Just Labradors banner

1 - 20 of 37 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Is the labrador for my family?

Hey guys, i'm new to the forums. I was just wondering, Is the labrador for my family? Okay so my siblings and I want a dog. They want a dog to play with. I want a dog to take with me for jogs and outside activites. My dad asked me if I could be the one to take care of him. By that he means clean him every week, clean up it's poop from our backyard, feed him, take him for walks, and disipline him, along with more. Now i've read a lot of books/ websites to learn how to take care of a dog. Which is a big responsibility. Now I don't to get a dog and find out I can't take care of it. It wouldn't be fair to the dogs. So if you could answer my following questions it would be great.

Copy and paste this =-D


1: My sister and brother will be gone for school 8 hours a day. Could he handle staying outside? Or inside down stairs by himself? With some toys.
A:
2: What should I be asking when i'm looking to buy a dog, from a puppy to 1.5 years old.
A:
3: How many walks a day would be good for my dog?
A:
4: What's a good brand for dog food? And where could I get it from ( I live in Canada)
A:
5: What's some good ways of house training a dog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,446 Posts
Re: Is the labrador for my family?

Okay I'm not going to do a Q and A but I'll answer most of your questions and give you some more info.

If you get a dog, especially a puppy, no jogging/running or forced exercise with you or anyone else until he/she is at least 2 years old. It's bad for their joints because they are still growing.

Many people on here work full time and their dogs are left for 8+ hours a day, so that should not be a problem.

Don't leave your dog outside, most of the others here will agree with me. It's cruel and Labs especially want to be with you, his/her "pack" all the time.

Get a crate. That's the easiest way to housetrain your dog/puppy and will ensure that the dog doesn't chew up anything or hurt itself while you are not there. Dogs don't like to pee or poop where they sleep, so crate training really helps. A lot of people get bells, like jingle bells from Xmas, and hang them on the door. They train the dog to go to the bells and make them jingle to signal that they need to go outside.

There are a lot of good rescues out there where you could rescue a Lab and the cost would be minimum. Obviously if you want to get a Lab from a breeder, it will be more expensive and the timing will depend on when the breeder plans on breeding their dogs. That said, if/when you go talk to a breeder, ask to see the parents so you can see how their temperaments are and DEFINITELY ask about papers and if they have had all of their clearances for hips, elbows, etc.

There's a rule about a certain amount of daily exercise per month of age, but I can't remember off the top of my head. It depends on the age of the dog, but the best combo is to train the dog with mental stimulation and exercise the dog daily. Exercise for young puppies would mostly be short but frequent walks, playing fetch, etc. As the dog gets older, you increase the length of the walks and play times. Labs have LOTS and LOTS of energy, so be prepared!

But I cannot emphasize enough the importance of crate training...! That's the #1 thing you need to learn about right now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28,830 Posts
Re: Is the labrador for my family?

I don't know how old you are or what your personal activities are that might prevent you from dedicating crucial training and bonding time with your dog. So first, I will answer your direct questions and then post way too much philosophical stuff about living with labs after that. Ready? Here we go:

1: My sister and brother will be gone for school 8 hours a day. Could he handle staying outside? Or inside down stairs by himself? With some toys.
A: If you want to train your dog to be an outside dog, do so. Provide adequate warm, clean shelter for him/her. Labs like to be with their people so if you are outdoorsy types, this may be okay. Personally, I like my labs indoors to live WITH us... not WITHOUT us.

2: What should I be asking when i'm looking to buy a dog, from a puppy to 1.5 years old.
A: See the forum frequently asked questions section... this is a topic far to broad to cover in a little reply post

3: How many walks a day would be good for my dog?
A:Depends upon the dog and what you accustom them to. Some labs like lots of walks, some prefer vigorous fetching sessions, some thrive on swimming. As long as they are well exercised in any form, they'll be fine. You'll have to figure that one out on your own. There is no set rule on this.

4: What's a good brand for dog food? And where could I get it from ( I live in Canada)
A: If the dog you bring home seems fit and fine on the food he/she is being fed, continue with it. Don't mess about with food unless you have REAL reason to believe the dog is not doing well on it.

