Labrador Retriever

Kat09Tails

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#41
There are reasons why labs are so popular. It's because in whole they are fantastic dogs for a fair number of people. There really isn't an overwhelming number of labs in shelters compared to their population. They are after all the most popular dog in America yet in most places in the north their numbers do not even come close to clogging up the system compared to pits and chihuahuas.

I do think they're pretty easy. Teaching my lab is bizarrely simple because her stomach is a depth of I could eat that which will not be filled but she will enthusiastically try. Her desire to fetch and her joy with it makes it a easy teaching tool. Is she perfect? Nope but I would say she is as intelligent as nearly any other dog that requires training and conditioning.

She likes doing the same thing over and over again with enthusiasm. So yeah. I do think that's easy.

I don't think a good lab is hard to find. I actually find it **** easy to find what you want compared to just about any other breed. Need a trained drug search lab? Bomb trained? Need a bird dog? Need a finished bird dog? Need a good family pet? Need a rescue dog? Want a puppy? From fully health tested pedigrees? What shade of yellow? I can find it all with a few mouse clicks and a phone call and I bet I could have a puppy at the airport or closer within two weeks. There is almost no other breed I can do that with.
 

MicksMom

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#42
...
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.
I was going to bring that up, too.


Labs are practically our state dog, I think...
There is a proposal out to make Labs the state dog of Maine.
 

*blackrose

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#43
And for those that like Labradors, there isn't another breed quite like a Lab that "fits", even the other sporters. Abrams is a Chessie, granted, but when he was a pup I remember telling Michael, "My, God, did I miss having a Retriever." There is just something about them that differenciates between them and other dogs - just like a Border Collie isn't an Aussie isn't an English Shepherd. A Labrador isn't a GSP isn't a Golden.

Just like an Aussie isn't the perfect dog for everyone, neither is a Labrador. But that doesn't mean they're not good dogs for certain people - and those people don't have to be insane. ;)
 

skittledoo

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#44
I have mixed feelings on labs. I have met some really good ones and I've met some that I wanted to hand back to their owner immediately and turn and run the opposite direction. I do think they have their appeal to people if that's what they want, but on a personal level I probably would never seek out to own one. Now if I met an individual lab that I liked I might reconsider, but as a whole I'm not much of a lab person. I had labs growing up too since my dad loves labs so definitely have lived with quite a few of them.

I personally prefer herder breeds, Sighthounds and primitive type dogs though so labs are just not my style, but hey that's why there are so many breeds out there to choose from. There's something out there for everyone's interests and life styles.

I still have to work with labs on the daily basis though. Life as a dog trainer. But... I get to see and experience many types of labs in doing so and a lot of what I see especially in younger labs is mostly lack of impulse control which is definitely workable in most cases.

Plus... I see a lot of labs ending up in non well suited homes because they are thought of as the ultimate family dog, but then are expected to be these lazy couch potatoes that sometimes catch a ball once in a while. Labs are higher energy dogs. They need a lot of training. They need a lot of exercise. They are bound to be more destructive if they aren't getting what they need, especially young labs.
 

milos_mommy

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#46
Well tbh I think for the most part you kind of need a less intelligent dog to work as a service dog. Not to say there aren't very intelligent service dogs out there, but I don't think the guide dog foundation picked labs on their brains. It's a lot easier to have a dog work service when they aren't thinking about new ways to get in to trouble or making inferences that can interfere with work.
 

MicksMom

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#47
Well tbh I think for the most part you kind of need a less intelligent dog to work as a service dog. Not to say there aren't very intelligent service dogs out there, but I don't think the guide dog foundation picked labs on their brains. It's a lot easier to have a dog work service when they aren't thinking about new ways to get in to trouble or making inferences that can interfere with work.
If I remember right, Labs were chosen to be Service Dogs because of their intelligence and bid-ability/willingness to please.
 
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#48
Wow, Nolu. lol Though I rarely post on here anymore, I occasionally log in to throw in my two cents when Linds lets me know about a thread involving SAR or a breed I'm invested in, both of which were mentioned here. It wouldn't have mattered who posted. I saw that post as pretty darn insulting not just to a breed I love but also to anyone that owns them. If whichever other posts you've made that I apparently rushed in to refute were made in the same poor taste as this one, I wouldn't be surprised if I did disagree with you.

I'm sorry that you had a bad experience and that labs don't suit you at all. And I'm sorry that you feel like I'm trying to poke or prod at you or however you put it because, honestly, I've simply written you off. I'm not hurt or upset. I just don't care.
 
