What is the Labrador temperament like?
Labradors are generally well known for their equable and friendly nature. This is not a myth. Labradors were among the least aggressive dog breeds. This includes aggression toward both humans and other dogs. So you can rest easy on that score.
Labrador retriever temperament is outgoing
On the whole this statement is true. Most Labradors are confident, outgoing friendly dogs. Happy to talk to strangers, and to welcome guests into your home. You should be aware that this welcome may be extended equally to burglars!
Labrador retriever temperament is kind
Kindness is another of those traits that is difficult to quantify. All we have to go on is anecdotal evidence. Labs tend to be very affectionate. There are many reports of Labradors showing great kindness and empathy when their humans are sad.
Labrador retriever temperament is even tempered
It is pretty hard to provoke or annoy most Labs. They are tolerant of all kinds of behavior that they probably don’t particularly enjoy. Being hugged and climbed on by small children for example. This doesn’t mean that you should allow anyone to annoy or provoke your dog, but it does make him a much safer animal to have around should an accident occur.
Once again, it’s important to point out that not all Labradors share this trait. You really need to check carefully on the parents before you buy a puppy. And, because tolerance levels vary from dog to dog, you need to supervise interactions between dogs and children
Labrador retriever temperament is intelligent
Some experts like to look at intelligence separately from temperament. But Labrador intelligence is legendary. Many Labrador owners will consider this part and parcel of their dog’s Labrador personality. Intelligence may vary from one dog to another within a breed, and can be difficult to define. The Labrador breed as a whole is generally considered to be highly intelligent. It’s hard to separate intelligence from trainability. The ability to learn and willingness to learn are hard to tease apart.
A 2011 study looked at trainability differences between different groups of dogs. The Labrador belongs to the sporting group. The study found that the dogs in this group were more trainable than non-sporting dogs. Something that won’t surprise many Labrador owners. The Labrador is willing and able to learn. Together with the Labrador’s co-operative and companionable nature, these traits make for great companions and service dogs in a whole range of disciplines.
Labrador retriever temperament is gentle
Hmm. This assumption is subject to some provisos. It is certainly true of many mature Labradors. But it isn’t something you should rely on. And it isn’t a personality trait found in many young Labs. On the contrary, Labradors under a year old can be extremely boisterous and clumsy. They can actually pose a small risk to anyone unsteady on their feet. I’m thinking of toddlers just learning to walk, and elderly people whose balance isn’t great.
Different types of Labrador temperament
People often make assumptions about Labrador temperament based on their color. Let’s have a look at that next.
Many Labrador owners are convinced that there are personality differences between the colors. Some say the Yellow Labs are the sweetest and calmest, while Chocolate Labs are thought of as a little dumb or wild and rambunctious, and Black Labs are thought of as patient hunters. Many studies have been done to see if any of these biases are true but to date, there has been no scientific evidence to back up any of these claims.
The coat color of a Labrador is determined by two genes that have nothing to do with temperament. One of the genes determines if the hair will be light or dark and the other one determines if dark hair will be chocolate or black. In fact, quite frequently a litter of Lab puppies will contain more than one of the fur colors.
The fact is, that Labrador coat color does not directly affect the personality traits of individual dogs. However, the genetic information a dog inherits from his parents most certainly does.