What Is A Labrador Retriever?
Labradors are one of the most popular breeds of dogs in the world. They have been bred for their loyalty, affection, intelligence and their ability to work with humans. There are many different types of Labs including: Standard Labradors, Toy Labs, Miniature Pinschers and Bulldogs. These three types are called “Standard” because they were originally developed to perform certain tasks such as guarding livestock or working in mines. Other types include working retrievers, hunting labs and herding dogs.
The name “Retriever” comes from the fact that these dogs are smaller than standard Labradors but still have enough muscle mass to pull carts or sleds. They are usually white with black markings and hairless ears. Some of them may even sport a bit of facial fur at times!
A Labrador Retriever is a medium sized dog with short legs and long body. Their heads are small, rounded and pointed making them look like a miniature poodle. They weigh between 10 – 15 pounds (4-6 kg). The coat varies greatly among the various types of Labs. Some are straight coated while others have curly or wavy coats.
All Labs have sharp teeth which makes them excellent hunters and scavengers. Their nails are usually dark in color and their paws are covered in rough hair.
Labradors have a powerful sense of smell that they use while hunting. Their noses are very wet which allows them to hold large amounts of scent. It also helps them to sniff out drugs and bombs! Their eyesight is not the greatest, but their sense of hearing more than makes up for it! A Labrador’s ears are large and furry which also helps them to localize sounds.
Most Labs don’t shed a lot, but the ones that do shed quite a bit. They are very docile and easy to train because they are eager to please and have mild temperaments. They love children and are good with other pets if they are taught to respect them.
Labradors as Service Dogs
Labradors make great service dogs! They are one of the most intelligent dog breeds which makes them easy to train. They love their owners and will do anything to please them.
Labradors are very protective of their owners and make great guard dogs. This makes them a good choice for people who are at high risk of suffering from seizures or panic attacks. The dog can learn to help their owner through an attack by calming them down, fetching their medication or alerting others nearby.
Labradors are also good at sensing when their owner is about to have an epileptic seizure. They can then react by fetching their medication or finding help. This can allow the seizure to be brought under control faster and reduce the risk of personal injury.
These dogs are also great for people who suffer from diabetes and must have regular insulin injections. Their sense of smell can easily detect tiny changes in their owner’s breath which may indicate a problem. This can allow the person to seek treatment before a more serious illness develops.
Labradors have also been known to detect early signs of cancer and other illnesses. Their sense of smell is so powerful that they can detect changes in human breath which may indicate an underlying problem. Compared to other breeds, Labradors are usually sensitive to smells and can react very quickly when they sense something wrong. This makes them good at searching for people trapped under rubble or buried in snow!
PTSD Service Dogs
People suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder have a hard time dealing with feelings of anxiety, panic and fear. They often experience flashbacks to a trauma which they feel powerless to stop. They may even feel as if the trauma is recurring even when it is not.
It is very important for people with severe cases of PTSD to have a helping hand close by at all times. This is where a PTSD service dog can help.
These dogs are specifically trained to help their owner through crisis by keeping them calm in stressful situations. The dog will be able to alert their owner to an oncoming attack, providing physical support and keeping them from isolating themselves from others.
Labradors are very good at this because of their loyalty and friendly nature. They want to please their owner which means they want to help them in any way that they can.
PTSD doesn’t only affect veterans. It can arise in anyone who has experienced a traumatic event. This can include accidents, abuse or violent crimes.
Labradors are naturally non-threatening which means that they can be around children without scaring them. This is important when it comes to treatment because the patient needs to feel as if they can trust their service dog. A dog that is too imposing could make things worse by causing flashbacks or startle the person when they need help the most.
Labradors also have very soft fur which is comforting to people. They are often referred to as “nature’s pillow.” This means that they can provide a safe place for their owner to rest if they are suffering from anxiety or a flashback during the night.
Labrador Retriever Therapy Dogs
If you are someone who works in the field of mental health, you should consider getting a Labrador retriever therapy dog. These dogs are specially trained to work with people who have a mental illness or disability. They can also help people in physical rehabilitation after a serious injury.
