Owning Labrador Retrievers is not an easy task. I remember when I was searching for our first Lab and sent out an email to all the Lab breeders in our area. Our search was for two Lab pups from the same litter – two chocolate sisters. I was not looking for advice but simply for pricing and processes. Among those responses I received was one that will stay with me forever. This breeder’s response was simple: one Labrador is like one tornado and two are like ten!
Of course, she became our dog breeder of choice and we now have two beautiful chocolate females because of her reputable breeding skills. However, I did not know that day how true this statement was and how quickly it would keep popping into my mind through the years of owning Labrador Retrievers.
Yes, we love our canine companions beyond a shadow of a doubt and nothing could separate us from Dakota and Cheyenne. Each matches one of our personalities perfectly and, if I had to choose between then, I could not. They bring such joy into our lives and also tons of dirt, veterinarian visits, fur all over the house and temperamental behavior when they are bored.
As you already know, Labs can be a handful. They take a lot of energy to raise and nurture during their time on this Earth. If you want a dog to just sleep at your feet, then you do not want a Labrador Retriever. If you want to be left alone for hours at a time, then a Lab is not for you. However, if you like to be with your dog all the time, take long walks several times a day, hike the highest mountain and bring your dog with you everywhere you go, then a Lab is for you.
Labrador Retrievers need much love and both mental and physical stimulation. My husband still has yet to learn that you cannot take a step backwards when standing for the dog is always on your heel and you will most likely step on it. (Poor Cheyenne!) When the alarm goes off in the morning, they are there to greet you as though they haven’t seen you in years. They are warm, loving and extremely smart but call for tons of attention.
Is it worth it? Sure, if you are strong enough and have enough time to devote to your beloved pup. However, I will bring up the words of my wonderful dog breeder again – “One Labrador is like one tornado and two are like ten.” This does not mean they will destroy your house but rather brings to light the constant awareness you have to have for your beloved canine. If you do not, then they get bored and a bored Lab can easily turn into a category F5. Multiply that by the number of Labs you have in your home and think back to my breeder’s wise words.
In the end it all comes down to one thing: A tired Lab is a good Lab.