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Labradors: Temperament & Traits

Labradors At-A-Glance

  • This rowdy dog can get into trouble but is one of the best dog breeds for families.
  • Labradors shed a lot and require lots of grooming, so they’re not a good fit for those allergic to pet dander.
  • Labradors are easy to train and friendly with children, but they do need plenty of outdoor time and can accidentally knock over toddlers.
  • This breed loves to dig and will frequently bring in dirt and germs from outside.
  • Labradors suffer from heat exhaustion, so be sure to bring plenty of hydration during the blistering Phoenix summer.

What do labradors and young children have in common? They both love playing in the yard, and neither of them seems to get tired! And both kids and labs are known for creating big messes, but parents and owners can’t help but love them despite the damage they cause. But no matter if they’re yellow, black, or a chocolate labrador, they also have a gentle nature, making them one of the best dog breeds for families. These canines love to please their owners (and their children) and are easily trainable, which is also why they are so popular.

But owning a labrador does have its challenges. If this breed doesn’t get enough exercise, they tend to get anxious and take their nervous energy out on pillows and cushions. These dogs are unaware of how big their tails are, so it’s important to keep anything valuable out of wagging range because it will get knocked over. And labradors will eat anything, which can come in handy if you’re a messy chef, but it can cause health problems down the road. This breed will chew anything, so owners need to set clear boundaries for their dogs so that furniture can remain intact.

Most labradors live around 12 years, but the breed does suffer from their share of health problems, including dysplasia in the hips and elbows, cataracts, ligament disease, and obesity. These ailments lead to arthritis, pain in the limbs, and a limp, which means a high vet bill down the road. You can avoid most of these conditions through good breeding and a proper diet.

Is there a difference between a yellow, black, or a chocolate labrador?

There is a widely held belief among labrador owners that there is a difference in temperament between yellow, black, and chocolate labradors. Some say that yellow labradors are lazy, while others will tell you that you can’t calm a chocolate lab down. The truth is that the color of a labrador’s coat doesn’t determine its behavior. All varieties of the breed make for one of the best dog breeds for families.

What is the perfect home for a labrador?

Labradors are one of the best dog breeds for families but that can also depend on how big your home is. This breed is active and will need a big yard to get out its boundless energy. They can also grow anywhere from 55 to 80 pounds, so if you live in an apartment or a small house, there is a good chance your dog is going to knock things over. And you’ll also need space for a bed for your pet. Many of these products can take up 44 by 35 inches of floor space, which means you’ll likely have to do some rearranging of furniture and dog-proofing of your home.

Feeding your Labrador

Not only do labradors have seemingly infinite energy, but they also have an endless appetite. You’ll often find them searching your kitchen floor after dinner for table scraps, but make sure that you feed your labrador a healthy mix of high-quality animal protein, complex carbohydrates, and the proper fat ratio.

It’s also important to monitor the food intake of your dog because obesity can exacerbate health issues. The amount of food you feed your labrador depends on its age, size, and activity level, so do your research to make sure you’re giving your dog the right amount of food.

If you want to know exactly what you’re feeding your dog, consider a raw food diet. It will give your dog a shinier coat, bolster its immune system, and help keep its weight in check. If you are ready to make the switch, you’ll need a week to help get its digestive system acclimated.

Living in Arizona

Labradors have a thick coat, making them more susceptible to heat exhaustion and dehydration during the summer months when the temperature soars over the century mark. Be sure to give them plenty of shade, fresh water, and keep them indoors when the temperature is at its highest. Also, walking your lab on the hot cement during the summer will harm its paws, so consider protective footgear or stay on the grass when taking your pet outside.

And labradors are great swimmers, so let them join you occasionally in the pool. And staying safe from the sun’s harmful rays isn’t just for humans. Dogs can get sunburned too, so be sure to apply the right amount of protective sunscreen to their nose and the skin around their mouth if they’re going to be outside for a long periods of time.

One disease that is specific to Arizona is Coccidioidomycosis, also known as Valley Fever. It is caused by breathing in soil-dwelling spores and will often go away on its own. But the symptoms of Valley Fever can be severe if your labrador has a compromised immune system.

The lifecycle of a Labrador

After about eight weeks of a labrador’s life, they’ll start to become independent and are ready to come home with you. They’re a little nosy at this stage, so it’s not out of the ordinary to catch them sniffing around and getting into some trouble. Now is the perfect time to make sure they have their shots and potty train them. A few weeks later, your lab will get a new set of teeth and want to test them out, so make sure they have something sturdy to chew.

Their rambunctious behavior amps up during their adolescence, around six to 18 months. They tend to get a little clumsy, so be sure to keep anything fragile out of reach of your dog (and their wagging tail). Labradors usually reach their maximum height and size when they are one to three years old, and this is the time when they’re the most active, so be sure to reinforce the training you received.

Your labrador’s energy levels will decrease around five years into their life, but not that significantly. Enjoy these golden years with your pet. If you notice any unusual behavior or symptoms from your labrador, be sure to contact your vet right away.


If you’re looking for a new companion for your family, then a labrador might be one of the best dog breeds for your family. And while they’re generally well-behaved and love pleasing their masters, you’ll have to give them the proper amount of attention, or training will be difficult.

To ensure that you and your labrador make the most of their time together, the experienced staff at Desert Sky K9 can help create the bond between you and your family’s new pet. Our licensed and certified trainer Mark Govoni has over 27 years of experience and can assist you with your training needs. And we are so confident in our results for our clients we provide lifetime handling lessons at no charge for all of our clients.

Please feel free to call us at 602-510-5877 or schedule a complimentary consultation so we can learn more about your needs.

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