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#49
I hate to say this, but I think at least 90% of my problem with labs is their owners. They would not be a breed for me anyway, but most of the owners I meet seem to fall into two catagories:

A) I hate my dog. He can do nothing right and I would get rid of him if it weren't for the wife/kids. These are mostly the people who had nice memories of their childhood lab, and thought they could recreate it without remembering all the work their parents put into the dog. Oh really? He's a high energy, ball obsessed, walks off with the postman type of dog who has turned into Destruct-o because you crate him 8 hours a day and at night with no exercise or stimulation?

B) I love my perfect lab. Labs are so perfect, everyone should love him as much I as I do. Oops, my rude dog is off leash and charged up to your dog wanting to play? Why did you vicious beast snap at Buddy? If your dog was more like a lab, he would be friendlier. Oh, look, he's rubbing his nasty tennis ball in your lap and jumping all over you to play unsolicited? Oh, aren't labs wonderful? They're so friendly!

Obviously, not all owner are like this, but I feel like labs attract these people more then most breeds. Or maybe it's just that labs are so friendly that their rudeness is more noticeable. Gambit can be rude, too, but he would die before he bothered a stranger with his obnoxiousness.
 

amberdyan

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#50
I hate to say this, but I think at least 90% of my problem with labs is their owners. They would not be a breed for me anyway, but most of the owners I meet seem to fall into two catagories:

A) I hate my dog. He can do nothing right and I would get rid of him if it weren't for the wife/kids. These are mostly the people who had nice memories of their childhood lab, and thought they could recreate it without remembering all the work their parents put into the dog. Oh really? He's a high energy, ball obsessed, walks off with the postman type of dog who has turned into Destruct-o because you crate him 8 hours a day and at night with no exercise or stimulation?

B) I love my perfect lab. Labs are so perfect, everyone should love him as much I as I do. Oops, my rude dog is off leash and charged up to your dog wanting to play? Why did you vicious beast snap at Buddy? If your dog was more like a lab, he would be friendlier. Oh, look, he's rubbing his nasty tennis ball in your lap and jumping all over you to play unsolicited? Oh, aren't labs wonderful? They're so friendly!

Obviously, not all owner are like this, but I feel like labs attract these people more then most breeds. Or maybe it's just that labs are so friendly that their rudeness is more noticeable. Gambit can be rude, too, but he would die before he bothered a stranger with his obnoxiousness.
yesyesyesyesyesyesyesyes

We have A LOT of labs here and 90% of the labs that I haven't like, it was super easy to figure out why once you interacted with their owner. There are a lot of breeds I want before I would want a lab, but I have met some great, drivey, smart labs. My dad's lab is super smart and has crazy food drive. She has terrible body awareness, but she's a pretty great dog. Perfect for what they need her for. My childhood dog was a Lab/BC mix and I loved her more than anything. She was perfect and incredibly smart.

I do think labs are sold as "the perfect family dog" wwwaayyyy too much, but I think that's a disservice to the breed more than anything.
 

*blackrose

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#51
But see, just because you're not a Lab person, or have no desire to own one, doesn't mean other people can't be.

I'm not a Dalmation person. Or a Weimeraner person. Or a Husky person. Heck, any spitz type breed is pretty much a no go for me.

But if someone asks me about the breed, do I say, "Why on EARTH would you even want one of those horrible dogs? They scream, they shed enough for 10 dogs, they eat drywall and dig craters in your yard, they're constantly covered in a film of dirt from their digging, they don't listen, they pull like a mother trucker on a leash, they flip out when you try to restrain them, and they make horrible, horrible guard dogs"? No, of course not. Because although I have extreme biases against Huskies and would never choose to own one, I realize that in the right hands, and bred the correct way, a Husky is an awesome dog in its own right and the traits that drive me NUTS (like the talking) is one of the things that draws their fanciers to them.

Labradors are the most popular breed in the AKC. So if *course* there is going to be an astronomical amount of ill suited people owning them. And of *course* there is an astronomical amount of ill bred dogs. This does not mean the breed is stupid, insane, and should never be sought out anymore than it makes Pit Bulls aggresive man killers because some of them are being bred with shoddy temperaments and owned by idiots.

Labradors are not perfect. And they aren't, and shouldn't be, everyone's cup of tea. As mentioned above, I don't really care for Huskies and would never seek one out to own. But I don't say, "God, why would anyone EVER get a Husky when they could get a Samoyed, or a Malamute, or a Keeshond, or any of those better, less disgusting, more awesome breeds?"

