Are you a Labrador Retriever person?
Find out if this exuberant dog breed is for you.
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Potential Lab owners should consider their intentions for their Lab before deciding on a dog and breeder. The split between field and show lines has created Labs with marked differences in temperament, structure and hunting ability. The field Lab who is bred for hunting is generally leaner and longer in leg, with a narrower skull and a higher energy level. The Lab who has been bred to win blue ribbons in the show ring is typically heavier boned, with shorter legs and a noticeably broader skull. The show Lab is more laid-back and less intense in the field. Decide what you are looking for in your Lab companion before you go shopping for a breeder.
That being said, even a show-bred Lab puppy can be a handful. His enthusiasm and zest for life can easily overwhelm a novice owner who is unprepared for the breeds natural vigor and vitality. Perhaps due to the breeds high profile, many Lab owners are unaware that, while highly trainable, the Lab still requires training. He is more than anxious to please his people, but he needs to learn how to do that. Obedience training is the commonsense route to transforming a wild and crazy Lab into a well-behaved, happy canine good citizen.
Labrador rescue groups (breed organizations that re-home abandoned Labradors) routinely deal with disenchanted owners who give up their Labradors because of temperament and behavior problems. Most likely, these dogs were never trained or poorly trained at best. Fortunately, many stout-hearted Lab owners who fail to train their dogs learn to tolerate and adjust to their Labs wild and unruly ways because they love their dogs. Nevertheless, proper training is the best answer with any dog, especially one as big and bold as the Lab.
Breed selection is a weighty decision and should be based on what's best for both you and the dog. All this and more should determine whether or not you and a Labrador Retriever are meant to live happily ever after.
Next step: Labrador Retriever Overview
Reprinted from Breeders Best: Labrador Retriever © 2004. Permission granted by Kennel Club Books, an imprint of BowTie Press.
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