The Labrador still remains a favourite within the UK, and consistently appears near the top of the list every year.
Originally bred as a gun dog. Today, Labrador Retrievers are still ready to work and please their pet parents. They are also affectionate, outgoing, intelligent and friendly to humans, especially children and other animals. They don’t need much grooming but need a considerable amount of daily exercise. They enjoy regular and vigorous walks, a game of fetch or even a swim in a safe area.
Everybody loves Labrador retrievers. You’re pretty likely to see at least a couple of these energetic, eager-to-please dogs when you spend time outside at the park or in your neighbourhood. Labradors make great family dogs. Plus, Labrador retrievers are always ready for adventure, whether that’s a hike in the mountains or a trip to the beach. And they’ll even curl up on the couch with you.
Read on to check out our favourite things about Labrador retrievers.
1. Labrador retrievers are intelligent and highly trainable
The KC notes that Labrador retrievers are not only friendly, but they’re also clever. These intelligent dogs want to please their owners. So they’re highly trainable. As with any other dog, training is still work. But Labradors are up for the challenge (unlike many other dogs, who resist the process all the way). Labradors are loyal to their owners and will take their cues from you. They’ll go on a run around the neighbourhood with you, or they’ll cuddle up with you on the couch if you need a quiet evening at home.
2. Labs love children
Another reason why the English love Labrador retrievers so much. These dogs make great companions for children. They love children. Like any dog, Labradors need to be supervised around very young children. But they’re affectionate, patient, and often love spending time with the smallest members of your family. They also love to play fetch — a game both little humans and young dogs can easily figure out together.
3. Labs live long and healthy lives
When you bring a dog into your home, you want him or her to stay a part of your family for many years to come. Labrador retrievers often do because they can live long and healthy lives. (That’s especially true if you feed them a balanced diet and help them get plenty of exercise.) Labrador retrievers live an average of 12 years. So one of these dogs can remain a part of your family for a very long time.
4. Labrador retrievers don’t need expensive trips to the groomer
People who want easy-going dogs find a lot to love in Labrador retrievers. As do people who want to avoid expensive trips to the groomer. These dogs require only very occasional trips to the groomer. And unlike many dogs with long coats, Labs don’t need to be brushed for hours every week. Of course, that doesn’t mean Labs never need to be brushed or that they won’t need the occasional bath. But they’re much easier to keep well-groomed than many other dog breeds.
5. Labs want to be helpful
Labs often become guide dogs or search-and-rescue dogs. Some even get trained as therapy dogs. Sure, it helps that Labs take training well. But according to the KC, “The Labrador retriever’s willingness to please makes them outstanding search and rescue dogs, as well as guide dogs for the blind.” In fact, Labs are the breed of choice to serve as guide and rescue dogs. That means the breed’s desire to be helpful pays off.
6. Labrador retrievers can learn not to play rough
If you have small children, you might worry about a dog as big as a Lab unintentionally injuring one of the little humans in your family. But as Labrador Training HQ reports, Labs were bred to retreive such as ducks, grouse, rabbits, etc.” The connection between the two? Even though a dog’s usual instinct “is to bite down on flesh,” that’s not true for the Lab. Labs have have “incredible control of jaw muscles,” and they can be taught to play (or to retrieve things for you) without biting down.
7. Labs have adventurous and playful personalities
These dogs have adventurous personalities. Labrador retrievers are typically friendly around new people. In fact, Labs often want to be the first to welcome somebody new. And they often have no qualms about saying hello to strangers on the beach or in your neighbourhood. Labradorss also do great socialising at gatherings and parties, which just makes them all the more endearing to their owners.
8. Labrador retrievers are up for all of your favourite athletic activities
Not every dog can keep up with athletic and outdoorsy owners. But Labradors are up for just about anything. Labs go hiking. They’ll go jogging. And they’ll even swim with you. Whatever you do to stay fit, a Lab will want to join in. Plus, he’ll have the muscle and energy to keep up with or even outperform you. Need some motivation to go running each day? A Labrador retriever might be just what you need. And if you want somebody to go swimming with you? Your Lab will probably jump right in.
9. Labs make good athletes in their own right
Does everyone in your family play a sport? Your Labrador retriever can, too. The KC reports, “With their combination of physical ability, intelligence, and eagerness to please, Labrador retrievers excel at dog sports like rally, tracking, field trials, obedience and agility.” Special training and competitions aren’t for everyone. But they can make a fun activity for Lab owners and their dogs to do together.
10. Labrador retrievers stay pretty healthy
Even though Labradors may be prone to obesity, they aren’t the most expensive breed when it comes to vet bills. That means a Labrador is less likely to have costly medical issues than many other breeds of dogs. Labradors still need to go to the vet, of course. But they often stay healthier than other types of dogs.
11. Labrador retrievers like other dogs (and other animals)
Some dogs like to be the only pup in sight, whether they’re at home with you or out at the park. But Labrador retrievers love other dogs. They naturally get along with most other canines. That makes them a strong candidate for households that already have pets or are situated in neighbourhoods where lots of dogs already live. We all love friendly dogs especially when those dogs are friendly both with people and other animals.
12. Labrador retrievers aren’t picky eaters
Labradors famously have big appetites. That means you won’t struggle to find a brand of dog food your Labrador likes. The KC reports, “Labs love to eat … and eat and eat and eat.” They need a healthy diet and lots of exercise. Labradors may be more prone to obesity than other dog breeds. But Labrador owners who restrict their dogs’ diets will help them live a longer, healthier life.
13. Labs are the perfect size for many families
Labrador Training HQ also notes many people love Labradors because they’re the “Goldilocks” dog. (That’s not because of the colour of adorable yellow Labs.) “At 22 to 24 inches in height and 60 to 75 pounds in weight for males, and 21 to 23 inches and 55 to 70 pounds for females, Labrador retrievers are the perfect size for an active family: Not too big and not too small.”
14. Labrador retrievers are adorable
If Labs went to secondary school, they’d easily win the award for “Best Looking.” Labrador retrievers come in three photogenic colors: black, chocolate, and yellow. And according to the KC, the Lab’s “‘otter’ tail, dense weather-resistant coat, and friendly expression” all contribute to his uniquely adorable appearance.