Labs in General
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Thread: Labs in General

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    DefaultLabs in General

    I don't know if this is the right board or not but I just have some general questions about the breed itself and what better place to ask than a place that loves Labs, right? If it's not the right board, could someone PM me or just move it to the correct board?

    Like I said in my Introductory post, I have a Cocker Spaniel, 2 cats and a bird. We are currently house hunting and although we have slightly different views on what we want, we agree on one thing: a large fenced back yard. I want more nature, he wants more urban - I'm hoping we can meet somewhere in the middle. I'm one of those girls who doesn't mind getting her hands dirty outside. I enjoy hiking (well, technically it's just trails), camping etc. I take my Cocker once a week to a Nature Park and just walk with her through the trees. However, it's my Fiances dog and they are totally bonded. So, I chose Labs for my breed because I think we could have a good fit. He says okay. Of course we won't even start looking at breeders until after we buy our house. Which could be next week or in a year or two. Until then, I want to learn as much as I can.

    I love goofy, happy dogs. I want a dog that can come with me on walks/jogs. I want a dog that can go in the snow with me (someday) or a dog that can tolerate the Florida sunshine. I want a dog that is eager to learn, is ready to go in a second or ready to cuddle. I want a dog that gets along with other animals - that likes the outdoors as much as I do. I'm not looking for big grooming requirements, or a lot of skin/ear problems (like my Cocker).


    ...so do Labs fit me like I think they do?



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  3. #2
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    DefaultRe: Labs in General

    Sounds to me like you have found your breed! Labs are wonderful all around dogs. Our Gracie loves to go camping, hiking, playing in the snow, basking in the sun, playing with the kids, swimming, retrieving..I could go on and on! If you are looking for low coat maintenance, labs are a good choice. They do not require regular grooming/bathing but they do benefit greatly from a good regular brushing. Don't let their short coats fool you, they can shed quite a bit! Regular brushing will help to keep this under control, but if you don't like dog hair everywhere (and I mean everywhere!!! In our house, we consider it another spice )then you might want to look for a low shedding breed.

    The skin/ear issues can turn up in just about any breed. You can keep the skin issues to a minimum by not bathing (with shampoo) often. The shampoo can damage their coat if bathed too often and you will most likely end up with dry flaky skin. Gracie gets sprayed off regularly (she does a lot of swimming in the Erie Canal and ends up smelling like dead fish if I don't spray her off!) but she gets bathed very seldom. Make sure you feed a good quality kibble (or raw if you prefer) and that should help also.

    One of the biggest health issues with labs are joint problems (hip/knees/elbows). Make sure you get your pup from a reputable breeder who has all the appropriate health certifications. Keeping your pup at a healthy weight will help to minimize problems with the joints. You mentioned jogging with your lab...it really isn't recommended that you jog with them until they have finished growing (about 2 years old) Extended periods of forced exercise can contribute to joint problems.

    We have had labs for 19 years...I remember when my husband talked me into a lab...he had gotten a book from the library that listed the pros and cons of dog breeds. The lab was the only one that did not have anything listed in the "cons" column! I cannot imagine our house without at least one labbie now!

    Good luck with your move (whenever that is!)

    Here are a couple of pics of Gracie doing the things she loves!

    Hanging out by the campfire:


    Playing with the kids:



    A good romp in the hose spray!




  4. #3
    fburke is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Labs in General

    Well you definitely found the right place to ask your questions this board is the best lab board I have found it has a wealth of knowledge in the postings and if you can’t find what you are looking for ask a question and you will get good answers from other Lab owners based on there own experiences. Spend enough time on this board and you will “get to know” the member and there dogs I almost look at this board as a community of friends with a common interest.

    It sounds like a lab would be good for you. They need lots of exercise and commitment. Once you’re Lab attaches to you are prepared for Him/Her to be at your side 26 hours a day… 26 wasn’t a typo :P

    They can be goofy…but they are also very smart…mine is a clepto but she knows to look around before she steals something ;D

    If you have plenty of patience a lab can be trained to be a fine companion one of the reasons they use Labs as companion dogs for the def and blind.

    They can be a bit stubborn as in my case my lab is just about a year old and is going through the teenage years and is a little rebellious.

    Labs get along good with other animals if there well socialized from the beginning. I have seen pictures on this board with labs cuddled with all types of dogs and even cats.

    They get along well with children too. I have a 3 year old and my lab is his favorite toy. The only thing my Lab does to my son is steal his snacks…then again I have also seen him give them willing to her too so I don’t know whom to blame half the time. :-\


    Good luck on your information search and welcome to the board.





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  6. #4
    Trickster's Avatar
    Trickster is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Labs in General

    Hi. Welcome.

    I want a dog that can come with me on walks/jogs.
    Adult Labradors make fantastic walking and jogging companions. However, the same cannot be said for Lab puppies. Extra caution is needed in those first 24 months of life in order to protect the growing joints so forced exercise (jogging, long leash walks, etc.) is a big no. As an adult dog a Lab will need proper conditioning if he is going to make a suitable jogging companion.

    want a dog that can go in the snow with me (someday) or a dog that can tolerate the Florida sunshine.
    Labradors are cold weather dogs through and through. Providing they remain active they will gladly exercise in freezing conditions. On the other hand most Labs do NOT do well in heat, especially not the Florida sunshine. If the temperature is above 80 degrees your dog should remain inside and exercise should be pushed forward or back towards the early/late part of the day. Dogs can come down with heat stroke at a terrifyingly quick rate so exercising in the heat should be avoided at all costs.

