Why Labs Are So Popular
Even people that don’t know dog breeds can easily identify the lovable Labrador Retriever and why Labs are so popular. While these dogs have been the most popular dog breed since 1991 according to the American Kennel Club, they enjoy the same high status and polarity in Canada (for over 20 years) as well in the United Kingdom and many other countries around the world.
These Kennel Club numbers only include registered dogs. Labrador mixed breed dogs, as well as unregistered Labs, are also a popular option, but there is greater variation in size, temperature and behavior in mixed breed dogs as compared to purebreds. With that being said, both options make terrific family pets with proper training, socialization and love.
There are very good reasons why Labs are so popular. Just talk to any Lab owner or breeder and you will hear a lot about the benefits of this very versatile breed.
While Labs are considered a larger sized dog, they have a definite puppy mentality throughout life. They love nothing more than being in the thick of the family and, once they find out what makes you laugh, a Lab will delight in keeping everyone in the family involved in play and interaction.
Labs are a great choice for a family with kids. These dogs seem to have endless patience with children, but like all breeds, they need to be initially monitored around kids and well socialized to maintain that gentle and kind personality. They have unlimited energy to walk, run, jog or even hunt, which is what they were bred for, but they are also content to just lie by and watch while kids play.
Loyal and Bonded
Labs are a dog breed that naturally bond to their family. While some may have a stronger bond with some family members, they are very accepting of everyone in the home. This is different than some breeds that have a tendency to bond very strongly with one person, which makes the Lab a dog that is happy to spend time with everyone in the family.
A Lab is also loyal and will bark to let you know that strangers are around. However, they are not a guard dog, and their wagging tail will quickly give them away as friends rather than fierce protectors.
Options in Size and Colors
Different lines of Labs will have different sizes and variations in their build. For example, the English bred lines of Labs will be stockier and heavier while the American lines of Labs tend to be rangier and longer through the leg.
You will also hear the terms working line and bench (or show) line. The working dogs are bred for their retrieval abilities and tend to be the longer, rangier types of builds that are more likely to be active dogs. The bench or show types of Labs will be stockier and heavier and can become a bit more of a couch potato as they get older.
Colors in the Lab range from an almost cream color to a darker gold color, which is known collectively as yellow, as well as chocolate and black. This allows owners to choose not only a type of Lab but also a color.
Naturally easy to train and ideal for positive reward training methods, the Lab is a dog that wants to please. They are smart enough to learn even complex tricks quickly and they are very responsive to a treat for a job well done.