Labrador Retrievers – Are You Really Prepared? The Pros and Cons of Owning a Lab


Great Family Dogs: Your Lab will love your entire family and they are great companions for responsible children. Many breeds can turn out to be a one-person dog which makes it miserable for the rest of the family.

Good Natured and They Love People: They are very easygoing, friendly and have a good temperament. This breed is also accepting to strangers. The only down side to this is that he won’t bark if you have an intruder. Instead of pinning him in a corner, your Lab might show him where the cookie jar is.

Labs are “Dog” Friendly: If you want your Lab for a hunting dog, it is critical that they like other dogs since you can be sure there will be other dogs out hunting with you. Labs are not aggressive.

They House Train Easily: Obviously dogs don’t train themselves, but Labs are exceptionally bright and they always want to please their owner which makes training quick and easy.

Athletic: If you are a jogger or hiker, this dog is the perfect choice. They love this type of exercise or any kind of sport you do. They always want to be exercising, so doing it with you will make them happy.

All-Around Hunting Dog: This dog will retrieve on land or water. If you are a hunter and you’re looking for that perfect dog to retrieve your ducks, pheasants, geese, etc., choose a Lab. This breed loves any kind of water activity, which is also great for the kids when you go to the lake for fun.


Labs Demand Attention: Labs were bred to work whether it’s fetching a toy, getting you your newspaper or chasing birds in the wild. They need your attention! An intelligent dog will become destructive if you don’t stimulate him mentally. They need to see new places, learn new skills, see new things and smell fresh scents.

Destructiveness: I suggest you find the time to give your new Lab attention as described above because if these needs are not met, he will be very destructive. He’ll chew on everything, shred your furniture, pillows and bedding, dig huge holes in your back yard, jump the fence and bark as much as possible. This is how they express themselves. You need to have the time to give him attention.

Costly Health Problems: Many older Labs can get chronic ailments that are very expensive to treat. If he gets arthritis, you can spend up to $4-$5 per day. If he gets allergies, their food can cost as much as $80-$100 per month. They have also been known to have hip problems due to their excessive exercising and high energy, which are very costly when surgery is needed.

They Shed A Lot of Hair: The Lab’s coat if very thick because it protects them from the elements while hunting and diving into cold lakes. This means that his coat sheds constantly. You will be vacuuming daily.

Odor: Dogs produce oil in their coats, but Labs were developed for water activities and their heavy coats produce more oil. This is a distinctive smell especially when he has been out exercising or has been in water. If you find it offensive, you will need to bath your dog often. (please be careful not to dry out his skin)

Your Lab Needs A Job: This may sound silly to you, but these dogs were bred to perform specific working functions. They need that stimulation of mental and physical activity. You will need to commit a lot of time and energy to this breed so make sure your entire family understands this before you go out and buy a Lab.

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