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Hi to everyone here. My first post is going to be a bit different from most people's, as I can't describe my lab because I don't (yet, I hope) have one. I had various dogs throughout my childhood and teenage years, but in my subsequent working life I always felt that my absence from home every day meant that it would be wrong of me to have a dog, as it would be left alone for long hours.

A few months ago I was able to negotiate a good early retirement deal, so am now returning to my long-cherished ambition to get a dog, and specifically a lab. I'm in my early 50s, physically fit (though one of my reasons for wanting a dog is because I know I don't take as much exercise as I should and I want something to give me a push!), live in a good-sized detached house with a decent garden in a rural area with plenty of access to open spaces, and I'm prepared to give raising a dog as much time as it needs. The problem is that I need to persuade my wife that this is a good idea, and I need help in coming up with persuasive reasons!

My wife has never had a pet of any kind, and indeed had an unfortunate incident at the age of 2 when she was flattened by a well-meaning but over-exuberant dog. As a result she has been left instinctively wary of them. She has been very good about my dog fixation, but whenever we talk about the fact that all the reasons why we shouldn't get a dog in the past have now disappeared she tends to see only the negative aspects - the disruption a puppy would cause (we've agreed that if we get one at all we'd want a puppy), the delights of housetraining, the constraints on our freedom to go off for a weekend at the drop of a hat, etc. I'm totally convinced that once she gets a puppy she'll fall in love with it and that this will outweigh her doubts and all the downside. She in turn accepts this, but is trying to approach the whole issue objectively.

So what I need is help in coming up with persuasive arguments. Please give me as many as you can! Thanks.
 

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Wife likes to say that she never had any animals in her house until I married her. I hope she is referring to the two cats and a dog that lived with me and not just myself.

It was Wife who wanted a second dog and sort of steered me toward Labs, but she too had had a bad experience as a child with dogs, and even big Labs worried her a bit.

Getting a Lab puppy has got to be a joint decision. You do not want to force a puppy onto your wife and run the risk of being told to decide between her and the Lab. At some point you will miss her.

Help her read up on Labs. Get to know the breed standard. Attend Labrador shows and visit with some of the show people and their Labs. Attend some hunt trials and agility shows and visit with them. Maybe you can invite some of the forum members over to the hoose for a meet and greet. Maybe not all at once but maybe one or two at a time until your wife is comfortable being around Labs.

Acquiring a Labrador puppy is like adopting a baby. It will be long commitment with a very short honeymoon and a need for a lot of
patiance. Decide what the role of the puppy will be. Who will clean up after the puppy, feed it, train it, and take it out in the middle of the night.
How will you train the pup together.

What are the house rules? Labs like to be close to their people so unless your wife has a very cold heart, be sure you have a kingsize bed otherwise one of you will not have much room to sleep in.

Take a look about your house in and out with a critical eye as to what will be chewed and fouled. Puppy proof your house before you get a puppy.
A Lab stays a puppy for three to four years. While they have the size and muscle of an adult dog they have the mind of a little puppy.

Be sure to take time to look together at differant dogs before deciding on a breeder. You can become acquainted with breeders at dog shows. Ask about. There are a few posts on the forum here that go into lots of detail. Make informed decisions. Beware of the impulse buy.

Contact some of the Labardor rescues that operate near you and offer to foster a Lab while they find the dog a forever home. You run the risk of falling in love with the foster but that is a win-win. all around. If you do decide to foster, read up on rescue first. Second Chance Dog is a good book. Rescued dogs can come with some baggage and in need of training as well as love.

Take it slow and include her with the research you do. Don't force the issue.

HTH

Good luck

Lab Dad
 

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Hello Mike,

Welcome to the site.

Labdad has given some great advice, & i hope things work out for you both so that you are very happy.

I too, had an unfortunate incident when i was younger with a dog, which was actually one of the main reasons i wanted one. I know it sounds silly, but i wanted to overcome my fear & as labradors are known for their excellent temperments we decided to get our puppy Bradley, who is now 6 months.

My main fear has been walking Bradley & meeting other dogs to be honest, i am still pretty bad with Rotweilers, GSD's & other large dogs, and i have tried (with my hubby) to confront them. (A dog can sense when someone is scared so have had to be careful) I think this could also be a problem for your wife, maybe you could try taking her to an animal rescue place where there is likely to be alot of dogs. Either that, or have you any friends with larger dogs? Maybe she could meet them & see that they are not as scary as she thinks.

Your wife probably brings out the negative points of having a lab, i.e. housetraining etc, as she feels a little silly to admit she's scared, so uses these things as excuses.

I think it will probably take a little time for her to overcome her fear, but i'm sure with your help, you will both soon have a gorgeous lab join your family. Be gentle with your wife, and i'm sure she'll come round. Good luck, & let us know how you get on.

Regards

Bradleysmum :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks, Bradleysmum - I'm really grateful for the positive support.

I'm sure you're right that there's (in part at least!) a bit of displacement activity going on! To be fair to my wife, she does know how much I want to get a dog and she has been trying to confront her nervousness. We have some close friends who have a yellow lab, and my wife has been getting to know her better. One of the things I have found strange about this is the realisation that, never having had a dog before, she has none of the instinctive ability to read a dog's mood - from its body language, the noises it makes etc - that I just take for granted. So she genuinely can't tell if a dog is being friendly or playful or is in a "leave me alone, I'm tired and just want a rest" mood. So a part of the whole process we're going to have to go through is as much about my wife's education in how to speak dog as anything else!
 

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I've bumped this up just to record that some 21 months later - as my details will show - the "softly, softly" approach has borne fruit :D . Barley is now nearly 6 weeks old, and will be joining us at the end of next week. Excited and scared (more the former than the latter)!
 

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Yay

Well done Mike! Phew - took a while but you've got there! Can't wait to see pictures and your wife will fall more in love with it than you will betchya!

Sorry, in my excitement I called Barley 'it'. Apologies to Barley.
 

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Great news Mike, hope your wife is as excited about the impending new arrival as you are, tell her she can always come on here and ask any questions she wants, no matter how daft she thinks they may be :)
 

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Yay! That is one pup coming to a VERY well thought out home!

Best of luck, you'll have so much fun.

Make sure you come back for and advice and support, and most importantly, to share Barley with us! Now get some kip before Barley comes home, and make sure your wife knows that the first couple of weeks will be challenging - just so she knows what to expect :wink:

Good luck, you must be SO excited!
 
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Congratulations, little Barley is going to bring untold happiness into your home.
 

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the old saying is true "everything comes to those who wait"

thats fantastic news mike and we are all here to help out with those "little problems" you may encounter :lol: :lol: :wink:
 
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