Labrador Retriever

Ratboy

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#21
A friend of mine has a huge field type black Lab, the biggest one I've ever seen, and he's, well, pretty hyper. He is the biggest of his 4 dogs by about 30 pounds (He's a not fat at all 140!!) His brother visits once in a while, and he, like the rest of the 12 pups in the litter is a normal 95-100 pounds or so. There are no papers, he just seems to be huge 18 month old Lab. He's a great looking dog, very healthy and loves to get tennis balls and bring them back. One great thing about him is he doesn't chew much. I got head butted by him a couple of months ago, and I saw flashing lights and had a nice purple spot on my forehead for a week. He was devastated that he had hurt me, and tried to climb into my lap to console me. That was worse than the head butt.
 

milos_mommy

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#22
95-100 lbs is NOT normal for a lab lol.

140 lbs is bigger than most mastiffs. A 100 pound lab would be ENORMOUS, I can't imagine a 140 lb. I'm wondering if you're sure this is accurate or if it's the weight your friend says, because people guess or exaggerate their dogs weight at WAY over.
 

noludoru

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#23
Why would anyone review all the dog breeds out there and go "wow, I want a Lab! Fur everywhere sounds amazing! Extreme destructiveness sounds amazing! Being stopped on every walk for someone's kid to pet my dog sounds amazing! Being almost guaranteed a stupid, block-headed dog than I'll struggle to train sounds amazing! Being guaranteed a dog who pissed EVERYONE off because of it's rude, galumphing body language sounds amazing! Having a dog in my home that STINKS on a comparable level to a Bloodhound sounds amazing! Dealing with a mammal that apparently doesn't grow a brain until 2 or 3 sounds amazing! I want a breed prone to separation anxiety so they'll continue to destroy my stuff long into adulthood! I love drool all over every part of the house and my body! Taking showers 3x a day is amazing! Using a Costco pack of lint rollers every 6 months so I can hold down a professional job sounds amazing!"

Who says this ****? There's nothing Labs bring to the table that's so unique it's worth dealing with all of this. Unless you're a total slob and appreciate your house being trashed for you and a dog who will LITERALLY GO HOME WITH A STRANGER AT A RESTAURANT AND HOME DEPOT. If I hadn't grabbed the leash back I would have been without a dog. I briefly considered pretending to be distracted.

I had a Lab. I love him. I miss him. But he was woefully unsuited to my temperament and needs, was considered The Worst Dog Ever by many of my dog loving friends, and he convinced tons of people out of a Lab because THAT IS WHAT LABS ARE LIKE and I won't gloss over it, glorify it, or tell you they're awesome unless you happen to be a hunter, and then get a sport Lab. Or a Poodle. OR ONE OF THE MANY OTHER DOGS THE SPORTING GROUP HAS TO OFFER. Here is the sporting group: http://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/groups/sporting/

Why not get a fun breed without retrieverderp? Or the smell? Or get a GSD if you like that level of shedding? GSDs are just as much work, a lot smarter, and don't smell as bad.
 

noludoru

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#24
I just don't understand why people profess that Labs are awesome supercool fun machines made of perfection and spun sugar that perfectly dissolves into simple syrup when they play in the water.

Let's be like ALL THE OTHER BREEDS and talk about all the downsides before the positives. Because, like with many breeds, there are a LOT of major downsides.

Labs:

-Smell as bad as a Bloodhound without the cuteness or aptitude for SAR work.
-Shed as much as a GSD without the intelligence to bolster their extreme desire to please.
-Dumb as the stereotypical Irish Setter, without being as pretty or having as nice of a coat. (I know we've all met smart Labs, because let's be real- most of them are between a 3-6/10 on the intelligence scale.
-Drool as much as a Pointer, Bullmastiff, or adolescent Great Dane.
-Nearly as many health issues as a Cavalier, with the physical ones being very prevalent; without the adorable-ness or the utter perfection in being a pet dog that a Cav has.
-The energy of a young Pointer or Vizla without the fun.
-The spazzball-ness of a young Golden without the cute or ease of coat care and de-shedding.
-"Dog-friendliness" AKA no one likes you, you're a Lab, go home. You know what breeds are naturally dog friendly instead of SPAZHAILEMMEJUMPONYOYRFACE - HOUNDS! Foxhounds are prevalent in shelters across the eastern seaboard in the US, as are many other Coonhound breeds. If you want a spaz that everyone at the dog park hates, there are always boxers. They don't shed anything like a Lab and still have that play style that inspires other dogs into fits of rage.
-Want a dog that will fetch? I have never met a Herder I didn't like, and most of them are obsessive over fetching and other games with a little bit of training. I've never met a Lab with a great retrieve outside of the full time hunting dogs.

