Are Labradors a Good choice for a first time dog owner?

Discussion in 'Labrador Chat' started by jenny200, Dec 12, 2017.

  1. jenny200

    jenny200 Registered Users

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2017
    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    Staffordshire
    firstly I would like to say hello to everyone im new to the forum

    what I would be very grateful for is if you could help me with advice on the Labrador.

    I have never owned my own dog before and am in love with the Lab every time I see one in the park/town or at crufts I melt inside and light up. my auntie has owned tow so I was brought up around them and understand the breed as I also studied the breed for tow years reading hundreds of books meeting as many Labs as I can and talk to there owners. the thing is when I was walking home one day I spoke to a women who was walking 4 Labs and I went over and spoke to her and she told me that if I have never owned my own dog before just been brought up around them than I should go for something like a spaniel as Labs are not for first time owners and when I asked why she said that they will challenge me all the time and are hyper even the showlines are hyper and never calm down and you will have a dog who is running wild in your house if you dont know what your doing and that as spaniels are smaller there easier and calmer. so the third time I went to crufts I asked the people in the discover dog part and they said that, that is nonsense as all dogs can be a great first dog it all comes down to training exercising and that the Lab is if in the right hands a great first dog. and they said that I will be fine as I plan to go to training class and clearly love the Labrador. so what do you think who's right? I am a very active person and work from home as I own the company so have plenty of time for training and socialization. i can provide once the the dog is fully grown i can give an adult dog at least 2hrs of exercise physically a day and at weekends can give a lot more. id like to do agility but only if the dog enjoys it. and i can provide lots of mental stimulation and play everyday and of course lots of love and cuddles.
     
  2. Joy

    Joy Registered Users

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2014
    Messages:
    4,259
    Go for a Lab! The idea that Spaniels are intrinsically calmer than Labs is nonsense ( I’ve owned both). It sounds as if you have a realistic idea of the exercise needs of adult Labs so that’s great. Lab puppies are often quite demanding -I think they are more bitey than some other breeds when very small - and of course they are fairly big dogs so need training in a way that you might get away with if you had a very small dog. (I had a Cavalier jumping up at me the other day and, while not desirable, it’s not the problem a Lab would be.)
    Labs have lovely happy, loyal natures, so yes, go for it.
     
  3. JenBainbridge

    JenBainbridge Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2016
    Messages:
    2,941
    Location:
    Darlington, UK
    Labs are the best!

    I'm a first time dog owner and I adore mine. Yes - he was challenging as a puppy and I still have the scars to prove it. He's 20 months now and is an absolute delight.

    He's not hyper, quite happy to snooze the day away but also always up for fun and games. And mines from working lines who are apparently the most bonkers!

    I think all breeds of dog come with their own challenges and if you're willing to put the work in (which you obviously are) then you will end up with a gorgeous dog at the end of it. :)
     
    Alfie and me likes this.
  4. Karen

    Karen Registered Users

    Joined:
    May 24, 2012
    Messages:
    11,185
    What nonsense to say that spaniels are easier than labs!!! On the contrary, I would say... Sounds like the woman with the four labradors was just overwhelmed (well, you would be!!!).

    All dogs, of any breed, need training. They all have their own special idiosyncrasies. Labradors can be quite challenging as puppies, and they are big dogs that mature slowly. But they are good natured and adaptable, and as long as they have enough physical and mental stimulation, they are wonderful dogs with warm, loving natures.

    Do lots of research; find the very best breeder you can, and if necessary be prepared to wait for the perfect litter and puppy. Come on here any time you want to ask questions!

    Oh, and welcome to the forum. Don't feel odd about being here without a dog yet - we have some members who have been looking for their puppy for quite some time... *ahem, cough* @Emily_BabbelHund :)
     
    SwampDonkey and snowbunny like this.
  5. Boogie

    Boogie Supporting Member Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2014
    Messages:
    8,416
    Good question!

    I find Labs the hardest as pups of all, but the most fun by far.

    *whispers* Keir has completely converted me to Golden Retrievers and they are up there now, top of the list alongside Labs.

