Black Labs and Golden Retrievers

My Benny and Nikki

Goldens and Black Labrador Retrievers,

Today I fell into a trap that I should never have allowed myself to get into. I actually trusted my dog, my Nikki, a 3 year golden retriever.

Nikki is an amazingly affectionate dog, even more than normal for a golden retriever. She is gentle, good natured and behaves pretty well.

She loves going out for car drives, and she is a very well behaved dog in the car. She sits beside me, head hanging out the window and gently watching the world go by. She never gets agitated, restless or excited, even when she spots another dog out the window.

The other day, I took both Nikki, and Benny my black lab out for a drive. This time Benny was sitting in the front. Nikki was in the back. As usual I had the back and front window open.

I drove around the corner, and pulled into my driveway. And, what do I see…Nikki, sitting by the front gate. She must have jumped out the back window as I was pulling around the corner and ran to the gate.

I had absolutely NO clue she had even jumped out. Never before did she ever show any signs of jumping out.

Needless to say I was freaking. I mean, with a little imagination, I could imagine what could have happened.

Rule number one: Don’t trust your dogs. No matter how well behaved your dogs are, they are still dogs. Look out for their safety. Always make safety your first priority.

I should have known better. I try to make dog safety and dog training and dog nutrition my priorities. I have 3 dogs, 2 black labs, and my Nikki, a golden retriever. Dukie, one of my black labs is blind. Oddly enough, when I walk my 3 dogs and my neighbour comes and joins me with her dog, Dukie behaves the best. He loves walking and going for car rides. If you are observing him, you would never know he is blind.

The Labrador Retriever (“Labrador” or “Lab” for short), is one of several kinds of retriever, and are the most popular breeds of dog (by registered ownership) in both the United States and the United Kingdom. The breed is exceptionally friendly, intelligent and good natured, and as a rule these qualities mean that Labs love people, handle children well, and therefore make excellent family and service dogs. Benny, my black lab and Nikki are both Certified Therapy Dogs. They visit the elderly in homes.

Labradors are relatively large with males typically weighing 60 to 80 lb (27 to 36 kg) and females 50 to 70 lb (23 to 32 kg). They are energetic outgoing dogs, and are black, yellow, or brown (called “chocolate”) in color, in that order of frequency. Their fur is usually fairly short and straight, and the tail quite broad and strong. The otter-like tail and webbed toes of the Labrador Retriever make him an excellent swimmer. Their interwoven coat is also waterproof, providing more assistance for swimming. The tail acts as a rudder for changing directions. Yellow labs can have black or pink noses; chocolate and black labs’s noses match the coat color.

As with some other breeds, the English and the America lines differ slightly. Labs are bred in England as a medium size dog, shorter and stockier with fuller faces than their American counterparts which are bred as a larger dog. I have both, one English, My Benny, and one American, my Dukie.

Famous Labs
• U.S. President Bill Clinton’s pet labrador was called Buddy.

Reasons to train your precious lab and golden

Here’s a Small Sample of What You Should Learn:

1) Make sure your dog knows why you are trying to correct him? Learn how to make him understand what you want of him.
2) Learn from the Pros. You can teach your dog at home, but learn from the pros. Do not learn mistakes from amateurs with opinions.
3) Teach your dog NOT to fight with other dogs
4) Curb your dog’s aggressiveness, before it even has a chance to start.
5) House train your dog without getting aggravated
6) Teach your dog NOT to jump up on people.

Remember, a well trained dog is a happy dog and a safe dog. A well trained dog is received with joy by neighbours and friends. Don’t let your puppy/dog become an aggravation; teach him to be a socially well behaved dog.

And, if you have the time and inclination, look into dog therapy visiting with your dog. It is an extremely worthwhile activity. And guldens and labs are wonderful at this job. Just do a search on the internet for “Dog Therapy” groups and organizations in your area.

My name is Ruth Bird. I have been married for 27 years to my husband, Chris. Chris has been battling the monster, MS, for a number of years. People and Pet Health Care are my passions. Contact me here My dog training page is:

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