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Labrador Retriever Adoption

Breed Photo

What do you need to know before you adopt a Labrador Retriever? We asked the experts!
 

Rescue Me Labradors says:

We would like people to know that Labradors are very happy and will clear the coffee table with their wagging tail. Labradors love people of all ages and are very gentle with children.

Labradors make great service dogs due to their ability to please and learn.

Rocky Mountain Lab Rescue says:

We think it's important for people to understand that while Labs are extremely loyal, great domestic pets and generally have very pleasing personalities, they do require structure, training and lots of exercise.  This can be important until the dog is even 8-10 years old as they have boundless energy well into their later years.  They do shed a lot and are susceptible to vision, hip and elbow complications so it is important to keep them at a healthy weight.

Save A Lab says:

Tip: Labradors tend to be big chewers and they need lots of exercise to keep them happy and well behaved.

More about Labradors:

Labrador Retrievers, often referred to simply as ‘Labs’, are typically medium to large dogs with thick coats that can be straight or wavy. Labs often have beautiful, expressive eyes and floppy ears. Some Labrador Retriever mixes may retain these characteristics while others may have a very different appearance. Size, color, coat and even the shape of the head, ears and eyes will vary dependent on the mix.

Labrador Retrievers have a thick double coat, and will shed heavily at certain times of the year due to changing weather. Labrador Retrievers and Labrador Retriever mixes that that have inherited this coat require frequent brushing to minimize shedding. But Labs should be bathed as seldom as possible to avoid removing the natural oils in their coat.

Labrador Retrievers are social by nature and love to have companionship in the form of people or four legged friends. They do well in multi dog households. Labs and Lab mixes are best suited for active families or individuals. The Labrador Retriever loves activity and exercise, and is happiest when retrieving, swimming, or actively interacting with people and other dogs. Labs that are not provided with adequate exercise tend to become overweight and develop weight related health issues such as arthritis.

Those who share their homes with Labrador Retrievers and Labrador Retriever mixes frequently describe them as warm and loving companions who are great with all people, including young children. Most are also very accepting of other animals in the home or on the property. But while the average Lab or Lab mix is happy to sit quietly with its loving people please don’t forget that they need daily exercise and mental stimulation!

More about the Labrador Retriever

Thinking about adopting a Labrador Retriever puppy? Here are three reasons to adopt an adult instead:

1. You have kids.

Like most people, you’ve probably heard time and again that if you have kids, you should adopt a Labrador Retriever puppy (or, gasp! find a Labrador Retriever puppy for sale). The rationale is that an adult shelter dog is an unknown quantity, so buying or adopting a Labrador Retriever puppy is safer. Actually, the opposite is closer to the truth. Puppies are not usually a great choice with kids; they have very limited control over their biting/mouthing impulses, and when you mix that with lots of energy and unbelievably sharp little teeth, it’s a recipe for your small fry to be in tears.  Puppies are tiny chewing machines and can destroy a favorite stuffed animal or security blanket in short order.  Adult dogs, on the other hand, are generally calmer, and their personalities are already fully developed and on display.  When you meet an adult dog, you can see how they are with kids and with other animals.  This takes the guesswork out of wondering how a puppy will turn out as a full-grown dog.

2.  You value your possessions.

Puppies teethe.  They have a biological need to chew, they want to play constantly, and they can’t discriminate between appropriate chew toys and, say, your favorite pair of Manolos.  Puppies eventually can be trained out of this behavior, of course, and there are exceptions to every rule, but generally speaking, an adult Labrador Retriever (or any adult dog) is much less likely to shred your drapes like coleslaw or function as a “helpful” canine document shredder.

3.  You work, or otherwise leave the house.

Pop quiz: how often does a two-month-old puppy need to be taken out to do his business during the day?  A) every six hours; B) every eight hours; or C) every two hours?

If you answered B, or even A, you’re an eternal optimist! The correct answer, though, is C: every two hours. When you’re housetraining a puppy, the general rule of thumb is that they can hold their bladder one hour for each month they’ve been alive (up to a max of about eight to ten hours).  So a three-month-old Labrador Retriever puppy needs to go outside every three hours, a four-month-old needs to go every four hours, and so on.  If you’re retired, or you work from home, or you’re taking the puppy to work with you or to a doggy daycare (make sure your puppy is up-to-date on all vaccines before considering that last option), great! But if you’re planning on leaving your dog alone during your workday, you’ll definitely want to adopt a full-grown dog, ideally from a Labrador Retriever rescue that can help you find the right dog for your lifestyle.

Let’s bust these myths about adopting a Labrador Retriever

Time to get real: when we ask people what reservations they have about Labrador Retriever adoption, we hear the same things over and over again.  If you’re operating under any of these mistaken beliefs, you just might be missing out on meeting the best friend you’ll ever have.   So it’s time for us to set the record straight:

  • You CAN find purebred Labrador Retrievers for adoption in an animal shelter or rescue group.
  • Labrador Retrievers and Labrador Retriever puppies for adoption are NOT in any way inferior to or different from those for sale.
  • The dogs in the shelter are NOT there because they’re bad dogs.
  • If you want a puppy, you DON’T have to buy a Labrador Retriever puppy.  Labrador Retriever puppies ARE available for adoption.
  • If you have children, adopting a dog is likely the SAFEST option.

