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What You Should Know Before Owning a Labrador Retriever

The Labrador retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds in Canada and the United States. The breed is quickly being sought after worldwide due to their sweet disposition and devotion to their owners. These adorable dogs surely make a great addition to any family or owner. If you have fallen in love with this breed and are considering welcoming one into your life, you will want to learn a few things before making your final decision. The following facts will help guide you on your journey to deciding if a Labrador retriever is right for you and your family.

Temperament and Personality

The Labrador retriever is outgoing, friendly, kind and a joy to be around. They are eager to please their owners and take pride in doing any task or obeying any rule that will make their family and owner happy. Labrador retrievers are not naturally aggressive towards people or other animals. This means if you have a house filled with other pets chances are the Labrador retriever of your choice will get along peacefully the housemates.

Exercise and Activity

Labrador retrievers require daily exercise, otherwise they will reap havoc on your house by chewing items and destroying objects. Great ways to exercise a Lab is by taking them on a walk, jog or run. They are happy to run alongside of their owner for almost any activity. They also love water so if you are a swimmer, surfer or someone who just likes to take a walk at the nearest lake or beach a Lab will happily join you. They love splashing around in the water, cooling off and exploring the area on the shore. If you find that you are not an active person but truly want to welcome a Lab into your life there are alternative methods for exercise that doesn’t take much effort on your part. If you have a fenced in yard that your Lab can run around in safely this is a great form of exercise. You can also put a couple of sprinklers out there for him or her to enjoy splashing around in, as well as a kiddie pool. Dog parks are a great source for socialization and exercise. Visiting a dog park frequently will take the pressure off of you having to walk a long distance to provide the exercise needs. Your Lab will get plenty of exercise playing with other dogs at the park.

Health Issues

The Labrador retriever is considered to be an overall healthy breed. However, there are health issues that may arise during his or her lifetime that are common for the breed. Health issues include hip and elbow dysplasia, heart disease, epilepsy, skin allergies, cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy.

When making your final decision to welcome a Labrador retriever into your life you will want to take all of these important details into consideration. You will want to feel assured that you are capable of providing a healthy, happy lifestyle that is essential to the well-being of the breed. A Labrador retriever will surely bring any dog owner plenty of companionship and a lifetime of cherished memories.

Photo credit: Art N./Flickr