All About Labrador Retriever Dog Breed
The Labrador Retriever, or just Labrador, is a large breed of retriever–gun dog. As is evidenced by their name, Labrador retrievers were bred and selected for their outstanding retrieving abilities, particularly in water.
Labradors excel as service and guide dogs, family pets, scenting dogs for the military, customs and arson task force dogs, search and rescue dogs as well as hunting companions and performance dogs. Labrador Retrievers are the breed of choice for search and rescue work, guide dogs and assisted living dogs.
Americans absolutely love Labrador Retrievers, this dog is ranked as the most popular breed by the American Kennel Club. Americans aren’t alone in their adoration of Labrador Retrievers. They’re also the top favorite breed in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. These dogs are happy, easy-going, and friendly. The Labrador was the first dog on the cover of Life magazine and the first canine face to grace a U.S. Stamp.
Early in the 1800s, some of the multipurpose dogs used in North America (mostly Canada) by hunters were shipped back to England. Many of these “water dogs” were of the Newfoundland type, but the smaller ones were often designated “St John’s” dogs. In England, the breed was developed and refined into the breed we recognize today.
In the United States, Labradors acquired popularity as hunting dogs during the 1920s and especially after World War II, as they gained recognition as combining two favorite United States breeds as both game finders and water dogs.
Outside North America and Western Europe, the Labrador arrived later. For example, the Russian Retriever Club traces the arrival of Labradors to the late 1960s, as household pets.
Appearance of Labrador Retriever
Labrador retrievers are sturdy, solid dogs. They are almost square in appearance, with a strong body and sturdy legs. The maximum height for a male is 24 inches, which puts them in the medium-size dog category, but their sturdy build can make them seem much larger. Weights range from 85 pounds for a large male to 55 pounds for a smaller female. Field line bred dogs are often taller and somewhat thinner in build.
Labrador retrievers are easily recognized by their broad head, drop ears and large, expressive eyes. Two trademarks of the Lab are the thick but fairly short double coat. The tail is thick and sturdy and comes off the top line almost straight. Color can range from black through chocolate to a red/yellow or even almost white.
The Labrador retriever is a moderately fast maturing breed, reaching adult height from six to 12 months, but possibly still filling out up to 2 years of age. Many Labs reach 12 to 14 years of age.
Personality and Temperament of Labrador Retriever
This is a very active breed who will need a lot of activity to keep them happy and healthy. They are avid swimmers .They gets easily bored if not given something to do, which leads to barking and chewing. They are bouncy, cheerful, loyal, enthusiastic, people-oriented and eager to please. They are good with kids and other pets too.
Despite their fame as indoor pets, they are even more at home outdoors. It should always be remembered that Labradors are water retrievers at heart and from early on, puppies show a strong desire to carry things around with them and a strong attraction to water.
Labrador Retrievers shedding occurs twice a year, for three weeks in the spring as their thicker winter coat switches to a cooler summer coat, and three weeks in the fall as their summer coat switches over to a winter coat. But they also shed some all through the year.
Labs need more brushing than some other short haired breeds because of the high shedding.
If you don’t diligently pull out the dead under coat during regular grooming sessions, it will all fall out on your floors and furniture. Plan to brush them about once a week and bathe them as needed.
Labrador retrievers are not hypoallergenic as they shed their coats on seasonal basis. More than 10% of them are affected by a very common skin disease of dogs known as Atoptic dermatitis .
It causes mild to severe itching as a result scratching and rubbing leads to further skin damage and infection.
Dogs and humans are allergic mostly the same types of trigger such as smoke, dust, molds, some odors, some fabrics and food. Labrador has an allergy to something he ingested or had contact with.
Labs are one of the best dog for children of all ages. They are kindly, good -natured and friendly with everyone. As kids love to play, Labradors being athletic and fast dogs enjoy playing with them and loves attention. This breed is much better match with kids who are older. Their equally high energy levels mean they can play together for hours without getting tired.
Labradors can live very well in an apartment , in fact they are among the best breeds for an apartment. Once trained you will find their temperament perfectly suited for smaller living spaces.
An adult Labrador is medium-to large-sized. They will stand about 21 to 24.5 feet tall and weigh 55 to 80 pounds. While they’re not the largest type of dog, a studio-sized apartment might get quite cramped.
However, a decently sized apartment can accommodate a Labrador. A ground floor apartment is the safest choice for a Labrador Retriever.
Labrador puppies especially will need full-time attention.
Be sure to locate the closest dog park or other area near your apartment where your Labrador can have some off-leash play time!
Labrador Retrievers are a robust, healthy breed. Some may suffer orthopedic issues like elbow or hip dysplasia, or eye disease and luxating patella (loose knee joints).
Labs are very prone to rupturing the ligaments in their hind legs. And if one hind leg ruptures, the other is likely to follow at a later time.
A well-balanced Labrador Retriever diet is vital to keep your pet healthy and happy. Your pet’s well-being depends on what foods you serve, how often you feed him, how much you feed, and what kind of treats you give.
Supplement the diet with vitamin/mineral tablets or natural, organic ingredients when your dog needs something “extra.”
For example, if your Lab has itchy, flaky skin, you can try adding a fatty fish, such as salmon or sardines to meals. The extra B-complex vitamins and Omega-3 fatty acids in the fish work to heal skin tissues and promote cell growth.
Your Labrador Retriever diet requires six basic nutrients for the optimal health of your dog.
- Proteins and amino acids
- Fats and fatty acids
Foodstuffs that you must avoid in your Labrador Retriever diet include as ingredients used can be harmful.
- grapes and raisins
- onions and chives
- significant amounts of garlic
- macadamia nuts
- milk and milk products
Training and Exercise
These bold, bouncy dogs are so strong and full of energy, so proper training and socialization are essential. Focus on teaching loose-leash walking, indoor calmness, and no jumping.
Training most Labrador Retrievers is easy. They housebreak quickly and are usually willing to please. The Labs being an active breed , for the first three years require about two hours of robust exercise per day.
The Labrador breed is very energetic and needs a ton of exercise. Multiple walks a day are ideal, and space to run and play will expend all of that pent-up Labrador energy. At the minimum, a Labrador should get at least two 30-minute walks each day
Adoption and Maintenance
Labrador Retriever is the most popular breed for adoption of puppies.
If food, recurring medical costs, toys, health insurance are concerned this breed is not expensive to adopt than others.
Labs will remain fairly low maintenance. During the summer, you’ll want to brush it regularly weekly is best to remove loose hair from its coat. Don’t bathe your lab too often. Go for a walk with them , Play with them .Feed them appropriately.A routine veterinary care should be provided to your lab as other pets. Giving them right kind of attention make them feel better as a part of your family.
Things to know about Labrador Retriever
- Labrador retrievers are intelligent and highly trainable
- Labs love children
- Labs live long and healthy lives
- Labrador retrievers don’t need expensive trips to the groomer
- Labs want to be helpful
- Labrador retrievers can learn not to play rough
- Labs have adventurous and playful personalities
- Labrador retrievers stay pretty healthy
- Labrador retrievers like other dogs (and other animals)
- Labs are the perfect size for many families.
- Labs are not expensive to adopt.
- Labrador retrievers don’t bark as much as other dogs.
- Labs can tolerate a wide range of weather