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I like labs but I've noticed that the breed's behavior is strange at the dog park. They strike me as being not very dog like -- they don't run, piss on things, bark, jostle or do the great things that make a dog a dog. They also seem to rarely engage in animated play with other dogs. Despite the fact that they're not low energy, they kind of melt into the background.

Is it that they all have hip dysplasia (even the older puppies) and that it generally hurts them to run? Anyone else have an explanation?
 

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Well the Labs in my area certainly don't act like that. Maybe the Labs at your park are just old idk lol
 

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Labs at our parks are either eating the water hose or soliciting attention from people a majority of the time. They do engage in play and bark too though. What are the labs in your area doing (as opposed to "not doing"?)
 

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I see a lot of standing around and some playing with people. It could be a symptom of the area. I live in Boston and there are a lot of English labs here.
 

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I can't say I've noticed anything like this with the labs in my area. They're pretty energetic and run around quite a bit! They're mostly in the "middle ground" when it comes to check-ins with the people at the dog park. At our park, dogs like my newf, the berners, the majority of the smaller companion dogs, and the one Sheltie are all high on my "check-in" meter. They're never too far from their owners or the people, and if they run off to play, they'll come back to a person pretty frequently for pets.

Then you have the boxers, pits, vizsla, RRs, weims and the like who almost never come to check in. Labs seem to fall in the more middle ground at our park with the shepherds, corgis, etc.
 

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I have never experienced this. I will say that I avoid the dog park but I sometimes walk around it or take the kids (and hubby) to the skate park next to it) so I've observed it. The Labs are always in the middle of everything rough housing and body slamming with the bully mixes here. The herders are usually interacting with their people or running and the huskies are racing together.
 

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That hasn't been my experience with labs at all, unless they are older or obese. Usually they are right in there, body slamming other dogs and running around like lunatics.
 

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That hasn't been my experience with labs at all, unless they are older or obese. Usually they are right in there, body slamming other dogs and running around like lunatics.
I totally agree. Most of the labs I have seen are either 1) swimming, 2) playing fetch, or 3) trying to become best friends with everyone.

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Just because one dog doesn't play like another dog, it doesn't mean there is anything "wrong" with that dog. Different play styles exist.
Absolutely. Nova has a different play style than many other dogs. She loves to be chased around. She will only wrestle around with dogs that she is really comfortable with, but even then, being chased is preferable to her.

And is marking everything really a great behavior that makes a dog a dog? I mean, it's normal for some dogs (my dogs do not mark at all)....but I don't know if it's at the top of my "why I love dogs" list.

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The labs at my park are like P.C.'s They are lazy and never join in with the other dogs, theyre either in the water or laying in the shade. I dont understand it, my lab Nova is constantly doing something with the other dogs, even if its just following them and copying their every move XD
 

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Where are you? Is it terribly hot? Labs do tend to get less active when it's hot and humid. If there's water, they're likely to be in it.

HD is unlikely. Not denying that Labs get HD, but if you go to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals website and look at the HD data, you'll notice that Labs are #91 of 173 when breeds are ranked from worst to best hip stats. See: http://www.offa.org/stats_hip.html
 

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The labs here are usually retrieving or even better swimming and retrieving.
 

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Where are you? Is it terribly hot? Labs do tend to get less active when it's hot and humid. If there's water, they're likely to be in it.

HD is unlikely. Not denying that Labs get HD, but if you go to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals website and look at the HD data, you'll notice that Labs are #91 of 173 when breeds are ranked from worst to best hip stats. See: http://www.offa.org/stats_hip.html
Don't feel who they are has much of a baring on the subject, also if you look at Pennhip scoring Labs and there average rather than percentage of cases shows them to be a good bit higher on the HD scale to get it and the degree it generally is.

Though I will agree heat will play a big factor in how active they are, not a big lab person but both English and US labs both have a pretty decent range of what there energy levels are.
I generally find labs to be people pleasers and very social, so unless your around a lot of out of standard BYB Labs, I'd call it not the normal behavior for the breed.
 

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Don't feel who they are has much of a baring on the subject, also if you look at Pennhip scoring Labs and there average rather than percentage of cases shows them to be a good bit higher on the HD scale to get it and the degree it generally is.
?? meaning ???
Please, in quoting Penn Hip data, give a source. Most of us don't know where or if this is published.
Note that in Randi Krontveit's seminal study on hip dysplasia, Labs proved to be clinically affected by HD much later in life than the other large breeds studied. www.knickerbockers.se/upload/Krontveit_PhD_thesis_2012.pdf esp. p 67
 

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Actually I see very similar labs to the OP.
All ages too, they don't seem very interested in the other dogs. They're either eating something, laying in the shade, walking directly beside their owner, or fetching animatedly.
I wouldn't say they're lazy, but they aren't as interested in the other dogs as they are in the different people near them and potential food anyone may have. Otherwise, they're eating god-knows-what.

The only lab I've seen engage in play is someone's 13 week old one they bring every day (which makes me slightly nervous).
 

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Thats not been my dog park experience or experience as a Lab owner.
 

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I'm really not a fan of dog parks and neither is the school I use, but I have seen labs all over the place. Some social with dogs, some more into people, some ball crazy, etc.
 

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I like labs but I've noticed that the breed's behavior is strange at the dog park. They strike me as being not very dog like -- they don't run, piss on things, bark, jostle or do the great things that make a dog a dog. They also seem to rarely engage in animated play with other dogs. Despite the fact that they're not low energy, they kind of melt into the background.

Is it that they all have hip dysplasia (even the older puppies) and that it generally hurts them to run? Anyone else have an explanation?
My labs aren't talkative- I would venture to say zero demand barking, but I'm sure something like 98-99% demand barking free is more accurate :p . Mine also aren't physical players- labs have a very different play style than a lot of dogs. Mine doesn't really enjoy dog parks, and I don't take him because I definitely don't enjoy them.

He would much rather retrieve a ball, swim, or muck around in shallow water chewing on sticks and splashing over body slamming with other dogs. When my two labs play, they tend to run side by side/play chase with eachother, or tug on opposite ends of a toy.

I don't think of hips being nearly as big of an issue in labs as other breeds, but this may be due to my experience- the only dogs I know really well and have owned are out of lines that have been health tested and OFA'd/PennHipped since the tests were available. I can remember one in two years (about 400 pups a year, so 800 dogs? probably only 500-600 labs though) who has failed his prelims, but logic and statistics say that there were probably a few more in that time period, just not within my area.

I love talking about labs :D I'm not some authority on the breed by any stretch of the imagination, but I do know a decent amount :)
 
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