Can you believe it? For 31 years straight, the Labrador Retriever has held the title of America’s most popular dog breed! Now that’s a record-breaking streak of furry cuteness and loyal companionship, right?
But just cause they’re popular doesn’t mean that they’re suited to every household – so let’s see if adding a lovable Labrador to your family is the right choice for you. Are you ready to find out?
Here are 4 pros and 4 cons of owning a Labrador Retriever.
Let’s start with the pros!
1 – Pleasant Personality
Labrador Retrievers have a pleasant personality that makes them great pets for many reasons. They are known for being friendly and outgoing, with a strong love for their family. Their temperament is a hallmark of the breed, with the breed standard emphasizing the importance of a calm and loving personality.
This means that Labs tend to be sweet dogs who are both loving and patient. They even connect with humans on an emotional level, which is why they are also very effective as support dogs.
2 – Great with Children
If you were to make a list of dog breeds that get along well with kids and not include the Labrador Retriever, the list would definitely be incomplete. Labs are some of the most patient and gentle dogs out there. They are known for their tolerance of rough play and can handle a bit of roughhousing without getting too upset. They also rank among the breeds that are least likely to bite so they won’t harm your kids with sudden aggression either.
3 – Easily Trainable
Labrador Retrievers are one of the easiest dog breeds to train. They are highly intelligent and can easily pick up new tricks without much hassle. They also have a natural desire to please their owners so they are willing to learn new commands and tricks just to make you happy. I mean, how can you not love a dog that’s always trying to make you smile? Right?
Well, another reason they’re so trainable is because of their high food drive. So, if you’re looking for a loyal companion who will work hard to earn their treats, a Lab might just be the perfect match for you!
4 – Suitable for New Owners
Many breeds need a firm owner who can lead them through training and provide consistent boundaries, which can be quite difficult if you’re new to owning dogs. The Labrador Retriever, however, is undoubtedly one of the best breeds for first-time owners. They’re neither too hard to train nor too hard to care for.
And if you do end up struggling a little, you can find heaps of information and resources to teach you how to care for your dog as these guys are extremely popular. So, if you’re a new owner but are overwhelmed by the number of breeds to choose from, the Labrador Retriever might be a perfect fit for you.
But despite these great qualities, let’s be honest, no breed is perfect. So, before you fall head over heels for the Lab’s charms, let’s also take a look at 4 potential drawbacks that come with owning a Labrador Retriever.
1 – Need Space
Labradors are highly active dogs that thrive on plenty of exercise and playtime so make sure you have enough room for them to move around freely and burn off their energy. Yes, Labs are more suited to families with plenty of yard space as opposed to a small apartment or living space. Having enough ground to play and run around just lets them easily burn off all their excess energy.
Remember: inadequate amounts of exercise can result in unwanted and even destructive behavior, which is why they don’t do as well with apartment living. However, it’s not like a Lab can’t live in a small space. You’ll just have to get creative and come up with other ways to tire your dog out, like taking them to a dog park, providing them with a variety of toys and games, and regularly teaching them new tricks.
2 – Shedding
While there’s no doubt that Labrador Retrievers are amazing dogs, shedding is one aspect of the breed that you might want to consider before bringing one into your home. While their coat is easy to take care of, Labs do shed throughout the year, and their thick double coat produces a lot of loose hair that seems to get everywhere – including your food!
That’s why in addition to regular brushing, you’ll also need to spend a lot of time cleaning daily to get rid of all the fur. But don’t let this stop you from loving these amazing dogs. With a little extra effort, you can still enjoy the company of a wonderful Labrador Retriever – just make sure to stock up on lint rollers!
3 – Doggy Smell
All dogs have a natural doggy smell that comes from their coat, ears, and paws, that they use to identify each other. For instance, the Labrador’s coat not only produces but also tends to retain this odor. While this smell is not a problem for most owners, it can be quite unpleasant for some. You can minimize it with regular grooming and bathing, but there’s simply no way to get rid of it. So unfortunately, if you’re one of those people who are sensitive to doggy odor, you might just have to give up on the Lab.
4 – Can’t be Left Alone
Labradors are known for being social and friendly dogs who love nothing more than spending time with their humans. However, this means that they find it challenging to be lone wolves. For them, spending too much time alone can lead to the development of separation anxiety which can cause destructive behavior, excessive barking, and other issues.
In fact, research shows that Labs are among the breeds that struggle the most with separation anxiety. So if you want a Labrador, you’ll have to spend some extra time acclimating your dog to being alone. Or you could also get them a companion – maybe even a second Lab!
Thank you for reading the article!
Here are other articles on the Labrador Retriever if you’re interested to know more about the breed.
Do you think a Labrador would be a suitable companion for your lifestyle? Leave a comment to let us know!