Why Choose a Labrador RetrieverLabrador    Retriever    puppies    are round,  fuzzy,   clumsy little  crea¬tures with floppy feet sticking out at each corner. It’s not hard to fall in love with this funny and affectionate puppy. However, Labs don’t stay fuzzy puppies; they grow up to be big dogs weighing 60 to 80 pounds, and sometimes even more. The Lab can be a wonderful sporting dog and a devoted family companion, but he is not for everyone. He needs an owner who can provide him with leadership as well as companionship. He needs someone who can spend time with him and who enjoys training and dog sports. The Lab is a true companion dog. This is not a dog to leave alone in the backyard for hours each day.

Are You Ready for a Dog?

Adding a dog to your household should be a well-thought-out decision. You will be taking on the responsibility of a living, thinking, caring animal, who is will¬ing to give his life for you. That’s a big responsibility.
A dog should never be acquired on impulse. It’s always best to think through what’s involved in owning a dog and to be honest with yourself. So let’s take a look at dog ownership and see if you can do what’s needed for any dog, and then we’ll look specifically at Labs.
– Do you have time for a dog? Dogs need your time for companionship, affection, play, and training. You cannot dash in the door, toss down some dog food, and leave again. That’s not fair, and the dog will react badly to it.
– Do you live in a place where dogs are allowed and are welcome? If you rent your home, do you have permission from your landlord to have a dog? Not all neighborhoods and buildings are dog-friendly, so make sure a dog will be welcome before you bring one home.
– Who, besides yourself, is living with the dog? Is everyone in agreement about getting a dog? If you want the dog but someone else in the house¬hold is afraid or doesn’t like the dog, that could become very difficult.
– Is there someone in the family who could have a hard time with the dog? Is there a baby in the house, someone who is very frail, or a senior citizen with poor balance? Dogs can be unaware of their strength and size, espe¬cially when they’re puppies.
– Do you have other pets in the household? Will your cat enjoy having a dog in the house? You may have to protect your rabbit, ferret, or gerbil from a rambunctious puppy.
– Have you lived with a dog before? Do you know what to expect? Really? Dogs can shed, drag in dirt and leaves from outside, catch and kill a rodent and then throw up the remains on the living room sofa.
– Do you have the money to care for a dog? Dogs need to be spayed or neutered, need vaccinations, and may hurt themselves, requiring emer¬gency veterinary care. Plus, you will need a dog crate, leash and collar, toys, and dog food.
Dog ownership is wonderful. Dogs are the ultimate confidants and never reveal your secrets. They are security in a scary world and the best friend a per¬son could have. But only if you are really ready for the responsibilities of caring for one.

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