I am looking for a few suggestions.* I had a boxer for 5 years and he died in August unexpectedly.* My husband and I were quite upset.* I want a new baby now.* I have done much research and I keep coming back to a lab.* I have 2 small children.* My boxer was incredible with them but I just can't bring myself to get another one.* * I am ready for someone different.* I believe this to be fate (b/c my decision for a lab was made about a month prior to this) but my friends sisters lab just had pups with the lab next door* (not expected).* I am considering her...* *My question is about training a lab pup?* (my boxer was very well trained but I know labs are different) and considerations about even getting this pup (medically - what should I be concerned about)* I have read much about hip displacia and eye diesease - how can I check this out when she is not a true breeder?
Thanks for any advice!
I'm sorry about your boxer.* Our granddog's (daughter's dog) a boxer, we all love her so much...she's even a tad smarter than our Tucker (I shouldn't admit that!* ;D).* What a great gal she is...so gentle and loveable...this is Molly.* She came from a byb (backyard breeder) like the one you're talking about that has lab pups.
Molly's a very calm boxer; Tucker's a very calm lab.* Dogs can be calm or they can be more hyper, energetic.* Just as boxers are smart, most labs are smart, and train pretty well.
I'm not an expert...someone else can tell you better, but here's some things to consider, to help you.* A lab can be well trained too; it takes your time patience and consistency; training with positive reinforcement, not punishment.* I'm thinking that since you had a well-trained boxer, you'd probably train a lab well too.* Labs (most) are chewers...you'll go through months of the puppy chewing stage, including grabbing human hands and body parts.* *:* That can be harder when you have 2 small children.* Even after the puppy stage, labs, in general, like to chew.* I've never had anything ruined in the house, but there are always bones and toys and such for him to chew on.
As far as the hip and eye questions, I don't think there's a way for you to check that out, from this litter.* You can spend time with the dam..what's she like; what's her temperament like?* Who's the sire..what you you know about him, his temperament?* What's the health of these dogs like?
If you find a reputable breeder to buy a lab from, they should have clearances done on their dogs..for hips, eyes, elbows, maybe heart...that gives you a good foundation for a dog that hopefully won't have those types of health problems.* Even then, there are no guarantees; a dog can still develop those things.* But you'll know more about that pup's health background, and will hopefully avoid a lot of health problems.
Lots of people get their pets the way you're considering, and end up with a great dog (daughter did with Molly).* But a lot of people here (remember, you're on a labrador retriever forum) would tell you to pass on this litter, and research and look for a good reputable breeder, where you'd likely find a higher-quality puppy, in looks, temperament, and health.* That's just my observation and comment.
Good luck with what you decide.* Other people may have better advice for you.
I agree with the above. Personally, if you want a quality pup, DO NOT buy a pup from an "accidental" or a "just one litter" breeder. Look elsewhere and go to either a reputable breeder with health checked and titled/proven stock or a rescue shelter. The "accidental" puppies may make great pets but I don't believe in supporting someone who is irresponsible enough to allow a pet bitch to get pregnant. Likewise I don't believe in supporting "just one litter" breeders because most of them are plain ignorant and fail to realise that they are adding further to the huge overpopulation of dogs. Not to mention that they have puppies for the sake of producing puppies and rarely get any health checks/titles on their dogs.
Labs are VERY easy to train. This is why they are so versatile and are used as guide dogs, police dogs, search and rescue dogs, hunting dogs, etc. I have NEVER met a single Lab that I thought was a struggle to train -- in fact, I have worked with many of the gundog/hunting breeds and Labs are by far the easiest. They live to please and are usually so food/toy/play motivated that they are so eager and willing to work.
Just a couple words of warning - because I know everyone else will urge you strongly that labs are the best dogs in the world to own. Now, I happen to think they are too! But, you've probably come to the wrong place for impartial info, so I'll try and offer you a couple of 'anti' pointers...
Labs are incredibly high-maintenance dogs. Don't get one if you plan to chuck it in a corner and admire how cute it is.
I have no idea what boxers are like, but labs require tons of exercise and tons of attention. They could almost constitute part-time jobs all on their own!
There are lots of dogs out there who would be happy to take a back-seat to your life. Labs are not one of them. They are incredibly people-orientated dogs - and will always want to be near you and wonder what you are doing. They will follow you around the house if they can, and if they haven't been exercised enough that day they will sit there staring at you when you're trying to relax in front of the TV. They sometimes won't give you a moment's peace.
The only reason I am saying all this is because I know of a couple people who have taken on lab puppies only to give them up weeks or months later because they couldn't handle the commitment. Labs aren't goldfish, they aren't cats, they aren't labradoodles (!)... they will take up a hell of a lot of your time and attention.
If you don't think you can handle all that - reconsider!
** as I said, I have no idea what boxers are like... they could be just as energetic as labs for all I know **
I somewhat agree with this and somewhat don't. Labs can and usually are a royal pain in the ass for the first 12-18 months of life. Of course, this depends on the individual. Some dogs are perfectly well behaved from a very young age. Mentally, others might never mature and be "puppy like" right up into old age. It is a real mixed bag with this breed. At one end you have extremely active demanding Labs that are always on the go (field types often fall into this category) and at the other very mellow easy going Labs that take life as it comes. Breeding plays a huge part in this.Labs are incredibly high-maintenance dogs
I personally wouldn't consider my dogs incredibility high maintenace. They are demanding for some good exercise every day but that is about it. The rest of the time they are content just wander or doze around the house happy to go with the flow. I firmly believe that PEOPLE create demanding/high maintenace dogs...they are not born, they are made. If you set some rules and boundaries, exercise and stimulate your dog sufficiently there is no reason for it to be incredibly high maintenance. I do appreciate what you are saying though...just putting another perspective on it.
I agree w/ DJC and Trickster.
The puppy stage is, I think, just knowing what to expect. There really is no place for frustration, anger, or resentment. Read up on labradors, and then read some more! Make sure this is the right fit for your family and your activity level.
You didn't say what ages your children are. Labs can be great with kids and will tolerate as much as they can dish out (at least mine will) ... BUT you need to understand that they are nipping, jumping, chewing monsters ;D for the first several months. As long as you, and your family, understand what they are in for, I think labs are a great choice!
I just wanted to add that I pretty much agree with this. I'm sure I'm not the only one, but from the day we brought him home, Tucker's never been high-maintenance, if that means keeping him occupied, entertained, exercised, etc. He's one of the very laid-back, quiet labs, honestly. Been that way from the start. He'll be sleeping or lying around, but will switch to 'on' if we're headed outside to play or retrieve. He does love to go outside to play and such, but he's equally content just being inside. He's a very low-maintenance dog in that regard. I think a lot of it is in the breeding, as Trickster said, and who knows, maybe luck thrown in too.Originally Posted by Trickster
Of course from the start he required constant attention along with his training. But now at almost 2 years, no.
The only comparison I can make between boxers and labs ('cause our g.dog Molly, the boxer, lived with us the first 5 yrs of her life, 'til daughter and soninlaw bought their own house)....Molly's a quiet, calm boxer, temperament pretty much like Tucker. She too follows you through the house wanting to be where you are. She's bossier than Tucker; that's about the only difference between these 2 particular dogs. They're both playful goofy goofs.