Go out and ask every. Single. Lab owner you meet how old their dogs are. Excluding puppies, IME there is a serious correlation between age and the dogs you will really like. Then ask yourself how bad you want a Lab puppy over the other 8,000 breeds you're researching and how much you actually want a puppy vs an adult.
 

*blackrose

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#25
Why would anyone review all the dog breeds out there and go "wow, I want a Lab! Fur everywhere sounds amazing! Extreme destructiveness sounds amazing! Being stopped on every walk for someone's kid to pet my dog sounds amazing! Being almost guaranteed a stupid, block-headed dog than I'll struggle to train sounds amazing! Being guaranteed a dog who pissed EVERYONE off because of it's rude, galumphing body language sounds amazing! Having a dog in my home that STINKS on a comparable level to a Bloodhound sounds amazing! Dealing with a mammal that apparently doesn't grow a brain until 2 or 3 sounds amazing! I want a breed prone to separation anxiety so they'll continue to destroy my stuff long into adulthood! I love drool all over every part of the house and my body! Taking showers 3x a day is amazing! Using a Costco pack of lint rollers every 6 months so I can hold down a professional job sounds amazing!"

Who says this ****? There's nothing Labs bring to the table that's so unique it's worth dealing with all of this. Unless you're a total slob and appreciate your house being trashed for you and a dog who will LITERALLY GO HOME WITH A STRANGER AT A RESTAURANT AND HOME DEPOT. If I hadn't grabbed the leash back I would have been without a dog. I briefly considered pretending to be distracted.

I had a Lab. I love him. I miss him. But he was woefully unsuited to my temperament and needs, was considered The Worst Dog Ever by many of my dog loving friends, and he convinced tons of people out of a Lab because THAT IS WHAT LABS ARE LIKE and I won't gloss over it, glorify it, or tell you they're awesome unless you happen to be a hunter, and then get a sport Lab. Or a Poodle. OR ONE OF THE MANY OTHER DOGS THE SPORTING GROUP HAS TO OFFER. Here is the sporting group: http://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/groups/sporting/

Why not get a fun breed without retrieverderp? Or the smell? Or get a GSD if you like that level of shedding? GSDs are just as much work, a lot smarter, and don't smell as bad.
*raises hand* I like Labradors.

That being said, I like a GOOD Labrador.

A good Labrador shouldn't be any more destructive than an average dog. Sure, they may choose to carry more things around in their mouths than other dogs, but not be more destructive. A good Labrador should be level headed, intelligent, and love to work. A good Labrador should not have rude body language, although when they play they do tend to be physical - they should not, however, be up in everyone's business and pissing everyone off. They are able to be out in public without running away with strangers, at even a young age - social, yes, friendly, yes, trusting, yes, but again, they shouldn't be in everyone's face. I had a Labrador that was doing public access training from the time she was 16 weeks old and she was always polite and unobtrusive. I've NEVER had a Labrador that had an odor. Or drooled, for that matter.

Just like a proper lab shouldn't be a 90+ pound dog that is bouncing off the walls and a drooling, hyperactive ADD mess like every other pet bred Labrador that is owned by someone who is expecting a perfect dog and then doesn't realize they have a genetic nightmare that actually requires effort to even begin to be sane.
 

Shai

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#26
*raises hand* I like Labradors.

That being said, I like a GOOD Labrador.

A good Labrador shouldn't be any more destructive than an average dog. Sure, they may choose to carry more things around in their mouths than other dogs, but not be more destructive. A good Labrador should be level headed, intelligent, and love to work. A good Labrador should not have rude body language, although when they play they do tend to be physical - they should not, however, be up in everyone's business and pissing everyone off. They are able to be out in public without running away with strangers, at even a young age - social, yes, friendly, yes, trusting, yes, but again, they shouldn't be in everyone's face. I had a Labrador that was doing public access training from the time she was 16 weeks old and she was always polite and unobtrusive. I've NEVER had a Labrador that had an odor. Or drooled, for that matter.

