Labradors are great with many types of other animals and are known for their gentle nature and loving spirits. Labs are great dogs and they are known for being flexible and easygoing.
They are, however, bred to be hunters and are fast and very strong. So, if your Lab is not used to being around other pets, he or she will need to adjust.
It is important that you bring the new pet into the “pack” slowly and with care and patience so that no one feels threatened.
Labradors And Other Pets
Labradors will not be likely to intentionally hurt an animal that it does not feel is a threat.
They are territorial, just like pretty much any animal but the biggest concern for them will be knowing that you still love them and that they are not being run out of their own home.
How To Make The Introduction
If you are introducing a new dog, have someone whom your dog knows well join you somewhere for a walk, bringing the new dog with them. Do not create any stress in the situation and do not push them together. allow them to feel one another out. Keep them both on leashes.
If you are introducing a cat, allow them to get to know one another very slowly first through scent, then by sight and then allow them to interact. But, always keep in mind that a Lab can quickly kill a cat, even if it does not mean to.
As for a bird, bunny, gerbil, etc. never allow your dog access to the pet outside of their cage but do let him smell and see the pet. Allow the dog to see that the pet is no threat and that the pet is important to you. When a Lab knows something is important to their owner, they are eager to please in that regard.
Be Supportive and Patient with Your Labrador
This new pet represents a big change for your Lab and he or she may not be readily keen on the idea. Respect that and be careful about how much you push them. You do not want them to associate the other pet with being scolded, or feeling ashamed. So, instead of punishing them, try your best to positively reinforce good behaviors so that they associate the new animal with praise, rewards, treats, etc.
It will not likely happen overnight and if the new pet is much smaller than the Lab be cautious and careful with how you socialize them. But, if you are patient and persistent there is no reason that your two pets should not be able to live happily together for years to come.
If you found this article helpful, please share!
And, be sure to sign up for the Loverador.com mailing list!