Labrador is the number one breed in the US that is registered with the American Kennel Club. It is popular not just in America but in the United Kingdom as well. Labrador retrievers or simply Labradors have become a favorite disability assistance breed in plenty of countries. This is due to their high sensitivity level and intelligence.

Labs are known for their muscular and athletic appearance as well as loyalty. Photographers and artists all over the world captured images of labrador retrievers simply waiting patiently by their owner’s side. This dog is people-oriented and loving, which makes them no threat to strangers. If you want guard dogs, this may not be the right pup for you. Here are the highlights of owning one:

Highlights

  • Excellent working dog
  • Friendly companion
  • Good-natured breed
  • Highly sensitive
  • Fairly tolerant to hot weather
  • Very affectionate to family
  • Comfortable with strangers
  • Sheds heavily
  • Easy to care and groom
  • High potentiality for weight gain
  • Extremely smart and trainable
  • Playful and energetic

History of Labrador Retriever

The Labrador retriever is bred from their ancestors, the St. John’s water dog in England. In the 1830s, the breed was imported to be used as gundogs in Europe. Then later on this dog, which was known as Newfoundland dogs became Labrador Retrievers. It was in the 1880s, when the modern Lab dog was developed and fully bred. Many outsiders took notice of the Lab’s good disposition and hunting skills. That’s why English sportsmen imported them for games.

In addition, did you know that Labrador Retrievers almost became extinct in the 1880s? Tax laws and government restrictions were grave in Newfoundland, where they originated. They use to tax incredibly high for female Labs and families weren’t permitted to own more than one dog. Good thing the breed survived in England and continued to become known up to 1917, when the American Kennel Club officially recognized Labrador Retrievers.

Appearance

A male Labrador Retriever usually stands 22.5 to 24.5 inches and weighs around 65 to 80 pounds. Females, on the other hand, stand 21.5 to 23.5 inches and weighs about 55 to 70 pounds. This breed has subtypes like others. Yellow and chocolate Labs have been recognized around the 20th century. Yellow Labs (and similar shades) have almost butterscotchy color. The chocolate ones, well, have a dark brown coat, thus the name. There is also the black Lab.

Labrador Retrievers have strong built and usually medium-sized. Their physical features and overall traits make them an excellent retrieving gun dog and superb family companion. What’s awesome about a Labrador Retriever is its easy to care for. The breed’s short and water-resistant coat make it almost effortless to keep them. Labs also have a clean-cut head, powerful jaws, and kind eyes. For people who doesn’t want their visitors intimidated, Labs would make perfect pets.

Temperament

Like what we mentioned in the Labrador Retriever breed info part, this breed is comfortable with strangers and is extremely smart and trainable. They are one of the most sweet-natured breeds ever recognized in the field. Because Labs are eager to please their owners, they are most likely quick to develop discipline. Since these pups have plenty of energy to spend, they need adequate exercise and activity so that they remain tamed indoors.

While Labs are friendly to strangers, they make good detection dogs with proper training. In fact, military and police forces use this breed to track down thieves, smugglers, and people of interest. Nevertheless, the Labrador Retriever is loving and gentle. It also enjoys carrying objects in its soft mouth. Other well-known characteristics of this breed are hyperactivity, being territorial, agility, and independent.

Health and Grooming

Labs are generally healthy. However, like other dogs, they are prone to certain conditions. These include hip and elbow dysplasia, cataracts, and others. Keep in mind that veterinary care is important when owning a Labrador Retriever. When getting a Lab, pick a responsible breeder who has established a good reputation in your area. Then choose a vet right away to have your pup examined. Schedule an immunization early on, as this will give protection against health threats.

Labrador Retrievers are not backyard dogs. They can’t be left alone too long, as they are naturally sociable and inquisitive. Without proper energy outlet, Labs can grow lonely and bored. If you are serious in keeping your Labrador Retriever healthy and active, spare some time for 30-minute walks or a game of fetch everyday. Labs are very lively and driven. They need time to exhaust themselves. Like all retriever breeds, Labs are happier when they get to chew or play on something.

Living with a Labrador Retriever

When feeding a Lab, divide 2.5 to 3 cups of quality dry food to two meals, daily. Still, the amount of food that adult Labs consume depend on their size, metabolism, age, and activity. A Labrador Retriever is not hard to maintain, as it has short coating. More accurately, Labs have two layers of coating – a short and thick one, and a soft and weather-resistant undercoat. In spite of this, Labs still tend to shed a lot.

This breed is good with children and families. Still, you should always caution your young visitors on properly approaching and touching dogs – especially when they aren’t living with one. If your Lab is exposed to other dogs and pets, such as cats, birds, and other small animals, it’s safe to say that he or she will friendly with other pets too. Owning a Lab is very rewarding. Saying that they are affectionate is actually an understatement. If you like coming home to wet kisses and warm dog hugs – you’re exploring the right breed.

Like other dogs, Labrador Retrievers love to eat. Thus, they might turn obese if food intake isn’t controlled. Be sure to limit treats, train them well, and give plenty of exercise. It would also help to walk them in the mornings every day, as sunlight and fresh air is good for your pup. If you enjoyed reading this article, you might want to check out our other posts on Retrievers. You could also share this information by clicking the links below.