Since Labrador retrievers are considered the most popular dog in the world, it’s not surprising that people often wonder what other breeds Labradors get along with.
Labrador retrievers, as any owner will tell you, are in fact very friendly, laid-back dogs. It is a feature of the breed. They are as well-known for their easy-going nature as they are for their intelligence, loyalty, and their love of exploration (which can sometimes lead to trouble!).
While each dog has his own special temperament and needs, in general, labradors do not tend to be very territorial, sensitive, or aggressive, which are all traits that strongly (positively) influence a dog’s interactions with other breeds. For example, if you’re looking for a second dog, a labrador is often a good match, unless, for example, you are limited to smaller dogs.
Note that some lines of labrador are exceedingly high in energy, which should be considered when exposing them to other breeds. If, for example, such a dog is put in the yard with an over-sensitive or aggressive dog, these playful high spirits might lead to trouble.
Speaking to the norm, though, labradors tend to be very friendly with other dogs, and cats, too — the real question tends to be not so much how well the labrador will get along with the other dog, but rather, how the other dog will get along with the lab.
To check your labrador’s disposition and to see how she falls with regard to the norm, take her out to a dog park and observe her interactions with other animals. Is she friendly or more of a loner? Does she initiate extended play?
Pay attention to her activity level, too, as she may get along best with dogs of a similar activity level — or is she instead stimulated by interactions with a more fun-loving pup?
Since labs are a larger breed, some people prefer to get a second dog of a similar size. A second dog can often help keep your original dog in better shape, in this way leading to a longer and healthier life for the dog.
A lot really depends upon the space and time that you have dedicated to dog-time, as well as what you expect from the new dog. Do you have a large yard for the dogs to play in? Are you looking for a different breed to eventually replace the aging lab as the family pet, before the lab (eventually) passes away?
Since labs are such an amiable breed, matching them with another lab seems like a very logical (and a positive) choice. Once you’ve had such a friendly, easy animal in your life, it can be difficult to transition to a more difficult pet.
Why not go with a breed that you already know to be easy-going? You know that your current lab is unlikely to have a problem with the new dog — and if the new dog’s a lab as well, then you shouldn’t need to worry about that dog either.