That's just....so offensive. Even if said tounge in cheek.

You can not like Labradors. But don't bash the breed simply because they aren't what you want. They are what some people seek out for a reason: because to them, they are their perfect dog.

And I don't see Lab owners themselves as the issue. I see idiot owners as the issue. It just so happens that, because of the breed's popularity, most idiot owners seem to have a Lab. Or a Pit Bull. Or a cross between the two. And the ones that don't have those have an equal smattering of other, less popular, breeds that still manage to be annoying, stupid dogs in their hands.
 

milos_mommy

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#52
If I remember right, Labs were chosen to be Service Dogs because of their intelligence and bid-ability/willingness to please.
I think the ideal service dogs have very high obedience/working intelligence (which I would call bidability)...they have a fairly easy time communicating with humans and can quickly learn tasks and commands, and a pretty low adaptive intelligence (how I generally think of intelligence): they aren't great problem solvers or very good at logic, don't make inferences as fast as others, etc. And then there's instinctive intelligence, which with most breeds including labs I think is hit or miss depending on breeding, and with what labs are bred to do, I don't think their instinctive intelligence makes a huge difference in their working service ability. I think most dog people/trainers/behaviorist s/psychologistsreally talk about adaptive intelligence when they talk about intelligence, but I also think when most people identify a "smart dog" they're talking about train ability and working ability, which is quite high for a lab.
 

Romy

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#53
I think the ideal service dogs have very high obedience/working intelligence (which I would call bidability)...they have a fairly easy time communicating with humans and can quickly learn tasks and commands, and a pretty low adaptive intelligence (how I generally think of intelligence): they aren't great problem solvers or very good at logic, don't make inferences as fast as others, etc. And then there's instinctive intelligence, which with most breeds including labs I think is hit or miss depending on breeding, and with what labs are bred to do, I don't think their instinctive intelligence makes a huge difference in their working service ability. I think most dog people/trainers/behaviorist s/psychologistsreally talk about adaptive intelligence when they talk about intelligence, but I also think when most people identify a "smart dog" they're talking about train ability and working ability, which is quite high for a lab.
No, that's wrong. Service dogs need to be EXTREMELY adaptive and good at generalizing. Trainers try very hard to proof dogs for every possible situation, but realistically you just can't. You need a dog that understands no matter how weird things are at the moment (low flying hot air balloon with people in gorilla suits hooting at them. . . it's happened. Don't ask.) their job is #1 priority.

They absolutely need the intelligence and problem solving ability to generalize and come up with strategies to handle new and evolving situations in a way that serves their "prime directive" of caring for their handler, because their handler may not always be lucid enough to give an ultra obedient biddable dummy instructions when their life is actually depending on it.

If it wasn't for Strider's high intelligence and problem solving abilities, I would have never learned that I had blood sugar issues. I never trained him for blood sugar alerting and response. All on his own, he alerted, then when I didn't correct the issue (eat something) he went into the kitchen, got me an apple or a box of cereal, and shove it in my face until I got the idea. HE knew that:

A. I was sick
B. If I ate something it would correct the problem

Super smart service dogs are definitely the ideal. The hard thing is finding the right combination of health, intelligence, handler orientednes, and honesty. It might sound weird, but they do need to be honest. An honest dog won't sneak food from their blind handler's plate. An honest dog won't try to get away with things when their handler is unconscious. That above all else is probably the most elusive and tricky to find trait.
 

CharlieDog

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#54
No, that's wrong. Service dogs need to be EXTREMELY adaptive and good at generalizing. Trainers try very hard to proof dogs for every possible situation, but realistically you just can't. You need a dog that understands no matter how weird things are at the moment (low flying hot air balloon with people in gorilla suits hooting at them. . . it's happened. Don't ask.) their job is #1 priority.

They absolutely need the intelligence and problem solving ability to generalize and come up with strategies to handle new and evolving situations in a way that serves their "prime directive" of caring for their handler, because their handler may not always be lucid enough to give an ultra obedient biddable dummy instructions when their life is actually depending on it.

