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Hi all,

I'm glad I came across this forum. I spend hours searching google and feel like I get no where.

I'm really interested in added a little lab puppy to our family. But I myself have no experience with dog. My husband has always grown up with dog (not very well train dogs so they never done as their told) which is what's putting him off. We also have a 3 year old boy (he looks more like a 6 year old to be honest 🤦🏼‍♀️) and a 5 and a half year old girl. They have some experience around their grandparents dogs and stroking some of the dogs at the school gate.

I dont work so I'll be home alot of the time to give the puppy the attention it needs. I understand the hard work that needs to be put in. And because of the kids and also friends children coming to visit we would 100% need to train the dog properly.

My concerns are from what I'm reading is that my children may be too young still for this sort of dog and wanted to find out anyones experiences with lab pups and young children to a similar age to mine? Also would a certain sex be better around the kids? Iv read that boys can be quite boisterous but very loving and girls are little calmer, easier to train but not as affectionate.

Any advice would be great. I want to make sure this is 100% the right decision before going ahead.

Thanks xx

20,483 Posts
Good Morning.

I have to say that although there were dogs in my family when I was born, he died before I was really taking notice, and because of the war years and food rationing I was 12 before the next arrived. I also don’t have children, so introducing a dog into the family is something which has never happened. But a few thoughts for you.

Almost all puppies, Labradors included can be quite excitable when babies. How controllable are your children? Because it’s a two way thing, a quiet calm approach brings out a quiet calm puppy where a boisterous approach will bring out a boisterous pup. Labradors have been bred for years to work with man, so they tend to be “People dogs” loving people and children. But of course, as with every breed, there is always going to be the occasional “Bad one.” Mental problems are not simply the affliction of humans!

Labrador pups can be very hard work, and as I said above, the quiet calm approach works best. But they are gundogs, they love to carry things, and when a baby chew things including TV remotes, mobile phones, table legs and the edge of carpets! There is no hiding the fact, they can be quite destructive, and for the first few weeks the normal conversation is along the lines of, “Where’s that pup? What’s he/she up to now!” Some can also be little alligators, biting hands, or anything else they can get their mouths around, particularly in the 12 week to 6 month period while growing adult teeth. This is not aggression, but is simply how pups play. In the nest it would be “War games” with siblings, learning how to defend the pack and how to catch and kill food. But with care and training these things do not go on forever and they turn into the most beautiful creatures.

Differences between the sexes. I had dogs for many years before having my first bitch. There is differences, not the least being that bitches come into season every six months or so. Yes a bitch can be spayed, but I would certainly recommend at least one and preferably two seasons before spaying. Some dogs are inclined to have bitches on their mind, but bitches really only get sex on their minds when in season. For that reason bitches “can” be easier to train. Bitches can also be more maternal towards their family, trying to look after the family. As for affection, I really don’t think there is much difference. So much about the choice is a personal thing. It was a fact that when I was running a dog training club 90% of men came in with a bitch and 90% of women with a dog!

Though I was older, I loved growing up with a dog. I think they teach children so much in terms of patience and understanding of other’s needs. Are your children old enough? Only you can answer that, but reading through this again might help you decide.
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