When I was out shopping for a dog for my family, my natural tendency was to go with a smaller breed. In fact, I had my heart set on a Chihuahua. I’ve always loved Hollywood movies about this breed of dog. I also thought that their small size makes them very easy to take care of. After all, with such a small form factor, how much of a mess could it make.
Unlike big dog breeds which eat lots of food, take up a lot of space, and produce very big droppings, chihuahuas are small, compact, and produce very small nugget sized droppings. Quick, easy, convenient, comfortable, and they seem so adaptable to some sort of small home setting.
Well, that’s what I originally thought. Unfortunately, just like with many things in life, reality can be very different from one’s initial expectations or impressions.
Well, while my little son loves our pet, Petunia, there’s only one problem. It turns out that Chihuahuas are very yappy.
That’s right, they’re very loud. They love to bark. They would bark on a leaf falling, they would bark when a car passes by, and they would bark just to bark. That’s part of their nature. It’s as if they delight in saying to the world, “I’m walking here. I’m walking here.” Like that dude from that movie classic “Midnight Cowboy.”
Don’t get me wrong Chihuahuas are a lot of fun, they have a tremendous amount of energy, but boy are they loud. This is the reason why I suggest that if you’re reading this article and you are looking for a new pet, you might want to check the breed profile of the dog you’re thinking of buying. Seriously. This is especially true for people looking for pets for their kids.
Please understand that there’s a lot of truth in those breed profiles. While they may not apply to all individual members of the dog breed you are considering buying, nine times out of ten, they do.
I wish I read a temperament profile for Chihuahuas. I probably would have thought twice about buying Petunia.
Now, of course, I love Petunia to bits today. But if I had a choice back then, I probably would have gotten a bigger breed dog. Don’t call me a bandwagon jumper, but I probably would have gone with a Labrador Retriever.
Why a Labrador Retriever?
Labrador Retrievers are very loyal. They’re also very mellow. They can hang out with kids, they can hang out with adults, and they are not very pushy.
Also, they push you to live a more active lifestyle. They are a bigger breed of dogs, so you need to exercise them. At the very least, you should take them out around your block for a nice quick walk. You need to do this daily.
And believe me, a lot of people who would otherwise have lived an unhealthy to fully sedentary lifestyles are actually being pushed to put a little bit more activity in their daily schedule, thanks to their Labrador Retriever.
But the biggest reason why a lot of people love Labrador Retrievers is because of their temperament. They are just so mellow. They would bark at intruders, they would do a good job protecting your home, but when it comes to you and your family, they’re very mellow.
They’re very easy to play with, they are great with kids, they don’t bite, and they are not insecure. They don’t have possession or territoriality issues, by and large. They’re just great dogs all around.
I learned later on that the reason why Chihuahuas are so yappy and territorial is because they are very small. Talk about having a bad case of the Napoleon Complex.
Not so with your typical Lab. The Lab is a medium to large sized dog. It doesn’t have a chip on its shoulder. It can hold its own. It has nothing to prove. No wonder it has such a chill attitude.
Given all these traits, I can see why Labrador Retrievers are among the most popular breed of dogs throughout the world going on two decades now. If you’re looking for a great dog to just have around and hug, a Labrador Retriever is it.
Also, there’s just something about the face of a Labrador Retriever. It seems so mellow and chill, but with a lot of compassion and care. It has a very emotional face, and you can see the tremendous amount of love and loyalty it has for you.
And sometimes, when you come home after a rough day at the office, or if you’re a freelancer and you’re just trying to chill out after a particularly trying project, there’s nothing more reassuring than scratching the head of your Labrador Retriever and you’re looking at its eyes and it giving you that “It will be all alright” look.
There’s just something about that reassurance that calms your spirit and your nerves, and it makes the rest of the day so calm.
Now, I can see why people who go to the same dog park I do almost tend to bring a Labrador Retriever. Not all of the dogs there are Labs, but a majority of them are.
I can see eye to eye with those owners because Labrador Retrievers are definitely more than their weight in gold. Seriously.
I know that’s a big claim, but I’m not exaggerating here. If you are looking for a dog that is powerful, loyal, loving, calming, reassuring, and well-behaved, you can’t go wrong with a Labrador Retriever.
According to my belief and experience, the Labrador Retriever is one of the best dog breeds for a family with kids. There’s just something for everybody with the typical Lab. If you like to run or bike, you have yourself a reliable exercise companion.
If you want a babysitter that is both cuddly and protective, the Lab has you covered. If you’re looking for a great dog that provides warmth to your own bed or your kid’s bed, Labradors have great bedside manners and aren’t very loud. If you need extra protection for your home, the typical member of this breed can wear that hat too.