5: What's some good ways of house training a dog.
A: If you have a puppy, take them out at one hour intervals. Use a training word when you do this... "POTTY NOW" and usher them out the door. Make certain they do something outside. TREAT them when they actually do something. When you usher them back in PRAISE and TREAT again. Treat does not have to be food... it can be an extra warm cuddle or tousle on the head... "GOOD boy/girl!

Any of this help you? I'll save the philosophical stuff... just remember, you are bringing a dog home. Raise him/her they way YOU would like to be raised and your dog will be your best mate. Honest.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,938 Posts
Re: Is the labrador for my family?

You've gotten some great info already. I just want to chime in on the leaving him outside all day thing. Labs are very athletic. They are working/sporting dogs by nature. I'm deathly afraid to leave my lab outside because of this. I'm afraid they (especially my energetic chocolate one) will either jump the fence, or dig out, or figure some way to get out. I couldn't have a second's peace if I knew they were outside like that.

For short periods....to do their business or get a little exercise. That's fine. But all day....unattended.....no way!

I also worry about someone stealing them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,829 Posts
Re: Is the labrador for my family?

How old are you? You live with your parent(s)...what would happen to the dog when you move out for college or life?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,989 Posts
Re: Is the labrador for my family?

My only comment regarding leaving him outside...

Assuming you have a fenced yard and provide adequate shelter (i.e. a large dog house with shade and cover from weather) he should be OK. I leave mine in my patio/garage (not closed garage but totally fenced) and they have access to the covered part of the garage where they have their dog house. They do OK. Leave toys for him to play with

I only leave them there while I´m out at work, but whenever I´m home they are always with me, either inside the house or out in the yard.

Exercise. I run with them every morning for 1/2 hour at a slow pace (i´m the slow one :laugh:) and then play fetch for 1/2 hour at night when I get back from work. I go home at noon to check them out, though, so they are never alone for more than 5 hours in a row, but usually stay over 8 hours on their own. They sometimes destroy things or pee where they shouldn´t.

Don´t know your age but definitely an adult needs to take responsibility of the dog. If your parents are not willing to commit to the dog and have a new family member I wouldn´t recommend getting a dog (i.e. who will provide vet care, pay for the expenses, food, etc.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,895 Posts
Re: Is the labrador for my family?

good for you for doing your research

i hope your parents understand that they will have responsibilities for the family dog no matter how responsible you are (vetting, paying bills, getting dog food, helping you with your responsibilities)
that said our first family dog joined us when I was 12 and it was a perfect fit ... my parents helped when needed and loved her but Kelly was MY responsibility no doubt of it ...

please keep your dog indoors - too cold, too dangerous outside
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23,457 Posts
Re: Is the labrador for my family?

M.Slick said:
1: My sister and brother will be gone for school 8 hours a day. Could he handle staying outside? Or inside down stairs by himself? With some toys.
A: Crated, a dog can be left for 8 hours. A puppy will need potty breaks. Leaving any dog outside all the time is not good, but especially not a Lab, They are people-dogs and want to be with you, not left outside alone. When they get bored, they get into trouble.
2: What should I be asking when i'm looking to buy a dog, from a puppy to 1.5 years old.
A: I suggest going to a Lab rescue and getting an older dog - like at least a year. They are often already neutered, crate-trained, and housebroken, eliminating a lot of the possible problems.
3: How many walks a day would be good for my dog?
A: That depends on how energetic your dog is. If you have a fenced-in yard, a couple of good retrieving sessions every day would be perfect.
4: What's a good brand for dog food? And where could I get it from ( I live in Canada)
A: Find out what the dog has been fed, and stay with that at least for a while. If the dog is doing well on it, don't change it.
5: What's some good ways of house training a dog.
A: See response to #2 above.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,797 Posts
Re: Is the labrador for my family?

JacksAndLabs said:
How old are you? You live with your parent(s)...what would happen to the dog when you move out for college or life?
This would be my first question. You may want to bring the dog with you when you move out (for school or work) but you MUST realize just how difficult this could end up being (just finding a dog friendly apt is very very difficult, especially if the budget is tight). And alternatively, if you get and train the dog then leave, will your parents and siblings take care of him/her appropriate (to the same level you did)?
Does the rest of the family want a dog and participate with the upbringing or is it only you?

