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Monday, May 08, 2006

Energy Hype in Labs

Everyone makes a big deal about the energy level of Labrador Retrievers. When looking at that specific breed to introduce to one's family, former Lab owners will instinctively state that Labs are a high energy breed and that they need to be exercised regularly. This is partially true as they do not need to go on 3-mile runs, 4 times a day. It is more a question of how much time the owner(s) is spending with the dog.

This was noticed early on in our own experience with this dog breed. Dakota was a high energy pup and, if left alone for any period of time and outside of her crate, she would chew anything she could get her mouth on. Cheyenne is the same way even today - at 6 months old! However, a closer look at this breed shows a direct relationship between the energy level in children and the energy level in dogs.

Young children get into trouble when they are left alone with a good deal of energy. They need an outlet for this energy or it could mean bad news for the parents. However, if the parents just spend time with the children and active, the children will get tired. Now put this into dog terms - a sleepy dog is a good dog.

So, what does this mean? Spend time with your pups. Just this weekend alone, we took the pups to the dog park for an hour and got some exercise ourselves. The dog park has loads of hills and woods for the dogs to run off some steam. Keep in mind though that you do not need to go that far. How about having your dogs outside with you all day when you are working on the yard and even just sitting out in your back yard? What about taking the Lab for a ride in your car when you are just running to the local McDonald's drive thru? Remember, it doesn't take a lot but if you keep your Lab focused on different things over a period of time, some of that energy will go away quietly and help keep your Lab at its best behaviour.


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