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Hi,

we are looking to extend our family by 4 paws! A lab is a breed my Husband and I have always wanted, but we have only every had cavalier king charles spaniels. Our last cav was sadly pts 2 years ago.

We have two young boys age 2 years and 6 years, our oldest Son has complex medical needs and learning difficulties. They both love dogs but particularly our oldest Son, he had a huge bond with our cav.

I do have a few questions though...
Are the breed good with children as a rule (providing you are a responsible owner!)?
Would you rescue or get a pup? Our cav was a rescue
How active is the breed usually? As a family we are moderately active, long walks over the fields and country parks on the weekend and would walk the dog on to and from school daily with a short stop off for a run in the field - would that be sufficient for a lab?

Thank you!
 

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Welcome jonesy_000

The site is having difficulties just now - hope they will be sorted soon! Don*t try to use apostrophes or go to a second page just now :roll: It*s well worth reading the puppy section, especially the stickies - they really helped me when Tatze was a pup.

I had rescue Cavaliers and now have Tatze, my lovely 10 month old black lab.

I love love love love Tatze, but she was a shock as a pup! They are crazy crocodiles for about six months and their teeth really HURT! I certainly wouldn*t want a lab puppy with a baby or toddler, but plenty of others make it work. Your walks sound just right - but labs need to be restricted till they are 12 months old. The guide is 5 mins per day per month of age - so Tatze is on 50 mins a day now.

Here she is with Gavin - he was 15 :)

 

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Judy came to us as a rescue puppy at 13 weeks and I have simply fallen head over heels in love with the breed, especially Judy!!

As stated patience is the best virtue with a lab pup but I would love to get another

The intelligence and sensing of labs is amazing and Im sure 99% are great with kids
They are powerful though so STRICT training needed

Hope you join the band but do make sure it's RIGHT for yourselves
 

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Labradors are great

What a wonderful and responsible post and thank for your candour in explaining your reasons.

Labradors are the most receptive family dog in the World without question they are active and enjoy long walks but do not bound about on them tending to stay quite close preferring sniffing hedgerows but and please remember this they love water and will enter it without cue from yourself.

Ok you mention a child with needs think of a female Labrador as she will mother a child with needs and will be a loyal and supportive friend.

A small degree of research on the internet and I am not attempting to build your hopes up include Labradors that have brought autistic children out as it were. Labradors are also cross bred with Bernese Mountain Dogs for children with epilepsy and so the list goes on. There is a beautiful video on the internet of a Labrador with a child with Downs Syndrome which is very moving. Labradors are non judgemental and grow with you as it were.

Hope this helps a bit and good luck
 

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Milo was a nightmare croc biting my hands to pieces when he was a pup and we had an 18 month old friends girl come for the day which I thought would be a nightmare to be honest, He never tried to mouth her or jump up and she was all over him stroking him and giving him toys to play with. I was in tatters by the time she left as I was on high alert at all times and was ready to get in between his teeth and her just in case but he just seemed to sense she was small and was gentle. Im not saying all of them are like this but mine luckily is.

Of course he was clumsy and knocked her out of the way a couple of times but he was no problem and now he is six months he is out of his crocodile phase and my hands/arms/feet and nose are nicely healed up. He still tries to mouth me (not the wife or 12+15 year old) but I tell him to go and find a toy which he does then he comes back and plays.

A friends 2 1/2 year old is very hands on with him trying to pull him backwards by the tail if we dont watch her but he just keeps wagging it and plays with her we just have to watch as he bowls kids over by walking past them though.

Did I mention the teeth ? Sorry but I have had other dogs and i have NEVER had a crocodile with a mouth full of razor sharp needle/knives like Milo before, People think you are self harming when they look at you im just glad it was winter and I could wear long sleeves and gloves.
 

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I have two young children who are autistic and Bruce is now 10 months old . He seems to have really helped my oldest child and getting him has been a brilliant experience for our family . We never had a crocodile stage with Bruce and he has always been really calm around my children I don't know if we have just been lucky or if he could sense he needed to be calm around d them .

Claire x
 

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Puppies can be very demanding and if you also have young children or children who need extra attention because of disabilities you may find that you are constantly being pulled in different directions. I remember burning meals, having to leave the kids fighting, being late for things etc just because I couldn't split myself in two at times. You will need support from the whole family to get through the first year.

A puppy is probably your best chance of getting the dog you want, you can take time to research the parents' temperaments and make all the health checks are in place. An older dog would be over the crocodile and toilet training stage but you would be lucky to find a health tested one that met your needs. Occasionally a breeder will have one that they kept for themselves but would be willing to sell on.

Dogs can be fantastic friends for children but they do need to be supervised.
 
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