Everyone once in a while I will write about a specific dog breed. The information is helpful and informative, but it can be a little dry. So I am going to do something a little different today. I am not just going to tell you about a specific dog breed, I am going to tell you about a specific dog. This very special dog is a Labrador Retriever and she is my Maya.
While Maya does fit into the general characteristic mold of a Labrador Retriever, she is unique in her own way. Unlike most Labradors, she is not overly needy for affection. Oh, don’t get me wrong, she loves attention. But she doesn’t beg for it. Perhaps this is because I work from home and give her plenty of love and attention. But even when I was away from home working in an office all day, she didn’t cause any trouble while I was gone. When I came home, she was excited and we would play then go for a walk. Then for the rest of the evening she was quiet and content with laying down beside me on the couch or at my feet.
Can be Hardheaded
I’ve heard Labradors can be hardheaded, but I just don’t see that trait in Maya; not even an ounce of it. Maya is my first purebred Lab so I am not sure what the Barron’s Dog Breed Bible means when they say Labs can be hardheaded. I know what hardheaded means. Sephi could be stubborn at times. But I just don’t see how it could apply to a dog like Maya. Perhaps Barron’s meant something else. Or perhaps they are wrong. Do any of you have a Labrador and can explain to me what Barron’s might be referring to?
Maya is the most amiable dog I have ever had. Every single dog I’ve had before Maya has been disagreeable in some way, whether with dog aggression, shy with people, or guard-dog qualities. Maya, however, loves everybody and every dog. One could be an ax-murderer and she would love them. I feel bad for her sometimes because she tends to be bullied by other dogs. Pierson can be a pest when playing with her but she just stands there and takes it, even if he is hurting her.
Right now Maya is laying at my feet, as quiet as ever. But say the words “walk”, “cookie”, or “outside” and I have a maniac on my hand. Goodness-forbid if someone comes over to the house. I have managed to get Maya to sit and stay while I answer my door or open the closet door for her food or her leash. But she whines impatiently and wiggles around so much that I question whether she is really obeying the stay command. And despite the fact that I have taught Maya not to jump on me or others, in her excitement she often forgets herself. At Dogtoberfest this year, she tried to jump on a lady who was petting her and ended up giving her a fat lip! Walks can be a nightmare too, especially when she sees another person or dog. She is getting much better, but she still has those moments when she is so excited that she pulls and barks.
Maya is a very smart girl. She is not as smart as my dog Pierson but she is definitely smarter than my dog Sephi was. It doesn’t take long to teach her new tricks. If anything inhibits her training, it is her excitability. I have to keep training sessions short because if she gets too excited about doing tricks for treats, she stops listening and starts doing tricks at random until she finally does the one I asked for. When I try to get her to jump through the hula-hoop, like I taught Pierson, she jumps up but not through, thereby landing onto the hoop. She gets so excited about jumping that she doesn’t understand the concept of what she is supposed to do.
The first time Maya saw a body of water, she ran so fast into the water that before I knew it, she was underwater, head and all. For a split second, I was worried I would have to rescue her. But she came out coughing, then jumped right back in and played for at least an hour. Check out this great video of Maya swimming at a public pool. Notice that a lot of the other dogs in the pool are also Labradors.
So there you have it. Information on the Labrador Retriever presented by my sweet, excitable, intelligent Maya. What is your Labrador like?
This and other great Labrador gifts at our Amazon a-store, Labrador Retrievers Gift Store.