Is a labrador for me?

A labrador isn’t for everyone.

The commitment

A Labrador isn’t for everyone

You’re obviously reading this because you’ve decided, on some level at least, that you think a Labrador is the dog breed you’d like to have for your family. But is a Labrador really the best dog choice for you and your situation? A Labrador isn’t for everyone, and there are things you need to consider before making the commitment to purchasing a puppy.

Size. One of the first things to consider is the size of the Labrador. They are a medium sized breed, but quite heavy boned. Females will weigh usually between 26 and 30 kg as an adult, and males will weigh between 32 and 38 kg. Their height is 20 to 22 inches at the shoulder for a female, and 22 to 24 inches for a male. They’re not a small breed, and do tend to take up a bit of space around the place


Energy level

The Labrador is a strong breed of dog. They do require exercise, but they’re not the type of dog who demands exercise. When you indicate that you’re about to go out for a walk/run they’ll suddenly get all excited and be eager to join you. But if you just want to sit on the couch all day, then they’ll happily sit right there beside you. They do need exercise, though, especially with their voracious appetite for food. They need to keep moving, to be active, and this means a commitment to exercise your dog at least once a day. They must not be exercised in the heat, though, so in the summer this may mean getting up very early to take the dog for a walk before it gets too hot. They love getting wet, and even in the winter they’ll be just as happy in the water as on the footpath, so you’ll need to get used to the fact your dog is likely to be regularly wet!



The Labrador is well known for their appetite, and is often seen as being a “fat” breed of dog. This is for good reason. The Labrador lacks the ability to regulate their own food consumption. You can’t simply provide them with a bowl of biscuits to “graze” on through the day, and a self-feeder is a definite no-no!! You need to be their conscience, their common sense, and their dietician all in one. You are the one who decides how much they need to eat and, if they’re getting chubby, you need to cut down their food. You must be strong, and be able to resist those big brown eyes that plead for food all day, and then you’ll have a fit and healthy Labrador to love for many years. But it is tough, and they are insistent, and they will be fat as a house if you let them be! They also need less food in the summer months, usually, as they will tend to move around less, so regular checks on their weight, and adjusting their food accordingly, is commonplace for all Labrador owners.

5 mins of grooming

Grooming and hair loss

For a short coated breed of dog, the Labrador sure does drop a LOT of hair. Many a Labrador owner is in love with their Dyson, their best friend! Labradors will tend to have a large coat drop of their fluffy undercoat about 2 – 3 times a year, but they’ll still lose small amounts of their longer, rough outer coat every day. Regular grooming will limit hair loss in the house, and the best brush for this is called a “furminator”. I know, ridiculous name for a hairbrush, but it works!!! It lives up to its name, that’s for sure. They are easy to use, very effective, and will cut your grooming time in half (at least!). For the Labrador, this means just 5 minutes of grooming on a regular basis (twice a week would be perfect), and a lot more when they’re dropping coat. The grooming requirements of a Labrador aren’t enormous, and most people can commit to 5 minutes twice a week. But if you tend to suffer from hair or animal allergies, then maybe come and visit us first, meet the adults, be around their hair and dander, before deciding whether the Labrador is the breed for you. Some groomers offer a “deshedding” service, and this is an intensive grooming session that releases ALL the loose hair at once and can vastly reduce the amount of hair loss in the house.

Prefer cooler environments


Being a dog bred for colder climates, the Labrador is perfectly adapted to sub-freezing temperatures. Their coat is waterproof and double layered. There are very few climates in Australia that are cold enough to make a Labrador shiver, or cold enough to make them reconsider going in the water. I’ve seen them swimming in temperatures below freezing, or surfing on their bellies down snow covered hills, and loving every moment of it, BUT the heat is another matter entirely. Temperatures over 30 degrees is extreme heat for a Labrador. So, in the summer heat the Labrador needs to be somewhere cool, preferably under the air conditioner inside the house. You’ll find in the summer Labradors are less active, require less food, and will get puffed easily if you try exercising them during the day.

You can’t expect to leave a Labrador outside during the day in the summer months, as it’s just too stressing for their bodies. So, if you can’t have your dog inside under the air conditioning in the summer, then maybe the Labrador isn’t the best breed of dog for you.


Need for family

Everyone knows the Labrador is used for a variety of purposes, including as Guide Dogs, detection dogs for anything from drugs, money, fruit, and other imported contraband, as Assistance dogs, Therapy dogs, and so on. The one common denominator in all these careers, is people. The Labrador thrives on being with people, with being part of the family, with being included in all aspects of family life, and this is what makes them so successful in their various professions. The Labrador can adapt to just about any living situation (farms, houses, duplexes, high-rise flats, caravans, boats, etc) so long as they are with people.

The easiest way to stress a Labrador is to keep them as an outdoor dog, separated from the family by doors, windows and walls; so, if you’re interested in a purely outdoor dog then the Labrador is not for you. If there’s generally no-one at home in your household during the day, and your dog would be alone for 8 or 10 hours each day, then you should choose a different breed of dog, or wait until your life situation changes before getting a dog at all. Being alone leads to anxiety, stress and boredom, which in turn leads to destruction, barking, digging and chewing on anything they can find.

Get in touch

Contact us


A. 82 Peters Road, Muchea, 6501
(Prideland Kennels and Cattery)
M. PO Box 237, Muchea, 6501

Phone or email

P. (08) 9571 0677
M. +61 414 898 236