Dog Breeds: A Guide to the Labrador and What You Need to Know Before Adopting One

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They want to explore, chew, lick, and possibly even eat things in their environment. They don't know manners and may act unruly or hyperactive. All puppies need to be trained and socialized; they also need a lot of exercise. These things take a lot of time. Are you prepared to come home from work midday to care for your puppy?

How Do I Choose A Puppy?

Can you handle being woken up in the middle of the night? Are you able to spend several hours a week working on training and socialization? What about any other pets or people in your home? Will a puppy be too disruptive? If you get a young puppy, be prepared to spend a lot of extra time with it, especially for the first few months.

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If this sounds like too much, but you still want a dog, consider adopting an adult dog. So you've weighed the pros and cons of puppy ownership and decided that the time is right for you to bring a puppy into your household. Now it's time to go look for your new little companion.

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But where do you begin? First of all, decide what kind of puppy is right for you. Make a list of features or traits you must have, those you prefer, and those that you definitely do not want. If possible, consider adopting a dog first. Mixed-breed dogs are absolutely wonderful and extremely underrated. Your local animal shelters and pet rescue groups have adorable mixed-breed puppies just waiting for homes. Even if you are not sure a mixed breed dog is for you, it's worth a trip to your local shelter or rescue group to meet some of the puppies. You might just fall in love! You may truly have your heart set on a purebred dog.

Many people have a favorite breed or need to know more accurately what to expect when the dog is grown. Factors like the size and coat type are very predictable in a purebred dog. Health concerns, temperament, and energy level are somewhat predictable but not guaranteed.

If you choose to buy a purebred dog, then you need to be responsible. Look for an experienced dog breeder with a stellar reputation. Avoid backyard breeders. Never buy from pet stores, as their dogs often come from puppy mills. Don't buy a dog from a flea market or a classified ad; these puppies have unknown backgrounds and may be unhealthy. When you find the right puppy for you, it will just feel right.

Most owners will tell you that their canine companions actually chose them, not the other way around! Before your little friend comes home with you, it's essential that you prepare your home. Do your best to puppy-proof every area of your home.

Destructive puppy behavior is common, frustrating, and can be dangerous for your dog. Your puppy is sure to find all the little things that can hurt it. The best way to keep your puppy safe is to supervise it at all times.

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Keep your puppy in a crate while you are away just avoid leaving for more than a few hours when your puppy is still young. A puppy should not have the full run of the house until it is older and well-trained. You're going to need plenty of dog supplies before you bring home your new puppy. Start with the basics before you end up with a bunch of stuff you don't need such as toys your puppy doesn't enjoy or beds your puppy won't sleep in.

You'll definitely need a few essentials to begin:. As your puppy grows, you will find you need other items, such as grooming supplies and preventive products. Your vet can help you decide which items best fit your dog's needs. Your new puppy should visit your veterinarian for the first time within a few days of coming home with you. It is important for the puppy to have a physical examination , even if no vaccines are due. This is a chance to make sure there are no health problems that went undetected by the breeder, shelter, or rescue group. It's best to find a good veterinarian before you bring home your puppy.

Then you will have the vet lined up and not have to rush to find one.

Breed Characteristics:

Look for a veterinary office with a great reputation in a convenient location for you. Make sure their prices are affordable for you. The best way to find a good vet is to ask around and research. Talk to friends and family members with pets. Look at online reviews. You might even want to go take a tour of the hospital and meet the staff to get a feel for the place.

On your puppy's first visit, be sure to bring all the paperwork provided by the breeder or adoption group. Your vet will do the examination and discuss the puppy vaccination schedule with you. Puppies should be first vaccinated between six and eight weeks of age. Vaccines need to be boostered up until they are about 16 to 18 weeks old.

Frequently Asked Questions

Expect to visit the vet every three weeks or so until then. If there is more than one person in your home who will interact with the puppy, set up the structure in advance. Who is responsible for feeding and walking the puppy and when?

When you are ready to get a puppy or dog

Make sure all parties agree on rules about where the puppy is allowed to go. Work together to make sure training is consistent. If there are children in the home, make sure they know how to behave around dogs. If there are other pets in the home, be sure they are properly introduced and well-supervised at all times. However, since genetic diversity is a good thing in living creatures, I don't view cross-breeding as an evil thing. So if there are some Weimaraner genes floating around in a silver Labrador, that wouldn't bother me. On the other hand, if I wanted a dog who could be counted on to look and act like a Lab, you're more likely to get that in a Lab who isn't silver, especially if the silver breeder is still using Weimaraners in his breeding program.

And based on the appearance of some silver "Labs", there are breeders who are still crossing in Weimaraners. But almost certainly silver Labrador Retrievers are here to stay. Even though they can't be shown, the AKC still accepts them for registration. However, in a funny twist, those registration papers don't say silver. Remember, the AKC says that Labs can only be black, chocolate, or yellow.

So they register silver Labs as Chocolate, because they consider silver to be a dilution of the chocolate gene. In other words, according to the AKC, your silver Lab is actually a chocolate Lab also has inherited dilution gene that washes the chocolate into a silvery gray. It doesn't end there.