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Cynthia Garcia: What every new Lab owner should know

There are several reasons why Labrador Retrievers are still the most famous breeds among dog lovers in several countries on the planet, including Canada and the U.S.

Start with their sloppy kisses and friendly demeanor and then move to their unique fetching skills and intelligence.

Labs were bred to create an enduring and close relationship with their human family members and that trait is still one of their strongest to date.

Labrador Retrievers are quite popular among first-time dog owners.

So, whether you are set on getting the chocolate Lab puppies or the yellow ones, adopting a Labrador will bring joy into your home.

Here are a few crucial things every first-time Lab dog owners should know.

(Kimberly Hawkins | Pixabay)

• Labradors are highly energetic dogs that were used as a hunting dog by the English aristocracy in the early 1900s; therefore, they need a protein rich diet.

A well-balanced diet is crucial throughout their entire lives.

But the amount of food given to this breed varies with the size of the dog.

Healthy female Labs weight between 55 pounds and 70 pounds and their height should be 21.5 inches to 23.5 inches.

A healthy male’s height should be 22.5 inches to 24.5 inches, and their weight should range from 65 pounds to 80 pounds.

Remember, most top dog food brands have breed-specific products depending on your pet’s height and weight. And with the Labs being medium- sized, you should be ready to work with your vet to find out the right diet for your dog. Your vet can even help you determine the quantity of food your pet must eat every day to remain healthy.

(Leslie Black | Pixabay)

• A Labrador can be a great addition to your family as it gets along with everyone in the house, including other pets. Labs are fun and social creatures that can even get along with the family feline, as long as it is welcoming.

So, if you have a cat, you should know that a lab will get along with it, and there is even pet food that is suitable for cats and Labradors. Therefore, they can even share a meal.

• This medium-sized breed has a life-span of about 14 years, but they experience numerous health issues, such as eye disease, elbow and hip dysplasia. This breed can also have skin issues such as alopecia and pyoderma, and allergies. Therefore, you should be ready to monitor your new dog’s skin and notify the vet if any skin condition arises.

• The Labs are incredibly friendly and fun to live with but don’t mistake this for low energy levels. Labs are extremely active creatures that love to play outside and exercise. Therefore, you should be ready to feed your Labrador Retriever a high nutritious meal and make sure you are ready to entertain him in your home. Remember, most of us don’t have the time to walk our dog every day, so you should keep this in mind when selecting a Labrador.

Labs have a water-resistant coat that comes in three colors: chocolate, black and yellow. Labrador Retrievers are not considered hypoallergenic. This double-coated breed requires regular grooming as they shed seasonally.

Therefore, it has a high probability of affecting allergy sufferers, but with proper grooming, you can manage their shedding and dander production rate.

This breed also has fast-growing and strong nails that should be trimmed regularly to avoid cracking, splitting or overgrowth. Their teeth should also be brushed frequently using dog-specific toothpaste.

• Labs have an outgoing and friendly personality; they love playing with other pets and human beings, making them a perfect family dog. However, their puppies can be very energetic and will require a lot of playtimes. So, if you love Labradors and need a calmer one, then you should adopt an adult instead of a pup. Adult Labs will still need to work out every day, but they are not as lively as young Labradors.

• The fact that they are highly intelligent and ready to please their owners means that they can be relatively easy to train. Don’t let their beautiful coat and face fool you; the labs are ranked among the most highly intelligent dogs on the planet. Labs can learn and obey any command with very few repetitions. Their high intelligence level has helped them thrive as working dogs that can even listen to a toddler.

Therefore, early training is mandatory to ensure that hunting skills and basic obedience are learned. Remember, consistent training can help them learn faster.
With more advanced training, this breed can excel as a search-and-rescue and guide dogs. As a favorite disability assistance dog, this breed can be trained to help people with autism and the blind.

• You will never have to beg a Labrador to join you for a swim. Labradors were breeds from St. John’s dog from Newfoundland. St. John’s dog is a unique breed that has been used for waterfowling for years; therefore, it makes sense why the Labradors love swimming. Labs were originally used as fishing dogs that would help retrieve fishes that have gotten away and help bring the fishing net in.

• The downside to being highly intelligent is that they love breaking free. A listless Lab can easily become a runaway, so make sure your dog is always wearing a name tag and is microchipped. Even if you tighten the perimeter, your Lab will find a way to escape.

Labrador Retrievers are the best family dogs that were bred to create a lasting bond with their owners.

These dogs are loyal, friendly and can get along with everyone in your household, including cats. Labradors are compatible with numerous other dog breeds, including Boston Terriers, Beagles, Boxers, and Golden Retrievers. Therefore, Labrador is the best option for all first-time dog owners. However, you should be ready to take care of this energetic medium-sized dog.

Cynthia Garcia

Cynthia Garcia is a content creator and blogger who is passionate about animals and animal rescue. She can be reached at cynthia@cynthiagarcia.me. She is a contributor to the Crazy Pet Guy website.