Labradors are a well-loved breed, but why do many consider Labs good family dogs?
Keep reading to find out.
Is the Labrador a Good Family Dog?
Typically, many consider Labradors good family dogs. While each Lab is special and unique, most Labs have very sweet personalities.
They are kind and gentle, which makes them great family dogs. These are also easy to train and are obedient, which makes it easy for most families to train them.
They are also bundles of energy. Labs are a great dog if you want your kids to have a dog that they can run outside and play with.
However, despite their high energy, they are usually careful around children.
They can also be great protectors. Labradors are protective of their loved ones, so they will howl and chase people who try to break into your home.
Luckily, most Labs will be able to recognize if a stranger is a guest or a danger to your home (especially with the right socialization training).
However, there are a few exceptions for this. For instance, Labradors are big dogs, so you need a decent-sized home with a backyard if you have a Labrador.
If you live in an apartment, they need to go out and exercise regularly to keep bad behavior like digging and chewing at bay.
It also depends on your Lab’s personality. Each Lab has their own unique personality. Some are naturally friendly and gentle, while some Labs tend to be more energetic, fearful, etc.
For instance, past trauma could make your dog show aggressive behavior which you have to help them overcome.
How are Labradors with children?
Therefore, they usually do not mind being frequently cuddled, petted, and even prodded (on occasion) by kids.
Labs also have tons of energy, especially if you get a working-class Labradors (usually American Labrador Retrievers).
Therefore, your Lab will be able to play and run with kids all day! Just be sure to give your Lab a break once they show signs of being tired like yawning, panting, etc.
Of course, it would also be important to teach children that Labs have their limits, too.
You do not want to provoke a Lab or make a Lab feel annoyed. Therefore, you should teach your children that Labradors have feelings and they should not try to aggravate the Lab.
However, it would be best to wait until your children are at least 4-7 years old if you want to get a Labrador.
Labradors are big dogs, and they could accidentally knock over very small children if they try to be affectionate.
For instance, excited young Labs will want to jump on you to greet you, which a small child usually cannot handle.
How are Labradors with other animals?
Labradors can be behaved and work well with other animals. However, it depends on how you train them.
For example, Labradors who learn social skills should be able to interact with other dogs quite easily (given that the other dog is not aggressive).
Certain dog breeds, like the Golden Retriever and Miniature Poodle, are also compatible with Labs, so it may be easier to introduce them to each other.
It also slightly matters about what kind of animal you want them to meet.
For instance, if you expose your Lab to other animals regularly like a cat and teach them to not chase the cat, they will be fine with having a cat in their home.
We also have to remember that the other animal will have a mind of its own, too.
Most cats are very skeptical of dogs, no matter how kind the dog is. You may have to wait a month or longer for the cat to get used to your Lab.
Just remember that it will take some time to introduce any new animal to your Lab. You cannot force them to be friends immediately.
Put yourself in your Labrador’s shoes – you would not want to trust a new stranger immediately, right?
Be patient and let your Labrador slowly approach the other animal when they feel more confident.
Are Labradors easy to train?
Labradors are obedient and intelligent dogs. So, yes, they are very easy to train.
However, it would be best for you to start training your Lab at a young age.
Some people argue that 6 months is the best age to train a Lab, but that is actually a bit late to start training your Lab.
You can start teaching your Lab puppy basic tricks and obedience as young as 2 months old.
If you train them when they are older, they usually have most of their personality traits by that time.
Therefore, it would be harder to make them unlearn naughty behavior like barking, jumping on people, etc.
Additionally, you need to train them regularly. If you want your Lab to listen to you without hesitation, you need to train them at least once a day.
You can also practice quick drills for tricks they already mastered to make sure that they remember what you taught.
Tips to help your Labradors become good family dogs
Firstly, you need to make sure your Lab has enough space and gets enough exercise.
Labs have tons of energy, and you do not want them to release that energy in your home. Most adult Labs need at least 1-2 hours of exercise a day.
Regular obedience training is a must for any dog. Therefore, you need to make sure your whole family knows this. You do not want family members to make your Lab think that they can get away with bad behavior because it can make training more difficult.
Also, make a special space for your Labrador. You can keep a bed, pillow, a few toys, water bowl, etc. in a spot that they feel comfortable in. You can put that spot in your bedroom, laundry room, or garage.
For other foolproof tips to train your Labrador Retriever to become great family dogs, you can visit our post here.
All in all
Labradors make fantastic family dogs, especially with the right training and if they get enough exercise.
They often get along with other animals and are great with children.