What you may be wondering about Labs…
Last month I did a blog on the most popular dog breeds for families. The Labrador Retriever being America’s favorite. The Lab originated in Newfoundland and topped the AKC charts as most popular dog breed in 1991, where it has been ever since. Although they were first used as gun dogs, they are now also the prime dog breed chosen for guide and rescue.
The AKC only recognizes Yellow, Chocolate and Black as true Lab colors. The silver color is actually a gene of the Chocolate so we had to register our Silver Lab as a Chocolate Labrador. We did write more about that in an earlier dog blog.
Dog Lover Lab questions
- Are Labradors good family dogs?
- Are Labs aggressive?
- Can Labradors be left alone for 8 hours?
- What problems do Labradors have?
- Are Labs difficult to train?
When it comes to family dogs, Labs top the list. They have been the most popular dog breed for decades. So, yes, absolutely the Labrador is a wonderful dog breed for your family.
Are Labs Aggressive?
The Labrador Retriever is not one of the top 10 most aggressive dog breeds (according to the (ATTS) American Temperament Test Society). The ATTS tests hundreds of dogs regularly to see how they react to things like loud noises and strangers. The Lab actually tested the highest on the temperament test at 92%! Sometimes testing is also needed if dogs are going to be a service or working dog.
But dogs can be aggressive for many reasons. There is a higher chance if they are a rescue, so make sure to inquire on their full history. Because there’s a variety of reasons your dog could be aggressive, it’s important to assess the situation so you can help them. It helps to work with your vet if you start to see aggression. One of the reasons is pain, so getting them checked out is a good idea if your dog suddenly becomes aggressive. If Labs lack socialization or have had negative experiences, it can cause fear and phobias. That then could also cause aggression.
If your dog is aggressive towards dogs, that doesn’t mean they will also be aggressive towards humans or other animals, and vice versa. According to the ASPCA. The best answer is to keep them away from what triggers the aggression until you can work with them to cure it. Keeping them socialized and healthy is important for prevention.
Can Labradors be left alone for 8 hours?
Do not leave your Lab for more than 8 hours max, especially in a crate. Labradors are bred to be very active and have a lot of energy. As a genetic working dog, if you fail to exercise them enough they will get bored and show it by digging, barking, chewing or other behavior problems. You may see separation anxiety when you go to leave or they might stop listening to you. Exercise will depend on age, genetics and health but paying attention to what calms them is key, when your dog has had enough, they will be satisfied. Basically, relaxed Labs can get away with 45 minutes a day but Labs with more energy could need 2 hours or more. Anything beyond a walk is what they need, like fetch, jogging, or swimming.
It is best to exercise them before leaving for hours and then again when you return.
What problems do Labradors have?
As for behavior problems, again, a lot can be solved with exercise and bonding. Besides that, Labs are chewers so when you have a puppy, be aware. It’s normal for them to chew all the way up to their second birthday. They will also chew more if they are bored.
Labradors are a strong muscular dog breed, which means training is key so they don’t jump up on people or pull when walking. Some humans don’t mind their dog jumping up on them, but you have to think about kids and others who may visit. They could knock them down with their big happy greeting! A way to train them not to jump is having them sit before you say hello when you walk in the door; or just making sure they always have 4 paws on the ground before you reward them.
Obesity is one of the most common health problems in Labs. Typical other health issues include hip and knee dysplasia, and eye problems. All which are common for most dogs as they age.
Are Labs difficult to train?
Training your dog should be enjoyable and with a Labrador Retriever it is! They are super smart and learn very fast. Also why they are a prime breed chosen for guide and rescue. Keep your dog training sessions short and fun! You just have to take the time and be consistent. Try not to change up the command words or use sentences, they will get confused. Begin training as soon as you get them!
Labrador Retrievers really love to learn and using small treats as positive reinforcement works well for them. Again, exercise and socializing should also be a part of their training. Plan on giving them at least an hour of exercise a day.
Holli~ The Dog Connection
Resources: ASPCA.com, AKC.com, PetMD.com