The Labrador Retriever and You
Before you get a Lab, there’s a lot you need to know about this wonderful breed. The Labrador Retriever is the most popular breed of dog in America today. If you are considering getting a lab, you need to understand what makes them tick.
Labradors are a very happy and even-tempered breed. Considered to be high in energy. How much energy depends on the lineage of the dog. It is imperative that you establish yourself as the dominant figure in the relationship from day one, or you’ll be fighting an uphill battle. Labs are extremely clever, willing to please and enjoy working for the praise of their masters. This willingness is what makes a lab a wonderful companion. All to often it is the busy work of a bright, energetic Lab that causes frustration to it’s owner. What does this mean? You better find an outlet for the energy (retrieving, obedience classes and plenty of walking) or the dog will find it’s own work to do. In other words, you should only get a Labrador if you love to spend a lot of time with your dog. Discuss with us or any breeder your life style. Each breeder will know the temperaments of their dogs and energy level. Labradors are the happiest when they are spending time with or performing tasks for their masters. We strongly recommend obedience training for all our dog owners.
Proper nutrition is extremely important in keeping your dog healthy and in good condition. There are many good foods available today. Which brand of food to use can be a difficult decision because there are so many. We prefer to use Royal Canin or Sam’s Club Exceed, but we encourage you to discuss this with you veterinarian. Once you choose and the dog is eating well, don’t switch. If you must, switch food gradually to keep your dog from developing intestinal upset. How much food? Again we encourage you to discuss this with your vet but in general we usually discuss this in length during our visits with new owners. Supplements, again your veterinarian is your best advisor. We however do supplement our dogs with a multi vitamin and vitamin C each day. There is a lot of literature out there for pros and cons. We are always happy to further discuss any of this information with anyone, at anytime. Vaccinations are important part of keeping your lab healthy. Your vet can discuss which vaccinations and vaccines schedule are best for your area, since certain diseases may be more common in some areas of the country than in others. The basic puppy vaccine that is needed is a distemper, adenovirus, Para influenza and parvo virus. Your puppy will need to get one every three to four weeks. Another step in keeping your dog healthy is to spay or neuter your new pup. Behaviorally, it reduces your male’s dominance tendencies and his urge to roam. Spaying your female will avoid the males who will be forever at your door. Heartworm prevention is needed year-round. Some new heartworm preventatives come with flea protection. See your veterinarian for further information. Hip dysplasia is a common problem in the larger breeds. Hip dysplasia can range from mild to severe and diagnosed with x-rays by a trained veterinarian. All breeding dogs should be certified by OFA for clear hips.
Sex and Color
People do seem to prefer one color to another and one sex over the other. Usually when someone sets out to buy a puppy, they have already decided on a specific sex and color. A well breed Labrador whether yellow, black, chocolate, male or female, should be a delightful, trainable companion. Labs can range greatly in size, males average 10 to 20 pounds heavier or bulkier and one to two inches taller the females. Average size is anywhere form 55 to over 100 pounds. Discuss your needs with the breeder. If you want an active, medium to large sized dog that will not only be a loving pet, but a friend, then a Labrador Retriever is a wonderful choice for you!