Labradors are one of the most popular breeds. They have been bred for many years to make them perform well in various activities such as hunting, tracking, herding, guarding livestock or even working with children. There are different types of Labradors: those that are purebred (the original breed), those that were crossbreeds between two other breeds (crossing dogs) and those that were produced from puppies taken from other litters.
There are several things that you need to consider when choosing a Labrador puppy. These include its size, weight, temperament and health status. You will also want to look at the color of the dog, whether it’s male or female and what kind of coat it has. If you’re thinking about buying a puppy, there are some basic questions that you’ll want to ask yourself before making your decision:
What type of dog do I already have?
Do you want a puppy that will grow up to be a guard dog, a family companion or something else entirely?
If you answered “Guardian” then you may want to think twice about purchasing a Labrador puppy. Some Labradors are not suited for guarding tasks and they tend to get aggressive towards strangers. Other Labradors are good guards but aren’t quite strong enough to protect their owners if needed.
If you like the idea of a friendly, happy dog then buying a lab puppy might be for you. The breed tends to be extremely friendly and loyal towards its owners. Their social nature means that they will happily meet new people and can form close relationships with children.
Since the breed was bred for retrieving, it tends to enjoy being given tasks to do like fetching objects or toys. A well trained Labrador is extremely intelligent and has a tendency to get bored without something to do.
What type of environment do you live in?
Some Labradors are better suited to living in the suburbs while others work best in rural areas. The coat of a Labrador all depends on what climate it grows up in. For instance, a Labrador that grew up in the icy cold of a Canadian winter would have a thicker coat than one that grew up on a sunny Mediterranean island.
If you live in the suburbs, a short coat is appreciated due to the lack of undergrowth. These dogs tend to shed less fur too so they’re easy to look after. A Labrador that grew up beside the ocean will have a shorter coat than one that grew up in the mountains.
Will you be taking your dog on any hunting trips?
If you intend on using your dog for hunting, you need to make sure that it has a strong sense of smell. A Labrador that is bred for hunting will have a much stronger sense of smell than other types.
Hunting dogs are usually kept outside, despite this they are extremely loyal and friendly dogs towards their owners. They are very clever and need something to do otherwise they become bored or destructive.
What size dog do you want?
Some people prefer smaller dogs while others like the idea of owning a larger dog. Some people even own Labradors as guard dogs due to their size.
If you live in an apartment or have very limited space then a smaller dog is probably for you. A small dog is easier to travel with too since you won’t need to put the dog into the airplane’s hold.
What color of dog do you want?
The Labrador breed comes in three different colors: Yellow, black and chocolate. The color of the dog doesn’t affect its personality or health, it is purely a cosmetic choice.
What age dog do you want?
You don’t always have the option of choosing, however if you do then it is best to buy a dog that is close to adulthood. This way, it will already have most of its energy and is unlikely to reach adulthood and suddenly grow bigger. The only disadvantage is that you will need to train the dog as if it was a puppy, however this is not extremely difficult.
How much do you want to spend?
The price of a purebred Labrador can range anywhere from $800 to $1500, however if you shop around then you can find a dog for much less.
What is the best food to feed my dog?
Your dog will need feeding good quality food. Be careful though since many foods sold in pet stores are of poor quality and fillers. If you want to feed your dog the best food then it is best to buy it yourself, or pay a high price for the brand name dog food.
What happens if I cut my Labrador’s nails too short?
You should never cut your Labradors nails short, if they become too long they can curl under and grow into the paw which will cause your dog a lot of pain. Long nails also make it difficult for your dog walk and run effectively.
If you are unsure of what to do when cutting your dog’s nails then it is best to take it to a professional.
How can I tell if my dog is sick?
Just like people, dogs can become sick without showing many symptoms. In fact, by the time most dogs show symptoms of an illness it has already progressed to a stage where medicine may not help.
The best way to tell if your dog is sick is by paying attention to subtle changes in their behavior. For example, if your dog’s appetite suddenly drops or it starts to vomit for no apparent reason then there is a chance it may not be feeling well.
How can I train my dog?
Dogs are creatures of habit and once they learn something they tend to remember it forever. The best way to train your dog is through repetition and reward.
The first thing you want to do is make sure you have some delicious treats that your dog loves, then begin training it. The moment your dog does something you like then reward it instantly. Repeat this process until your dog has learned the skill.
Afterwards, you can change “training sessions” into “play time” sessions in which you gradually phase out rewards as your Lab learns new skills.
Where can I find a Labrador puppy for sale?
The best place to find a Lab is from a good breeder. Not only will they have taken care of the pregnancy and birth, but they will have made sure that both of the dog’s parents have health testing so that their puppies don’t inherit any diseases.
Other than breeders, you can try looking online and seeing if there are any nearby dogs for sale. Make sure you see the surroundings and parents of the dog before buying, and always be wary when buying a dog.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Shar Pei Labrador Mix Facts (LSP Mix – thedogdigest.com)
- Your Labrador Retriever Puppy Month by Month: Everything You Need to Know at Each Stage of Development (T Albert, D Eldredge, D Ironside, B Ironside – 2016 – books.google.com)
- Best Flea Collars For Dogs (M Story – thelabradorsite.com)
- The Labrador Handbook: The definitive guide to training and caring for your Labrador (P Mattinson – 2015 – books.google.com)
- How to Raise Your New Puppy in a Cat Family: The Complete Guide to a Happy Pet-Filled Home (J Sonnenberg – 2010 – books.google.com)
- Puppy’s First Steps: The Whole-dog Approach to Raising a Happy, Healthy, Well-behaved Puppy (NH Dodman, L Lindner – 2007 – books.google.com)
- Labrador Retrievers for Dummies (PC Tips)
- Probiotics For Dogs–Do They Work And Which Are The Best (J Walton, E Adamson – 2011 – books.google.com)