THE KIND OF DOG YOUR LAB BECOMES depends in large part on how well you socialize him. Socialization is the act of introducing your Lab to the people, places, and things in the world around him. The experiences a puppy encounters in its new environment are key factors in shaping its personality and temperament as an adult. Dogs are social animals, and Labs are naturally friendly, but they still need to learn about the different types of people, sounds, and activities that they are likely to encounter during life. Ways to socialize your Lab include experiences in the home, daily walks, “field trips” to places such as the veterinary office or a dog-friendly business nearby, training class, and play dates with other dogs. No matter what the situation, you can't overdo socialization.