I have wanted a Lab for a while, but since I'm not a very outdoorsy kind of guy, and spend most of my time in the gym, I just wrote them off as I thought I would not be able to provide enough exercise for a lab. Well today, I met with a friend who I have not seen in a while and it turns out he has a 2 yr old lab. We get to talking about Labs and how I wanted one but probably shouldnt because of the exercise. He tells me he had the same concerns but decided to give it a go anyways. Turns out, he only gave his dog daily walks up till he was about one. Now, he pretty much just chills around the house and gets let out to the yard to pee and poo, and he is a happy dog.
The point is, are Labs generally adaptable? Will they make it work with the amount of exercise you are willing to give them? Or did my friend just get lucky with his?
I wouldn't call your friend lucky, I'd say he's not giving the dog what it should get but yes, unfortunately the dog has accepted it. You spend your time at the gym... you should be able to easily understand that there's a difference between existing and thriving
That being said, you don't need to be an outdoor adventure enthusiast but you should plan on giving a dog adequate amounts of exercise on a regular basis.
All I can say is if Jack (15 months old) doesn't get enough excercise he can be a bit of a pain. He'll chill in the house all day (if he HAS too) if it's needed for some reason...but he'll be very restless at night. Not "bad" but restless, he tosses and turns and wakes up a lot. Huffing and puffing. He's a much, much happier dog if he gets an hour or so of running around, chasing his ball. If you want a "couch potato" dog, there are breeds that fit that.
Some Labs are couch potatoes, content to lay around most of the time, but that is a small percentage. If you have a fenced yard and can get your dog out to play ball for a while every day, that would help. Walks are better, that allows the dog to see and interact with different things, and it would get you some fresh air instead of stinky, stale gym air.
Jackie, Champ, and Buddy
it's MORE than exercise. you need not only time to exercise a dog but spend time training and bonding with a dog, just being with them. It's not fair to have a dog if you are rarely home.
Labs, and all dogs, are adaptable. And within any breed, you have variation in needs. If you are home enough and want a dog, but not go to the dog park or run it for a few hours a day, then consider a rescue adult. A dog that isn't a puppy, in need of a home and who's exercise and training requirements are lower and would be happy with a nice walk daily.
But again, remember it's more than just finding an hour to walk the dog, but you need to give a dog quality of life by ensuring he or she is not alone all the time.
Dogs are a lifestyle. They don't have to change your ENTIRE life but you do need to make changes to YOUR life to fit a dog in. For some it means not going out for drinks with buddies after work because the dog has been alone all day. Or doing part of the workout outside with the dog. Finding a dog walker if you have to work overtime. (especially for singles, if you are a couple then you have a second person to offset some of those things).
Last edited by Tanya; 08-03-2013 at 11:59 AM.
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
If you aren't prepared to give a dog (any breed) the exercise it needs, please get yourself a stuffed animal toy to leave on your couch or bed. A sedentary life as a fashion accessory is no life for a sporting dog.
What everyone else has posted. In addition, your friend's 2 year old couch potato is still young, but he will pack on the pounds if that life style continues. Everyone who has a dog has the responsibility to keep him healthy.