Labradors are the most popular dogs in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada, where they’ve held the top spot for nearly three decades. But Labradors haven’t made it to the top of the list on their own-they’ve had a lot of help from people who have fallen head over heels in love with the breed.
“What attracts me most to Labradors is their cheerful, lively, tail-wagging personalities,” writes Ben Fogle, a British journalist, and writer who has owned three Labradors. “I’ve lost count of the times I’ve come home after a hard day’s work and been delighted by the enthusiastic welcome I’ve received at the door.
It’s true: the Labrador’s cheerful temperament is unmatched and persistent. Known for their friendly personalities and loyal companionship, Labradors are highly prized. If you’re one of the many people thinking about getting a Labrador, you’re in for an exciting life, but there are some basics you should know first.
There are many reasons to get a Labrador retriever: they are intelligent, loyal, friendly and outgoing. Before you start looking for your new companion, it’s best to familiarize yourself with the breed so you know what to expect.
#5: The difference between English and American Labradors.
Did you know that there is a difference between English Labradors and American Labradors?
Although very similar in appearance, English and American Labradors differ in many ways. For starters, English Labradors are known to be more docile and calm than their energetic American counterparts. Both make excellent pets, but English Labradors have been raised with children for generations.
#4: Labradors need physical and mental stimulation.
It’s all in the name: Labradors are made to fetch.
Endurance and intelligence were the main goals when this breed was developed in Newfoundland a few hundred years ago. At that time, locals bred small water dogs with Newfoundland dogs. With impressive double fur, webbed paws and an eagerness to retrieve, Labradors helped fishermen retrieve fish and materials that had fallen into the water.
Nothing has changed since then. As a sporting group dog, Labradors are still as energetic, friendly, and active as the original breeders intended. If you’re considering getting a Labrador, ensure your puppy has plenty of time to do what he loves most: fetch.
#3: Labradors have a double coat.
As retrievers, Labradors have acquired some strange and unique characteristics. As they primarily retrieved game in the water, they developed webbed toes and a “soft mouth,” the unique ability to carry an object without biting it. Generations of swimming in the water also gave them an amazing double coat.
The double coat refers to the two layers of the Labrador’s skin, the top coat and the undercoat. The top coat is rougher to the touch, and the undercoat is much softer. A Labrador’s double coat is vital to the dog, as it helps protect its body from UV rays, repels water, regulates body temperature, acts as insulation when it is cold, and keeps the dog cool in summer.
But this critical advantage comes with a slight disadvantage. The double coat causes the animals to lose a lot of hair, especially as the seasons begin to change and they prepare to move to a different climate.
Pro tip: Although tempting, it is not recommended to shave your dog. This could affect the dog’s health and make it more susceptible to disease. Remember that your Labrador will probably shed twice a year heavily in the spring and fall, so be sure to have a vacuum cleaner and a heavy-duty brush on hand.
#2: Labs have a big personality
Accidents are inevitable in the first few months of a puppy’s life. However, Labradors are known for being incredibly clumsy and bouncy, so be prepared to be a little more patient.
As adults, Labradors are known for their impressive intelligence, accompanied by a very adventurous and curious personality. Overall, they are intelligent and affectionate animals that make excellent companions for anyone, but they need plenty of exercises and mental stimulation.
Pro tip: If you decide on a Labrador, make sure you have plenty of time and space to play that can stimulate your dog’s mind and body.
#1: Labradors are the perfect family pets.
There’s a reason Labradors are the number one dog in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, and it’s because of their incredible temperament and personality. They are patient and playful, making them perfect for families of all sizes.
A girl is smiling as she plays with a puppy.
Labradors are also known for their trainability. Some dog breeds are more independent and aloof than others, but this is not the case with Labradors. These dogs are eager to please and have a great willingness to learn. With a Labrador, it will be easy to teach your dog good manners and to respond to verbal cues.
Spending time understanding a Labrador’s characteristics will benefit both you and your dog. You will better understand Labrador’s personality and natural desires, allowing you to understand him better and work together. Before you start looking for your next companion, remember:
English Labradors are stockier and more docile, while American Labradors are more energetic.
Labradors are meant to bounce back, so keeping them active and busy is essential.
Labradors are double-coated, which means they shed a lot.
Labradors have lively personalities, so make sure you are ready to play.
All of their winning qualities make them the best kind of family dog.