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Labrador Retriever, The Most Popular Dog Breed Since 1991


Labrador retrievers, also known as the Labrador or Lab, are active, outgoing, and friendly dogs that are easily trained. They've been the most popular of dog breeds for almost 30 years and still haven't lost their streak. They're good with other pets and kids, too. They can be taught to play gently with smaller children. Labs are also extremely intelligent. Even their size can be perfect for families! Labradors are only medium-sized; not too big, not too small. They only need average grooming and rarely drool. These dogs are highly adaptable, extra friendly, and incredibly energetic and playful. They're perfect for children and are very gentle dogs. They also come in three beautiful and desirable colors: yellow, black, and chocolate.


Grooming a Labrador Retriever

They only require average grooming. A good brushing every few weeks and a monthly bath should do him fine. If your dog tends to get extra dirty, two or three times per month could be okay; just avoid over bathing your dog, as it can cause dry or irritated skin. Don't use human shampoo on your dog or their skin may became flaky and dry. Use a dog shampoo and lather it up onto your Lab's fur. Then rinse the soap out thoroughly. Don't get any soap or soap foam in his eyes. If eye contact does occur, wash his eyes with cool, fresh water. If your dog doesn't let you do this, call your vet immediately. Your Labrador still might smell like dog even after bathing him, but once again, do not over bathe him. Drying his fur with a towel is optional, but helps him not to drip water on the floor or get furniture wet. You may also clean his ears and trim his nails, but make sure you know what you're doing and talk to your veterinarian to see how to safely do so.

Training a Labrador Retriever Puppy

Training Methods

Labradors are rather easy to train, but if you're having trouble, you can start attending puppy training classes and/or obedience classes. The best way to train your dog yourself is to use positive reinforcement, which is just rewarding your Labrador for displaying the desired behavior. You can use small dog treats or another snack he likes to reward your dog (make sure the food is safe for him to eat, as some human foods such as chocolate is toxic to dogs). Whether you're potty training a Labrador puppy, or teaching him tricks, be sure to always use positive reinforcement training to ensure that your dog understands displaying the desired behavior is good. Don't punish your Lab when he doesn't perform a trick properly; just don't reward him for misbehaving.


Socializing a Labrador Retriever

If a dog ever needed early socialization, Labs would. Introduce your puppy to family and pets that they'll be living with or seeing frequently and make sure your pup becomes comfortable around them. Labradors tend to be somewhat open to strangers, but if they're not already socialized with a person they may become uncertain about them and turn aggressive. Not to get confused with Labradors being aggressive dogs; they're actually some of the friendliest breeds you'll meet.. Although it does depend on how the dog was treated when they were a puppy. Socialize your Labrador early and introduce him to family, and you have nothing to worry about. You can put him in a puppy socialization class if needed.

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Are Labrador Retrievers Aggressive?

Labradors generally aren't aggressive, however it does depend on how the individual dog, despite the breed, was trained, raised, and treated as a puppy. If you adopt your own Labrador retriever and raise it properly, it shouldn't naturally be aggressive. Sure, you can find a Lab at a pound or animal shelter - but there's a good chance they'll be full grown. If you're worried about your Labrador being aggressive, then I would recommend finding a puppy from a good dog breeder so that you can raise your Labrador yourself and not have to worry about him being aggressive. Some dogs can also develop behavioral issues which might help them become aggressive. Otherwise, the breed is considered sweet, friendly, and good with children and other pets.


Are Labrador Retrievers Hypoallergenic?

Even though Labradors are such obedient and loyal dogs with all these different great qualities, no, Labs are not hypoallergenic. In fact, they shed quite a bit, especially during springtime. You can reduce the amount of shedding by regularly brushing your Lab and beginning to bathe him more often (don't over bathe your dog, however, as this can lead to dry and irritated skin. Luckily they usually don't drool as much as a basset hound or Bernese mountain dog might, but they're definitely not hypoallergenic and can easily trigger your allergies. Despite what great breeds they are, if you're allergic to dogs, maybe a poodle or Affenpinscher would be best.


Exercising a Labrador Retriever

Labs love to exercise and will do anything active - swimming, jogging, biking, running, you name it! However, if you don't have the time to thoroughly exercise your Labrador each day with a hike or swim, a simple (10-20 minute) daily walk will be fine. If you're going to take your dog to the park for some exercise, first of all make sure that he's mature and reliable enough to actually do so. You might be thinking, "Sure, my dog is trained and perfectly reliable!" But keep in mind that dogs can sometimes be unpredictable. Even the world's most well-trained and obedient dog can misbehave. If your Lab is still at the point where he jumps up on people and nips at children, maybe you should take some time to train him better and wait for him to mature before you take him to the park. Also remember to keep him on a leash and correct him when he tries to wander off. If your Labrador is self-willed, doesn't listen to you, and is easily distracted (and also darts right after what distracted him), wait to take him to the park until bad habits such as jumping up on people are fixed.

© 2021 liataylor

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