.
A home with a fenced-in backyard where your lab can run and play multiple times per day is ideal. Ample exercise will help prevent common disorders that affect this breed, such as arthritis and hip dysplasia.