For your questions:
- you usually don't need to "clean" a labrador every week. Abit of brushing every few days sure, but they shouldn't be bathed with soap (usually) very often. A rinse with water when they are muddy/sandy should be good.
- no jogging with a labrador until they are 2 years of age
- It's not a good idea to leave a puppy outside alone for 8hrs. An older dog, IF you have a safely fenced yard (or preferably kennel), you can do when weather permits with proper shelter. BUT labs are pack animals, meaning they do not do well outside alone as a way of life (so spending the work/school day outside then coming in to live with you all when you return home would be ok once the puppy is older).
- you want BOTH parents to have eyes, heart, hips and elbows certified, do not get the puppy before 7wks of age (after being weened it needs time to learn from it's siblings before coming home to you).
- exercise will increase with age, short burts for a puppy but my 4 year old gets two 30 minutes walks AND a 45 minute run a day. I'd factor in an hour a day of exercise for the average labrador (but preferably not JUST a walk all the time, some fetching is good, playing with other dogs...)
- there are plenty of good dog foods. WHen you bring the dog home (puppy or rescue) it is highly recommended you keep them on whatever food they were on before until they settle into their new home. If the food works then there is no need to change, if not, then you can start researching. There are plenty of good lines of dog food. Those at the grocery store tend to not be the best (generally speaking)

Keep in mind the cost of the dog. If you rescue you can cut the cost on the purchase of the dog, but there is also vet bills (so you need some money saved up for "surprise" vet visits), dog food and training (it's really really good to take at least one obedience class, to teach yourself and the dog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,693 Posts
Re: Is the labrador for my family?

Good to see you're thinking this thru! Sounds like you might be old enough to handle it - and you've got good advice aboue!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,676 Posts
Re: Is the labrador for my family?

JacksAndLabs said:
How old are you? You live with your parent(s)...what would happen to the dog when you move out for college or life?
I echo this only because I just got a call from a mom who needed to give up their 2 year old lab that they got for the kids who were no longer interested in playing with the dog or taking care of it. It's a 15 year committment...and they need TRAINING, not discipline.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,737 Posts
Re: Is the labrador for my family?

Dani said:
JacksAndLabs said:
How old are you? You live with your parent(s)...what would happen to the dog when you move out for college or life?
I echo this only because I just got a call from a mom who needed to give up their 2 year old lab that they got for the kids who were no longer interested in playing with the dog or taking care of it. It's a 15 year committment...and they need TRAINING, not discipline.
I also agree with this as a parent I would never buy my child a dog, your parents need to be aware that if the children get bored they are 100% responsible
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
146 Posts
Re: Is the labrador for my family?

Just like to echo the idea of you going off to school are your parents ready to step in as primary care givers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,913 Posts
Re: Is the labrador for my family?

How old are you? frankly, if you and your siblings are young I would not get a Labrador UNLESS your parents are completely willing to support the dog. And I don't just mean financially, I mean with everything -- training, walks, feeding, etc. I hate to sound negative, but unfortunately the novelty of owning a dog does wear off where a lot of young people are concerned. A cute pup very quickly turns into an adult dog and they do make HUGE impact on your life. When you bring a dog into your home, you have to make provisions for that dog every single day. That means making sure the dog gets walked (early starts!) every day, that he isn't left alone for long, that you are back home in time for letting the dog out/feeding etc. This eats into your school time, your social time...everything. You can't just spontaneously up and take a long weekend break, or even a long day-out, because you have to make arrangements for the dog. You make think you are able to handle this now, but what about several years down the line? will you feel the same about taking on this commitment when your school hours increase, when you go to college, get a job, and have other commitments?

I am not trying to put you off, but trying to be realistic. I'm at college, work, and have dogs that I am the primary care giver for. It can be done, but it is HARD work. I found looking after them when I was at school to be far easier, because I had fewer commitments then I do now. Now my workload has increased it isn't as easy, but I have the full support of those around me and this makes it very doable. That is why you NEED the support of your parents, your other family members, friends, etc., if you choose to make this commitment for the next 13-15 years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20,085 Posts
Re: Is the labrador for my family?

