According to the American Kennel Club, for the 31st year, the most popular dog breed remains the Labrador Retriever (followed by the French Bulldog, then the Golden Retriever). Smart and loveable, Labs seem to really embody “Man’s Best Friend.”
Another reason why the breed is so popular? “Labradors tend to be a very energetic, very active, and can keep up with the energy of most children,” says Dwight Alleyne, DVM and Veterinarian Expert at JustAnswer.com. “This can mean many hours of playtime for both the dog and kids. Most Labradors are very sociable with other pets, love being around people, and are easily trained. Loyalty to people and being very tolerant of children is what makes this breed a great family pet.”
During a time when cross-breeding remains popular, and many pet-owners want niche, ‘trendy’ mixed breeds such as puggles and pomskie’s, it’s nice to see Labs remain popular and in-demand vs. hybrids.
Here are 3 other reasons why Labradors reign as Top Dog—and what you should know about them before adopting one:
They potty-train efficiently. Experts recommend potty-training Labs by taking them to the same area outside (such as a corner of your yard or a grassy, secluded spot off a sidewalk) several times per day and wait until they ‘go.’ Once they do, heap them with tons of praise until they grasp the concept that this is their pee ‘spot.’ Doing this also gives them the confidence to communicate efficiently when they need to go outside. Since Labs are so smart and tend to train well, they should catch on quickly. As always, don’t forget some eco-friendly disposable bags to clean up after your pup. A breed that’s easy to potty train? Sign us up!
Labs are protective when they need to be. Labs have sharp intuition. They will growl, bark, and possibly even bite anyone physically attacking their favorite human. In the book “Marley and Me,” journalist John Grogan recalls when Marley, his goofy Yellow Lab, protected his neighbor Lisa when she was stabbed by an abusive boyfriend; Lisa screams to John for help before collapsing. Marley immediately tensed up and stood next to Lisa and John in an “I’ll save you,” manner, extremely alert, keeping a protective eye out for Lisa’s attacker in case he struck again. The act reminded John even the most chipper and huggable Labs like Marley have a protective nature that just “kicks-in,” making them extra appealing pets.
They’re great fitness companions. Wait, what? It’s not like Labs come with a fitness tracker, what are you talking about? Here us out. Labs need lots of exercise and like to stay active. (Although understandably, their energy levels decrease after they age.) Since they usually enjoy leisurely walks, playing fetch at the dog park with a tennis ball, and running around with kids…their need to let some energy out is the way YOU, their beloved human, can get some daily exercise in as well. While they can’t be your Pilates buddy at the local fitness center, their need to “get out of the house” CAN motivate and encourage you to walk, run around, and toss a frisbee around—rain or shine. You’ll get in shape without realizing it thanks to daily walks and running spurts with your Lab.
Now that you know more about America’s most popular dog breed—go spend time with your fave Lab for an immediate mood booster!