    :D
     
    drjs@5 likes this.
  6. edzbird

    edzbird Registered Users

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2015
    Messages:
    5,279
    Location:
    Isle of Man
    You sound perfectly placed for a Labrador and you know the breed well. Time to research breeders....
     
    Johnny Walker likes this.
  7. Emily_BabbelHund

    Emily_BabbelHund Longest on the Forum without an actual dog

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2016
    Messages:
    3,960
    Location:
    Regensburg, Germany (Bavaria)
    Heh, heh. :D

    Hello and welcome to a fellow 'no dog but on the forum anyway' person! First of all, not having had either a spaniel or lab but have now spent some good time with both, I'd agree with everyone else in that spaniels are a lot more high energy. They are adorable, but very "on" all the time. Labs seem to have more the capacity to be equally "on" but also switch off and have a good cuddle or snooze.

    I also spent a lot of time trying to decide on the right breed for me, having had Rottweilers for 20 years. I decided on a Lab despite the fact that purely based on a lot of observation at training classes, I'd say Labs can be more challenging as puppies and young dogs than some other breeds. Not "challenging" as in aggressive or hard to train, but rather they have a lot of bounce and just pure exuberance that sometimes needs patient and persistent channeling.

    Also based on what I read here on the Forum, I do think that Lab puppies are more difficult during the first year than what I was used to with my Rottie boys. Not "impossible" as puppies (if I thought that I wouldn't be hunting for my own) but definitely more work (they seem to need more mental stimulation) and more bitey.

    Having said that, if you go into it with your eyes open as to just how much work and responsibility ANY dog, regardless of breed, will be and how much your life will change, then a Labrador seems an excellent choice. While a large dog, there are no issues of the breed having a bad reputation - nearly universally everyone loves Labs and knows their well-deserved reputation as good-natured dogs.

    If you go for a breeder (vs. rescue), then there are lots of choices in type. Show, field, dual-purpose, hybrid...it's all a bit overwhelming. In general (and though field breeders will tell you otherwise), I do think the show lines have a greater ability to switch off and just chill. Though I've also now seen crazy show line dogs and calm field line dogs - so there are no absolutes! Or if you go for rescue, there are lots of Labs and Lab mixes out there. Breeder or rescue, just see as many as you can and hopefully you'll find that dog/puppy that just clicks with you and you think, "That's the one!" :)
     
  8. 20180815

    20180815 Guest

    It sounds like you're a good fit for a Lab given your love of the breed and lifestyle, however Labs are very challenging as puppies and as adolescents, more so than other breeds I've had. I don't really think having had dogs prior prepares you for a Lab anyways, as they're a totally different kettle of fish.
     
    Emily_BabbelHund likes this.
  9. selina27

    selina27 Registered Users

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2016
    Messages:
    3,202
    Location:
    Herefordshire UK
    Hi, welcome to the forum.

    I agree with all advice given so far, I got a Labrador puppy last year, she's now 20 months. Growing up, we always had gundogs as family pets --- spaniels, retrievers and a setter, but I'd never had a Labrador and felt my life needed one! As an adult I've had lurchers, terriers and collies. Cassie, my Lab, has definitely brought challenges of her own, but just different to other breeds.

    The biting as a youngster really was a shock, I'll be honest, I'd never had that before ! But it's water under the bridge now, and if you get Pippa's books and learn everything you can here you will be well equipped to deal with it, if you get a crocopup!(And you might not)
    She's so lovely now, as long as she gets one good walk a day and training, either classes or with me, she's very settled and happy. Snoozes all day in the warm!

    Good luck!
     
