In a world where Labrador retrievers can choose their owners, these would probably be the Lab’s criteria when looking for the best person with whom he can share friendship and give his undying loyalty to —a person who loves the great outdoors; a dog owner who can take his Lab swimming, hiking, and playing; someone who enjoys the friendship of a fun-loving canine friend and more.
A Lab will surely look for somebody who can control him with a firm yet gentle hand and be responsible enough to look after his needs. A Lab needs to be given adequate training in order to curb his rambunctious side. Thus he needs a person who can be a good Alpha “dog”—one who will be a good leader and provide him with proper guidance and protection.
A Labrador retriever needs a responsible owner—one who assumes the responsibility of training, feeding, and providing adequate exercise and play to make him a disciplined and happy dog.
A good Lab owner is ready to deal with the boundless energy of his dog. He needs both constant physical and mental stimulation or else he will get bored and develop undesirable behaviors in order to amuse himself. Bored Labs can try to escape from the yard or chew your shoes and furniture. Even when they are in their twilight years, and their bones and joints are feeling their age, a Labrador retriever will continue to crave for a walk in the park.
A Labrador loves to be a part of their owner’s everyday life. They are highly attuned to what’s going on and they want to be involved.
One gets a dog not only because he needs a guardian and protector but also because he wants to share his life with a devoted canine friend.
A Labrador retriever can grow to be a hundred-pound dog. Thus a prospective owner must be ready to make adjustments and considerations. Think about what you will do when your lab takes up most of your bed or stretches out across the living room sofa leaving only a teeny weenie space for the human members of the pack?
As the lab grows in size so does its strength. A poorly trained lab could easily jump up on people and knock them down and may hurt people without any intention of doing so. However, with proper training, a lab is able to control his behavior and channel this boundless energy elsewhere. With regular adequate exercises, a Lab can be more relaxed, healthier and happier.
With unending bursts of energy, a Lab requires an outlet to unleash this pent-up energy. A walk around the neighborhood is inadequate, he needs more—a run in the park, a game of catch, or swimming in the lake. Are you ready to engage in all these activities for your Lab?
A Labrador retriever needs somebody who will not give in when he asks for more food. Labs love nothing more in the world than playing and food. But obesity has become more of a problem in Labs and has now been linked with important disease problems.
A Lab will need an owner who will keep him busy and challenge his mind. With the proper obedience training, a dog owner can teach his lab some errands—teach him to bring you the newspaper, to get your slippers or get his leash when you’re bringing him out. A dog owner can also take his Lab to train and participate in agility courses and scent hurdle races. All these activities will keep a Labrador retriever active, focused, and contented.
Labs are said to remain puppies for a long time. At two years old when most dog breeds are considered fully grown both mentally and physically, a Labrador retriever remains to be a growing puppy. He won’t stop growing until he reaches his mature size and mental maturity at 3-4 years of age. A lab owner must be aware of these eccentricities in his dog’s development and must never assume that Labs will behave in the same way as other breeds when they are already 2 or 3 years old.
A good Lab owner should be aware that his dog can shed but not as heavy as notorious dog shedders like the German shepherd and Collie. Although its hair appears short, it has a thick undercoat. Shedding in Labs is a perennial problem but is often at its worst during spring and fall. In order to keep shedding under control, a responsible dog owner should take time to give his Lab a brush every single day.
Labrador retrievers have indeed a long list of criteria when given the chance to pick out their owners. All in all, these qualities reveal the important responsibilities that prospective Lab owners will face when bringing home a Lab.
Photo of Misha provided by Just Labradors Forum member blackandyellow