LABRADOR TEMPERAMENT AND PERSONALITY
It's no coincidence that the Labrador Retriever has become one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. The Labrador's golden temperament makes for an ideal family pet or outstanding work colleague. Comfortable in the city or the countryside, with children or the elderly, this friendly dog is a delight to all owners.
What are the Pros of the Labrador's Temperament?
All dog breeds are different with their own special set of qualities. This means there’s an ideal dog for everyone, no matter your personality or lifestyle. The Labrador has numerous great qualities and is generally regarded as the perfect pooch. But is it suitable for you? Keep in mind that any breed standard offers general advice regarding the breed and that every dog is unique with its own personality. It’s, of course, possible to see variations in temperament between individuals of the same breed. If you’re looking for a specific quality in your puppy, ask the breeder for advice; they should know their animals best.
The Labrador is kind, loyal, affectionate, and gentle. This is also a playful, easy-going dog who enjoys just about anything. A short stroll? They're in! A good meal? That’s sure to make them happy. A big cuddle? You can count on it! Add to that their playful side and it's easy to see why this dog is a real favourite among families with children. The Labrador's temperament delights young and old alike. These doggies are never aggressive and do not make very good watchdogs unless they feel their family is being threatened. In this case, your Lab will not hesitate to intervene. After all, the Labrador is a large dog, whose size can act as a deterrent.
Easy to Train
The Labrador Retriever is an extremely intelligent dog with great learning capabilities. This makes the Lab a fairly easy dog to train, like the Golden Retriever or the Australian Shepherd. These breeds are much more receptive to dog training than more primitive spitz-type dogs, such as the Shiba Inu or the Samoyed. However, your Labrador still needs to receive proper training from an early age; don't neglect your Labrador’s training just because this breed is docile and kind on paper.
Barks Very Little
This dog breed is reputed for not barking very often. This is a big advantage if you live in an apartment with your Labrador, as constant dog barking is often the cause of uncomfortable conflicts between neighbours. Obviously, the Labrador is not silent either, and can make its voice heard with a deep, loud bark if need be.
Ideal as a First Dog
The Labrador is one of the most ideal breeds for a first-time adoption. Their jovial and affectionate nature, as well as their intelligence and desire to please, allows Labradors to adapt to all types of families, with or without children.
What are the Cons of the Labrador's Temperament?
The Labrador also has a few traits you need to watch out for. It’s essential to understand all aspects of a dog breed before proceeding with adoption so you can be properly prepared to handle anything that comes your way.
It's a fact. The Labrador, more so than other dogs, is very greedy and will not hesitate to pounce on the smallest bit of food that passes between their paws. This is a problem for two reasons. Firstly, it means your pup is likely to gain weight more easily. Did you know that Labradors are one of the dog breeds most affected by canine obesity? This disease can seriously damage the health and life expectancy of your Labrador. And, secondly, because certain foods are toxic or even fatal for our furballs. Take care not to leave food lying around and to respect the quantity of dog food you give your Labrador each day.
Needs a Lot of Exercise
This is more or less true for all dogs, although some breeds, like the Bernese Mountain Dog or the Pomeranian, are less active than others. Labradors are hunting dogs that need lots of physical activity to expend their energy each day. They need to run or walk for at least 1.5 hours a day, in addition to shorter toilet trips. This active pooch will have no trouble accompanying you on a jog or bike ride and, as a good retriever dog, will also enjoy swimming in ponds or the sea. Be sure to buy lots of toys and games to keep your Labrador occupied; this intelligent dog needs intellectual stimulation as much as physical.
Tendency to Chew Things or Run Away
The Labrador Retriever is known to chew on any item that has the misfortune of being within its reach. This innate behaviour is often likened to pica. Fortunately, this can be corrected with good dog training. Be careful though, this bad little habit comes roaring back if your pooch is subjected to stressful situations or as a consequence of a lack of physical stimulation. Loneliness, for example, causes anxiety in dogs and allows this type of destructive behaviour to resurface. It can also lead to your Lab escaping from your backyard or disappearing without a trace if they smell something interesting. To guard against this kind of disappearance (and combat theft), many organisations, including The Kennel Club, recommend that all Labradors are fitted with an electronic chip.
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