DogCast Radio
Home Episodes Articles Blog Breed profiles Book reviews Photos Contact

Labrador Retriever breed profile

Training and intelligence
Labrador Retrievers want to please, are fast learners, and very motivated by food. Labradors have an intelligence, which they may find more motivation to apply if there is an advantage to themselves in the task.

Temperament
Labrador Retrievers are in the main affectionate and enthusiastic. As puppies and young dogs they have an exuberance which can get them into trouble if left unchecked. As adults, they are usually friendly, energetic companions, who live to be with their people, and adore the whole family.

Attitude towards strange dogs and people
Everyone is a potential friend to a Labrador Retriever, and they greet as such. Aggression is rarely a problem, although individuals may give warning barks in the house to alert of danger.

Grooming and shedding
Grooming is minimal with the short coated Labrador Retriever. This breed sheds heavily, although wiping over with a damp cloth, and bathing helps. Invest in a good vacuum!

Exercise
Labrador Retrievers thrive on exercise, having lots of energy, and being very playful. They relish free running and retrieving games.

Need for company
They long to be with their people, but Labrador Retrievers can take short periods of being left if brought up to it. Not suitable for kennel living.

General
It is for good reason that the Labrador Retriever is the most popular breed in the world. Despite their enthusiasm or perhaps because of it and even though they shed heavily, they are loving family members with lots of patience.
Puppies should not be over-exercised until the skeleton has fully developed, and ensure parent dogs have been hip, shoulder and eye tested don’t set yourself up for heartbreak. These are large, heavy set, exuberant dogs, but will love you 100%, and are worth putting the effort in for.

Comments

I have owned dogs all my life and currently have a 2 yr old yellow lab and a 10 yr old maltese/silky cross. I must admit, the lab has some aggression problems with other dogs. Without doubt he is the best dog I have ever owned. Hightly intelligent, eager to please, highly loyal and very affectionate, he follows me wherever i go. He also has a sense of humor and loves to be chased. I am working on the dog to dog aggression, and cant help feeling that it may be due to 2 episodes at the park when he was a young pup (of 4 months of age) he was chased by other dogs at the park, so now he's on guard the moment he sees another dog. Like everything, he showing massive improvement and listening to my commands more. Frequent walking appears to be the key.

The most popular breed in America, as registered with the AKC! This however has its own problems as well. To meet the demand, backyard sellers and pet shops have taken to over inbreeding their "supply". When purchasing a dog, if possible, find out about the last 3-4 generations of the stock. A family tree that resembles a stick should be avoided.
It is highly recommended that puppies be purchased from breeders who either belong to the National breed club or the local chapter...they will follow the recommended breeding standards set forth by the Specialty club, taking into consideration of all health issues and testing for the appropriate genetic disorders.

you need more facts on grooming and feeding

I recently had to surrender my 11 month yellow lab due to aggressiveness. Labs are too often portrayed as docile dogs, ar wrongly as all pit bulls are portrayed as as vicious animals. In fact, Labs aggressiveness has been sited as a big fault of the breed. Since most labs are going to families with small children, it is so important to make sure that you make sure the dog is as free from aggressiveness as possible. Since some shelters do not provide temperment evaluation (which I feel should be standard in all no-kill shelters), you should bring someone who knows the breed and/or a trainer with you to test the dog before you bring it home. Better to be safe than sorry....for both your family AND the dog!

I have 3 year old lab. She is the most obedient, loyal, affectionate dog! I have trained her to do all kinds of tricks. It definitely helps to have a companion for your lab, another dog to run around with and play tug a war when you are spent. Lots of energy and even more love!

As commented below, the biggest downfall of any breed is being popular and in demand. Research your breeders and ask for references to check the past litters. A Lab, due to it's size, can be a costly expense if there is something wrong with it's health.
All in all, the lab is an excellent family member. Be prepared for puppy-hood lasting almost 3 years, obedience is a must as well as training to keep all 4 paws on the ground at an early age. Daily brushing with a slicker brush helps a bit with shedding, but as mentioned, a good vacuum is your only defense from the fur-balls rolling around in the corners. Exercise essential or your lab may become destructive and develop behavioral problems.

Sharing

193 - Finn's law and Alabama Rot

Hear PC Dave Wardell talk movingly about the night his police dog, Finn, nearly died, and how that gave rise to the campaign to have Finn's Law, and give legal protection to police dogs. Alabama Rot has been hitting the headlines in the UK, but how worried should dog owners be, and how can owners protect their dogs from it? Vet Marc Dhumeaux tells you what you need to know. Plus the DogCast Radio News.

189 - The Dog Healers and War Dogs Remembered

In this episode you can hear Mark Winik talk about his debut novel, The Dog Healers, and listen to Julia Robertson explain why she founded the charity War Dogs remembered. Plus there's the DogCast Radio News, and what Mischief the German Spitz puppy has been up to.

188 - Service Dogs UK and Roxie the Doxie Finds Her Forever Home

In this episode you can hear about Service Dogs UK, a fantastic charity which trains assistance dogs to support veterans of any service - military personnel, police, firefighters, paramedics and the coastguard - who develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder due to their job. Also, listen to Dr Jody A Dean, a clinical psychologist talk about how her book, Roxie the Doxie finds her Forever Home, is helping children understand and talk about adoption and other family issues. Plus the DogCast Radio News and some thoughts on the alpha dog myth.

187 - Muffins Halo and Chorley Fun Dog Show

In this episode you can hear about Muffin's Halo for Blind Dogs, and what motivates people to enter their dog in a fun dog show. In the DogCast Radio News, listen to stories about the latest dog related research. Plus there's a new member of the DogCast Radio team!

186 - Maxwell Muir on wolves

In this episode you can hear trainer, behaviourist, writer, broadcaster and wolf expert Maxwell Muir talk about what wolves mean to him personally, their plight in a modern world, and his hopes for their future. Plus we have the DogCast Radio News.