Here’s the truth: you absolutely can find a Labrador Retriever, even a Labrador Retriever puppy, for adoption in an animal shelter or rescue group.  And they don’t end up there because they’re bad dogs.  In fact, often the only difference between the dog in the shelter and the one on your couch is a bit of bad luck.  Think about it: let’s say you buy a Labrador Retriever puppy for sale by a breeder. Your new dog is great; you immediately enroll the two of you in obedience classes, and soon your best pal is housebroken and well trained. But what would happen to your wonderful Labrador Retriever if, tragically, something happened to you? What if he escaped from your home and ran away? Your best pal would very likely end up in an animal shelter.  The lucky person who adopts your Labrador Retriever would be getting a great dog!  Animal shelters are filled with wonderful, healthy, well-behaved dogs who have been in homes before, but whose owners have fallen on hard times.  Many of them are housebroken and trained.  Labrador Retriever rescue organizations often care for their adoptable dogs in foster homes, which means their foster families will be able to tell you if the Labrador Retriever you want to adopt is good with other animals or kids, and if he or she is housebroken and knows any basic commands. As you can see, adopting from a rescue organization is likely the very safest way for people with children to add a new Labrador Retriever to their family!

Breed Photo

Rescues and shelters near you

Georgia Peaches Puppy Rescue
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Lady's Hope Dog Rescue
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Royal Hounds Greyhound Adoption
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Spots of Seattle Dalmatian Rescue
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Washington Alaskan Malamute Adoption League
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Washington German Shepherd Rescue
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Green Lake Animal Hospital
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Pit Bull Project
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6dogrees Rescue
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Angel Paws Pet Rescue
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Northwest Airedale Terrier Rescue
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Seattle Animal Shelter
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Healthy Paws Foundation
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Tough Love Pit Bull Rescue - Seattle Chapter
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Emerald City Pet Rescue~ Seattle
Seattle, WA

Washington Rescue Dogs
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AnimalDefense Rescue
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Seattle Humane Society
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ATR, a no-kill rescue
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Fox Terrier Fanciers of Puget Sound Rescue
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Little Blessings Pet Rescue
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NBRAN Washington
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Pet Pros Seattle WA
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Shilshole Bay Pet Rescue
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Red Waggin' Rescue - Kirkland Chapter
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Animal Aid & Rescue Foundation
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Red Waggin' Rescue - Connell Chapter
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CARES
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Tiny Tails Toy Dog Rescue
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Animal Aware Northwest
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Seattle Purebred Dog Rescue
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Charlie's Guardian Angels
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Finally Home Humane Society
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Ginger's Death Row Dog Pet Rescue
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Mikey's Chance - West-Side
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People United for Pets (PUP)
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Ribsey's Refugees
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Saint Bernard Rescue
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All Paws On Deck
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Ferry Dog Mothers
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The Furrytale Farm
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Pacific Crest Keeshond Club Rescue
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Lil' Waif Puppy Rescue
Bothell, WA

Northwest German Shepherd Rescue
Bothell, WA

King County Animal Control
Kent, WA

Vashon Island Pet Protectors
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Forever Home Dog Rescue
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S.A.F.E. (Saving Animals From Euthanasia) Dog Rescue
Mountlake Terrace, WA

Motley Zoo Animal Rescue
Redmond, WA

Basset Rescue of Puget Sound
Woodinville, WA

Greyhound Pets, Inc.
Woodinville, WA

Homeward Pet Adoption Center
Woodinville, WA

Academy of Canine Behavior Adoption Dogs
Bothell, WA

BMDCGS Rescue Program
Kent, WA

Collar of Hope
Kitsap County, WA

Animal Rescue Families
Bremerton, WA

Italian Greyhound Club of America Rescue - Puget Sound, WA
Bremerton, WA

Puget Sound Italian Greyhound Rescue IGCA
NE Bremerton, WA

Irish Setter Club of Seattle Rescue
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Northwest International Pet Rescue
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National English Shepherd Rescue
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Rockey's Rescue
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Second Chance Ranch
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Rescue Pup
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CJ's Dog Rescue
Snohomish, WA

Vizsla Rescue & Referral - Washington
All Cities, WA

Animals In Need
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Project Buddy Rescue
Kingston, WA

Rescue Every Dog
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Boxer Rescue
All of Western Washington, WA

Tiny Dog Rescue
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Heart To Heart small dog rescue - Auburn Chapter
Auburn, WA

K9 Rescue & Rehab
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Ratbone Rescues (WA Chapter)
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Chihuahua Rescue and Referral
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Kitsap Animal Rescue & Education (KARE)
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Kitsap Humane Society
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Love A Mutt Pet Rescue
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P.A.W.S. Progressive Animal Welfare Society
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The Big Dog Project
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Rescuing Animals In Need (RAIN)
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Wolf Pack Animal Rescue
Tacoma, WA

PVCA Seattle Washington
Gig Harbor, WA

Prison Pet Partnership
Gig Harbor, WA

Bulldog Haven NW
Everett, WA

Animal Angels Network
Auburn, WA

Puget Sound Rescue
Auburn, WA

Canine Connections
Snoqualmie, WA

Seattle Beagle Rescue
Snoqualmie, WA

Three Rivers Rescue
Snoqualmie, WA

Compassioned Animal Rescue and Education
Milton, WA

Coonhound Opportunites Organization Northwest
Bremerton, WA

Petsavers
Bremerton, WA

Friends Of Rescued Mastiffs Reg. 10
Gig Harbor, WA

Friends Of Rescued Mastiffs Region 9
Gig Harbor, WA

Pawprints Rescue - Washington
Tacoma, WA

S.A.F.E. (saving animals from euthanasia)
Everett, WA

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