Just like a proper lab shouldn't be a 90+ pound dog that is bouncing off the walls and a drooling, hyperactive ADD mess like every other pet bred Labrador that is owned by someone who is expecting a perfect dog and then doesn't realize they have a genetic nightmare that actually requires effort to even begin to be sane.

*applause* :)
 

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#27
I did SAR successfully with my inbred "silver" Lab. We were the youngest team (handler and dog) to certify at the time.
 

Kat09Tails

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#28
So I like labs too.
I don't find my lab stinks unless she is dirty - pretty much like any other dog. Labs tend to be healthy. Mine is clever and a little stubborn. She is not obnoxious or overly needy. She is a good dog and wants to be a good adored dog. She loves a game of stick and adores little boys.

There is a ton of variation in labs which mainly stems from people breeding pretty much whatever for whatever they want which is fine. This means that there are big labs (100lbs +) and little labs (25lbs). Labs that look like rottweillers and others that look like irish setters. Pretty much all lab means anymore is relatively short and coarse coated with ears that are not upright. You can find almost anyone breeding a lab for almost any reason from rent money, to highly performing field animals, to champion show dogs and everything in between.

That said my typical 55lb bench/field mix lab was and is a lunk head. Will eat herself to death. Needs a game of stick or ball at least once a day. She sleeps in mud puddles. Chewed down a tree once in her youth. Dug a bunker under our staircase. She was also mouthy until she was 3.

Love her to death.
 
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#29
I've loved most labs that have come through my classes a lot. And that covered a wide variety from laid back, to drivey, to scattered.

I do think they tend to be more dog than people expect.

I do think know if I'll ever seek one out but I do enjoy them. And if Fergus speaks at all of their personality, even just being given half, I would enjoy one a lot!
 
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#30
I've loved most of the labs I've dealt with. I think it helps that I mostly deal with them through SAR, and my students generally are pretty dog-savvy and their dogs are usually sized for field work. But even so, there are plenty of good handlers that have come to me with dogs that would never make the cut. Labs are one of my favorite breeds to work with. One of the only things that is holding me back from getting one as my next working dog is that even though Tempie is probably a mix (stray, so who knows), I would probably forever be comparing NextLab to her. And she is perfect. lol

But to get back on track, yeah, we shouldn't gloss over a breed and make them sound perfect for absolutely everyone. But in general, I am a huge fan of a good, well-bred lab. They tend to be (IME) clever, agile, friendly, hardy, biddable dogs with a joy for life that cannot and should not be contained. They pretty much always put a smile on my face the moment I see them.

They do tend to shed a lot. Slower to bathe/dry and require more brushing than something like my 'houla. But when you're considering a dog, you take their grooming needs into consideration along with everything else. Personally, I would rather have to brush my dog frequently than do any sort of trimming on a regular basis. I don't typically notice them being particularly smelly, unless they've recently been swimming in something gross, in which case...so does every other dog that was swimming in it. There's also the energy level to consider. Most labs can work all day, and we have to make them take breaks because they'll run themselves into the ground if we ask them to.

Basically, it just depends on what you want. Do your research and go meet some good, well-bred labs. And if you enjoy them and think they're perfect for you, go for it. If not, figure out what you don't like about them and look for a breed that you find more suitable.

ETA: Food. A lab stomach is the stomach that never ends. They will eat themselves to a happy death. lol Works great for me since I love working with food drive. But to each their own.
 

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#31
*raises hand* I like Labradors.

That being said, I like a GOOD Labrador.

A good Labrador shouldn't be any more destructive than an average dog. Sure, they may choose to carry more things around in their mouths than other dogs, but not be more destructive. A good Labrador should be level headed, intelligent, and love to work. A good Labrador should not have rude body language, although when they play they do tend to be physical - they should not, however, be up in everyone's business and pissing everyone off. They are able to be out in public without running away with strangers, at even a young age - social, yes, friendly, yes, trusting, yes, but again, they shouldn't be in everyone's face. I had a Labrador that was doing public access training from the time she was 16 weeks old and she was always polite and unobtrusive. I've NEVER had a Labrador that had an odor. Or drooled, for that matter.

