Last Updated on November 11, 2023 by Linda Richard
Labrador Retrievers are the most popular dog breed in the US and worldwide. Smart, social, obedient, playful, and gentle, they truly are one of the best pets you can bring home. As much as we like to hype these awesome dogs, however, it’s important to also note that there are drawbacks to getting one. So, here are the 20 reasons not to get a Labrador Retriever.
After all, if there weren’t many people who thought that, the dog shelters and rescues wouldn’t have been full of these dogs. So, it’s important for both you and the lab that you’re aware of why you might not be happy with such a pet ahead of time.
20 Reasons Not To Get A Labrador Retriever
If you’re not ready for a lab you may soon find yourself wondering “Why are labs so needy?”, “When will he stop running around?”, and “What happened to the couch?!” So, to spare you all that drama ahead of time, let’s go over the main 20 reasons not to get a Labrador – this way you’ll know just what to expect and you can get ready.
- Labs need exercise – a lot of it. This means a minimum of two hours outdoors every day plus additional yard time. And, no–yard time itself doesn’t count in those two hours outdoors.
- Labrador Retrievers are a super-shedder breed. They are right up there with Siberian Huskies and the German Shedders. Some people put other breeds above them in terms of shedding but not by much. Get ready for a lot of brushing and vacuuming.
- While not huge, labs are still a pretty large and strong breed. This is fun from one point of view but also quite challenging from another. If you ever have to pick up your lab – and you will, from time to time – you’ll quickly wish you had taken a Corgi or a dachshund instead.
- Labs are not a lap breed. These dogs are affectionate and gentle, and they will snuggle in you from time to time. However, they are way too large and hyperactive to be called a lap breed.
- These are social and affectionate dogs – a little too much than what you might be ready for. You might be surprised by how large an issue separation anxiety is for these dogs. If you get such a dog you should be ready to always be by its side. So, you’d better work from home or always have a family member there when you’re away.
- Labs like chewing stuff. It’s basically a physical need for them. This, especially combined with their separation anxiety, can spell doom for your couch and carpet. And your bedding. And your wallpapers. In short – get your dog lots of chew toys as well as a baby cam for when you’re out.
- Labs are relatively healthy but they are still far from immune to diseases. Some common issues include Hip and Elbow Dysplasia, Cataracts, Kidney disease, and others.
- Labs tend to get obese thanks to their lion-like appetite. This is especially common for lab owners who don’t give their labs nearly enough physical exercise but still let them overeat.
- Lab insurances aren’t cheap. For some reason. Labs are far from the most sickly dog breed, yet, their health insurance premiums are quite higher than average. This might be the insurance providers capitalizing on the popularity of the breed.
- Labrador Retrievers are huge prima donnas. While not quite the drama queens that Huskies are, labs are still very opinionated and overdramatic when they want something.
- This is a pretty common breed that not everyone might like. So – do you want a “unique” pet? Don’t get a lab.
- Lab Retrievers are easier to train than other breeds but that’s only if you go through a thorough obedience training routine. Without it, they can easily become unmanageable.
- These dogs were bred for working and hunting first and foremost. This means that they need to be physically active for multiple hours every day. This doesn’t just include outdoor exercise, it means lots of playtimes indoors, constant jumping up and down the living room, and more. If you have more than one lab it can feel like living with a herd of ponies.
- Labs can be a little too restless in cars. Combined with their size, this can be a problem if you need to travel a lot.
- Labs are so social that they make for terrible guards and watchdogs. You’ll really need to get out of your way to train a lab as a guard dog if you don’t want it to just roll over for the first intruder that gets into your home.
- Feeding an adult Labrador Retriever is not cheap. The exact monthly price tag can vary depending on what you choose to feed your dog but labs are quite gluttonous. That’s to be expected given their size and activity levels.
- Labs aren’t exactly the most hygienic dog breed. No dog is as hygienic as a cat but labs are even worse than many others. Fortunately, you would want to brush them regularly for their shedding anyway.
- We hope you were too attached to your garden. Even the best-trained lab will turn your garden upside down. So, hopefully, you’ll be fine with a simple lawn, maybe a tree, and no flowers.
- Your indoor plants won’t be safe either – you’d need to invest in some hanging pots if you have a lab. Lift them high too.
- Labs aren’t howlers but they aren’t quiet either. There are ways to train your dog not to bark too much, of course, and you will need to look into that, especially if you have neighbors.
So, Should I Get A Labrador Retriever?
With all those drawbacks out of the way, no one can deny the lab’s many great qualities. Is a lab a good family dog? Yes. Is it smart and easy to train? Definitely. Is it great with kids, other pets, and people? Absolutely. So, as long as you’re aware of the 20 reasons not to get a Labrador listed above and you’re ready for them, you should be just fine looking after a lab.