Labrador Retriever Breed Characteristics

There is no simple answer to whether Labrador Retrievers are good apartment dogs or not. It requires a committed owner willing to not just only meet the dog’s needs in giving him the time, attention, exercise, and stimulation, but also one that sets limitations, clear rules, uses positive training and regular potty and sniff breaks.

Mental stimulation toys, food puzzles, sniffle mats, filled kongs, lick mats help to keep the dog busy while you are away or occupied.

Once boisterous puppies have grown in a mature Labrador Retrievers they can live very well in an apartment.

Labrador Retrievers are easy to train and due to their affectionate, loving, happy and playful nature make very good dogs for first time owners. But being an easy to train dog still means that he needs to attend puppy class and learn at least basic obedience training so he knows how to be a good dog.

Some dogs will let a stern reprimand roll off their backs, while others take even a dirty look to heart. Labrador Retrievers in general are low-sensitivity dogs, also easy-going, tolerant, resilient, and even thick-skinned, can better handle a noisy, chaotic household, a louder or more assertive owner, and an inconsistent or variable routine. Do you have young kids, throw lots of dinner parties, play in a garage band, or lead a hectic life? Go with a low-sensitivity dog.

Labrador Retrievers bond very closely with their family and are more prone to worry or even panic when left alone by their owner. An anxious dog can be very destructive, barking, whining, chewing, and otherwise causing mayhem. Labrador Retrievers do best when a family member is home during the day or come to work.

Labrador Retrievers were originally bred in Labrador, Canada and hauled in nets for fishermen. They have a short, dense, waterproof double coat and are perfectly adapted to cold weather.

Labrador Retrievers with thick, double coats are vulnerable to overheating. So are breeds with short noses, like Bulldogs or Pugs, since they can’t pant as well to cool themselves off. Labrador Retrievers are a heat-sensitive breed, best to stay indoors with you on very hot and humid days. Be extra cautious about exercising your dog in the heat. Given the length of his legs his body is much closer to the heat-absorbing hot ground which makes it even hotter and which could potentially hurt the paws.

Some breeds are independent and aloof, even if they’ve been raised by the same person since puppyhood; others bond closely to one person and are indifferent to everyone else. Labrador Retrievers shower the whole family with pure, loving affection. Breed isn’t the only factor that goes into affection levels; dogs who were raised inside a home with people around feel more comfortable with humans and bond more easily.

Labrador Retrievers have a gentle mouth and also a very gentle nature and are good around children. They are sturdy enough to handle the hugs, dress-up parties, running in the house, screaming, fighting, door slamming

Saying this, all dogs are individuals and this rating won’t guarantee of how any breed or individual dog will behave. No matter what the breed or breed type, all dogs have strong jaws, sharp pointy teeth, and may bite in stressful circumstances.

Young children and dogs of any breed should always be supervised by an adult and never left alone together, period. It also needs to be stressed that the dog has an area (mat, crate, room) that to remove himself from the action. No one is allowed to touch the dog when in that area. Children also need to be educated about the canine body language and how they approach a dog.

Friendliness toward dogs and friendliness toward humans are two completely different things. Some Labrador Retrievers may attack or try to dominate other dogs even if they’re love-bugs with people and amongst the most popular breeds; others would rather play than fight; and some will turn tail and run. Breed isn’t the only factor; Labrador Retrievers who lived with their littermates and mother until at least six to eight weeks of age and who spent lots of time playing with other dogs during puppyhood, are more likely to have good canine social skills.

Stranger-friendly dogs will greet guests with a wagging tail and a nuzzle; others are shy, indifferent, or even aggressive. However, no matter what the breed, a dog who was exposed to lots of different types, ages, sizes, and shapes of people as a puppy will respond better to strangers as an adult.

If you’re going to share your home with a Labrador Retrievers, you’ll need to deal with some level of dog hair on your clothes and in your house. Labrador Retrievers shed a little hair year-round, but produce a snowstorm of loose hair twice a year

If you’re a neatnik you’ll need to either pick a low-shedding breed, or relax your standards.

Drool-prone dogs may drape ropes of slobber on your arm and leave big, wet spots on your clothes when they come over to say hello. If you’ve got a laid-back attitude toward slobber, fine; but if you’re a neatnik, you may want to choose a dog who rates low in the drool department.

Labrador Retrievers are low maintenance dogs thanks to their short, dense coat. They need a bath from time to time to get rid of the doggy smell. Nails should be trimmed if they don’t wear down on themselves by walking on the road. The ears also need regular cleaning as floppy ears, humidity, warmth could potentially lead to bacteria and yeast growth.

Most ethical breeders do everything their power to produce healthy puppies. But as with all living beings, there is no full certainty how health develops throughout the life cycle. One needs to accept that all different breeds are predisposed to certain genetic illnesses. Ethical breeders their best to supress them in genetically test for the most common diseases as well as taking x-rays and let a vetenary specialist score the images. They also keep a record of the parent’s scores.

This doesn’t mean that every dog of that breed will develop those diseases; it just means that they’re at an increased risk.

Labrador Retrievers have hearty appetites and tend to put on weight easily. Being overweight can cause health problems in dogs. Some Labrador Retrievers have the obesity gene which makes it hard to control the weight but limiting treats, make sure he gets enough exercise, and measure out his daily kibble in regular meals will help.

Labrador Retrievers are more adept at forming an association between a prompt (such as the word “sit”), an action (sitting), and a reward (getting a treat, play, toy).

Labrador Retrievers are intelligent. They were bred for jobs that require decision making, intelligence, and concentration, such as retrieving, sniffing, herding, need to exercise their brains, just as dogs who were bred to run all day need to exercise their bodies. If they don’t get the mental stimulation they need, they’ll make their own work — usually with projects you won’t like, such as digging and chewing.

Dog sports such as obedience training, rally-o, agility, tracking, herding, jumping, rescue, flyball, jetty jumping as well as interactive dog toys, kongs, food puzzles and other mental stimulation toys and games are good ways to give a dog a brain workout.

Common in most breeds during puppyhood and in retriever breeds at all ages, mouthiness means a tendency to nip, chew, and play-bite (a soft, fairly painless bite that doesn’t puncture the skin). Mouthy dogs are more likely to use their mouths to hold or “herd” their human family members, and they need training to learn that it’s fine to gnaw on chew toys, but not on people. Mouthy breeds tend to really enjoy a game of fetch, as well as a good chew on a chew toy that’s been stuffed with kibble and treats.

Labrador Retrievers were originally used for bird hunting (retrieving an injured bird with a soft mouth) and generally don’t chase and kill like breeds that were developed for this purpose. But you’ll probably have a hard time getting their attention when there are birds flying by.

Labrador Retrievers are high-energy dogs, always ready for action. Originally bred to perform a canine job of some sort, such as retrieving game for hunters or herding livestock, they have the stamina to put in a full workday. They need a significant amount of exercise and mental stimulation, and they’re more likely to spend time jumping, playing, and investigating any new sights and smells.

Labrador Retrievers are large, strong dogs and do everything with vigor. Training!

Labrador Retrievers do need daily exercise. Without enough exercise, these breeds may put on weight and vent their pent-up energy in ways you don’t like, such as barking, chewing, and digging. Breeds that need a lot of exercise are good for outdoorsy, active people, or those interested in training their dog to compete in a high-energy dog sport, such as agility.

Most Labrador Retrievers are perpetual puppies — always begging for a game — while others are more serious and sedate. Although a playful pup sounds endearing, consider how many games of fetch or tag you want to play each day, and whether you have kids or other dogs who can stand in as playmates for the dog.

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