My questions are echoed above:

- How old are you? (props, though, for coming off very mature here and investigating before purchasing -- there are 'adults' who aren't nearly as measured as you seem to be)

- Is this your first dog?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
879 Posts
Re: Is the labrador for my family?

I can only support everything that all of the others here have said so far. It makes me think of my sister and her family. Her 3 young children begged her for a dog for a long time. She was thinking realistically and kept saying No. But, as you can imagine, eventually she gave in and they got a wonderful male lab puppy, who is now 5 years old. In the beginning the kids were all over that pup, which is typical. Now, they are too busy to take care of him the way they were (are) supposed to. So, my sister ends up doing most of the caretaking. It angers me to no end. That dog is the most wonderful dog you could ever want. If you even just LOOK at him, he starts wagging his tail like crazy. All he wants is some love and attention, and----wow, maybe even a WALK. He is very much loved, that I know. But they are at the ages now ( 13, 11, and 10) where their lives are very busy, and, let's admit it, he's not the cute little puppy he once was. Now he is a big dog that requires care, like daily walks and exercise, vet visits, training, grooming. He spends the majority of his day laying around. :( He deserves so much more than that. I take him every now and then to come spend a couple of weeks with us here so he can play with our lab, Breezy, and go for walks every day with us, and get loads of attention and love. I spoil him silly when he's here. If my sister ever decided to rehome him, I would take him in a heartbeat! Once he was here for an entire month. Her kids missed their dog very much, but after about a day of being back home, it was back to the usual routine and the poor boy was again not a priority. I'm sure this is a very typical scenario in a lot of households. I am telling you all of this because------if you bring a dog into your lives and home, it is for its LIFETIME. NOT until you get bored of him or her. It is a commitment you make to the dog and should be taken very seriously. So, think really hard about this decision, okay? Hope I didn't sound too 'preachy'.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
879 Posts
Re: Is the labrador for my family?

P.S. I would never leave my dog outside alone for any length of time. For several reasons, mostly for fear of her being stolen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Re: Is the labrador for my family?

conrad said:
good for you for doing your research

i hope your parents understand that they will have responsibilities for the family dog no matter how responsible you are (vetting, paying bills, getting dog food, helping you with your responsibilities)
that said our first family dog joined us when I was 12 and it was a perfect fit ... my parents helped when needed and loved her but Kelly was MY responsibility no doubt of it ...

please keep your dog indoors - too cold, too dangerous outside
Oh, don't worry about bills. Money is not a problem. My family is blessed in the sense of $$ Cha-ching! I already told my parents about their responsibility. They are more then able to pay the vet bills, Dog food, Emergency bills. All that stuff.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Re: Is the labrador for my family?

Tanya said:
JacksAndLabs said:
How old are you? You live with your parent(s)...what would happen to the dog when you move out for college or life?
This would be my first question. You may want to bring the dog with you when you move out (for school or work) but you MUST realize just how difficult this could end up being (just finding a dog friendly apt is very very difficult, especially if the budget is tight). And alternatively, if you get and train the dog then leave, will your parents and siblings take care of him/her appropriate (to the same level you did)?
Does the rest of the family want a dog and participate with the upbringing or is it only you?

For your questions:
- you usually don't need to "clean" a labrador every week. Abit of brushing every few days sure, but they shouldn't be bathed with soap (usually) very often. A rinse with water when they are muddy/sandy should be good.
- no jogging with a labrador until they are 2 years of age
- It's not a good idea to leave a puppy outside alone for 8hrs. An older dog, IF you have a safely fenced yard (or preferably kennel), you can do when weather permits with proper shelter. BUT labs are pack animals, meaning they do not do well outside alone as a way of life (so spending the work/school day outside then coming in to live with you all when you return home would be ok once the puppy is older).
- you want BOTH parents to have eyes, heart, hips and elbows certified, do not get the puppy before 7wks of age (after being weened it needs time to learn from it's siblings before coming home to you).
- exercise will increase with age, short burts for a puppy but my 4 year old gets two 30 minutes walks AND a 45 minute run a day. I'd factor in an hour a day of exercise for the average labrador (but preferably not JUST a walk all the time, some fetching is good, playing with other dogs...)
- there are plenty of good dog foods. WHen you bring the dog home (puppy or rescue) it is highly recommended you keep them on whatever food they were on before until they settle into their new home. If the food works then there is no need to change, if not, then you can start researching. There are plenty of good lines of dog food. Those at the grocery store tend to not be the best (generally speaking)

