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While we here at PetPlace genuinely adore all canines (mutts included), we recognize that many dog owners are breed loyal. Our “Breed of the Month” series celebrates those iconic dog breeds that have amassed widespread popularity and/or developed a cult following. For April 2016, we feature the Labrador Retriever.
It’s no secret, America loves Labs.
A Labrador retriever was the first dog ever to grace the cover of Life Magazine and the only dog ever featured on a federal duck stamp. On top of that, for the 25th consecutive year, the Labrador retriever is the most popular dog in America, according to 2015 AKC registration stats.
Labs are outgoing, playful, family-friendly, even-tempered, and exceptionally trainable. It’s no wonder they’re so beloved!
Here are five reasons why we love Labrador retrievers.
1. Full of Love
If you’re highly-active and you want a dog as active as you are, you can’t go wrong with a Labrador retriever. Labs are extremely active, they love to run, play, and swim, and they’re great companions for hunting and fishing trips. Whatever you enjoy, your Labs will enjoy. They’re at their happiest when they are involved in activities with their humans. And, they’ll always be by your side. Labs will follow you around, try to sit in your lap — regardless of how big they are — and they love to snuggle.
2. Highly Intelligent
Labrador retrievers are very smart animals, they’re eager to please, well-behaved, and they love learning new tricks. Their intelligence makes them easy to housetrain. Labs have been bred to follow human cues, so they’re easy to train too, quickly picking up on the “sit,” “stay,” and “roll over” commands. But with the right training and attention, Labs can be taught to do so much more.
Another great thing about Labrador retrievers is their temperament. They adapt quickly and will fall in line in any situation. You could run and rough house with a Lab one minute, and in the next they’ll calmly lie down and let kids tug on their ears, poke their noses, and grab their tails. Labs are great with other pets as well, particularly when introduced as puppies.
4. Great with Kids
As previously mentioned, Labrador retrievers are very patient with children. And, like children, Labs are energetic, adventurous, and high-spirited. They’re not too big or too small (male Labs are typically 22-24 inches in height and 60-75 pounds in weight, and female Labs are generally 21-23 inches in height and 55-70 pounds in weight) — perfect for an active family with a house to explore and a yard to play in.
5. Easy to Care For
Labrador Retrievers aren’t high-maintenance and they don’t require a lot of grooming. Of course they need regular baths and nail-trimmings, but when you have a Lab, you won’t need to visit the groomer every three to four weeks like you would with some other dog breeds. Labs do tend to shed a lot though — especially when the seasons change — so you’ll need to brush their coats regularly. Then again, since they’re so adventurous, they may get dirtier than the average dog, so maybe more than regular baths will be necessary!