  10. kateincornwall

    kateincornwall Registered Users

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2012
    Messages:
    9,936
    Hi and welcome . I agree with others have said , all dogs can be hard work , all need training, time , patience and love . Having said that , Labradors have my heart , they are amazing dogs to own and love x
     
    selina27 likes this.
  11. charlie

    charlie Registered Users

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2012
    Messages:
    12,217
    Location:
    Hampshire, UK
    Welcome from Hattie 10 years and our rescue boy Charlie 7 years. Both my dogs are Labrador crosses so I don't have experience of a pure breed but I would say you sound like the perfect person to own a Labrador. All breeds without exception need positive training from day 1 and for the rest of their lives, so if a Labrador has your heart you go for it and enjoy. :) xx
     
  12. Snowy

    Snowy Registered Users

    Joined:
    May 2, 2017
    Messages:
    333
    Location:
    Finland
    You've got me worried! Maybe I don't have a lab after all :D

    We are first-time dog owners (at least as adults) and our lab has been just perfect. Challenging, at times yes. Boisterous, sometimes yes. But a truly rewarding experience and a loyal friend.
     
    Alfie and me likes this.
  13. Boogie

    Boogie Supporting Member Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2014
    Messages:
    8,416
    Oh yes, Wild Wild Wild ;)

    CC19C918-9DE2-417D-B412-146EACA1271C.jpeg
     
    Plum's mum, Cath, CMartin and 18 others like this.
  14. Chococheer

    Chococheer Registered Users

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2016
    Messages:
    98
    In my honest opinion, Labradors are wonderful and loving companions, however...they can be utterly heinous puppies. If you can tolerate the first 12 months or so of frustration and exhaustion, and throw some patience, exercise, and a lot of training into the mix, you'll be rewarded with that wonderful companion I mentioned.
     
    Plum's mum, Sven, Granca and 4 others like this.
  15. Boogie

    Boogie Supporting Member Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2014
    Messages:
    8,416
    This is 100% true!

    :)
     
    Alfie and me likes this.
  16. Rosie

    Rosie Registered Users

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2014
    Messages:
    4,763
    Location:
    South Wales
    I really believe a lab would be perfect for you. Pongo is our first dog; and yes, we had a few "what have I done" moments when he was very very tiny, but that phase passed very quickly - especially with the advice and support from this forum! He is now a sweet, patient, laid-back boy, very happy to lie at my feet while I work, ever-ready for a game when I finish, a happy soul and friendly to all (man, beast, tractor, etc....!).

    Don't hesitate.
     
  17. FayRose

    FayRose Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2015
    Messages:
    1,070
    Location:
    Devon
    Oh Boogie - that is an utterly wonderful photo. :inlove:

    Jenny200 you seem to have been told some odd things. As the others have said, all dogs can be a challenge when young, how they turn out is of course influenced by how they are raised. Mind you, spaniels calmer than labs???? Not in a million years, I've also had both.

    Very best wishes with your search and when you get your pup.
     
    Alfie and me likes this.
  18. Alfie and me

    Alfie and me Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2016
    Messages:
    75
    Hi there. My lovely lab Alfie is now 20 months old.When he was a puppy I had quite a few moments weeping and wondering what the hell I had done!! But...now he is wonderful,don’t get me wrong,not perfect but just a beautiful boy who loves to please (although sometimes he likes to please himself more) has such a lovely nature and we really couldn’t love him more. So I would say absolutely go for the Labrador. They’re fab. x
     
    selina27 likes this.
  19. Aitch

    Aitch Registered Users

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2017
    Messages:
    267
    I have had various dogs over my years, usually two or three at a time. Some of them have been crocopups even without being Labs and others have been very sedate puppies. It's the luck of the drawer in my humble opinion. Amber is my first Lab and she was a crocopup. She has now turned into a lovable, big hearted clown of a dog and is completely loyal. I would say to you to go where your heart leads and stick it out through the first months. You will be well rewarded.
     
  20. Hollysdad

    Hollysdad Supporting Member Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2013
    Messages:
    3,331
    Welcome to the forum. As a serial lab owner (Holly is my third Lab) I think they're wonderful dogs.

    You've clearly give a lot of thought to how it would fit into your lifestyle, and that is very commendable. Don't expect to have the perfect dog on day one. They can be hard work as puppies and can occasionally try your patience until they settle down at around 12-18 months. When they mature they are awesome dogs, great companions, and give total unconditional love.

    I hope that you find the dog of your dreams, and look forward to hearing how your puppy search goes.
     
    Granca and Beanwood like this.

Share This Page