The Labrador retriever or simply say lab is a retriever-gun dog. It is one of the renowned dogs in USA, UK and Canada. Its athletic body makes it suitable for dog sports as well. They are steady minded and calm which makes them good companion dogs too. It is also known by name “the Small Water Dog” because earlier it was used to help fisherman to haul nest to shore.
The dog later got its position in gun dog as it can retrieve its prey in water and on land. The dog has got webbed feet which makes it excellent swimmer. Owner of Labrador should be aware that the dog has high energy and it should be provided daily exercise to starve off boredom.
The dog is human pleasure and wants to work under human leadership which makes it highly trainable. The dog makes perfect pet to active family who enjoys outdoor activities with dogs. Apart from being dog, it also makes guide dog, therapy dog and service dogs for people with disability.
Labrador Retriever Origin
This breed hails from Newfoundland which is an island. Their initial name “St. John’s dog” was kept after the capital city of Newfoundland. Their primary job was to retrieve fishes and help fisherman to haul nest.
Though nothing is definite about its heritage but experts believe that the dog is the result of cross of Newfoundland dog with other native water breeds. At present it is the most recognizable breed in this world. Even a person with no knowledge of dog’s breed can name this breed.
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Labrador Retriever Characteristics
- The dog belongs to Newfoundland and is a retriever and gun dog.
- It is intelligent, outgoing, trustworthy, gentle and kind dog.
- Lifespan of this breed is 10 – 14 years.
- It comes in black, chocolate and yellow color.
- Height of the dog is 57–62 cm.
- It weighs around 29–36 kg.
- The dogs love to eat and are prone to obesity. Measure out their regular intake of meal.
- They were meant to do physical challenging jobs. They have enormous level of energy inside their body.
- They are clean dogs and have low grooming needs.
- The puppies are enthusiastic and bouncy but as they mature they become calm and composed.
- The dog has short length hair but it sheds a lot.
- It is not a hypoallergenic dog.
- Average cost of the dog is USD $1200 to $1500.
The breed is solidly built up muscular dogs. They have broad face and wide muzzle. Their ears are medium sized and pendant shaped. Eyes of the dogs are expressive and large. They have deep chest and topline of the dog is leveled.
The forelegs should be straight and light boned. The dogs have webbed feet which helps them to swim. Though they look sturdy but are agile and have quick reflexes. The dog has medium length tail which is thick at the base and gets tapered towards the end. This breed gives the impression of kindness, attentive and intelligence.
Size and Weight
Average height of the male breed is 22.5 to 24.5 inches and female’s height is 21.5 to 23.5. Male breed should weigh around 65 and 80 pounds and female breed should weigh around 55 to 70 pounds.
Coat and Color
The dog has double coat which is short and glossy. Double coat also protects them from extreme climate condition and wet condition. Its coat is straight, and dense. Dogs come in black, chocolate and yellow color.
- Personality – Loyal, lovable, friendly and happy is the adjectives that describe its temperament aptly. The dog is registered at number 1 position in AKC. Labs are extremely affectionate towards their family members. They are lively, outgoing and full of energy. When you’ll come home after a long hours or days, labs will run to you to greet you. They are the happiest when they are with their family and engaged in some sort of work. They are agile, good in fetching games, best swimmers and also make good therapy dogs. Because of their unending level of energy, they are employed in police force for doing various activities like smelling narcotics or drugs, search and rescue mission. They are immensely patient with kids and strive hard to be their best four legged playmates.
- Behavior – They are gentle and get along easily with everyone. Chewing and barking are the only problems faced by labs lover. Make sure to provide it sufficient toys and bones to chew upon. Puppies trend to be little mischievous. They will disrupt things at your home, will knock down flower vase, and will run and bounce. However, as they become mature they tend to be cool and composed.
- Activities Requirement – This breed is large and energetic therefore not suitable for apartment life. Labs are known to be clumsy; hence they should be engaged in some sort of productive work. A simple walk around the park is not sufficient for them. The dog should be given challenging work that can stimulate its mind too. Give this breed opportunity to run off leash and occasionally take it for swimming. Take your dog for retrieving activities as that is what they were bred for.
- Trainability – This breed is breeze to train. They are eager to learn new skills so that they can impress their owner. Puppies participate in training exercise with great interest. Give them house training and teach them obedience command. The dog should also be exposed to different animals and men.
Boiled eggs and raw meat should be given to this dog. Puppy should be fed four times a day and as they reach adult stage, feeding them twice a day is sufficient. Make sure to clean its food bowl before giving food in it. Keep fresh water always near to your dog’s place. Since they gain weight fast, so care should be taken and per day calorie shouldn’t increase above the prescribed amount.
This breed can live up to 10 – 14 years.
They are not hypoallergenic dogs. The dogs are prone to health issues common to all large dogs like hip dysplasia, diabetes, obesity, PRA, cataract, patellar luxation etc.
The dogs sheds heavily throughout the year. Regular brushing can keep the dead hairs in control. They love to get dirty in mud and also possess dog’s odor.
As they love water, so bathing them is not a problem. Check its ear for any signs of wax, infection or irritation. Brush its teeth daily to avoid oral health problems. Trim its nails on monthly basis.
The dog can tolerate any kind of climate. They thrive in spacious environments where they can wander and run freely.
Things To Consider Before Buying
- Labs are trustworthy and reliable breeds and make wonderful family pet.
- They are suitable dogs for families with kid. They are extremely patient with kids.
- They are peaceful with other dogs and animals too.
- They shed heavily and are not hypoallergenic.
- They need great deal of exercise and mental stimulation.
- They are extremely bouncy and hypo energetic when they are in puppyhood.