Labrador Retriever

Written by Susan Gardner. Posted in Dogs

Information

Name: Lab
Origin: Newfoundland, Canada
Breed Group: Sporting Dogs
Size: Medium
Hypoallergenic: No
The Labrador Retriever, also known as the Lab, is one of the smartest and most popular dog breeds in the world. This breed is characterized by a well balanced, athletic conformation and a kind face. Such dogs excel at numerous activities and a lot of these dogs are used in the hunting field. However, these dogs are loyal, calm and loving so, they make for excellent family pets. Labrador Retriever Picture Labrador Retriever Picture Origin This breed originated in the Newfoundland region of Canada, where the ancestors of the Lab were used in fishing activities. They were trained to jump in freezing water in order to pull in the fishing nets and retrieve fish that came loose. Later on, these dogs were bred for hunting and they were mixed with several breeds such as Setters, Retrievers and Spaniels. Nowadays, Labs are the type of dogs that are good with any chore. They make for great police dogs, hunting dogs, watchdogs or guide dogs for the blind. They are also very helpful in search and rescue missions, retrieving missions, narcotics detection, sledding or helping the disabled. Furthermore, they are among the most popular family dogs in the USA. Labrador Retriever Picture Labrador Retriever Picture Physical description Although part of the same breed, there are two Labrador varieties: the American Labrador and the English Labrador. The main differences between these two varieties are weight and height. The English Labs are heavier and bulkier while the American Labs are taller and slender. Both types of Labs feature a double coat which is smooth and usually solid cream, brown or black. A perfect Lab specimen should have a broad head, a thick black or black and yellow nose, a wide muzzle, a well proportionate neck, and an athletic body which should be slightly longer than tall. The color of the eyes can vary between black, brown, green or gray. The strong "otter" tail is thick at the base and thinner towards the tip. Overall, Labs are well balanced and their construction allows them to perform various physical activities with minimum effort. The males usually weight about 60-75 pounds and are 22-24 inches tall, while the females weight about 55-70 pounds and are 21-23 inches tall. Some male specimen can grow to 100 pounds. Labrador Retriever Picture Labrador Retriever Picture Personality The Labrador Retriever dog is very kind and eager to please, two traits that make him an excellent choice as a family dog but also a very easy to train dog. He is never aggressive towards humans or any animals. He is also highly intelligent and adaptable. Labrador Retriever Picture Labrador Retriever Picture Health Despite the fact that the Labrador seems to be strong and athletic, it can suffer from several health problems such as: Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD), Cataracts, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Epilepsy, Tricuspid Valve Dysplasia (TVD), Myopathy, Gastric Dilataion-Volvulus, Acute Moist Dermatitis, Cold Tail or Ear Infections. Needless to say, any dog suffering from a genetic disorder should not be bred and one should…

Characteristics

EASE OF TRAINING
INTELLIGENCE
SHEDDING
KID FRIENDLINESS
ADAPTABILITY
ENERGY LEVEL
EXERCISE NEEDS
GUARDING ABILITIES
WATCHING ABILITIES

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The Labrador Retriever, also known as the Lab, is one of the smartest and most popular dog breeds in the world. This breed is characterized by a well balanced, athletic conformation and a kind face. Such dogs excel at numerous activities and a lot of these dogs are used in the hunting field. However, these dogs are loyal, calm and loving so, they make for excellent family pets.

Labrador Retriever Picture Labrador Retriever Picture

Origin

This breed originated in the Newfoundland region of Canada, where the ancestors of the Lab were used in fishing activities. They were trained to jump in freezing water in order to pull in the fishing nets and retrieve fish that came loose. Later on, these dogs were bred for hunting and they were mixed with several breeds such as Setters, Retrievers and Spaniels. Nowadays, Labs are the type of dogs that are good with any chore. They make for great police dogs, hunting dogs, watchdogs or guide dogs for the blind. They are also very helpful in search and rescue missions, retrieving missions, narcotics detection, sledding or helping the disabled. Furthermore, they are among the most popular family dogs in the USA.

