Photos and text copyright Romping and Rolling in the Rockies 2009-2017.

All photographs and text within this blog are copyrighted.

You may not copy or repost any photos or text without specific permission from the author of this blog. When in doubt, please ask.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Run and Snooze

I love watching Shyla run. She can run like the wind and seems to never get tired. She is in her prime.
Part of why we choose "field Labs" for our family is their athletic ability and their drive. When she arrived here, Shyla wasn't in strong physical shape and didn't seem to have a lot of drive. By contrast, now, people comment on how muscular she is - her muscles seem to bulge from her trim body. Our vet says that she is "perfect". Don't tell her that - it might go to her head!

Back when I first met her, she also seemed to have little drive for anything. I thought that she was almost apathetic about most things - as if she didn't expect a lot from life. Now, she is insistent about the things that she loves. In the morning, she does not tolerate me sleeping late (past 6AM). If I do, she sits on the bed staring down at me and intermittently smothering me in kisses. She knows that it's time for our morning jaunt, and she isn't going to let me sleep through it.
R is the same way, although his intensity is directed at the Runner, who takes him on the trails every morning. As R leaves on his morning run, he lets out a series of high pitched barks and yodels, and he grabs his leash in his mouth like a puppy. Even if I'm a mile or two from the house, I know when R is starting his run from the sounds emanating from the direction of our house!

Even with all that drive, both dogs are content to hang out restfully for most of the day. Some people call it an "off switch". No doubt, they both know how to turn off the intensity and snooze. In the photo below, I'd just accidentally awakened Shyla from a snooze in a sun puddle. What a sweetie she is!
It's a great combination for us - high drive dogs who love the trails like we do but who also love to snuggle and snooze. Is it any wonder that we have had this type of Lab for many years?

For anyone who is considering getting a Field Lab, the one caveat is that you must be very committed to giving them the exercise and mental stimulation that they were bred for. Without those things, you'll have a Lab who goes out of his/her mind with excess energy! Even with sufficient exercise and training, Field Labs are well-known among vets to be prone to obsessive-compulsive disorder. We struggle with OCD in R (it manifests as endless water drinking) - but we can generally control it as long as he can run and do daily training. He's our first Lab with OCD.

On that subject, R has been allowed short bouts of off-leash running recently, after his long hiatus with a sore elbow. He's a happy dog!
My blogging may be sporadic over the next little while. Don't worry about us!


  1. So glad R's elbow is strong enough for some increased activity! Bet Shyla will be happy when her brother is back to being her running mate ;)

  2. You are a great example of responsible dog ownership. Selecting a high energy breed and making sure they get the exercise they need. What lucky dogs!

  3. You can see the happiness on R's face.

  4. Would you look at R's happy happy face. MOM says it is very important to know the breed of dog you are getting. It is so very helpful and if you choose wrong or on a whim then the dog is the one that suffers the most.

  5. Oh how we love hearing about Shyla and R's happiness and the drive that keeps them going!
    It makes us happy to see all of you happy.

  6. Wonderful photos, they ooze with energy and vim, do you still have snow?looks like greener grass now, we had our first real frost this morning, but so hot this afternoon.Greetings from Jean

  7. Love the picture of Shyla. Those eyes!!

    And R looks like puppy all over again in the last photo.

    Just recently discovered your blog. I've enjoyed what little I've had a chance to read.

    Warm Regards.

  8. Yeah, this post sounds a lot like a couple of Shepherds I know, although one of them doesn't have an off switch. *sigh*

    I hope you have happy travels! :)

  9. Howdy Everybuddy, sounds like life is great. Two happy dogs with plenty of love. Take care all. No worries, and love, Stella and Rory

  10. We wish people would research the breed of dog they want. Makes everyone happier all around.

    Shyla and you are a perfect fit.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

  11. Ooooh, my mum knows full well bouts sore elbows...and OCD...hehehehe!
    I just can't imagine how Shyla would be without comin' into your home. You has really helped her so many ways.
    I just always loves to sees a dog run and whatnot as you can see da ripplin' muscles.


  12. That's so great to see R running again. All that waiving must be working.

    We didn't know that there was such a thing as a field lab or even that puppers can have OCD! We always learn so much from your blog.

    Lily Belle & Muffin

  13. Beautiful and happy dogs! We agree, it so important to know as much as possible about the breed before adding a dog. Australian Cattle Dogs are another breed that need something to do and lots of exercise. As with the field labs, not a breed for everyone.

  14. Glad to hear you are feeling better R. Now you can both run like the wind. I never let mom sleep past 5;45am, Monday thru Sunday
    Benny (& Lily)

  15. Great shots. Dogs have such joy running like that. Mine do.

  16. Unfortunately for labs, being the most popular dog in America, their high energy often lands them in the shelter. So many people get them and then don't exercise them, and that's where the problems start. It takes a lot of dedication to provide enough exercise and most people are just not willing to or simply don't have the time.

    My friend has a field lab and he has that water drinking issue too. He's old now, but in his prime he could run and swim all day! And my corgi could keep up, believe it or not! We would routinely take them on 5 mile walk/runs together (probably short by your standards ;-) ) and that seemed enough to keep both dogs sane.

  17. Great pics! Glad your dogs have an off switch - that is definitely a good thing. But really - you help that along by giving them both the exercise they need! :)

  18. I'm glad to hear R's elbow is so much better and he's back to normal activities.

    Susan and Wrigs

  19. Shyla is a beauty and I love seeing her and the things you have taught her. But I am almost as crazy for R as he is crazy looking at times. Like today's photo . .just perfect of the boy!


    Jo and Stella

  20. casinos room
    Reading this post reminds me of my old room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this article to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

  21. OCD nature seems to be evident with Sophie too. I change things up for her when I notice something happening. She responds sometimes quizzically and sometimes not. Thanks for the info though about these kind of LAbs!!


  22. Both dogs look like they're loving life. Hope you are too!

  23. I love to see dogs run flat out and free. There are so few opportunities for that for my dog here. We bring Kelly to a large fenced in park sometimes. I think there is nothing like watching a dog run free, decide where he wants to go, how fast, when to turn...what a great feeling that must be for them.

  24. Beautiful photos!! Love the one of Shyla's eyes!! It is very important to research the breed of dog before you get one. I did and I knew exactly what I was getting! Hope you had an enjoyable Mother's Day with your two furbabies! xo Jeanne

  25. It's amazing how much drive and curiosity can be unleashed through attention and love!

  26. Great photos, Shyla and R! We also want to wish your Mom, Happy Monther's Day!

    Piappies Fudgie, Princess, Frappie, Mocha, Sugar, Wai-Max, Wai-Pai & Forgie

  27. Hi KB, I'm glad I read the last sentence about your blogging being a bit on and off-I was worried about you. Sometimes, somehow I don't see posts from those I always go to daily; I do worry when it's been awhile. Hope you are doing o.k. and just busy-nothing like surgery or anything. I love seeing your pups in motion. I've started biking again now that the weather is nice; this always makes me think of you.
    Hugs, Noreen

  28. We are a little behind on blogs, but we are happy to see the pups are doing well.


  29. Hello!! Just dropping by to let you know that I'm thinking of you!! Hope all is well in your time zone!! :-)


If you are a Blogger registered user, you can skip the step asking you to verify that you are not a spammer. For posts older than 5 days, I have comment moderation turned on.

Thanks for your comments!!!!!