15 Reasons Why Labs Are Considered Good Family Dogs

The Labrador Retriever is 2nd most coveted dog breed in America owing to their friendly nature. So are labs good family dogs? Well, they are intelligent and high-spirited. This makes the labrador retriever tick all the boxes of the perfect family dog. They were accepted by the American Kennel Club in 1917 and rank above most dog breeds in popularity.

With its wide and glimmering eyes, the adult dog is usually large and comes in yellow, black, and chocolate coats. These easy-going lifts the mood of humans due to their innate playful temperament.

are labrador retrievers good family dogs?

With their smart, easy-to-train nature and friendly disposition, it’s no wonder Labs are one of America’s most popular dog breeds for families.

Great Temperament: 

Labrador Retrievers are sociable, enthusiastic dogs that adapt quickly to various circumstances. They are teachable and trainable, capable of learning simple obedience orders and more complex feats. They are, therefore, qualified to serve as service or therapy dogs.

Labradors Are Sociable Dogs

A Labrador Retriever is a good family dog without an iota of doubt. So much so that their balanced temperament and adaptable nature make them the best choice for first-time owners.

Labradors Have a Soft Mouth

The term “soft mouth” is used by breeders and users of hunting dogs to refer to a behavioral tendency to pick up, hold and carry a quarry gently. The Labrador Retriever rules the breed of dogs with soft mouths. It is a favorite amongst hunters. 

Their bite inhibition allows them to retrieve birds shot by hunters without damaging the fallen prey. These dogs tend to be kinder when playing with people or other dogs. Even when they appear extremely rough, they don’t leave any scars or marks.

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are labs good with kids

labrador retriever temperament even tempered

Contrary to some ferocious breeds like Pit Bull Terriers or Rottweilers, Labrador Retrievers are known to have mellowed temperaments and are always well-behaved. This is why they are the most sought after by families as pets, while the ferocious breeds are considered unsuitable as family dogs.

Healthy dogs

Although Labrador Retrievers are generally healthy dogs, some inherited illnesses do exist. Pet parents should perform tests like Hip Evaluation, Elbow Evaluation, Ophthalmologist Evaluation, and Exercise Induced Collapse (EIC) DNA Test. 

Labradors are prone to health issues like elbow dysplasia, hip dysplasia, bloat, and arthritis. Bloat is a disorder that can affect labradors and other large-breasted canines. You can discuss preventative surgery with your veterinarian if your dog bloats.

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are labs good family dogs

are labs good with kids?

Labradors are a fantastic choice for families with children because of their loving and lively nature, smart and easy-to-train demeanor, and even-tempered disposition.

Loving And Lively Nature

As a proud Labrador owner, I can attest to their lively nature, making them excellent companions for families with children. Labs are known for their infectious energy that will engage the whole family in endless playtime. Their naturally friendly disposition extends beyond just humans – they also get along well with other pets!

One memorable anecdote from my experience was when we adopted a kitten while our Labrador was already five years old. To our surprise, instead of being territorial or aggressive, our Lab became fast friends with her feline sibling!

Smart And Easy To Train

Labrador Retrievers are the 7th smartest dog breeds and are very easy to train. This is partly because they aim to please their owners, making them highly trainable. Their willingness to learn makes them great family dogs for households with children. You can teach your Lab tricks to entertain you and your kids alike!

Keep in mind that you need to devote time to reinforcing basic commands such as “sit,” “stay,” “come here,” etc. However, once trained properly, they can carry out all sorts of activities.

Good With Other Dog Breeds And Pets

Labrador Retrievers are highly social dogs and get along with everyone. Their outgoing personality makes them naturally inclined to make new friends. They are not aggressive unless provoked or mistreated, making them safe around children’s playmates. In my experience as a Labrador owner, my Labrador retriever has been great around other dogs at parks and when visiting friends.

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are labs good dogs

Friendly, Enthusiastic, And Even-tempered

Labs are known for their even-tempered disposition. These beloved dogs thrive on human interaction. They have a natural curiosity that makes them great playmates for kids.

Labradors are good family dogs because they have a lot of energy to burn off daily. Their enthusiasm is infectious and can encourage children to get more active themselves. Labs are always up for a game of fetch or a run around the backyard.