Keep in mind the cost of the dog. If you rescue you can cut the cost on the purchase of the dog, but there is also vet bills (so you need some money saved up for "surprise" vet visits), dog food and training (it's really really good to take at least one obedience class, to teach yourself and the dog.
Don't you worry about my Siblings. They are very very VERY! responsible. I was so impressed at how nicely they took care of my best friends bunny. They cleaned his cage that I built with my dad. They even brushed him, and he was really scared when he first came to our house. My sis and bro stayed with him all night. My family and I are dog lovers. I was just thinking if I left my dog in the kennel to long in the house ( 8 hours) it be a little too much for him to handle. Or cruel. Am I wrong?


I can only support everything that all of the others here have said so far. It makes me think of my sister and her family. Her 3 young children begged her for a dog for a long time. She was thinking realistically and kept saying No. But, as you can imagine, eventually she gave in and they got a wonderful male lab puppy, who is now 5 years old. In the beginning the kids were all over that pup, which is typical. Now, they are too busy to take care of him the way they were (are) supposed to. So, my sister ends up doing most of the caretaking. It angers me to no end. That dog is the most wonderful dog you could ever want. If you even just LOOK at him, he starts wagging his tail like crazy. All he wants is some love and attention, and----wow, maybe even a WALK. He is very much loved, that I know. But they are at the ages now ( 13, 11, and 10) where their lives are very busy, and, let's admit it, he's not the cute little puppy he once was. Now he is a big dog that requires care, like daily walks and exercise, vet visits, training, grooming. He spends the majority of his day laying around. He deserves so much more than that. I take him every now and then to come spend a couple of weeks with us here so he can play with our lab, Breezy, and go for walks every day with us, and get loads of attention and love. I spoil him silly when he's here. If my sister ever decided to rehome him, I would take him in a heartbeat! Once he was here for an entire month. Her kids missed their dog very much, but after about a day of being back home, it was back to the usual routine and the poor boy was again not a priority. I'm sure this is a very typical scenario in a lot of households. I am telling you all of this because------if you bring a dog into your lives and home, it is for its LIFETIME. NOT until you get bored of him or her. It is a commitment you make to the dog and should be taken very seriously. So, think really hard about this decision, okay? Hope I didn't sound too 'preachy'.
That absolutly discusts me. Honestly, that's just so messed up. My family and I are not those kinds of people. I honestly love older dogs more then puppies. Why? Because I don't just want a small little dog I can play with at home. I want to take care of him, Talk to him, take him for jogs, make him apart of my family. My siblings are not like those children. We may live in a city, but we have a park just behind my house. When I was little, I think I was 11 my friend got a dog. He played with him, then he got bigger. His dog Pocket loved me more then him. Why? Cause I would be the one who would actaully take him for walks and show him love. When he was giving him away, I asked my parents if we could adopt him. They told me that they would, but that my siblings were way too little. I am 15 years old. But i'm not some stupid idiot that isn't doing his research. I would not want to ruin the dogs life. I am just making sure this is the dog for my family. I want to be prepared, so I can spoil him with love, along with my family.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,913 Posts
Re: Is the labrador for my family?

They are more then able to pay the vet bills, Dog food, Emergency bills. All that stuff.
Are they willing to take care of the dog though? walk, feed, train, provide attention to when you can't? because is this crucial...it will be VERY difficult to do all these by yourself at your age as your responsibilities increase.

I was so impressed at how nicely they took care of my best friends bunny. They cleaned his cage that I built with my dad. They even brushed him, and he was really scared when he first came to our house. My sis and bro stayed with him all night.
That is great, but only if you are willing to put in this effort for the next 12-15 years.

I was just thinking if I left my dog in the kennel to long in the house ( 8 hours) it be a little too much for him to handle. Or cruel. Am I wrong?
8 hours is too long to leave a puppy in a crate and even an adult dog without a break IMO. I know some people do, but I would not be comfortable with this.
 
1 - 20 of 37 Posts
Top