12 Labrador Retriever Pros and Cons

Labrador Retriever

Are you thinking of getting a Lab dog? Before that, check out the pros and cons of Labradors. This way, you can know whether this breed is right for you or not.

Pros and cons of Labrador Retriever

Each dog breed has its own unique personality traits. So before adopting any breed dog, it’s imperative to understand the temperaments and requirements. This would give you an idea about whether it is ideal for your lifestyle or not.

About Labrador Retrievers

When it comes to family-friendly and affectionate dog breeds, Labrador Retriever is the name you will hear first. The breed’s affectionate nature is what made it the most popular dog breed.

As per AKC’s rankings of “Most Popular Dog Breeds”, the Labrador Retriever ranks number one since 1991. Every year the AKC release these rankings based on the registration statistics.

About labrador retriever breed

Apart from loving nature, some other attractive temperaments of Labs are activeness, smartness, and playful nature. With a Lab dog, it’s like getting tons of amazing temperaments in one dog.

Labrador Retriever is originated from Newfoundland, Canada. St. John’s water dog (also known as Lesser Newfoundland) is the ancestor of the modern Labrador.

If you are unsure whether this breed is right for you, I’m sure this post will help you.

Pros and Cons of Labradors

Here’s the list of Labrador Retriever pros:

  1. They are friendly and sociable
  2. They are smart
  3. They are easy to train
  4. They are loyal
  5. They are perfect workout companions
  6. Their coats are soft & easy to care
  7. They have a soft mouth

Now, let’s checkout cons:

  1. Their exercise needs are high
  2. They shed a lot
  3. They aren’t good guard dogs
  4. They get bored easily
  5. Early socialization is necessary

Pros of Owning A Labrador

Let’s talk about each point in detail:

They are friendly and sociable

Labradors love to be around people. A Lab will stay friendly & affectionate to you and your family members. Besides this, the breed is sociable as well. When adopting a dog for the family, these are the main personality traits we look for. Labs get along well with almost anyone (be it families, kids, other dogs, or strangers).

The temperaments of an individual dog can vary depending on how it is being raised and trained. With early socialization, the dog would be good to everyone.

They are smart

Another good thing about Labs is they are so intelligent. Because of that, teaching new commands would be easy. Unlike least intelligent dog breeds like Bull Terrier, Chihuahua, Shih Tzu, etc., a Labrador learns something new faster. To understand the intelligence level of all dog breeds, Stanley Coren conducted research focusing on obedience and working intelligence.

In that research, this breed got 7th rank from a total of 138 dog breeds. Two main criteria in Coren’s research were the number of repetitions needed for a dog breed to learn a new command and the rate the dog breed will obey that command.

They are easy to train

Training is important for all dogs. Through training, you will be teaching a new skill to your canine. Depending on the dog breed (as well as the individual dog), some dogs are easy to train, while some are difficult to train.

With an intelligent dog breed like a Labrador, training won’t be time-consuming and stressful. Due to higher intelligence levels, Labrador retrievers are easy to train. The breed is highly motivated thus teaching something new would be easier. For the best results, consider using the reward-based training method and prevent being strict.

White Lab dog

They are loyal

Labradors connect to their owners emotionally. They are affectionate and loyal as well. Their loyalty is so deep. And because of their fun-loving nature, they don’t face difficulty building a strong bond with their owners.

Another good thing about this breed is that it’s loyal not just to its owner, but also to family members. When some unknown visits your place, a Lab will bark and let you know that a stranger is around.

They are perfect workout companions

Labradors are always active, this is what makes them perfect workout companions. If you have an active lifestyle, a Lab would surely enjoy being around you. To keep this breed dog happy, the best thing you can do is provide regular exercise. Due to its higher energy level, its physical needs are quite high. This can be a pro side for those with an active and outdoor lifestyle.

Their coats are soft & easy to care

Before getting a new dog, the grooming requirement is one of the crucial things a person looks for in the dog breed. With a Labrador, grooming won’t be stressful.

Although this is a double-coated dog breed that sheds throughout the year, its coats are soft and easy to care for. The main grooming requirement is brushing. Regular brushing can reduce excess shedding and tangles.

They have a soft mouth

Labs were originally bred to spot and retrieve birds. They were trained to take back the shot birds without biting or damaging them. This made their mouths soft and gave them a natural ability to handle soft items gently. Because of this, Labs don’t have the habit of rough biting. Also, it is easier to train them not to bite.

Cons of Owning A Labrador

Let’s talk about each point in detail:

Their exercise needs are high

Although Labs are fun-loving companions, one of the main problems is higher physical needs. For physical stimulation, it’s important to provide exercise regularly. A Lab dog may not be suitable for a family with an inactive lifestyle.

The lack of sufficient exercise is one of the causes of destructive and undesired behavior. When the dog does not get enough physical exercise, it finds other ways (like destructive chewing and barking) to utilize excess energy.

They shed a lot

Though the breed has a short & soft coat, it sheds a lot. It has double coats which shed all year round. A Lab dog sheds the most during the springtime and wintertime. Therefore, the breed isn’t good for someone who is sensitive to allergens.

Don’t worry, there’s a solution to excess shedding. To deal with shedding, first, you need to get the right brushes for your Labrador Retriever. With weekly brushing and occasional baths, shedding can be controlled.

They aren’t good guard dogs

Labs aren’t good guard dogs due to their fun-loving and sociable temperaments. They get along well with almost anyone, be it family members, other dogs, or strangers.

They are protective to some extent, but don’t expect guarding qualities of German Shepherd or Great Dane from this fun-loving pup. The good thing is Labs have a tendency to bark. When trained properly, a Labrador can make a good watchdog.

Labs aren't good guard dogs

They get bored easily

Labradors get bored easily. They always need something to do and can’t be left alone for long. The main causes of boredom are lack of mental and physical stimulation.

You can keep your canine stimulated through socialization, puzzle games, training, and regular exercise. Train your dog and challenge him to perform your training commands. In short, the dog won’t be bored when it’s busy doing something.

Early socialization

With a Labrador, early socialization is necessary. During puppyhood, you will need to expose your pup to different people, places, and situations. You can enroll your pup in an early obedience training program. Early puppy training and socialization would help with personality development.

Final Thoughts

A Labrador Retriever can be a great addition to your family. The breed is active, friendly, and sociable. These temperaments make it a perfect dog breed for those looking for a loving companion. Even if your house has kids, other dogs, or pets, a Labrador won’t have difficulty adjusting.

Before adopting, it’s essential to know the pros and cons. To help you figure out whether this breed is right for you, here I have talked about the pros and cons of Labradors.


[adinserter block="1"]
Spread the love
Brandon Dickinson

Brandon Dickinson

I love playing and spending time with pups. On RetrieverPaws, I share tips, guides, and my experiences with retriever dogs (Labrador and Golden Retrievers mainly).

About Us

Retriever Paws is the official news and review site dedicated to Retriever dog owners and lovers.

Recent Posts

Sign up for our Newsletter

Scroll to Top