These dogs are special because they are able to pick up on certain verbal and non-verbal cues that most people miss. The dog’s ability to notice if a person is saying one thing but meaning another allows them to respond better than other breeds.
This ability allows them to be able to tell when someone is about to have a mental or emotional crisis and give them the appropriate response to help.
Since most of these dogs are Labradors, they have very loving natures. They are very good with children and enjoy playing and cuddling with them. The dog’s ability to be caring yet playful makes it easier for people to warm up quickly to them.
Labrador Retriever therapy dogs respond well to compliments and treats. They are praised when they do something good or given a treat as a reward. They are never expected to perform a certain action without being told or asked first. Though these dogs can sense when someone is in need, they are never forced into action unless they decide to on their own.
These dogs do require training, but it is nothing compared to the training that a service dog would need. They are taught basic obedience from the time they are a puppy. They are also taught how to act in public and which behaviors are acceptable and which are not.
These dogs do need to be taken care of, however. They require regular feeding, walking, and grooming. The amount of maintenance needed depends on the age of the dog. After training, the dogs are able to be left alone for a few hours at a time without needing a walk or trip outside.
How to Get a Service Dog
There are many places that train dogs to help people with disabilities such as autism, blindness, and even epilepsy. Getting one of these dogs requires a fairly extensive process that can take up to two years.
Before you begin the process you need to make sure that you are able to meet their needs. This means making sure you have the time, money, and energy to commit to having a service dog.
The first step in getting a service dog is to find a training center local to you. You can find a list of certified dog trainers here.
At your chosen facility, you will be interviewed to help determine what tasks the dog will be performing and what skills the dog needs to learn. The dogs are not small, so they require a large space to move around in and a yard would be ideal. You will then be assessed on your needs.
The center will want to know what skills the person has already and what skills the person still struggles with. The dog will be trained to perform tasks that help with these issues. For instance, if you are blind, then the dog would be trained to find doors, grab items, and lead you around obstacles.
The second part of the training is done by you. You will be taught how to train the dog to respond to commands. This is usually done by using verbal cues and rewards. The final step in training is for you and the dog to practice all that was learned before being tested on it.
If all goes well, then you will get to take your new service dog home. Training can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years depending on how quick you and your dog pick up the skills.
Once you’ve completed training, the dog is yours and comes with a few warranties. The trainer will help you get set up with any supplies you need for the dog and will give you advice on how to care for it. The trainer will also take the dog back if there are any behavior issues that can’t be fixed.
What You Need To Know About Getting An Emotional Support Dog
Health wise, I’ve had my fair share of issues. I’ve got a host of autoimmune issues, along with some other problems. While some of these problems don’t bother me too much, there are some that really get me down.
One of the big ones for me is the fact that I have major depression and anxiety, along with panic attacks. Because of this, I often find myself not wanting to do much of anything. When I was younger, my Grandma would take care of me when I was feeling down. She would cook my favorite foods, give me hugs and let me watch TV or play games. Unfortunately, Grandma passed away a few years ago.
Because of this, I’ve started to become really isolated. The fact that I have pain issues that prevent me from doing much doesn’t help either. It’s gotten to the point where I rarely leave the house. The thought of dealing with people and their issues stresses me out, so I just stay inside.
While my support system is small, they are there. They try to keep me from getting too down, but it’s hard when I feel like this all the time. My Mom has been trying to get me to go see someone, maybe a therapist or a psychiatrist. But, the thought of talking to someone I don’t know scares me and just thinking about it makes me feel uneasy.
Due to all of this, I’ve acquired a rather large Fear of Leaving the House (Flht). I’m not sure how to get past this. I just feel stuck. Stuck in my pain, stuck in my issues and stuck in my home.
What is your experience with Flht? Did you overcome it? If so, how did you do so?
Fear Of Commitment
Three years ago I broke up with my girlfriend of five years. At the time I thought it was the right decision, but lately I have begun to regret it. We still talk and there is still chemistry between us, but I’m worried that if I go back to her, I will just end up in the same position again.
