We have a chocolate lab who turns 11 years old today
. He came to us as a stray 10 years ago, showed up in the yard and was never claimed.
In our experience they are very prone to ear infections, in his younger days he was into the vet several times a year for ear infections. He also has allergies. Some are seasonal and every fall he was into the vets for severe hots spots from his constant licking and scratching. We also have to be careful what foods he gets or he gets itchy and his hair starts to fall out, he does best on grain free or raw. He has in the last three months developed cervical disk disease.
Personality wise we have found that he is very stubborn. But he learns quickly and enjoys learning new things. I taught him some basic retriever skills and he still loves to do his fetching. He is very selective in his hearing when it comes to obedience training though
He is very food oriented! He steals food if it is left unattended and we have never been able to teach him to leave it alone! He will steal off the counters, table and sometimes the garbage.
He loves to chase things, like squirrels and rabbits! We cannot trust him around our chickens, rabbits and even very small kittens arouse more of a hunting desire in him.
But all that said, even in his younger days he was just as happy hiking, or playing as he was being a couch potato. He loves to play in the water and hunting frogs
. He loved cuddling on the couch and even sharing your bed when invited. He always wants to be in on what you are doing and is very nosy. He loves digging for moles and although he does leave some trenches from his exuberant digging he has so much fun doing it that we let him do it. He is happy going out to Petsmart too.
Compared to my shepherd I find the lab to be much more laid back and but not as responsive to training.
Sorry for such a long post