Labrador Retriever Picture Labrador Retriever Picture

Physical description

Although part of the same breed, there are two Labrador varieties: the American Labrador and the English Labrador. The main differences between these two varieties are weight and height. The English Labs are heavier and bulkier while the American Labs are taller and slender. Both types of Labs feature a double coat which is smooth and usually solid cream, brown or black. A perfect Lab specimen should have a broad head, a thick black or black and yellow nose, a wide muzzle, a well proportionate neck, and an athletic body which should be slightly longer than tall. The color of the eyes can vary between black, brown, green or gray. The strong “otter” tail is thick at the base and thinner towards the tip. Overall, Labs are well balanced and their construction allows them to perform various physical activities with minimum effort. The males usually weight about 60-75 pounds and are 22-24 inches tall, while the females weight about 55-70 pounds and are 21-23 inches tall. Some male specimen can grow to 100 pounds.

Labrador Retriever Picture Labrador Retriever Picture

Personality

The Labrador Retriever dog is very kind and eager to please, two traits that make him an excellent choice as a family dog but also a very easy to train dog. He is never aggressive towards humans or any animals. He is also highly intelligent and adaptable.

Labrador Retriever Picture Labrador Retriever Picture

Health

Despite the fact that the Labrador seems to be strong and athletic, it can suffer from several health problems such as: Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD), Cataracts, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Epilepsy, Tricuspid Valve Dysplasia (TVD), Myopathy, Gastric Dilataion-Volvulus, Acute Moist Dermatitis, Cold Tail or Ear Infections. Needless to say, any dog suffering from a genetic disorder should not be bred and one should only buy Lab puppies from a trustworthy breeder who can provide medical clearances for the pup’s parents. The clearances should come from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, from Auburn University for thrombopathia and from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation. Labs are very adaptable to various weather conditions and usually live for 10-12 years.

Labrador Retriever Picture Labrador Retriever Picture

Care

Despite the fact that the Labrador Retriever has been bred to be a working dog, it is above all, a companion who loves to live indoors with their family. If it is left alone in the backyard for long periods of time, it will get bored and might start expressing behavior problems. Although the energy levels can differ from one Lab to another, these dogs should all get regular physical exercise. Puppies should be taken for short 5 minute walks. The walks should get longer as the dog grows. Furthermore, keep in mind that young Labs have very sensitive joints so don’t allow your dog to play on hard surfaces until it is at least two years old. An adult dog should get about 30 minutes of physical exercise per day. Keep in mind that the Lab is a very eager to please dog, so try not to overwork your dog and put and end to the physical exercise when the dog looks tired. Although Labs, rarely exhibit behavior problem, they too need to be trained in order to be well mannered companions. As far as feeding goes, it depends on the dog’s size, but generally, an average sized adult should eat about 2.5-3 cups of dry food per day, divided into two meals.

Labrador Retriever Picture Labrador Retriever Picture

Coat

The Lab’s coat is short, straight, dense and quite easy to care for. The double coat features a weather resistant undercoat and a harder outer coat. Woolly, soft and silky coats are uncommon and penalized during dog shows. As far as the color of the coat goes, Labs are usually black, yellow or chocolate. Combinations of colors are cause for disqualifications, except for white, chest patches.

Labrador Retriever Picture Labrador Retriever Picture

Friendliness

Just like the Golden Retriever, the Labrador retriever loves children as well as the commotion that children usually brings. This dog feels happiest when it is surrounded by their family members. Nevertheless, the spontaneity which usually characterizes dogs can at times be a danger to small children. It is always best to avoid leaving small children unsupervised with a dog, any kind of dog. Furthermore, children should be tough how to socialize with dogs and how to develop a relationship with a dog, a relationship built on mutual respect. No dog likes to have his tail pulled or his food taken away, so it is essential to teach children how to behave around dogs. As far as other pets go, if a Lab is properly socialized from an early age, it will have no problem interacting and befriending other pets.

Labrador Retriever Picture Labrador Retriever Picture

Ease of training

Due to its high intelligence and its strong desire to please humans, the Labrador Retriever dog is very easy to train. This dog excels in obedience competitions, but it is also very good with various tricks. He loves carrying things in its mouth, so it is very good at retrieving tricks. These dogs also like to chew on things so unless you want your furniture ruined, make sure to provide the dog with plenty of chewing toys. Crate training is particularly useful for housebreaking Labs.

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