Living in the “City that Never Sleeps” is always going to be exciting. You love the fact that there is always something to do or somewhere to go 24-hours a day, seven days a week, even on holidays! However, your dog might not be as amenable to crowds as you are, so you might want to learn a bit about what it might be like before bringing that beautiful new Labrador puppy home from the breeder. In fact, it may not be any different with any breed, no matter how large or small. Dogs as a species aren’t native to big, bustling cities, so it’s up to you to help them adjust. Here’s some of what you need to know about living in cities like New York with that Labrador you have your heart set on.
Labs Are Big but Oh So Loving
Labradors aren’t the largest of breeds, but males can weigh in at 64 to 79 pounds while females average anywhere from 55 to 71 pounds. Both males and females can stand two feet tall, so that’s rather a large breed, wouldn’t you say? They obviously aren’t as big as Great Danes, but they aren’t your usual NYC apartment lap dog in size.
In temperament, you won’t find many breeds as docile and kind, but still, they are big, so make sure you have a LARGE, comfy chair if your Lab decides it’s a lap dog. He will be spilling over both sides making it a bit uncomfortable for the two of you! But there’s nothing like the love a cuddly fur baby will show you. Just watch and see.
Not All Big Dogs Need Large Spaces but They Do Need Exercise
Most people would think that you must be out of your mind owning a rather large breed of dog in a city as crowded as the Big Apple. However, big dogs don’t always need a lot of space, believe it or not. Yes, they need daily exercise, but that’s something you can do with a daily walk or romp in a local park. You can find public places where dog walking is acceptable with a quick Google search or you can find public dog walking New York City parks here.
How much exercise your Lab needs depends on age as well as its own personality. Just because Labradors were bred to be just as much a worker as a companion, it doesn’t mean that all Labs will be as active as all others. Just like some of us are couch potatoes, so to do Labs prefer the peace and comfort of that cushy sofa you just bought. However, don’t let your dog get too lazy because he needs exercise just as much as we do.
Labs Are Extremely Intelligent
You will find that Labradors are very easy to train because they are so intelligent. Work with your puppy early on and you will be amazed at how well behaved your dog is. However, it is this loyalty and intelligence which can cause your Lab a great deal of discomfort if you are gone for long stretches each and every day. Most labs are extremely easy to potty train and some have been known to suffer extreme pain holding it in until their owners have returned from work. In New York City with all that traffic, you could be delayed hours, so keep that in mind.
Check out dog walking services like wagwalking.com if you work long hours. They have experienced dog walkers throughout metro New York who can be there regularly midway through your work days or other times if you are away for long stretches.
Labs Are Generally Easy to Socialize
As a breed, Labradors are generally very easy to socialize, so living in New York City shouldn’t pose as much of a problem as with some breeds that tend to be much more aggressive. Even some little dogs are much more aggressive and much less people friendly than Labs, so just because they are bigger, doesn’t mean they are meaner. When walking your dog out in public, keep it on a close leash and be aware of everything going on around you.
Being as docile as they are, some other dogs may not be as friendly and your Lab could get hurt. Labs are less likely to fight back like Shepherds or Bulldogs, so keep that in mind. This is something a seasoned dog walker has learned to do well, which is why so many residents of the Big Apple rely on their dog walkers.
One of the Best Breeds for City Living
All in all, when putting all of the above together, Labradors are really one of the best breeds for city living. Although a bit large, they get along well with people and other animals. They are intelligent and easily trained and are less likely to exhibit the kinds of behaviors many dogs do in apartments or restrictive spaces. If you had to choose any breed for life in the Big Apple, Labs would be among the top five each and every time.