If it wasn't for Strider's high intelligence and problem solving abilities, I would have never learned that I had blood sugar issues. I never trained him for blood sugar alerting and response. All on his own, he alerted, then when I didn't correct the issue (eat something) he went into the kitchen, got me an apple or a box of cereal, and shove it in my face until I got the idea. HE knew that:

A. I was sick
B. If I ate something it would correct the problem

Super smart service dogs are definitely the ideal. The hard thing is finding the right combination of health, intelligence, handler orientednes, and honesty. It might sound weird, but they do need to be honest. An honest dog won't sneak food from their blind handler's plate. An honest dog won't try to get away with things when their handler is unconscious. That above all else is probably the most elusive and tricky to find trait.
Thank you! I couldn't put it into words at all.
 

milos_mommy

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#55
Romy, do you think most labs or even most labs/dogs that go through the guide dog foundation or canine companions or any other large service dog trainers have the same intelligence you witness and describe in Strider?

IME, yes, some service dogs do have a very high adaptive intelligence and excel beyond the average at their jobs. But largely, these are owner trained or privately trained dogs chosen from regular litters. I've worked with a lot of dogs from the guide dog association here - all labs - and while it's true many I've worked with have washed out, I've just never seen the level of intelligence in labs, particularly guide dog program labs, that I have in the service dogs I've known to be chosen and trained privately of other breeds. My experience could be partially from living and working near one of the largest service dog organizations in the country, however.

ETA: I think the reasons for this are more for training purposes than actual work. For one, most puppy raiser families here are pretty inexperienced or not terribly dog saavy, and I can't imagine them handling a more intelligent dog. It's easy for puppy raisers to teach a lab with lower adaptive intelligence basic commands, much harder for a family that's not well versed in dog behavior to teach a border collie or standard poodle the same. Second, I typically find dogs with higher adaptive intelligence, at least in a kennel environment or with inexperienced owners, are more prone to behavior issues (barking, separation anxiety, and more serious issues). For a kennel with 300 dogs being trained to do service work, lower intelligence dogs seem a lot more manageable and can be task trained faster without worrying so much about things like reactivity, etc. They probably aren't going to do their service work as well as owner trained, highly intelligent dogs, but in a large program, they're much easier to deal with.
 

Romy

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#56
Romy, do you think most labs or even most labs/dogs that go through the guide dog foundation or canine companions or any other large service dog trainers have the same intelligence you witness and describe in Strider?

IME, yes, some service dogs do have a very high adaptive intelligence and excel beyond the average at their jobs. But largely, these are owner trained or privately trained dogs chosen from regular litters. I've worked with a lot of dogs from the guide dog association here - all labs - and while it's true many I've worked with have washed out, I've just never seen the level of intelligence in labs, particularly guide dog program labs, that I have in the service dogs I've known to be chosen and trained privately of other breeds. My experience could be partially from living and working near one of the largest service dog organizations in the country, however.
It's important to remember with SD organizations, even ones that breed their very own litters to produce prospects, that most of the litter is going to wash out early on. Realistically, finding the right SD candidate is less about breed and more about finding the right individual dogs. Some breeds and lines are more likely to produce a good candidate. Labs, you have handler orientedness and biddability built in. Health can be bred for in specific lines. Intelligence and honesty, those are temperament/individual dog traits. It's a lack of them that will cause a dog that has everything else to wash.

Labs are possibly also used by the large orgs because many SD handlers that go through organizations are not experienced in handling and training dogs in general, and there's a conception of them being easier to handle for a first time handler, vs. a GSD or something with the potential to be a bit sharper.

I used to go to church with a blind man who had a yellow lab seeing eye dog. His dog was awesome, and highly intelligent. I haven't had a lot of great interactions with program trained dogs, but she really impressed me. I don't think that level of intelligence is average for labs, she was definitely a cut above but that contributed to her becoming a service dog.
 

Ratboy

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#57
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.
I know this is late, but I couldn't post for some reason, it kept saying the answer to the random question didn't match.

My Lab Joe, born in 1976 was 96 pounds, the smallest male in his litter by about 10 pounds. Most of the Labs presently in my area are about Joe's size, and my neighbor's chocolate is about 98. The females I see are about 65-75, and none of these dogs are overweight in the slightest. My neighbor's dog looks great, very muscular and has a nice "waist" on him. 30+ years ago, in Las Vegas, Joe seemed to be about normal size and weight compared to the other Labs I saw at the vet or out for a walk. My neighbor's yellow Lab was a clone to Joe, they looked almost exactly the same, and were only a few pounds apart, but he came with them from Chicago, so they weren't related (As much as any Labs have to be)

On the "monster", he weighed 141 pounds last week at the vet (I saw the printout), and is in "great shape" according to the vet, who ran tests on him to make sure he was ok. He has papers, and like I posted originally, his brothers are all much smaller than him, about normal size and weight.
 

*blackrose

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#58
I know this is late, but I couldn't post for some reason, it kept saying the answer to the random question didn't match.

