Should I get a dog? The first question is whether you should get a dog at all. All dogs, big and small have common needs. Someone must be responsible for feeding, providing clean fresh water, picking up poop, washing bedding, brushing and bathing, walking and exercising the dog. This responsible person should be an adult,NOT a child, although children can assist in the care of a dog. Equally important is the responsibility to love, play with, train and incorporate this dog into your daily life as a companion. An adult in the family must WANT to, not merely be WILLING to assume this responsibility. Children learn from example. If having a dog is a chore and a nuisance for the adults in a family, it will quickly become that for the children also.
Is your yard fenced, or is there a fenced area connected to the house that your dog can access? Dogs need to spend time outdoors, and they should not be allowed to run through the neighborhood unattended or unleashed. Do you have an area inside your house where the dog, especially a puppy, can be confined without doing damage or hurting itself? Will you travel,and where will the dog stay if it does not go with you? These are all issues that must be resolved before you get a dog - not afterward.
Should I get a Labrador Retriever? Labradors are not one-man dogs and, in many ways, having one is like having another child. They want to be part of your daily life and willingly learn the rules and restrictions that will allow them to do this. They will go everywhere and do anything with you. However, they are medium-sized, athletic dogs that take up space and have energy and enthusiasm that you must be willing to accomodate, especially when they are young. If you dont teach manners when your dog is a puppy, you will have an out-of-control teenager in about a year. Luckily, Labradors are very willing to please and easy to train if you take the time.
They love water and swimming, especially retrieving from the water.
They love to retrieve, from simple fetching of a thrown object, to finding a hidden one - with or without signals or directions.
They love to carry things in their mouths - your socks, stuffed toys, your hand.
One year old pup
They are good with children, although puppies do not have the judgment of adult dogs and may jump on and be boisterous with small children.