The Working and Field Labrador RetrieverKeeping a Lab as a family pet and companion means you need to be able to pro¬vide him with an outlet for the working and sporting instincts he was bred to have. You can teach him jobs to do at home, but you can also continue with your training and do much more with him.
– Therapy dogs are privately owned pets who, with their owner, visit nurs¬ing homes, day centers, schools, and other places to provide love and affection to people who need it. Labs make wonderful therapy dogs as soon as they have had some obedience training and are mature enough to control themselves, so they do not jump up on people.
– Agility is a dog sport that consists of the dog’s leaping, jumping, running, and crawling through a number of different obstacles as his owner directs him where to go next. Most Labs are quite good at this sport.
– Flyball is a team relay sport. The dogs jump a series of small hurdles, press a lever in a box that shoots out a tennis ball, and then return back over the hurdles. Since Labs love tennis balls and are quite athletic, this sport is made to order for them.
– Dock diving is a new sport that Labs absolutely love! The dog runs hard and then jumps off an elevated platform into the water in pursuit of a toy. The dog who can jump the longest distance wins.
– Teaching your dog to pull a wagon requires maturity on the dog’s part and training on yours, but it can be great fun and very useful.
– Obedience competition requires a great deal of training, but for those with a competitive streak, it’s also great fun. Many Labs have done extremely well in this sport.
– The Labrador Retriever has a very good nose and tracking comes easily to him. Tracking can be for fun (just for training purposes), for competition, or for search and rescue work.
– Labs are also good hunting companions and are still the breed of choice for retrieving waterfowl.
– Search and rescue dogs are always needed. This volunteer activity is very time-consuming, however, and requires training for both the dog and the owner. It is very rewarding, and Labs are awesome at it.

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