My Black Lab Maximus
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I have a Black Lab - his name is Max. I wanted to name him something cool like Tidus or Finnigan or Sydney but I lost.
Labs are popular for a reason.
Loving, Loyal, Protective (not aggressively so), Sweet, Gentle, Smart, Energetic, Easy to train, Great for off leash, Awesome in the water, Wonderful with children and other dogs. Would take a bullet for you without a seconds thought. They are really hard to beat despite their flaws. A lab will live for you.
- Attention Hogs: They want to be at your side at ALL times. He whines when people don't pay attention to him, he had wicked separation anxiety when he was younger and he loses it when you pay attention to other people over him. I can't give my boyfriend a hug in front of Max it deeply wounds him.
- Like I said, separation anxiety: YOU CANNOT CRATE A LAB! It's cruel and they'll never trust you!
We used to gate him in the front hall when he was younger and he chewed a hole through the wall! He was a shoe eater, he destroyed our old couch, he was a miserable jerk for about a year.
A good vet will tell you not to neuter a male lab until they're over a year so we waited and it was hard, once he was neutered he calmed down a lot and now he can be trusted almost completely with a few mishaps here and there (he ate my hair brush today)
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- MOOCHES! Max will drool all over you while you're eating. It doesn't matter if you never give them a thing they will be in your face every time you raise a fork. A lab will do ANYTHING for food.
- Pullers: Get a nose harness - it's a little strap you put across the nose and it diverts the strength from their entire body to just their head. They walk like show dogs and it doesn't hurt or impair them in any way.
The best advice I can give to you is to be stern with your dog. Max is family - but he's still a DOG. Many people make the mistake of treating their dog like a little kid and with a big breed like a Labrador Retriever it just doesn't work.
I am the disciplinarian. When he misbehaves I don't yell or pinch or whatever you might see Cesar do. I baby gate him in the front hallway and ignore him until he's submissive again.
Labs crave your attention and the only way to make them see the error of their ways is to cut them off. Before max is let back into the rest of the house I always ask him to sit, it's like asking for an apology.
Before I leave the house every day I always say "Goodbye Max, be a good boy" and he knows what I'm taking about.