A look at Labs.
Did you know there are 150 different dog breeds registered with the American Kennel Club — and some say more than 800 worldwide? The types of pups we see most often at Good Dog are a pretty close reflection of our national numbers, so we thought we’d share some inside info on a few of our most popular breeds. First up: Labs!
Labs are consistently one of the most popular dogs in the United States, and the same goes for Good Dog. We have around 750 labs in our system, and that doesn’t even include lab mixes! These are great family dogs — smart, willing to please, and dependable. Originally from Great Britain, where they were bred for fishing and hunting, labs can vary greatly in size. Take two of our regulars as an example: Our yellow lab Lilly, who is 10 months old, weighs in at 40 pounds, while Voodoo, an 11-month-old black lab, is a whopping 100 pounds!
We usually have about five labs in our building everyday. Most visit us for daycare, which is perfect for their high energy level and need for exercise. Some of our best behaved labs not only get full days of daycare, but also long walks and runs at home. Our five-year-old chocolate lab Charlotte (we call her Char-bo), has been a daycare regular since 2008 but also does running and biking with her mom at home.
Labs are also known to eat anything and everything in sight — something our staff see on a regular basis. Clyde, a daycare fixture full of personality and energy, is know for his stomach of steel. And his partner in crime Chloe, a three-year-old black lab, has a nose to match — she sniffs out food in the best of hiding places. Chloe also has the smarts of a lab and uses them to play pranks our daycare staff (such as stealing walkie-talkies off hips and secretly moving mop buckets around the room). Labs are often ranked among the top 10 smartest breeds of dogs. Left without training they can be too smart for their own good.
Our on-site trainer, Adam Moos, recommends training labs early and focusing on energy control. With such a high energy level, it’s best to focus on keeping them calm. Adam also says their puppy playfulness lasts longer than most dogs … It may take about five or six years for most labs to mellow out.
When it comes to grooming, labs are relatively low-maintenance. They tend to blow out their coat about twice a year (during the spring and fall), though some never stop shedding. Like most working dogs, labs have a weather-resistant double coat that keeps them cool in the summer and warm in winter. For this reason, our groomers don’t recommend complete shaving. The hair that keeps the heat in also keeps the heat out, so if you’re looking to keep your lab cool, shaving isn’t an option. Our groomers do recommend our shed-x treatment for every groom, which involves a special shampoo that loosens the fur, a good blowout, and a special brushing process that removes lots of undercoat.
Labs are popular for good reason … They’re sweet, funny and loving creatures. If you’re looking to add one to your family, remember they require plenty of exercise and are very smart. So start your training early, and have plenty of lint rollers ready.