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Lone Star Labrador Retriever Rescue (Lone Star Lab Rescue) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, all volunteer organization, dedicated to saving purebred Labrador Retrievers from euthanasia in city shelters throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

Frequently Asked Questions Frequently Asked Questions
- Why do Labs need to be rescued?

The Labrador Retriever is the most popular dog in the United States and one of the most popular in the world. Sometimes people buy a Lab on an impulse because they can't resist the cute Lab puppy. Lab puppies require a lot of attention, training and exercise! If allowed to go unchecked, they can be quite destructive in the house.

This often leads to expulsion to the backyard and here the Lab can be even more destructive... they get bored and unhappy, and they often run away just so they can be around some people.

This is why many end up at the shelter and need to the “rescued”

- What are the advantages of adopting an older dog?

First of all, you know what the dog’s temperament and personality is. When you buy a six or seven week old puppy you really have no idea what it will be like when it is six months old or a year old. Most rescue dogs are between the ages of 1 l/2 and 2 l/2. By that time their personalities and temperaments are pretty obvious.

Second, you don’t have to mess with the chewing and other mischief that puppies get into. By the time they get to be about a year old much of this destructive puppy behavior is behind them. And third, you don’t have to worry about housebreaking the dog.

- But can you bond with a dog that is not a puppy?

Absolutely yes! People who foster dogs will tell you that you bond very quickly with most dogs. Many people who volunteer to foster a dog end up adopting the dog because they cannot imagine giving the dog up after even a few weeks.

- What does “rescue” mean?

Dogs wind up in animal shelters for a wide variety of reasons. Sometimes they are strays picked up by animal control and they are unclaimed by their owners. Sometimes they are turned into the shelter by their owners. Animal shelters have dogs coming in all of the time, and they cannot afford to keep dogs for an indefinite period of time because they simply don’t have the room. If dogs are not claimed or adopted within a certain period of time they are euthanized.

If it looks like a purebred Lab is going to be euthanized the shelter workers call a Lab Rescue organization. If there is a foster home available or the organization has somewhere to board the dog, the dog is “pulled” or “rescued” from the shelter. The rescue organization treats the dog for any medical problems, spays or neuters the dog, tests for heartworms and parasites and finds an adoptive home for the dog.

Sometimes Good Samaritans find Labrador Retrievers and are reluctant to turn them into a shelter for fear or their being euthanized. These Good Samaritans can contact a rescue organization and if they are willing to foster the dog or if there is a foster placement open, the dog will be taken into the program and “rescued”.

Sometimes owners must relinquish their dog. This is a very sad event in the life of any dog. Lab rescue organizations try to help these owners find a loving home for the dog so that the dog does not end up in a shelter and run the risk of euthanasia.

- Why are labs the most popular dog in the world?

The Labrador Retriever is one of the most loved breeds in the world. In the United States, the Labrador is leading according to the AKC statistics.

What attracts people in the Labrador Retriever? The dog has wonderful personality traits, working qualities, and is a favorite of children. The breed is very active, yet not hyper.

It is used mostly as a companion. However, the Labrador is the most popular guide dog. As a matter of fact, the breed has a lot of uses. It is friendly and devoted, which contributes to the qualities of the dog.

Labs are people dogs. That is why they are so often used as seeing eye dogs, service dogs, for drug sniffing, and for bomb sniffing, etc. Labs love to be around their people and to work with people.

- Is a Labrador Retriever the best choice for my family?

Labradors are very popular because they are known as good family dogs. They generally get along well with children and with other dogs. They are usually very gregarious. They are also very active dogs and require a great deal of exercise. Can your family set aside time every day to play ball? Is your family willing to regard a Lab as an “inside” dog? Labs really prefer to be “inside” dogs. They don’t want to be relegated to the backyard. They want to be with the family.

Is someone in your family willing to make a commitment to take the dog for obedience training? Labs can weigh in from 55 pounds to 95 pounds and are considered “big” dogs. Nothing is more obnoxious than a poorly mannered “big” dog. Nothing is more enjoyable than a well- mannered Lab! You can find books on Labrador Retrievers at the local library and at pet stores. You can also find a great deal of information about the characteristics of the breed on the internet. And, you can visit with a Lone Star Lab Rescue volunteer or foster and meet some of the dogs up for adoption. This can help give you a “feel” for what Labrador Retrievers are like to live with. It is important to do your homework before you make the decision to adopt a lab.

- Will an adopted Lab get along with my children?