Just like a proper lab shouldn't be a 90+ pound dog that is bouncing off the walls and a drooling, hyperactive ADD mess like every other pet bred Labrador that is owned by someone who is expecting a perfect dog and then doesn't realize they have a genetic nightmare that actually requires effort to even begin to be sane.
:hail: Perfectly said.
 

milos_mommy

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#32
Ok labs do shed A LOT.

But: I've only met a few that smell bad and nearly all of them had some kind of allergies or awful diet or swam in a swamp and never got bathed. I've known just as many, if not more, who DIDNT smell.

Labs can have a physical play style and annoy other dogs, yeah, but honestly the herders I've met have pissed off other dogs A LOT more.

They do have a lot of health issues, but so does every other popular breed. They've been healthier than the goldens I've worked with, and I've known a good amount to live rather healthily to 15 or 16. Honestly, I've never known a cav to live past 11, I've rarely known a golden to live past 13, but most labs I've known have made it to at least 13/14.

They're not typically as smart as herders or terriers...but I definitely would label many of them as dumb. Some of them are freakin' knuckleheads.

I've worked with a lot of labs...and only one or two as bad as nolu described.
 

Laurelin

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#33
I like labs. They're not really my kind of dog to own but I have several friends with awesome labs! Some of them are killer drivey agility dogs and my nosework trainer has the biggest lug of a sweet boy that does therapy work. He's just a lovable guy.
 

noludoru

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#34
A good Lab is hard to find. And a good Lab still has most of the crappy traits I'm talking about. Smart for a Lab, at least the multitude of Labs I've met, isn't truly smart. A moderately intelligent dog raised with a good trainer will be 50x better than your average one. And they are very mouthy and chew nearly constantly as puppies- for a pet owner, especially one who is interested in a TON of unrelated breeds and doesn't have extensive experience in dogs, that might be a little harder than a lot of breeds.

I'm tired of this ridiculous mantra that Labs are super duper easy for the average owner. They're not. I just gave you the multitude of reasons shelters are full of them. There is nothing so unusual, unique, or super special about them that another breed that might be easier on a novice will have in spades.

And Jess, I realize that Linds texts you any time I say something that you or her disagree with, but you can feel free to both conference call me to discuss your issues with me instead of playing the game of "I'm hurt that you stopped talking to me during a tough time in your life and never started again and I'm going to keep needling you on a forum to deal with how upset I am and what a huge jerk you are.

It's been four years. I thought it would get better, but every other time you post it's to disagree with something I say. The way I see it, your options are to keep poking at me on a public forum over it, confront me about it and work out our issues, or confront me about it and yell at me until you feel a bit better.
 

milos_mommy

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#35
I definitely agree with the second paragraph. They aren't, for a typical family or pet owner in 2015, a perfect family dog.

But I also think that for novice dog owners who are looking for a very active and trainable (but fairly easily so) dog, a lab is usually a better choice than a BC or Malinois or GSD or rottie. They (if well bred and healthy) have the stamina to spend a lot of time hiking, playing, etc...the stability to dabble in dog sports and activities, the ability to learn a lot of tricks and things without needing a ton of behavior modification (if they do, it's usually pretty minor issues, like jumping and being obnoxious or destructive, VS becoming aggressive, anxious, self injuring, OCD, etc).

That's not to say there aren't other breeds that fit this - a lot of sporting breeds do, although many are smaller, standard poodles, and perhaps a pet bred Aussie...or 5 zillion mixes in a shelter. But I don't think *that* many breeds really have matching qualities to a lab - most dogs with that energy level do deal with some major behavioral issues, are territorial or not great with strangers, or are prone to DA or high prey drive. Or a hugely different size. I don't know, I can definitely see how a lab can be the perfect breed for a lot of people (certainly not as many people as get them).
 

noludoru

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#36
A good Lab is hard to find. And a good Lab still has most of the crappy traits I'm talking about. Smart for a Lab, at least the multitude of Labs I've met, isn't truly smart. A moderately intelligent dog raised with a good trainer will be 50x better than your average one. And they are very mouthy and chew nearly constantly as puppies- for a pet owner, especially one who is interested in a TON of unrelated breeds and doesn't have extensive experience in dogs, that might be a little harder than a lot of breeds.

