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Labrador Retrievers: the most honest dog breed review you'll ever find about Labrador Retriever temperament, personality, behavior, traits, and characteristics.

labrador retriever topics

Labrador Retriever dog breed

Labrador Retriever Temperament
What's Good About 'Em,
What's Bad About 'Em

Labrador Retriever Temperament, Personality, Behavior, Traits, and Characteristics, by Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2013

The Labrador Retriever is one terrific family dog -- given enough vigorous exercise (preferably including swimming and fetching games) and not just a walk around the block once a day. Too much confinement and not enough exercise can lead to rambunctiousness and destructive chewing.

One of the best dogs for children of all ages, Labrador Retrievers are kindly, good-natured, and take most things in stride.

Most Labrador Retrievers are very friendly with everyone, though compared to Golden Retrievers, many Labs are just a bit more conservative with their affections.

Also more independent -- though quite biddable and responsive to obedience training, some Labrador Retrievers can have a noticeable stubborn streak. Some have necks like bulls and barely notice tugs on the leash.

You must control this breed's tendency to chew on objects and to mouth your hands -- provide a box filled with toys that he can carry around in his mouth.

The Labrador Retriever matures slowly, remaining a spirited teenager for several years, which sounds fun . . . but does require patience and training to manage.


If you want a dog who...

  • Is large and bouncy, with an enthusiastic attitude toward life
  • Has a short easy-care coat
  • Has a cheerful, tail-wagging nature
  • Thrives on exercise and athletic activities
  • Is steady-tempered and dependable with everyone
  • Is peaceful with other animals
  • Is eager to please and responsive to training

A Labrador Retriever may be right for you.


If you don't want to deal with...

  • Providing a goodly amount of exercise, not just a couple of short walks around the block
  • Rowdiness and exuberant jumping, especially when young or not exercised enough
  • Mouthiness -- carrying and chewing objects, mouthing your hands in play
  • Shedding (average)

A Labrador Retriever may not be right for you.

But you can avoid or minimize some negative traits by
  1. choosing the RIGHT breeder and the RIGHT puppy
  2. or choosing an ADULT dog from your animal shelter or rescue group – a dog who has already proven that he doesn't have negative traits
  3. training your dog to respect you
  4. avoiding health problems by following my daily care program in 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy


More traits and characteristics of Labrador Retrievers

If I was considering a Labrador Retriever, I would be most concerned about...

  1. High energy when young. Young Labrador Retrievers (up to two or three years old) romp and jump with vigor, and things can go flying, including people who are not steady on their feet. If you have toddlers, or if you or anyone who lives with you is infirm, consider adopting an adult Labrador Retriever from a rescue group. Adults have a wonderfully settled temperament and you can specifically look for a calm one.
  2. Providing enough exercise and mental stimulation. Labrador Retrievers were developed to be hunting dogs, which mean they are athletic and smart dogs who need regular opportunities to vent their energy and do interesting things. You can't just let them in and out of the back yard and think that qualifies! They will become bored – which they may express by becoming rambunctious and destructive.

    You can control your Labrador Retriever's bounciness AND keep him mentally stimulated by following my training program.

    My book Teach Your Dog 100 English Words, gives you a unique vocabulary to use with your dog AND teaches my Respect Training Program. Your dog will look at you when you speak and do what you say. Not just when he's hungry for a treat or feels like it. But all the time. Because he respects you.
  3. Shedding. For such a shorthaired dog, Labrador Retrievers shed much more than you might think – definitely on the high side of average. Just be ready for this. If you really think your dog is shedding excessively, changing his diet will probably help.
  4. Finding a healthy one and keeping him healthy. Unfortunately, Labrador Retrievers have become a risky breed for long-term health. Many Labs do live to 12 or 13, but many others are lost at age 7 or 8 to joint and bone diseases, heart disease, epilepsy, or cancer. To avoid these problems, you need to buy your Labrador Retriever from a person who can pass the "14 Family Companion Guidelines" in my book, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams. If they're not following these guidelines, it's a big risk to buy a puppy from them.

    book coverOnce you have your puppy home, you need to keep him healthy by following the 11-Step Health Care Program in 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy.

    If you want your dog to live a long, healthy life and seldom need to visit the vet, this is the book for you. How to prepare healthy meals, getting only the right vaccinations (not the ones that are either useless or risky), preventing fleas, ticks, and heartworm safely, getting dangerous (to dogs) products out of your home, healing or improving current health issues, and much more. This is my best book, and bargain priced, too!


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