    I want a dog that is eager to learn, is ready to go in a second or ready to cuddle.
    Labradors definitely tick all of these boxes.

    I want a dog that gets along with other animals - that likes the outdoors as much as I do.
    All Labradors enjoy their home comforts but you won't find a breed more loving of the great outdoors. When they are fully mature they make wonderful outdoor pursuit companions...as long as the activity is safe, chances are they can do it. Running, walking, biking, hiking, swimming, you name it. Adaptability is a great quality of this breed. They are up for anything.

    I'm not looking for big grooming requirements, or a lot of skin/ear problems (like my Cocker).
    Labs require minimal grooming. They actually never need to be bathed unless they roll in something nasty. They rarely need to be brushed either unless they are shedding seriously. Skin and ear problems can crop up in the breed but it can often be solved by something simple such as switching foods or removing a certain thing from the diet.

  7. #5
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    DefaultRe: Labs in General

    A while ago we had a thread where everyone described their Lab in one word. I think you may learn a lot about Labs just reading this list that I complied from the submissions:

    http://home.flash.net/~jdebess/descriptions.doc

  8. #6
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    DefaultRe: Labs in General

    Why not consider rescuing an older dog? Look at petfinder.com, or on the rescue/adoption section of this forum.

  9. #7
    Trickster's Avatar
    Trickster is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Labs in General

    The lab was the only one that did not have anything listed in the "cons" column!
    Ohh, I can think of many 'cons'. LOL

    Actually, I think the cons are important to consider. For the OP:

    Destructiveness: are you houseproud? Labradors are notorious chewers and require pretty much constant supervision at least for the first year or so. Most Labradors can't be trusted to roam crate free until they are a year or older. They WILL get themselves into trouble if they are bored, with leads me on to my next point.

    Exercise: Labradors are an active breed. If they don't receive an adequate dose of daily physical and mental stimulation they will let you know about it.

    Mess: Labradors are a breed who enjoy getting dirty...if there is a body of water they will want to swim in it. If there is a pool of mud or a dead animal they will want to roll in it. Also, they shed like crazy. A vacuum is your best friend...prepare for little black, brown or chocolate hairs to get everywhere.

    Most Labradors are food hogs. If you get a food crazed Lab they cannot be trusted around food, ever. Trash cans must be kept locked or behind closed doors, no food can be left lying around, counters must be cleared, all the cupboard doors shut. It can be a real pain of you are in a rush to get out in the morning...

    Because this breed is so darn intelligent they can easily learn to push your buttons..."give them an inch and they will take a mile" is a good way of describing a pushy young Labrador.

  10. #8
    JacobAlthea&Tatum is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Labs in General

    My thoughts:

    1. As Rosie stated, labs cannot have forced exercise (jogging, for example) for the first two years.
    2. Labs have a double coat for insulation, which helps in heat as well as in the cold. They should be permitted, however, to go full-tilt in the summer heat.
    4. Labs should not be bathed, but in my experience, they need to be brushed a lot. Labs shed a TON and you need to be ready to be prepared for hair EVERYWHERE. Brushing helps this, though.
    5. Ear problems crop up with many floppy-eared breeds, and labs are no exception. Especially if they are swimming quite a bit.
    6. Labs have a propensity to get joint and hip problems, which could quickly remove your new best friends from the active list.
    I'm Jenn. Keeper of two labs in my home and one forever in my heart.

    Throw the ball, damn it!

  11. #9
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    amazongold is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Labs in General

    I agree with all of the above. I also suggest rescuing an older Lab that is already housebroken and out of the destructo stages. You have a fairly good idea of their temperament, as well.

    Labs differ in temperament, just like people. Our Shadow was a gentle lady, sweet, loving, laid-back, well-behaved, would not dream of putting a paw on a counter or table, never stole food (until she was on Prednisone), and was trustworthy out of her crate by the time she was a year old ... with only one or two brief lapses of judgment on her part.

    Buddy, the little guy we adopted last Sunday, is just as gentle, sweet, laid-back, and loving. He is also a certified counter-surfer and trash-diver, leaps like a gazelle, will steal food in a heartbeat, and is a typical teen-age boy. In another year (he is about one year old now), he'll be an awesome dog, but until then he will need obedience training and constant watching when he is not in his crate.

    Just understand that your pup/dog may need some work to reach the stage where it would be considered safe to leave loose in the house with no one home. Always crate-train your dog, no matter what age, for their own safety as well as that of your belongings and home.
    Jackie, Champ, and Buddy

  12. #10
    Apollopuppy is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: Labs in General

    Sounds like a lab would be a good fit. Do your hw (like you are doing now) and be aware of all the pros and cons of the breed. Dont forget, breeders are great but rescue organizations are good too. And I have a lab mix and I am very thrilled with him. So don't rule out a pup if they aren't full lab. Apollo is still a total lab, through and through. Although if you want to be sure about health clearances, a breeder's lab would be a good way to go. Good luck!
    Love,<br />Giuli<br /><br />

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