Labrador Companion Dog Breeds for Best Compatibility
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Do you have a pet Labrador Retriever and are thinking of adopting another dog into the family? Labradors are often great companions for other dogs since they are generally easy going and secure in the presence of other dogs. Those who already share their lives with a Labrador Retriever will know they can be the ideal companion to almost any type of family. They are not overly territorial or aggressive, usually interacting well with other dogs. but just because Labrador Retrievers get on with other dogs, are all dogs compatible with Labradors?
At AnimalWised, we bring you our list of 5 Labrador companion breeds for best compatibility. Before we do, we look at some general considerations we need to make when bringing another dog into the family, regardless of breed. We also provide photos so you can see what they may look like together.
General considerations for Labrador Retriever compatibility
It is vital we point out that a dog's breed is only one factor in whether or not they are compatible with any other dog. There are many more issues at stake, their socialization experience being one of the most important. During the socialization process, dogs need to learn how to interact with other animals, people and other dogs. Despite being domesticated, they still education to get along with others.
A dog's previous experience will affect how they socialize in other ways. For example, even though Labradors are generally easy going animals, one that has experienced trauma can be insecure and even aggressive due to emotional issues.
Proper education in terms of boundaries is also important. When dogs are young, they learn to play with others, testing how aggressive they can be in the process. As guardians, we need to teach them what is and isn't appropriate through training and education. If we negate them, the dog may have behavioral problems.
However, there are some ideal qualities which can mean a dog is better suited to being a Labrador companion. Some Labradors may have issues with toy-sized dogs which try to assert dominance over them. They can find them annoying when they try to behave like bigger dogs. However, this is a broad generalization and many Labradors will get on fine with small dogs.
What is ideal is if the new dog, regardless of size, has similar activity and health levels as the Labrador. If the Labrador is old and starting to slow, new puppies with lots of energy can be tiring for them, even when they don't mean to be. Plus, having two dogs with similar requirements means they can join in activities together and build strong bonds.
Again, there are many exceptions and the best Labrador companion dog will depend on the individual. In saying this, the following breeds appear to be particularly compatible with Labrador Retrievers:
- Golden Retriever
- Boston Terrier
- English Springer Spaniel
We look at these dogs in more detail and explain why they are so compatible with Labradors.
1. Golden Retriever
The Golden Retriever is so well-suited to being a companion to Labrador Retrievers, they are often confused with each other. We can help shed some light by showing you the differences between Golden Retrievers and Labradors. As a brief summation, the reasons they are confused with each other are not just because of their similar looks, but their matching temperament.
Golden Retrievers are able to adapt to other dog breeds, they have an excellent temperament and are great with both children and other pets. Also, since both dog breeds grow to a similar size, you shouldn't need to worry about them damaging each other during play. Many Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers will becoming the best of friends.
The Boxer dog breed is also highly compatible with Labradors. They have roughly the same level of energy and a similar temperament as the Labrador Retriever. Thanks to their facial expression, some guardians believe this dog to be dangerous, but nothing could be further from the truth. They are actually very kind, curious, brave, strong and loving.
As a guardian and family companion dog, the Boxer can be ideal. Their characteristics include loyalty, playfulness and exuberance. While the latter of these traits may seem like it would provide difficulty for the Labrador, they will often be able to play off each other well. The Boxer will still respect their boundaries if they are well trained. The Boxer will need to be walked a minimum of twice a day to ensure their energy is expended in a healthy way.
Another breed very suitable for living with a Labrador is the Beagle. In fact, the Beagle will get along with almost any canine breed. If you choose to adopt a Beagle and pair them amicably with a Labrador, it is best to pair a male with a female of either breed. Of course, you will need to sterilize them both to ensure we avoid unwanted pregnancies and behavioral problems. Otherwise, they will fare best with mixed sexes.
Beagles are intelligent, affectionate and friendly. They can be a little stubborn when being told what to do, but this doesn't mean they will be bullish with others. The best Beagles as Labrador companions are those which are active and not too sedentary. Beagles need lots of exercise, so a big garden is a must. So too is plenty of opportunity to go for walks. Since Beagles love company and do not like to be left alone, they should bond well with a Labrador without bothering them.
4. Boston Terrier
The smallest breed on our list of suitable companion dogs for Labradors is the Boston Terrier. Although they are a dog which tends to enjoy being indoors more than Labradors, they have a noble personality and can work well to balance the Labrador's temperament. This is especially the case with hyperactive Labrador Retrievers.
Not all types of Terrier breed are ideal for Labradors, but the Boston Terrier is a breed for all families. They are an especially good breed for children. As with the Labrador, the Boston Terrier loves to be shown and show affection. They will enjoy being snuggled up on the couch with both their human family and their Labrador sibling (if the couch is big enough). They can be a little mischievous, but they are also kind and work well to balance some of the opposite traits found in Labradors.
5. English Springer Spaniel
A typical specimen of the breed English Springer Spaniel will have a cheerful, lively and versatile personality. It is this personality which allows them to be so well-suited to living with all types of families, even those which include Labrador Retrievers. Although slightly smaller than the Labrador, the Springer Spaniel has a lot of strength and energy, so can keep up well.
This breed loves to make friends and can be a loving companion to any family with the ability to match the dog's energy levels. This does not mean they are prone to being hyperactive dogs. They are curious, outgoing and active, but they are also working dogs which respond very well to training. Despite their difference in size, the English Springer Spaniel can be a wonderful companion dog for Labrador Retrievers.
To best know which type of dog will make the best companion for Labrador Retrievers, you should know as much as you can about the breed. You can do this by reading our AnimalWised breed file for Labrador Retrievers or you can watch our informative video below:
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