Acquired: Rescue / shelter organization
California, United States
Posted May 8, 2014
My Labrador retriever was an excellent dog, and I miss her very much. She was a highly intelligent, very gentle, patient, loving dog. She did not bite and she seldom growled or barked. She loved Frisbee, tennis balls, Kong toys, carrots, bananas, chicken, rice, and sometimes tug-of-war.
She was very good with our visitors including children; though because she got so very excited over people, we had to tell wary guests that she was gentle/didn't bite/didn't snap and not to worry. We only had the Labrador at home (no other pets and I'm an only child) so I can't really give a solid answer about Labs in multiple-pet homes. When she was younger she occasionally barked at and tried to chase our neighbor's cat who strayed into our yard, but she was limited to the deck at that time and we monitored her behavior. As far as I can remember, she didn't have any trouble with other people's pets (aside from excitability/wanting to play).
She learned sitting, laying down, and paw-shake very well. She struggled with "staying" very long, with "heel". She didn't really ease off on her habit of pulling at the leash on walks until her old age, but it was eagerness (not aggressiveness). She also was very strong, with a broad chest and shoulders; she loved water but wasn't keen on baths. She main quirks probably, were chewing wood strips off of our old deck planks and posts, and eating "squeaky" toys or tearing open fluffy toys. I recommend a good-sized yard, walks (with a durable leash), and hardy toys that can take a beating from chewing and dropping. We eventually chose tough, brightly colored toys, as our dog habitually dropped toys over fences, under gates, and into thick bushes in the yard.
*photo from Wikimedia Commons at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Labrador_Retriever