The Ultimate Good Boy: The Labrador

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Looking for a new dog for your family? Many dog owners would agree that the Labrador is the best family dog going. It is a very placid dog, so great with children. But it will also need lots of long walks, which makes it a great option for those of you looking for an excuse to get out of the house more often.

 

So, what else makes the Labrador the ultimate good boy? We’ve taken a look at this breed and found out everything that you need to know about owning this easy-going pooch!

 

Very Easy To Please

 

One thing is for certain – your new Labrador is certainly going to be very easy to please! They have a very happy go lucky attitude and have a very enthusiastic way of looking at the world. And that means that they are super playful. They will make great play pals for children and will always be up for making mischief with them. It’s important to bear in mind that all of this happiness can often bubble over into over excitement when the Lab is still a young puppy. But as long as you are thorough with their training, they shouldn’t be too poorly behaved when they get a bit too excited!

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Don’t Need Too Much Grooming

 

Don’t fancy taking your dog to the groomer’s every month? That’s fair enough – after all, it can cost a lot of money and will take up a fair bit of your time. Thankfully, Labradors don’t require much grooming at all. You just need to make sure that your dog gets a bath whenever they are dirty or smelly, and that’s it! They have very short fur, so won’t require frequent haircuts. Plus, their nails should get worn down with all their walking, so you won’t need to take them for their nails to get clipped quite as often either. However, these dogs do shed quite a bit, so you might have to get the vacuum cleaner out to hoover up all their shedded fur a couple of times a week.

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Few Inherited Diseases

 

As you will probably know by now, there are a few breeds that suffer from common inherited diseases and health conditions. This is often the case with breeds like French Bulldogs and Pugs that have been bred to encourage certain strong physical traits. These traits can actually end up harming the dog. For example, the Pug has been bred so that it now has an extremely flat face, which causes lots of breathing illnesses and problems. These kinds of breeds can, therefore, be very expensive to own as you may have to take them to the vet for emergency veterinary attention, checkups, and medications. However, this is very rarely the case when it comes to Labradors. The breed has few traits that cause it to develop any serious health conditions at a young age. However, that doesn’t make it completely immune to diseases and illnesses, and some Labradors will succumb to health conditions like cancer and heart problems as they reach old age.

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Good With Other Animals

 

Are you worried about another pet that you have in your home? Well, there is no reason to worry when you introduce a Labrador to them! Labradors are very peaceful and are good around other animals and pets, even cats! So you shouldn’t have too much trouble introducing your new Labrador to some other pets that already live in your home. If you are bringing home a puppy, though, remember that they tend to be a bit more excitable than adult dogs, so they might be a bit too enthusiastic when meeting any new pets! Remember to carefully watch each pet when you are introducing them to each other so that one doesn’t cause the other harm.

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Easy To Train

 

Don’t want to spend too much time trying to train your new pooch? Don’t worry; Labradors are extremely easy to train. They love to please their owner so will want to do everything they can to make you happy, even if that includes learning tricks such as to sit and wait! But, as with everything else, puppies will be quite hard to train because they have so much energy and will just want to bounce around all day! But, with a little perseverance and structure, you will find that they are quite susceptible to training. Forget about that old adage that you can’t teach old dogs new tricks – old Labradors are very clever and wise and will quickly pick up whatever it is that you are trying to teach.

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Needs Plenty Of Exercise

 

Have you got your walking legs on? You will certainly need them once you become a Labrador owner! These dogs require a lot of exercise – they won’t be able to cope with just two short walks each day. As well as letting them out a couple of times to go to the bathroom, they will need some long walks so that they can burn off all of their pent up energy. If they don’t get all the exercise that they need, they will end up very bored which might lead to behavioral problems and issues. As well as needing lots of exercise, these dogs require quite a bit of company and attention. They won’t be happy if you leave them at home alone all day while you are out at work. So, make sure that you only commit to owning a Labrador if you can help it exercise and can’t stay at home with it long enough.

 

Labradors are super fun dogs to own, and you will certainly love welcoming one into your home. And your new Labrador will definitely love becoming part of your family. Hopefully, all of the above tips will help you figure out whether or not this is the best breed of dog for you.

 

Think you’d like a Lab? Then why not contact your local breeder for more information today! Alternatively, contact your nearest dog rescue center to see about adopting one.

 

Popular Dog Breeds: Great Danes

Despite their enormous size, Great Danes are a very popular breed. They rank in the top 20 of the American Kennel Club’s most popular breeds each year. Strong, elegant, and friendly, Great Danes are, nevertheless, energetic dogs and they do require plenty of room and regular exercise.