I have been dating other people, but none of them compare to my ex. There is just something about her that I can’t forget. There are times when I’m with another girl and I’m having a good time, but there is always a little voice in the back of my head telling me that I am not going to be satisfied with this girl, and it’s true. I am not satisfied.
I don’t know if the problem is that I rushed into relationships too quickly after my last breakup or if I just made a mistake in choosing my ex. I just don’t know what to do at this point.
What are your thoughts on new relationships after a failed one?
How I Feel About Therapy (And How It Makes Me Feel)
I’ve been working with a therapist for the past few months, but I’m not too sure about it. So, here is why I am iffy about therapy and psychiatrists.
When my Dad first got diagnosed with Parkinson’s, he started to see a psychiatrist. This psychiatrist said some things that got my Dad to stop his treatment. This resulted in the disease progressing faster, and he was in a hospital bed when he passed away.
Ever since then, I have associated these long white doctors with death. I don’t know why my Dad saw one either. He never told me or my sister about it which makes me think he didn’t want us to know. Maybe it was for insurance reasons or maybe he just felt ashamed about going to one. I don’t know.
I just wish I could talk to someone about all this in person. I’ve been trying to deal with things on my own because I don’t want to be that guy that makes a “ME ME ME” story or something.
However, it’s getting harder and harder to deal with. I really just need to get some things off my chest, but I don’t really have anyone to do that with.
What do you think about therapy? Is it really that big of a deal that I am worried about? Should I just suck it up and go anyway?
Thanks for your time.
How Do You Cope?
I recently started seeing a psychiatrist and I am on medication, but due to the nature of my Dad’s job, we had to keep things quiet. Because of this, nobody at school knew that he was sick and I had to act like everything was OK.
I hated seeing my Dad sick. I felt so helpless and all I wanted to do was help him out.
I know he told me that he wanted me to enjoy high school, and I’m trying to do that, but it’s so hard when your mind keeps going back to him. Sometimes I just don’t want to go to school because I know I am going to have to put on a happy face while my Dad is at home sick.
It’s just so depressing. I don’t know how to get out of this funk.
Does anyone have any advice for me?
Stuck in a Funk
Dear Stuck in a Funk,
That sounds really rough. I’m sorry that you are going through all of that. It sounds like you are doing a good job at keeping your grades up though. The most important thing is to make sure you take care of yourself first right now.
I’m glad you’ve been seeing a psychiatrist and I hope that is helping you. But if you don’t feel like it is, then I would suggest that you keep looking until you find one that works for you.
In the meantime, is there anything that you enjoy doing?
It doesn’t have to be something crazy or expensive. It could even be something as simple as listening to music, taking a walk or playing video games. Just something to take your mind off of things for a bit.
The disease your Dad has sounds really tough. I’m sorry you have to go through this, but I’m glad you wrote to me and I hope things start looking up for you.
I didn’t go to school Thursday or Friday because I was feeling suicidal. I’ve been thinking about death a lot lately.
I’m getting treatment and medication, but sometimes it’s not enough. I’m just so tired of everything. Not only is this situation with my Dad killing me, but I’m also constantly dealing with bullying on top of everything else.
I don’t really feel like talking about myself anymore. I would rather hear from you readers and learn about your stories.
Tell me something about yourself. I want to know.
Confused in California
Sources & references used in this article:
- … test for the selection of dogs for service and breeding, I: Method of testing and evaluating test results in the adult dog, demands on different kinds of service dogs, sex … (E Wilsson, PE Sundgren – Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 1997 – Elsevier)
- The effects of service dogs on psychosocial health and wellbeing for individuals with physical disabilities or chronic conditions (KE Rodriguez, J Bibbo, ME O’Haire – Disability and rehabilitation, 2020 – Taylor & Francis)
- Nutrition for working and service dogs (J Wakshlag, J Shmalberg – Veterinary Clinics: Small Animal …, 2014 – vetsmall.theclinics.com)
- Fear/Reactivity in working dogs: An analysis of 37 years of behavioural data from the Mira Foundation’s future service dogs (N Dollion, A Paulus, N Champagne, N St-Pierre… – Applied Animal …, 2019 – Elsevier)