I'm tired of this ridiculous mantra that Labs are super duper easy for the average owner. They're not. I just gave you the multitude of reasons shelters are full of them. There is nothing so unusual, unique, or super special about them that another breed that might be easier on a novice will have in spades.

And Jess, I realize that Linds texts you any time I say something that you or her disagree with, but you can feel free to both conference call me to discuss your issues with me instead of playing the game of "I'm hurt that you stopped talking to me during a tough time in your life and never started again and I'm going to keep needling you on a forum to deal with how upset I am and what a huge jerk you are.

It's been four years. I thought it would get better, but every other time you post it's to disagree with something I say. The way I see it, your options are to keep poking at me on a public forum over it, confront me about it and work out our issues, or confront me about it and yell at me until you feel a bit better.
 
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#37
You actually totally called it! I did text her about your post, though to be fair it was in the middle of another conversation while I was taking a break from power washing everything and was too filthy to go into the house. It made for good conversation and a time killer.

But, I do think you are over estimating your importance if you think it's because it was you who posted it rather than the post(s) themselves (which you might also want to take into account with previous posts). I'm pretty sure I would have pointed it out to her regardless of who it posted it because of her love of labs and I'm pretty sure it would have bothered her just as much. But that's neither here nor there since we can't know for sure, I'm pretty sure you wouldn't believe it and honestly, it was you who posted it.

Honestly, I found your post rather, well for lack of a better and more eloquent word, gross. I understand not meshing with a breed. I understand not liking a breed. I even understand actively disliking a breed. I don't understand writing an entire diatribe against a breed, why they basically shouldn't exist, why they are awful and on, and on, and on. And while you never outright said it, you basically spent an entire two posts explaining why anyone who likes or has a lab are incredibly, again for lack of a more eloquent word, stupid. Along with their dogs, who are also smelly, awful, pointless and pretty much a waste of space.

You don't like labs. We get it. They are obviously, very obviously, not a breed that would fit you. At all. Whatsoever. You have made that abundantly clear in your posts. But, do you think, just maybe, that a good portion of that strong dislike is because you don't fit well with them? They don't fit what you want. That all those traits you listed look a lot different when you aren't looking through a strong haze of dislike?

And that's ok, no one is asking you to go "yay labs!". But they do fit a large group of people, very well might I add. I do get a few families in with a lab that totally didn't know what they were getting into. They were expecting a couch potato, good family dog and really didn't get that. But, for everyone of them I get someone with their fourth lab who loves the breed and wouldn't get anything else again. For everyone one of the overwhelmed I see five happy families with their ideal dog.

Maybe good labs are hard to find if you aren't in the middle of bird dog central, but from the responses other people I know I don't really think so. I know I get quite a few more good labs than I get labs I dislike. I know I get a lot more incredibly happy people, who are thrilled with their labs than unhappy, why did I do this to myself people. And these are not good trainers or people that know what they are doing for the most part. These are average, everyday owners. Who have rockstar labs.

As a side note, Milo, I completely agree about play style. For the most part labs pretty much are unoffensive from what I see to most dogs even if they love to throw themselves into play with the same enthusiasm they show for everything else. Herders on the other hand? Holy inappropriate players.
 

Shai

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#38
So, among the many fabulous traits of Labradors is one that really stands out: their ability to just let things roll off and find the joy in any situation.

Trying to be a little more like Labradors would be a good thing, in that case.

Even for those who hate Labradors.
 

Laurelin

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#39
Man there was a cool lab running novice today. First trial. She liked to scream while on the course too. ;)

I don't think most labs are stupid? They are used as service dogs very often andI would think they'd need to be moderately intelligent and very trainable at least.
 
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#40
Labs are practically our state dog, I think. Bajillions of them up here. I do think labs are oversold as an easy "starter" dog. They can be more dog than a novice dog owner is expecting.

But a good lab is a really great dog.
 

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