History
Great Danes are a mastiff or molosser-type dog which is a very large family of dogs containing all kinds of powerful dogs found all over the world. Dogs similar to the Great Dane have been known for several thousand years. However, today’s Great Dane seems to trace to the Irish Wolfhound and the Mastiff from the Middle Ages. The breed as it is known today is about 400 years old. Great Danes are not actually from Denmark but come from Germany where they were bred to hunt wild boar which can be ferocious. When boar hunting was no long necessary, the breed became an esteemed companion and estate guard dog. The breed was recognized by the AKC in 1887.

Temperament
Great Danes are true gentle giants and they make excellent family dogs. They are sweet, loving dogs in the home and they get along great with children. However, because of their great size, owners need to be especially careful about letting children play with the dogs. It’s very easy for a playful Great Dane to knock a child over or pin a child to the ground while playing. They mean no harm but someone can get hurt. The same is true when a Great Dane plays with smaller dogs. Parents should always supervise when their Great Dane plays with small children or small dogs.

Otherwise, Great Danes make wonderful pets. They require regular daily exercise and they do eat quite a bit. You can expect your food bills and other bills associated with dog ownership to be somewhat higher when you have such a large dog. They require minimal grooming since they have a short, smooth coat. In the U.S. their ears are usually cropped.

Appearance
Great Danes have a striking appearance and most people recognize them on sight. In addition to their great size, the dogs are regal, dignified, strong, and elegant in appearance. They should be spirited, courageous, friendly, and dependable. The head is rectangular, expressive, and distinguished. Eyes are dark with a lively, intelligent expression.

Minimum height of 30 inches tall at the shoulder for males and 28 inches tall for females. Males can weigh between 120-200 lbs; and females can weigh between 100-130 lbs.

The coat comes in a number of colors: Brindle, Fawn, Blue, Black, Harlequin and Mantle (similar to a Boston Terrier).

Health
As a giant breed, the Great Dane has some special needs, especially as a puppy. It’s important to make sure that puppies do not grow too fast or they can develop musculo-skeletal problems as adults. Feed your Great Dane puppy an appropriate large breed puppy food. Make sure that you don’t overfeed a large breed puppy or allow him to become overweight since this can result in joint and hip problems later in life. Slow growth from a moderate diet if always recommended for large and giant breed puppies.

You should also take care that you don’t allow giant breed puppies to over-exercise when they are young. Repetitive actions (such as jogging with an owner on a bike) or allowing a puppy to leap from high places can lead to bone and joint injuries. It takes a long time for a giant breed puppy’s growth plates to close so try to keep your big puppy from over-doing things and injuring himself.

Like some other large and giant breed dogs, Great Danes can have problems with bloat, or gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV). It’s usually recommended to feed such dogs several smaller meals per day rather than one or two large meals. You can find other recommendations about how to try to avoid bloat online. Hip dysplasia can also be an issue for Great Danes. Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) can also occur in the breed.

Many giant dog breeds have a shorter lifespan than other breeds. The average lifespan of a Great Dane is 6 to 8 years. Even the healthiest Great Danes don’t usually live past 10 years, though some dogs have been known to live to be 12-13 years of age.

Training
While you may think of Scooby Do and Marmaduke when you see a Great Dane, they really aren’t that hard to train. They are BIG but they still think and act like other dogs. If you have a Great Dane puppy or rescue, training is very important. Otherwise, you could find yourself chasing a rambunctious dog when he ignores your calls to come back. So, do plan on puppy kindergarten or puppy preschool for your puppy, followed by a good basic obedience class. If you have a rescue dog, sign up for the first obedience class you can. When a dog weighs 120 pounds, you really want him to listen to you.

Be sure to socialize puppies and young dogs well. Some Great Danes can become anxious and too glued to their owners if they don’t have enough socialization training when they are young.

If you have to leave your dog home alone everyday, make sure you provide him with lots of chew toys and other things to keep him amused. Otherwise, he will find his own ways to amuse himself and they will probably include eating your sofa. When a Great Dane is bored, you will know it. For this reason, make sure you are providing your puppy or dog with enough play time and exercise each day.

Great Danes can learn to do the same dog activities and sports as other dogs. You can have fun with obedience, agility, rally, and tracking, for example. Great Danes have a good nose and they can have fun with tracking exercises.

You can learn more about finding a Great Dane and what to expect here: http://www.gdca.org/greatdanerightforyou.html