Acquired: Other (stray, given dog by friend etc.)
Training: Previous owner, I haven't learned care / training techniques, Attended conferences / shows, Books
Posted May 9, 2013
Riley was born from a friend's dog, and was taken in so he wouldn't end up at a shelter. Training him as a puppy was really hard--he often ate his own poop immediately, which caused him to get sick. Sometimes he would try to eat it as he was going. That was the hardest behavior to stop. Otherwise, he stopped nipping really fast, and was potty trained in no time.
As an adult, he's large, and with that, comes several health problems a lot of small dog owners don't often deal with. Around the age of three, he started developing severe hip problems. Even though he's only eight now, he has a hard time walking and getting up on things, like the couch. If he gets too excited and jumps around and blows out a hip, it's a trip straight to the pet hospital. This can get quite expensive.
Otherwise, he's a really lazy dog, who loves playing and running around outside with smaller dogs, but also adores his most-day naps. If people come to visit, he'll bark by the door, but I think it's more to alert me to open it so he can play rather than to guard against them, haha. He's also great with kids, though sometimes his tail will whack them in the face rather hard. You have to watch out for fragile items on a table because of that--his tail will knock over just about anything.
Labs are fantastic pets, and extremely smart and extremely loyal. They'll watch over other pets, children, and their families, while at the same time perfecting the three-hour nap. Just be warned--big dogs have a lot of joint problems, and if they need to be picked up, you'll have to call professionals to help, which can be costly.