My Lab Joe, born in 1976 was 96 pounds, the smallest male in his litter by about 10 pounds. Most of the Labs presently in my area are about Joe's size, and my neighbor's chocolate is about 98. The females I see are about 65-75, and none of these dogs are overweight in the slightest. My neighbor's dog looks great, very muscular and has a nice "waist" on him. 30+ years ago, in Las Vegas, Joe seemed to be about normal size and weight compared to the other Labs I saw at the vet or out for a walk. My neighbor's yellow Lab was a clone to Joe, they looked almost exactly the same, and were only a few pounds apart, but he came with them from Chicago, so they weren't related (As much as any Labs have to be)

On the "monster", he weighed 141 pounds last week at the vet (I saw the printout), and is in "great shape" according to the vet, who ran tests on him to make sure he was ok. He has papers, and like I posted originally, his brothers are all much smaller than him, about normal size and weight.
That's also not per standard. Labs that are that large are out of standard. They *shouldn't* be that large. That's not to say there aren't labs that are huge. But just like there are Chihuahuas that push 15 pounds and Papillions the size of Shelties, a giant Labrador is not correct.

Abrams is an intact male Chesapeake Bay Retriever. He is only 73lbs and 24.5" at the shoulder. While I imagine he could easily be 85 pounds and be on the fat side of "average", he's within standard where he is now. Male Labradors are supposed to be of similar max size (22.5"-24.5") and 60-80 pounds, with bitches being even smaller.

A Labrador is not supposed to be a giant dog, although many are being bred that way. I've met many that are bigger than Abrams. And while they are still Labradors, they aren't supposed to be that large.
 

sillysally

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#59
But see, just because you're not a Lab person, or have no desire to own one, doesn't mean other people can't be.

I'm not a Dalmation person. Or a Weimeraner person. Or a Husky person. Heck, any spitz type breed is pretty much a no go for me.

But if someone asks me about the breed, do I say, "Why on EARTH would you even want one of those horrible dogs? They scream, they shed enough for 10 dogs, they eat drywall and dig craters in your yard, they're constantly covered in a film of dirt from their digging, they don't listen, they pull like a mother trucker on a leash, they flip out when you try to restrain them, and they make horrible, horrible guard dogs"? No, of course not. Because although I have extreme biases against Huskies and would never choose to own one, I realize that in the right hands, and bred the correct way, a Husky is an awesome dog in its own right and the traits that drive me NUTS (like the talking) is one of the things that draws their fanciers to them.

Labradors are the most popular breed in the AKC. So if *course* there is going to be an astronomical amount of ill suited people owning them. And of *course* there is an astronomical amount of ill bred dogs. This does not mean the breed is stupid, insane, and should never be sought out anymore than it makes Pit Bulls aggresive man killers because some of them are being bred with shoddy temperaments and owned by idiots.

Labradors are not perfect. And they aren't, and shouldn't be, everyone's cup of tea. As mentioned above, I don't really care for Huskies and would never seek one out to own. But I don't say, "God, why would anyone EVER get a Husky when they could get a Samoyed, or a Malamute, or a Keeshond, or any of those better, less disgusting, more awesome breeds?"

That's just....so offensive. Even if said tounge in cheek.

You can not like Labradors. But don't bash the breed simply because they aren't what you want. They are what some people seek out for a reason: because to them, they are their perfect dog.

And I don't see Lab owners themselves as the issue. I see idiot owners as the issue. It just so happens that, because of the breed's popularity, most idiot owners seem to have a Lab. Or a Pit Bull. Or a cross between the two. And the ones that don't have those have an equal smattering of other, less popular, breeds that still manage to be annoying, stupid dogs in their hands.
:hail:
 

monkeys23

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#60
Okay, I like never post anymore but I had to say something here. I am not and never will be a lab person. I in fact very strongly do not care for them and would rather they not touch me. I do not even find the puppies cute. BUT even so I find it very sad and offensive that someone would say such generalizations.

I don't think breed is the real problem here. I think the real problem is having to live with a dog of not stellar genetics that was not the right breed for that person. Especially with the challenges of roommates and renting involved. I get it and its okay. I hope you find a healthy way of dealing with those feelings. I will say that it doesn't help to spread hate. On either side.

I find it very challenging to live with my GSD of not stellar genetics and I adore the breed. I adore her to pieces, she is very special to me. But still it is very stressful to live with a dog that has serious issues, even if you've put in the work so that they can live extremely normal and happy lives that you never thought they had a chance to live. Plus the perk of making you a way better trainer having to be that creative and patient figuring out ways to build confidence in all aspects, teach coping/alternate behaviors, and etc. Every time Scout relaxes and grins, I grin too. That just makes it worth it.

