Friday, July 19, 2013
Meet the Breed: Labrador Retriever
The cute little girl on the front seat of the truck belongs to my brother Stan Moore. (By the way, if you need a sign of any type, he is about the best in the business). This little girl is Bailey. She helps my brother with his sign business. She is very often on the front seat of the truck next to him or in the shop supervising his work.
The black Lab in the other picture with her belongs to my niece, Olivia and her fiancee, Dale. His name is Buck.
The Labrador Retriever is a member of the group that we refer to as sight hounds. They were bread to retrieve birds. Generally they love nothing more than chasing things. They love to play with tennis balls and flying discs. They are generally very energetic little guys/girls.
The adult male Lab height is about 23 inches. The females are generally a little smaller. The adult male weight is generally about 70 pounds with the females being slightly lighter.
There are four colors of Lab. They are Black, Yellow, Chocolate, and Silver. Buck is a Black Lab, Bailey is a Yellow Lab, and the patriotic pup in the picture is a Chocolate Lab. The little guy standing in front of the privacy fence is a Silver Lab.
In my experience, these dogs are generally great fun to train. For the most part, the ones I have had the pleasure of working with, have been very intelligent. They are generally very eager to please the people. They seem to really want to learn.
They also seem to really need the dog/human interaction. They love people and are loyal. They are also generally very affectionate and good with human children.
Because they are so energetic and affectionate, it is really important to begin socialization and training early. They are good with people but sometimes, as puppies, they can be a little nervous around people so, the socialization needs to begin early.
As puppies, these guys have, in my experience, been very easy to housebreak.
In my experience, the adult lab (male or female) is pretty strong. For this reason, it is important to train them to walk properly on-leash early. It is also important to address the typical puppy behavior (nipping, jumping on people, etc.) early while they are still relatively small physically.
These little guys need a lot of exercise. They also need the person to be in control. They really look for the leadership of people and they need this leadership.
Please understand, by leadership I do not mean be abusive, violent or physical with them. I simply mean that it is important that you remain assertive. For instance, the Lab loves to play. You have to be consistent about not letting them jump on you or do any other impolite behaviors. I can teach you methods to control them and make them polite dogs without hurting them.
Since the Lab is a relatively large dog and needs a great deal of exercise and mental stimulation, it may not be the best choice for apartment dwellers.
I tell people that the Lab remains a puppy for several years. I do not mean that they are physically a puppy this long. What I mean is they act like a puppy for several years. They remain very energetic and playful well into adulthood. This is one reason I like the breed so much!
Because these dogs learn so quickly and are so eager to please, they are often trained as service and therapy dogs.
If you are searching for a dog that is easy to train, fun to play with, and very loyal, the Lab is certainly worth consideration for an addition to your pack.
I have found that mixed breed dogs that are part Lab generally keep most of the Lab traits (of course this varies from dog to dog).
I could not end this post without a picture and mention of one of the sweetest dogs I ever had the blessing to have in my pack. The dog on the bed in the picture is my old buddy Critten. Critten was a Lab mix. We think she was mixed with one of the so called "Pit-Bull" breeds. Although we were never certain of what her ancestry consisted.
Critten was full of energy well into her adult years. She was also about the most obedient and easy to train dogs I have ever seen. I had to exercise her a lot! She loved to play fetch with anything and could literally play for hours.
Well, as I always tell you, if you are considering adding another member to your pack, please, please, please, consider adoption. There are many really good Labs and Lab mixes that need forever homes and would love to go home with you and join your pack!
There are plenty of good Labrador Rescue Groups, if you want a purebred Lab. There are also plenty of good general Canine rescue groups. See my earlier posts on the heroes of dog rescue for more information.http://fayettedogtrainer.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-local-heroes-of-dog-rescue.html and http://fayettedogtrainer.blogspot.com/2013/06/another-local-dog-rescue-hero.html
Please understand, I am not bashing breeders here. There are some very good ones. And like with any other business there are also some very bad ones. If you decide to buy from a breeder please research them well. Talk to other people who have bought dogs from them. Visit their facility if possible. Ask to see the parent dogs.
When you get your new pack member, please contact me for any training needs or other questions that you may have. I specialize in adopted/rescued dogs and would love to help you and your new pack member! I also have a great deal of experience with new puppies so, if you buy from a breeder, feel free to contact me at any time as well!
Till Next Time
William Moore Canine Training