Factors To Consider When Choosing A Labrador Retriever For Kids

Size And High-Energy Dogs

Labradors are a larger breed, with males weighing between 65 and 80 pounds and females averaging between 55 and 70 pounds. However, their size does not make them any less of a suitable family pet for those with children.

They are incredibly energetic, and labrador training is crucial. Especially because these dogs have a lot of energy that can translate into unwanted behavior if they aren’t given an outlet.

Puppy Vs. Adult Dog

As you consider adding a Labrador retriever to your family, weighing the pros and cons of adopting a lab puppy versus an adult Labrador retriever is crucial. Labrador Puppies are adorable and often easier to train but require more time and patience regarding house training, socialization, and exercise.

On the other hand, adopting an older Lab means bypassing the puppy stage, which may be appealing if younger children need constant supervision.

Senior Labs are usually past their chewing stages and have already developed personalities that can be observed before bringing them home. Additionally, senior dogs generally need less attention than puppies because they’ve already undergone obedience training with previous owners.

are labradors good first dogs
are labradors good dogs

Temperament And Personality

One of the reasons why labradors make a great family pet is their easygoing temperament and friendly personality. They are even-tempered, calm, and confident, which makes them a pleasure to be around.

Labradors are indeed awesome dogs, and a labrador retriever puppy will indeed melt your heart. However, as a dog lover, remember that labradors tend to have too much energy. Plan an exercise regimen. Mental stimulation is very important for a labrador retriever.

Training And Socialization

Beginning obedience training for the labrador retriever puppy at a young age for teaching good manners and building a strong foundation. Positive reinforcement methods work best with a labrador and golden retrievers, who are always eager to please their owners.

Socialization is equally important for Labs. Early exposure to other dogs, people, sights, sounds, smells, and experiences helps them develop into well-rounded adults. Playdates with other friendly dogs or taking them to places like the park or beach can all aid in this process.

Addressing Common Concerns About Labs With Children

Before deciding to adopt a Labrador for your family, addressing common concerns about Labs with children is important.


As with any pet, allergies can be a concern. While Labradors are a relatively low-allergen breed, they are not hypoallergenic. It is still possible for some people to have allergic reactions to them.

One of the main causes of allergies in dogs is dander, which is flakes of skin shed by the dog. However, unlike other breeds, Labradors produce less dander and are less likely to cause an allergic reaction.

Some people may also have mild reactions to the saliva or urine of dogs, although this is less common.

Safety Concerns

While Labrador Retrievers have an even-tempered nature and are generally friendly toward people, accidents can happen if supervision and proper care are not exercised.

Labs are large dogs who may knock over small children with their enthusiasm. This great family dog can be a strong puller on the leash and require training to obey commands consistently.

Parents or guardians must teach kids how to interact safely with dogs. Never approach them suddenly or roughly; respect a dog’s space while eating or sleeping.

Behavioral Issues

One common issue is jumping, which can be dangerous for children or elderly people. As lab owners, If your Labrador tends to jump up on people, you’ll need to train them not to do so.

Every dog’s personality is different – even within a breed – so don’t assume that all Labradors will have the same behavioral issues. Address any issues as soon as you notice them and work proactively towards correcting them.

is a labrador a good family dog
are labradors good family dogs

Tips For Encouraging A Positive Relationship Between Children And Labs

Teach Children How To Interact With Dogs Properly

As Labrador owners and a parent of young children, kids must know how to interact with dogs. Here are some tips:

1. Start Early:

Teach your child about dogs from a young age, even before bringing a dog home. Teach them how to approach dogs and understand their body language.

2. Supervise Interaction:

Never leave your child alone with the dog, especially if they’re younger than six years old. Supervision is key to ensuring your child and dog have safe interactions.

3. Approach Calmly:

Teach your child to avoid approaching the dog abruptly or loudly as it may startle or distress them.

4. Be Gentle:

Teach your child to pet gently, avoiding aggressive patting or pulling on the fur, ears, or tail.

5. Respect Boundaries:

Allow the dog to approach the child instead of vice versa. Don’t force interactions if the dog indicates disinterest in playing or being handled by walking away.

6. Treats And Toys:

Encourage playtime with appropriate toys and treats but instruct your child not to forcefully take anything from the dog’s mouth.

7. Be Mindful Of Their Energy Level:

Labs love attention and exercise- ensure you teach your children when it’s time for playtime versus relaxation. By teaching children these basics about interacting with dogs, they can develop healthy relationships with their pets while always staying safe!