What if she weren't my breed of dog? Well I wouldn't have taken her in. The same person I took her from, had a black lab prior to having to have Scout. Sarah had crap genetics and had already been through 3-4 homes at only 9 months old. Washout hunting dog. Anyway she had a LOT of issues and was ultimately put down for unstable trying to bite kids in the household. She is also the reason my husky Lily hates black labs. Just black ones. Especially with a small white chest mark. Lily patiently tried to teach that dog polite dog to dog manners for about a year. When she got disgusted and gave up finally, she was really done and now just straight up detests black labs. I don't blame her. That doesn't mean its okay to see dogs passed from home to home and failed over and over. Lets look at the owners and breeders/rescues, not the dogs. The important thing is learning and changing for the better instead of making the same mistakes over and over again.

But see, just because you're not a Lab person, or have no desire to own one, doesn't mean other people can't be.

I'm not a Dalmation person. Or a Weimeraner person. Or a Husky person. Heck, any spitz type breed is pretty much a no go for me.

But if someone asks me about the breed, do I say, "Why on EARTH would you even want one of those horrible dogs? They scream, they shed enough for 10 dogs, they eat drywall and dig craters in your yard, they're constantly covered in a film of dirt from their digging, they don't listen, they pull like a mother trucker on a leash, they flip out when you try to restrain them, and they make horrible, horrible guard dogs"? No, of course not. Because although I have extreme biases against Huskies and would never choose to own one, I realize that in the right hands, and bred the correct way, a Husky is an awesome dog in its own right and the traits that drive me NUTS (like the talking) is one of the things that draws their fanciers to them.

Labradors are the most popular breed in the AKC. So if *course* there is going to be an astronomical amount of ill suited people owning them. And of *course* there is an astronomical amount of ill bred dogs. This does not mean the breed is stupid, insane, and should never be sought out anymore than it makes Pit Bulls aggresive man killers because some of them are being bred with shoddy temperaments and owned by idiots.

Labradors are not perfect. And they aren't, and shouldn't be, everyone's cup of tea. As mentioned above, I don't really care for Huskies and would never seek one out to own. But I don't say, "God, why would anyone EVER get a Husky when they could get a Samoyed, or a Malamute, or a Keeshond, or any of those better, less disgusting, more awesome breeds?"

That's just....so offensive. Even if said tounge in cheek.

You can not like Labradors. But don't bash the breed simply because they aren't what you want. They are what some people seek out for a reason: because to them, they are their perfect dog.

And I don't see Lab owners themselves as the issue. I see idiot owners as the issue. It just so happens that, because of the breed's popularity, most idiot owners seem to have a Lab. Or a Pit Bull. Or a cross between the two. And the ones that don't have those have an equal smattering of other, less popular, breeds that still manage to be annoying, stupid dogs in their hands.
Yes!

Haha, my husky can be a total jerk, but I wouldn't trade her for the world. I love the talking. She always woo's good morning and when I ask if she wants breakfast, etc. I like how she is always intelligently testing things and how her respect must be earned and is not mindlessly given. I like how she is willing to work all day and then some... in fact even requires the minimum of it from me on a daily basis. I'd be more than happy to have another distance bred Alaskan.

I half jokingly say that my best friend's Lab/RR mix boy is the only lab I'll ever love. Still, he annoyed the living crap out of me when we roomed together. And I spent hours training him for her, of course its all lost since she never used it, but he was so much happier with a "job." Seriously annoying to live with. I hated his excitement barking. And yet I think my whacko GSD girl's barking is cute. Labs just are not my thing. But I see them as a much better fit for quite a few people than the kind of dog I like.

My husband had a hunting lab growing up and wants another someday. I expect I'll let him if he's game to let me get a bitey, pointy eared thing, but I'm really scared that I will absolutely hate living with it. I thought about trying to get him to let me raise a guide dog puppy to see if I can do it, but I doubt they are enough like driven hunting bred labs to present an accurate picture.

I think I could live with a Chessie since their temperament is different and much more like the type of dog I like to live with. I've always liked their look too. Which is saying something because not a huge sporting group fan here. In any case the little Springer (on paper its the grandparents' dog, but in person she just follows my husband) is only two so we've got a long time before any of that. Maybe when I get my next dog I can just teach it to retrieve birds as well. :)
 

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