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Well, every lab puppy I met as a puppy is a complete lunatic and crazy. So are most puppies but these are just intense lol.

They are intelligent working dogs so they need a good amount of stimulation, both mentaly and physicaly.

Good amount of socialization.

They are shedders, and need to be brushed.

They are prone to some genetic things, so be sure to get one from a real reputable breeder who health tests there dogs(not just takes them to the vets) but actually checks their hips and such..
 

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The labs I know (and, coincidentally, all of the chocolate ones) have been complete, mushy doofuses. What it comes down to, I think, is that Labs need training to stop themselves from being all "SQUEEEE HELLO HOW ARE YOU I LOVE YOU EVEN THOUGH I JUST MET YOU!" They are big, bumbly, lovable dogs.

Just a couple of notes, though I think Pepper touched on some of it already:

1) No color is better than another in terms of trainability, temperament, etc. I know chocolate is probably just your preference, but some people actually think that black labs are bad or yellow labs are strictly business, etc. So they're all exactly the same, except for color. :)
2) MAKE SURE YOU GO TO A GOOD BREEDER. No puppy store labs. A lab from a bad breeder has a good chance of winding up with nightmarish hips/elbows and maybe even behavioral defecits. Go to someone who knows what they're doing, health tests their dogs, and gives their dogs some kind of purpose, be it work or show.
 

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"Exercise and training demands are exceptionally high"...quote from the book Choosing A Dog For Life. While the book recommends 7 miles a day of exercise, the usual is more like 12-15 miles a day for high energy breeds like this to curb destructiveness and other undersirable behaviors.
Health issues are always a concern with any breed. Be very sure your breeder is screening for all the known health issues.
 

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You have received good info... one thing I absolutely must stress is to get your Lab from a good breeder. Labs are such popular dogs that many irresponsible breeders churn them out to make money without doing the right genetic testing, resulting in puppies that have health problems later on in life. There are a lot of breeders out there that look responsible, but in reality aren't. Learn what to look out for to define a reputable breeder. This will help:

http://www.woodhavenlabs.com/breeding/breeder.html

The breeder you buy from should have done all, or at least a good majority of the genetic tests listed here:

http://www.woodhavenlabs.com/clearances.html
 

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I have a chocolate lab. She is just over 1 year now and she is an amazing dog.

Labs are AMAZING dogs. At least mine is...;)

She is very loving, goofy, and SMART. She was very easy to train. Labs typically are since they are eager to please. Her only two big bad habits are that she's a big puller and a bad jumper. These habits are extra bad since she is a BIG girl.

The key with labs is Exercise! Physical and Mental. I like to walk Rosie AT LEAST 45 minutes a day and give her tons of playtime. I work a full day, so basically my time at home is Rosie time. I also live in an apartment so I try to get her on outings to petsmart/the dog park/loooooong walks as much as possible on weekends.

If labs don't get enough exercise, they can turn their energy to bad behaviors like chewing. I got lucky and never had a problem chewer in my lab. I think that was because I always tried to give her tons of exercise and I kept her stocked with chew toys.

Labs can be great dogs. I would definitely recommend. Plus I know from experience, they are pretty darn cute...*points to avatar*:D
 

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If all of this information about their energy levels is freaking you out, you could consider getting a slightly more mature Lab from one of the NUMEROUS Lab rescues across the country. Labradors are puppy-like well into their third and fourth years (and often beyond). If you got a one or two-year-old Lab from a reputable rescue that fosters its dogs, you might be able to avoid the most destructive poo-and-chew part of your dog's life.
 

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I will say out of every 10 dogs I train 5 are Labs, They built a dog to break 100 yards of ice to get a downed duck. A lot of owners do not use hunt and do not exercise and then they have wild and woolly problems.
 

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They built a dog to break 100 yards of ice to get a downed duck.
I read that as "drowned duck" and said to myself, "I wonder what wvasko is smoking?"

We had a lab that was 4-5 when we got him. Best dog I've ever had or expect to have. I lost 30 pounds the first year we had him just to keep up, and he was "settled."

Molly is a sweet, insane pup - not yet two - and I think there's hope for her yet.
 

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I read that as "drowned duck" and said to myself, "I wonder what wvasko is smoking?"

We had a lab that was 4-5 when we got him. Best dog I've ever had or expect to have. I lost 30 pounds the first year we had him just to keep up, and he was "settled."

Molly is a sweet, insane pup - not yet two - and I think there's hope for her yet.
Now can't I add a little Pizz-Azz to my reply, everybody just says they are high energy, True but so boring. There could be a super ducks out there with small scuba tanks.:D
 

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It is a good thing that Lab pups are cute , because they are really Tasmanian Devils in disguise for the first 3 years. They aren't mean, just high energy with a high pain threshold, making them appear indestructible.

Requirements:
1. At least 30-minute walk every day. Yes, every day ! (No, not really... only 360 days a year is fine. ) A 30 - 45 min walk twice a day is better, two 45 min jogs are even better. I only do one 30-min walk.

2. Train the dog for the first 3 years. He is going to learn and he is going to train you, so you might as well get him trained correctly. Get him house trained.

3. Teach him Bite Inhibition, and take him for socialization after he has had his first 3 sets of shots. Also, socialize him with other animals he might encounter, such as cats, horses, squirrels, and rabbits. Labs are great dogs, and fairly gentle, but you don't want to be surprised when your 80 lb dog yanks your shoulder out of joint as he tries to chase that squirrel down the street.

4. Use positive methods to Teach the basic cues: Sit, Down, Come, Stay. You don't need to use Cesar Millan methods, there are much gentler approaches. Read everything by Ian Dunbar, look through any dog training book that says "Positive". Amazon has plenty. Also, check out books by Turid Rugaas - fairly dry, but eye-opening. Look into Clicker Training, but go to classes to learn how.

5. If the dog runs away, don't chase him. Instead, call his name or make a noise and when he glances back momentarily, run the other way.

6. Try not to let him jump too high until after his bones have grown, after about 12 months.

7. Get him/her fixed at 6 months.

8. Take a look at the magazine: JustLabs for other suggestions.

- Hank Simon
 

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don't know if you've purchased your lab yet, or not, but my wife and i have two choc labs. awesome dogs. but.....my one had bad hips and needed two surgeries. make sure you use a good breeder. also, they are apt to ear infections if they swim, which ours do. again, GREAT dogs
 

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The only thing missed in the previous comments is the Labradors' (all retrievers, actually) tendency to eat anything that can't outrun them. And just 'cause an item is able to pass through the front end, there are no guarantees that it will be able to pass through the back end. My vet has some macabre stories about how the local Lab and Golden populations are funding his children's college funds.
 

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Sounds ALOT like the bernese! One of Dakota's buddies is a Golden and now she has a new one she is gravitating towards and that's the chocolate lab in her class! Dakota, a golden named Harley, and a chocolate lab named Katie are the brats in the class and their always trying to play with eachother. Katie the lab is the most hyper 2 year old dog I have ever seen!:D
 

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Sounds ALOT like the bernese!
If you've survived a Berner, you should be ready for a Lab puppy. They have similar personalities, and you are probably acquainted with being knocked on your butt by a large puppy. A Lab is kinda like a Berner...dialed up to "11".

They mean well, though.
 

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My last dog (RIP) was a chocolate lab. He lived to be 12 years old, which I think is about average for a lab. He was so loveable, I just adored him. He was an English Lab which, while energetic, isn't quite as energetic as the American Labs. The English are the ones with the blockier heads and a little heavier body. American Labs are tall, lanky and lean.

Good luck and be sure to show us pics if/when you get a pup!
 
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