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Supervise Interactions Between Child And Dog

As a Labrador owner, I highly recommend supervising interactions between children and dogs. Despite Labradors being known as friendly, enthusiastic, and even-tempered pets, they are still animals with the potential to act unpredictably.

Especially if your dog is young or in a new environment with unfamiliar people or other pets.

As an example from my experience, when we first got our Labrador puppy, she was over-excited around our daughter and nipped her occasionally during playtime.

We immediately stepped in to redirect our puppy’s behavior while teaching our daughter appropriate ways of playing with her new furry friend.

By watching closely over their interactions and providing positive reinforcement for good behavior, both have learned how to interact safely together.

Provide Plenty Of Proper Training And Playtime

One of the most crucial things to remember is to provide your dog with plenty of exercise and playtime. Labs are good dogs that require daily physical activity. They can become bored and destructive if they don’t get enough exercise or mental stimulation.

Since my family and I started incorporating more outdoor activities into our routine, like hiking and visiting dog parks where we throw frisbees, we’ve noticed an improvement in our Lab’s temperament and overall health.

Involve Children In Training And Caring For The Dog

Involve your children in training and caring for your labrador. It can build a stronger bond between the child and the dog and teach responsibility. Here are some tips on how to get started:

  • Assign age-appropriate tasks: Younger kids can help with feeding, grooming, and playing with the dog, while older kids can assist with training, walking, and cleaning up after the dog.
  • Make it fun: Turn dog-related tasks into games or challenges for the kids to complete.
  • Teach positive reinforcement: Encourage kids to praise and reward good behavior in the dog rather than scolding bad behavior.
  • Be patient: Remember that kids and dogs learn, and mistakes will happen. Use these moments as teachable moments instead of getting frustrated.
  • Supervise: Ensure an adult is always present when the child interacts with the dog to ensure everyone remains safe.
labrador retriever temperament even tempered
are labradors good with babies

Promote Positive Reinforcement

To encourage a positive relationship between children and Labradors, promote positive reinforcement. This means rewarding good behavior rather than punishing bad behavior.

Praising Labs for doing something right will encourage them to repeat that action and associate it with positivity. Positive reinforcement can take many forms, such as treats, toys, or verbal praise.

Avoid scolding or punishing Labs when they make mistakes or misbehave. Instead, redirect their attention and reward them when they exhibit desirable behaviors like sitting or staying on command.

What may be some reasons Not To Get A Labrador?

Need Substantial Amount of Space: 

Labrador Retrievers are large dogs who weigh around 55-84 lbs. There is a decent likelihood that a lab will weigh more than the permitted weight for dogs if it’s kept in a flat. 

They are an active breed and need active families and a lot of space to play and run. If you have a secured yard, it’s great. Otherwise, dog parks and some safe trails could be viable alternatives to ensure the labs get adequate exercise.

Higher Energy Dogs: 

Playing fetch, swimming, or dock diving is needed. This best dog won’t benefit in a sluggish setting. Labs may not be the best choice for people looking for docile dogs.

You must take them out for games. Strike the right balance by not going too overboard with exercising. During the puppy years, when the joints and bones are still growing, excessive exhaustion can harm.

Labs shed a lot: 

Labs shed a lot of hair because they have a double coat. They do shed constantly but even more in the spring and autumn. This breed might not be the best choice for someone who values a dog-hair-free environment or if someone in the family has allergies

Having powerful swiffer pads or a vacuum for pet hair can come in handy for keeping labs. Regular Brushing and an occasional bath are needed to keep their hair in check. Check the skin thoroughly for parasites or lumps.

Do Labrador Retrievers Bark A Lot?

Labrador Retrievers are not known to bark excessively. Labs tend only to bark when necessary. You can go for several days without hearing a “woof” from them. 

It can be influenced by how much training they’ve had and the environmental conditions they have been exposed to. The most apparent instances for labradors to bark are when they want to get the attention of their owners while wanting to play or just out of boredom.

Are Labs Good Family Dogs, Or Can They Be Aggressive?

Labs are the least aggressive dog breeds. They have very low aggression towards owners and strangers. Being empathetic and affectionate, they can also be counterproductive as guard dogs. Contrary to biting or barking, this breed tends to wag its tail or look keenly at the intruder.

Are Labradors Good Family Dogs for Families in Apartments?