Labrador Retrievers are known as being good family pets. Many people have infants and small children and one or two Labs living in the same house with the family. A young, energetic Lab might inadvertently knock a toddler over. Toddlers are known to be very resilient, however, and this is generally not a problem.

It is important that children be taught how to treat dogs. They should be taught not to tease them, not to take a bone away from them or their food away from them and to leave them alone when they are eating or chewing. Generally speaking Labs are very good natured but it should be remembered that they are dogs and special care should be taken to always monitor both children and dogs when they are in the same room together.

- Can I get a Lab to surprise someone?

No! This is always a bad idea! Getting a Labrador Retriever should always be a carefully thought out decision made by the person who will be caring for the dog.

- Are dogs that we get from a Lab rescue organization healthy, trained and housebroken?

When Lone Star Lab Rescue brings a dog into the program it is immediately taken to a veterinarian where it is examined, given all vaccinations, a fecal test and a heartworm test. The dogs receive a bath, an Advantix to kill fleas and ticks, and if the dog does not test positive for heartworms it is given a heartworm preventative such as Sentinel.

The dog is also treated for any medical conditions such as hookworms, tapeworms, ear infections, skin infections, kennel cough, etc. The dog is also either spayed or neutered if this has not already been done. If the dog is heartworm positive it is treated for heartworms. If a dog is not heartworm positive it is usually ready to be adopted in about two weeks. If it is heartworm positive it will not be ready for adoption for at least a month to six weeks.

Thus, when a dog is ready for adoption it is healthy and “ready to go.” Lone Star Lab Rescue does not train dogs unless there is a serious behavioral issue. Foster homes work on house manners and sometimes work on basic obedience. Usually, however, the obedience training is left to the adoptive family. As a general rule all dogs are housebroken when they are put up for adoption. However, some dogs that are pulled from shelters have been “outside” dogs all of its lives and come into the program not housebroken. This is something the foster works on. In cases like this it might be that when the dog moves to his permanent home he might have an accident or two. This is a very stressful period for a rescue dog and just as you would expect a child to have an accident or two when he is being potty trained, you might expect something similar with a dog. This is another instance where crating is very very helpful.

- Is crating a dog cruel?

Crating is becoming very popular and is widely used by Lone Star Lab Rescue and other Lab rescue organizations. Crates or kennels, keep a dog safe.

When dogs are puppies and crating is used for housebreaking, the puppies come to think of the crate as their “den”. Many dogs come to love the security of their crates and go into the crate at various times during the day just to nap.

All of our foster homes work on crate training their foster dogs. The dogs are placed in the crate whenever the foster leaves the house. This keeps the house safe and it keeps the dog safe. We ask adopters to be willing to do the same thing for the first month. Dogs feel safe in their crate and since the crate is inside the house they are surrounded by familiar sights and smells and we feel they are happier than being put outside by themselves in the backyard. After a month the adoptive family can decide whether or not they want to continue to use the crate. Most of them do!

- Do rescued Lab's tend to have issues?

No. In fact, they tend to be more loyal, loving, and better behaved. A rescued dog tries extremely hard to be good because they don't want to go back to their unfortunate situation or be given up again. A rescued Lab appreciates you and their loving home more than a pet who has been with you his whole life and doesn't know any different.

- What are the characteristics of a Lab?

One of the most distinctive traits of Labradors is their coat. The Labrador Retriever has a double coat that helps the dog to repel water and allows to make a good hunting companion. The tail of the dog tapers at the end and is an indicator of the dog's mood. The dog is of medium size. This allows it to be kept in an apartment.

Male Labradors stand about 22.5-24.5 inches at the withers. Females are usually one inch smaller. The weight of the Labrador Retriever ranges from 65 to 80 pounds. Females are smaller. The coat color is black, yellow, and chocolate.

- What type of person is a Lab best for?

However, the Labrador is recommended for energetic people. The dog is very people-oriented and needs to be a part of a company. Hence, people who cannot devote much time to their pets are advised to consider a different breed

- What do their living conditions need to be like?

The Labrador Retriever needs a lot of exercise. The dog is moderately active indoors. It can live in an apartment on the condition that it is sufficiently exercised. It enjoys playing with children and is loyal with other pets.

- Do they have any Health Problems?

The Labrador Retriever is prone to PRA and elbow disorders. The average life span is about 10-12 years.

- What kind of care do they need?

Labrador Retriever owners should be aware of the basic care requirements for the breed. It is important to provide the dog with exercise and obedience training from an early age. The breed is intelligent and is very receptive to training. The Labrador Retriever needs regular brushing. The coat is short and dense. Make sure the hairs do not mat. Labrador Retrievers are average shedders.