Yes, you should get a Lab if...
You have successfully raised / trained / adopted / lived with a Lab, you are familiar with the breed's pros and cons, and feel that "Once you go Lab you never go back."
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You have successfully raised / trained / adopted / lived with a (large) dog and want to have a Lab next. You know some learning and adjustment would be required.(Please see additional conditions below)
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You hunt and your retrieving partner is going to be too old to jump into the water soon. You are looking for his successor to love, train and hunt with.
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You hunt without a dog and decided to get one, and you have a mentor / dog trainer / the know-how required to raise and train a good hunting dog. Please see additional conditions below.
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You are a dog trainer and need a dog you can train to perfection and enjoy it, whom you can also cuddle, play, run, and live with.
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You have never had an active large dog, but want a Lab because it is a great family pet and loyal companion (or whatever other reason) and are willing to learn how to raise it well, including taking obedience classes. You do not intend to leave your dog home alone 9 hours / day 5 days a week - at least not during it's first 9 months with you. In addition all the following conditions must apply to you.
You want to, and can commit yourself to a responsible relationship with a dog for the next 15 years or so, and any lifestyle changes would include the dog - a new baby, divorce or a change of address will not leave your dog with the ASPCA.
You want an indoor and outdoor companion to love, and who would love being with you above all else.
You can afford the cost of raising a large breed dog - premium large breed food, vaccines to meet the dog's exposure, heartworm prevention, flee and tick protection, license, chew toys, retrieving toys and occasional extra vet bills.
You don't mind dog hair everywhere - or the need to vacuum / clean often. Alternately you intend to get a dog whose hair color would blend perfectly with your carpet and furniture, and you have a lint remover handy by your door.
You lead an active life style and would love to spend 30 minutes every day outdoors with your dog - jogging, walking, retrieving etc.
You love training dogs (or would love to learn) and are used to keeping them happy with 'tasks' such as 'sit, stay,' 'go get my shoes,' or a double blind retrieve - to prevent them from assigning tasks to themselves, such as chewing on your coffee table or barking at sunspots 12 hours / day.
You love petting dogs and scratching their backs and behind their ears.
The conditions on the right do not apply to you.
you shouldn't get a Lab if...
You intend to start a puppy mill.
You are into dog fights.
You need an aggressive guard dog.
You intend to cut the dog's tail or ears.
You think Labs are cute, calm and well behaved pets by nature and do not require any training. You do not intend to waste time on training a dog -you don't run a circus, do you?.
You are busy most of the time, the dog will have to take care of itself in the yard / at home.
You are not sure about committing to a dog, but you'll try and see how it goes - until your lifestyle changes and then the dog will have to go.
You can't stand dog hair on your carpet, sofa, bed, clothes and toothbrush.
You won't be able to spend 30 minutes outdoors with your dog each day.
The extent of your involvement is not going to exceed "Its a dog for the kids, they'll feed it."
Your dog-budget is $30 / month or less.
Your landlord, HOA, spouse, live-in mother, SO or other pets object to adding a Lab to your household.
You don't like a dog to push his head into your lap to be petted, try to sit as close to you as possible whenever you sit down, or lay it's head on your feet.
You think that if a dog chews or barks too much then it is a bad dog and the owner should get rid of it.
You are not looking for a constant companion, just animated decoration.
You don't believe in loving your dog.
You feel that kids and dogs don't mix.
Big wet Lab kisses upset your stomach.
You like to wash, blow-dry and brush your dog every week, and put cute ribbons in it's ears.
If you are not sure which breed would best suit
your lifestyle, I recommend Animal
Planet's Breed Selector as a good place to start your search.
For an impartial profile of Labs as a breed visit Animal Planet's Labrador Retriever's Profile.
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