It’s a hard choice to make, but an important question. The choice is yours. In this post we will explore the pros and cons of getting a Black Lab puppy or an adult Black Lab. Whichever choice you make, it is a personal one that will fit you and your family best.
Picking your own Black Lab puppy can be a wonderful experience; meeting lots puppies and finding the one that has the best personality for you. With a puppy you must have the time to housebreak your new Black Lab and train him, or rather, you get trained! You can take your new puppy to a pet store, such as Petsmart, or find a private trainer. Either way, make sure you check the creditials of the trainer. And it is important that you continue the training at home. Black Lab puppies have lots of energy and need a lot of attention. They reach physical maturity in a year, but don’t emotionally mature, meaning settle down, for another two years. They will want a lot of attention, a lot of playtime and a lot of things to chew on. Having toys available with save your shoes and your sanity. It is also imporant to have a kennel. That sounds cruel, but it is not. Having a kennel that is the right size for your Black Lab puppy with help with house training and security. The kennel becomes the puppy’s “room”, a safe place to sleep and hang out. Also your Black Lab will not mess in his kennel, so housebreaking him becomes easier.
Getting a rescue Black Lab comes with its own set of issues. We got Maverick from the Humane Society. I saw him on a youTube video and knew he was what I wanted. I didn’t want to have to housebreak a puppy and I wanted a dog that was partically trained. But Maverick has had it tough. We are his third home, so even three years later, we still deal with some insecurity issues. He knows what it means when we are packing the car for a trip, even a day trip, and will try to jump in with us. He was yelled at in his previous homes, so anytime he hears a loud voice (a common occurence with a teen in the house) he will hide in his kennel or, if the door is open, he will push the screen door open and run outside. And Maverick will refuse to come back in and often needs a “bribe” (a treat) to get him to come into the house. Sometimes rescue Black Labs will have had problems with other dogs. Maverick has been bitten several times and does not like big dogs, but he does like small dogs. That combination makes the dog park out of the question and leash training for walks important. Since Black Labs love treats having a pocket full can help when your Black Lab is in a stressful situtation. Since Black Labs are so personable and want to please, a rescue Black Lab will be easy to bond with and make a great family pet.
When deciding on whether to get a Black Lab puppy or a rescue Black Lab take into account the needs of you and your family; your time, energy and environment. And be sure and get as much information from the breeder, rescue organization or Humane Society as possible. The more information you have the more you will understand your new Black Lab and make him a part of your family.