“Is a Labrador right for me?” is a question that has garnered much interest, what with the American Kennel Club registry recognizing Labrador Retrievers as the most popular dog breed worldwide.
Considering that taking care of any type of pet is a serious commitment, you should not just get a Labrador for the sake of it.
You also need to take into consideration factors (e. g., food, space, budget, and time) before deciding if a Labrador is the right dog for you.
As the most popular breed in the world, the Labrador is in very high demand.
So, it is understandable if the Labrador is the first breed to come to mind when you are thinking of getting a dog.
After all, they have a lot of endearing characteristics that would suit many people.
The rest of this article will talk about the characteristics of a Labrador things to think about before getting or adopting one.
Hopefully, you will get some insight to help you make the right choice for your lifestyle.
What makes a Labrador worth getting?
Before discussing is a Labrador right for you, let’s talk about what makes a Labrador one of the most loved dogs on the planet.
There are a lot of things to love about them, but what draws you to buying or adopting one is ultimately up to you.
1) Labradors have very high energy levels.
Due to their history as a working dog, Labs have very high energy levels. This may give you a difficult time if you are not the physically active type.
However, a Labrador is right for you if you are. Labrador Retrievers can keep up with your activities and can motivate you to do more.
Still, take note that Labradors can turn to negative actions, such as chewing on your furniture or shoes if they don’t get to release their energy.
Because of this, they will most likely need a couple of walks each day to burn off their energy and be productive.
If you do not have time for that kind of upkeep, or if you cannot pay for a dog walking service, then it might not be in your best interest to care for a Lab.
While the Lab is an excellent companion in more ways than one, it can also be a bit high-maintenance.
Another thing to consider is space. Your Lab must have enough space to be themselves without the risk of breaking too many things around the house.
The best place for a Lab would be somewhere they can run around in the backyard or play in a relatively open space.
Understandably, this is not a possibility for many people. However, so long as there is still sufficient space for the Lab to not feel cramped inside all the time, that is still fine.
Just make sure that you can properly take care of your dog before getting a Lab.
Once they are within your hands, your primary responsibility is to care for them and give them what they need.
In turn, Labradors will be one of the best companions that you have in your life.
2) Labradors are excellent with children.
Because Labradors are so great with kids, they also make amazing family pets.
Your kids can grow up with a playful and gentle dog that will more likely spend more than a decade with you.
It certainly is a great way to create more interaction in your home.
However, if your hands are already full with your kids, then you probably don’t have the time to care for another living being.
Take into careful consideration what is already on your plate before you start putting more stuff on it.
That said, Labradors generally have decent life spans. According to this research on more than 30,000 Labs, the average life expectancy for the breed was around 12 years old, but could easily reach around 14.
That is quite a significant amount of time during which you can forge a lot of great memories with your pet and children.
3) Labradors are easy to train.
Labradors are also known for their trainability. They are one of the most common working dogs out there. They can be service dogs, gun dogs, therapy dogs, and more.
We can chalk up this long list of skills to their easy to train demeanor and their people-pleasing personality.
For the most part, you will probably have little trouble training your Lab.
They naturally want to please their owners, and you’ll have a blast with training them!
Plus, they are intelligent dogs and training is an excellent way to maximize their mental stimulation and exercise their thinking.
Another factor that makes Labradors easy to train is their love of food. Treats are an easy way to motivate your Lab to do better or to follow your cues.
That said, you also have to be careful with their food intake. A con to their love of food is that they are prone to becoming obese or overweight.
Together with potential joint problems, it can really be an issue later on in life when a Labrador becomes less active and more sedentary.
3) Labradors are very friendly pets.
As previously mentioned, Labradors have this desire to please people around them.
That makes them the perfect sociable pet. You won’t have trouble with having them around other people or other pets.
If you are the type of person to constantly have people over, or you also have other pets at home, a Labrador is an excellent choice.
They should be able to mingle with other people and pets easily and will give you little trouble.
Is a Labrador right for you?
Now that you have gone through that list of what makes Labs so great (which by the way, is not exhaustive), you probably have an idea of whether they are the right breed for you or not.
The answer to that question depends on your lifestyle and what you are looking for in a pet.
To guide you further, here are some questions that you can answer while you are thinking about it.
1) Do you have space for a Labrador?
Space should be one of your top considerations. Only get a Lab if you have a house or apartment that can house them just fine.
Of course, consult with your housemates if you have any.
2) Can I afford to care for a Labrador?
Pet care can be expensive. From the vaccines to the daily upkeep to the toys, the amount of money you spend on pet supplies and necessities can easily stack up.
Make sure that you can afford all of the things that you need to spend money on in order to give your Lab a comfortable life.
It will not be easy to care for them. You will have to budget out an allocation for food, their vaccines, and all the other emergency pet expenses that might show up out of the blue.
Preparing for pet care in the best way possible will give your Labrador a great quality of life.
3) Do I have time for a Labrador?
Remember that it may seem like nothing to you, but to your pets, your attention is one of the most important things.
An affectionate breed like the Labrador will need attention and care, and you, as the owner, should be able to give it to them.
There are too many Labs or dogs in general that end up being neglected or left out on the streets because their owners can no longer bear to take care of them.
Make sure that you have the time and mental capacity to give your Lab the affection that they need.
Time is important to everyone. And for sure, not all people have the time (and energy) to walk a dog two times a day without fail, especially when they are already working multiple jobs.
Just make sure that you can set aside the time to prove all of your Labrador’s needs.
If you cannot find the time to walk them every day, there are services that can do that for you.
Granted, it will be another expense. But, it will be worth it since it is for the overall well-being of your Labrador.
Asking yourself if a Labrador is right for you is a broad question that encompasses many things.
The answer to that is very personal one that the internet can only give you perspective on and cannot answer for you directly.
Take the answer seriously and think about it a lot before jumping the gun and getting a Lab.
If you do and can, however, you’ll be in for an excellent time with a pet that will shower you with their love and care.