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And Then There's the Labrador Retriever
Tips For a New Owner
Everyone loves a Labrador, after all what's not to love? They themselves are loving, affectionate, social and intelligent. By nature they are not only a happy breed, but they want their owner, their family, to be happy as well.
Veterinarians and their technicians love the Labrador for they tend to make wonderful patients. They don't mind getting a vaccine; they simply enjoy being touched. Owners of veterinary practices appreciate them as well, for they are often good for repeat business. Not because they're prone to a great deal of health issues, because they are not. They do tend to be prone to ear infections, especially those who like to swim, and genetically they will most likely develop hip problems once they are much older. However, if Hip Dysplasia does show up in a young adult it tends to be severe. This isn't common, but it does happen, and usually is the end result of a careless breeder. Starting a Labrador on Glucosamine supplements and cleaning out their ears especially after being in water can be quite helpful. Ask your veterinarian about the products they recommend and proper dosing.
A veterinarian gets to know a Labrador on a first name basis often because they do have such a happy and social personality. This can lead to a variety of snake bites and wasp stings. There's the occasional laceration or broken toenail after an energetic run through a field. Then there's the seemingly unstoppable appetite, which can lead to an assortment of toys, balls and articles of clothing having to be surgically removed from their stomach or small intestine.
Labrador's have an extremely high energy level for a large breed, and this can be a problem for some owners. They need to be exercised on a daily basis, whether this is a long walk or playing fetch in the backyard. If left cooped up for too long, they can get bored and can be destructive. One also has to been extremely careful when exercising a Labrador in the summer, for a Labrador will literally play till he drops. They are not aware they are overheating, and a heat-stroke can get extremely serious very quickly.
Labrador's also crave attention from their owners, especially a family. They should not be left alone in a backyard without daily interaction on a loving level. Otherwise, they tend to be hyperactive when they do receive attention, and are least likely to listen to a command.
After having worked around this breed for a couple of decades-- I personally believe if people could grow the heart of a Labrador Retriever, the world would be a much better place.
© 2012 Gina Baxter