Labrador Retrievers: The Perfect Cape Cod Companion?

Who doesn’t love the thought of having a playful and energetic companion by their side? One who’s always up for an adventure, whether that be a walk on the beach, a hike through the woods, or a game of fetch in the backyard. This is what it’s like to own a Labrador Retriever, a breed loved for their friendly demeanor, intelligence, and unwavering enthusiasm. But before welcoming a Lab into your home, it’s important to consider whether or not they really are a good fit for your family and lifestyle.

Labrador Retriever

A History Of Helping Hands

Way back before Labradors were the breed we’d recognize today, they were helping fishermen in Newfoundland, Canada by hauling nets and retrieving lost equipment. Much like today, they had a thick double coat that provided protection from the icy waters and a sense of eagerness to please that made them invaluable companions. Eventually finding their way across the Atlantic, their versatility and trainability caught the eye of both hunters and families in Europe. Morphing into the modern Labrador, they were popular among hunters for retrieving both waterfowl and upland game birds. They also have taken their place as one of the world's most popular breeds, and are considered the quintessential family dog due to their loving nature and ability to adapt to a variety of lifestyles.

Labrador Retrievers Are Built For Fun And Function

Typically weighing between 55 and 80 pounds, Labs are considered a large breed. A muscular build makes them ideal for active lifestyles, and their short yet dense double coat comes in three standard colors: black, yellow, and chocolate.

Being built for water, their coat has a thick outer layer that is slightly oily allowing it to repel water. Their inner coat (or undercoat) is soft and fluffy, making it perfect to protect them in cold temperatures. 

While Labradors don’t usually require a trip to the grooming salon, regular brushing is necessary to keep their coat healthy and helps with shed control. Don’t let those short coats fool you - these dogs shed quite a bit, especially in the spring and fall when their coat changes to accommodate the seasons. If you don't mind a sprinkle of dog hair in your coffee - and all over your laundry - then great! This may be the perfect dog for you. But, if you suffer from allergies or don't want to vacuum daily, their coat is something to consider.

Lab With Ball | Cape Canine Academy | Cape Cod, MA

Decoding The Devoted Lab: Exploring Traits And Temperament

Known for their friendly and outgoing personalities, Labs typically do well with humans of all ages and are known for being wonderful family dogs. While all dogs have their own unique personalities, most labradors get along well with other dogs and animals when socialized properly and taught to mind their manners. They have a playful nature, and often have a puppy-like quality about them even as they age. Labs are confident and outgoing, making them ideal for joining you on outings, adventures and car rides.

The Perfect Dog... Right?

Reading about all of their wonderful qualities, it’s easy to assume that a Labrador is a perfect fit for any household. However, this isn’t always the case.  Let’s look at some qualities that can be great for the right family, or disastrous for the wrong one:

  • Mouthy: Being natural retrievers, labs have a bad habit of putting almost anything in their mouth. As puppies this can lead to destruction of shoes, pillows, furniture legs, etc. Labs are also one of the breeds that most commonly ends up eating things they shouldn’t, resulting in emergency trips to the vet. However, this trait is one of the qualities that make Labradors excellent service dog prospects, as they can learn how to pick up dropped items or carry things for their handlers. Even if your dog isn’t a service dog, this makes for some fun trick training. Regardless, when you bring a lab puppy home, you’ll need to invest time and energy into supervising and crate training to keep them safe while teaching them what is (and isn’t) food or toys. 
  • Size: Labs are a high-energy breed, especially in puppyhood and adolescence. When trained, they make incredible family pets. But, their enthusiasm and friendliness can work against you here if you aren’t careful. Having a 70 pound dog jump on grandma or accidentally knock the kids over could result in injuries, so training them to be calm when needed is important. 
  • Energy Levels: Labrador Retrievers, while known for being excellent family companions, are at heart a hunting breed that needs more exercise than just a daily walk around the block. Without adequate exercise labs are prone to destructiveness and hyperactivity. They also put on weight easier than other breeds, so exercise is essential to keeping them healthy. If you prefer to spend your time off from work relaxing on the sofa, this breed may not be the right fit for you.
  • Trainability: Labrador Retrievers are highly intelligent, which means they learn quickly and can be easy to train. However, easy to train doesn’t always mean easy to live with. If not channeled properly, they may use their wits against you to find their own fun when bored or frustrated.

Finding The Perfect Cape Cod Home

Labrador Retrievers are energetic dogs who thrive on exercise and companionship from you. Despite being high energy, they adapt well to many living situations so long as their needs are met. Having a fenced in yard, while a convenient thing to have, doesn’t matter much to them if you aren’t out there to play alongside them. So, regardless of the type of house you live in, if you love spending your days walking along the beach, paddle boarding, playing lively games of fetch, going for car rides, and exploring the many wonderful trails we have here, then a Lab may be a perfect fit for your Cape Cod lifestyle.

Cape Cod Lab: Meet Lola!

Lola, the 4 year old Lab, lives in Centerville, MA. We asked her humans to share some things about Lola, and here’s what they had to say!

Can you share a memorable or funny story?

"Lola LOVES water. It doesn't matter if it's an icy or mud puddle, she will find it and roll around in it like a pig."

Are there any unique quirks or habits your dog has?

"She sleeps right in the center of our bed on her own pillow. She also must carry a toy (or anything she can find) in her mouth if she's even the slightest bit excited."

Black Lab with a toy | Cape Canine Academy | Cape Cod, MA

What advice would you give to someone who's thinking about getting this breed as a pet?

"Spend the time and money on good training! They are so smart and willing to learn/work. Bring them out of the house to experience what it's like. I just wanted a dog that I could take places that wouldn't be a hassle to have out in public and it just came with a lot of exposure and training."

Still Unsure If A Lab Is The Right Dog For You?

Here at Cape Canine Academy, I’m here to help! I offer personalized consultations and training programs tailored to your dog’s unique needs and temperament. Whether you’re considering welcoming a Lab into your life, or need help training your existing dog, I can help you achieve a happy, well-behaved pup.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Thank you for subscribing!


Subscribe to stay up to date with upcoming classes, training programs and new blog posts!

We use Brevo as our marketing platform. By submitting this form you agree that the personal data you provided will be transferred to Brevo for processing in accordance with Brevo's Privacy Policy.