It is hard to contain the energy of a Labrador Retriever. Moreover, they are not usually fit to live in small apartments because of the limited space. Most Labs are inherently meant to run around a lot. 

Are Labradors Good Family Pets For Working Families?

Labradors thrive in the company more than any other breed. They love to be adored by their family member. So for working families, tending to the needs of a lab could be tricky. 

  1. Do not leave them idle.
  2. Provide them with stimulating dog toys and get someone to check with them.
  3. In the US, daycare centers for dogs are a viable alternative. This way, the dog can interact with fellow mates.

Is A Labrador Retriever A Good Family Dog For Neat Freaks?

Cleanliness, a subjective topic, always depends on the person concerned. The fur of Labrador Retrievers, despite being smooth, is prone to shedding. People with allergies should take note of this. 

Nonetheless, the shedding can be kept in check if grooming is done weekly. Give them high-quality dog food like Royal Canin. When the dog is shedding, brushing them daily to remove loose hair could be worthwhile. Therefore consider purchasing a high-quality vacuum.

FAQ: Are Labs Good Family Dogs

Is Labrador Good For First-Time Owners?

Labradors are highly recommended to first-time owners because they are friendly, good-natured, and easy to train. They are awesome assistance dogs and service dogs as well.

What is the Minimum Fence Height For Labrador Retrievers?

You should look for a fence with a height of five to six feet for a Labrador Retriever.

Why Wouldn’t You Get A Lab/Golden As Your First Pet? 

Labs tend to shed a lot. So it could be a dicey choice for cleanliness freaks. Also, labs need a lot of attention and playing around. So people mulling over an idle pet to chill with shouldn’t fancy a lab as their go-to choice.

Is A Chocolate Labrador A Good Family Dog?

The color doesn’t play a role. All labs are good family dogs. Be it yellow lab or chocolate labs. Caressing and cuddling their fur coats will help you relax in no time. They make awesome guide dogs.

Are Black Labs Good Family Dogs?

Yes, Black Labs are energetic and energetic, making them the ultimate puppy playmate.

Are Labradors safe around kids?

Yes, they are. 100%. However, exercise caution and always supervise.

What is the best age to get a lab?

There is no specific age as it depends on the person’s preferences. However, I would recommend bringing home an 8-week labrador puppy.

Are Labradors high maintenance?

No labradors require minimal grooming and are pegged s low-maintenance breeds.

Are Labs good house dogs?

Yes, and probably one of the better house dogs you can have as pets. Provide them with a dog house or a kennel

Are black labs good family dogs?

Yes, black labs are good family dogs. They are known for being friendly, patient, and loyal. They are also relatively easy to train, making them a good choice for first-time dog owners.

Why are labradors so friendly?

Labradors are friendly because they were bred to be working dogs. They were originally used to help fishermen retrieve their nets and fish. This required them to be social and able to work well with people.

Labradors are also very social and enjoy spending time with people. They are often described as being “people dogs.”

Which dog is better, golden retriever or labrador?

Golden retrievers and Labradors are both great family dogs. They are both friendly, intelligent, and easy to train. However, there are a few key differences between the two breeds.

Golden retrievers are larger than Labradors and have longer coat. Labradors, on the other hand, are more athletic and have a shorter coat.

Ultimately, the best dog for your family is the one that best suits your lifestyle and needs. If you are looking for a larger dog with a longer coat, then a golden retriever may be your better choice. If you are looking for a more athletic dog with a shorter coat, then a Labrador may be your better choice.

Are labs vocal dogs?

Labs can be vocal dogs, but it varies from dog to dog. Some Labs bark a lot, while others are relatively quiet. If you are concerned about barking, you can talk to your veterinarian about ways to reduce barking.

Author Profile

Shradha Kabra
Shradha KabraLifetime dog Enthusiast
Shradha is a seasoned writer at Labradorandyou.com, an authoritative resource for all things Labrador Retriever. Her experience as a pet owner and dog enthusiast drives her to create meticulously researched and fact-checked content, offering valuable insights on Labrador training, grooming, and health. Each article reflects Shradha's passion and dedication, enriched by personal experiences with her beloved Labradors, Tom, and Kurt. Whether exploring breed-specific training techniques or providing product reviews, Shradha ensures Labrador owners receive the most accurate, up-to-date, and trustworthy information, aimed at enhancing their companions' health and happiness