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Is A Labrador Retriever The Ideal Dog For Your Family?

There are many qualities that make the Labrador Retriever one of the most popular breeds around! They make great family pets, are easy to train, they love to please, and are an ideal breed for showing!

But remember, just like any breed, those cute little puppies will grow into larger lovable, playful dogs that will need plenty of space, exercise and commitment from you to make sure their doggie days (their lifespan can be 15 years or more) are fulfilled.

Is a Labrador Retriever the Ideal Dog for your Family?

It’s an exciting time when you’re considering adopting a new furry friend! Having a dog in the home - of any breed - has many benefits:

  • Dogs can help to relieve stress and depression
  • A pooch pal can help you exercise - you’ll need to take them for regular walks, so will reap the benefits!
  • Taking a dog to work has been shown to reduce stress levels in the office
  • Children learn to take some responsibility by helping to look after a dog, and can better learn to be empathetic towards other pets and people
  • A dog can help your social life! Lots of people build relationships while walking their dogs or going to socialization classes!

Labrador Retriever Family

The only question is - which breed is best for you? Before making a decision on any breed there are lots of factors to consider, from the space a dog needs, to their diet, age, any health requirements - and the temperament of each individual pooch. All dogs are unique after all!

For many families, Labrador Retrievers are a popular breed, and are well known for being great pets. Very playful, patient, loving and even tempered; a yellow, black or chocolate Lab could be your new best friend! But before you make any final decision, be sure to do your research to consider if a dog - and a labrador specifically - is right for you.

Considerations Before Getting A Labrador

Male or female?

There are different considerations to make for your dog, depending on their gender. For labradors specifically, male dogs are usually larger and more muscular. Female labradors tend to be smaller though still strong and muscular; and it’s important to remember that they will  have two heat cycles every year when they tend to act differently, and will shed their coat more over this period. If your dog has not been neutered or spayed when you bring them home, it is an important health conversation to have with your vet.

Male  or Female Dog

Ongoing expenses

After the initial cost of adopting your dog, you should consider other expenses that owning a labrador will mean. In addition to normal resources like beds, crates, bowls etc. labradors are a larger breed and will require more food than a smaller breed. While they are teething, Labrador puppies are notoriously very good at chewing items, like shoes, cushions, rugs etc! So keep in mind the cost of puppy-proofing your home, and the time it will take to support your pet as they learn not to chew certain items! Other costs such as veterinary care and medication, boarding/pet sitting, training classes, and having your dog microchipped must also be kept in mind.


All dogs, including Labradors, need plenty of space to exercise. So make sure you have access to plenty of open space like a garden where you can throw a ball, or you have a park or field closeby where you can take them to expend all their energy. Indoor space is important too - they will need plenty of room for their bed/crate and an open room that is relatively free of obstacles.

Time and attention

Labradors in particular love companionship! They are a very sociable breed and need plenty of exercise to keep their mind alert and their body in good condition. If you make sure you can give them at least two daily walks, and dedicate time to socialisation and training classes, you will have a happy and obedient dog. Labradors also need plenty of grooming to keep them in tip top condition, so plenty of time should be put aside for this too.

Dog attention


Labradors love to please and are easy to train, but you will need to be able to commit a lot of time and patience to ensure they are trained and obedient. An exuberant labrador can unintentionally wreak havoc around the home if they are not trained from a very young age.  As they are strong dogs it is important to work on obedience training at an early age.

It’s worth mentioning that labradors are retrievers, so are always on the lookout for something to catch and carry in their mouth, so have plenty of toys around that they can play with - and train them to play with these rather than your shoes!


Your family’s lifestyle will change when you bring home a new dog, but remember that your labrador will be looking for you to care for it, feed and water it, give it lots of exercise and nurture it through its lifetime. If you have adopted a young dog or puppy, remember that Labradors can take up to 3 years to become mature. So even when they are fully grown physically, they may still have those boisterous puppy traits - make sure you are ready to care for a fun-loving and energetic dog day to day!


Whilst Labradors are, in the main, a healthy breed, there are always risks of inherited diseases, as with any breed. You need to make sure they have regular health checks to stay in tip top condition. If you are choosing a puppy, you should check for yourself that they are happy, playful and alert when you visit them. Ask the breeder about the health of the puppy’s parents, and make sure you see both parents! Whatever dog you choose, always get them checked out by a vet as soon as you can, and keep their vaccinations up to date.

Labrador Dog Family

Whether you’re looking to bring a Labrador or another breed of dog home, don’t ever choose a family dog on impulse. Take everything into account before making your final decision:  temperament, energy levels, size as well as the time you have to commit are all factors that should be considered, to help you develop the best possible relationship with your dog! If you decide that a Labrador isn’t the right fit for your family, check out other breeds or pay a visit to the local rescue centre to find the perfect pooch for you. There are even rescue groups for specific breeds of dogs out there, so do your research and make sure you’ve looked at multiple possibilities before committing to a new furry friend.

Help Your New Dog Adjust With ADAPTIL

Ready to welcome your new pet into your home? Supporting them with ADAPTIL - whether it is a diffuser or collar - can help to minimise stress and create a comforting environment as your dog adjusts, settles and learns to cope with their new life with you! Plugged into the area where your dog spends the most time, ADAPTIL provides comforting messages that help your dog feel confident and secure everyday.

Welcoming a young pup into the family? Try using ADAPTIL Junior to help your little fluffy friend settle into their new home.

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