A Labrador retriever is a super friendly dog, an everybody’s friend that always likes to play. Historically, he earned his keep as a fisherman’s helper: hauling nets, fetching ropes, and retrieving fish from the chilly North Atlantic. Today’s Labrador Retriever is as good-natured and hard working as his ancestors, and he’s America’s most popular breed. Now the Lab works as a retriever for hunters, show competitor, assistance dog to handicapped, search & rescue dog and of course being a family pet.
Information & History
The warm and intelligent Lab is one of the most registered breeds in the world. Even non-dog knowers recognize them. The lab is built muscular and athletic, good for the sport. Labs are loving, people-oriented dogs who love to serve their families. The breed has his roots on the island of Newfoundland, originally called St. John’s dog. He was bred to help the local fishermen. His tasks were hauling nets, fetching ropes and retrieving fish that escaped the nets. As well as to be a family dog. Today labradors don’t have to work as much and are well pampered and loved. However, some still have to work
The Labrador retrievers sweet nature makes him an excellent therapy dog for elderly and hospitals. You will see him also many times with blind or handicapped people. He can also be a search and rescue dog or retriever for hunters. The breed has that to thank because his athletic build, strong nose and courageous will to please his owner.
As a watchdog is a labrador not so good. In fact, owners say they are sweet to an intruder. Labs will rather greet the intruder, then they scare them away.
Labrador Retrievers have proven their usefulness and versatility throughout the breed’s history, easily shifting from fisherman’s companion to field retriever, to show dog, to modern working dog. One role has remained constant: wonderful companion and friend.
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This is a medium to large-size, muscular dog. It has a broad head with a black or brown or hazel eyes; and short, triangular drop ears. The otter tail is long and thick. The double coat has a short, dense undercoat and short, straight, water-resistant outer coat in black, yellow, or chocolate. There may be a white spot on the chest.
The lab is between 21.5 and 24.5 inches in height and weights between 55 and 80 pounds.
Temperament and Personality
The Labrador retriever has the reputation of being one of the most sweet-natured breeds, and it’s well deserved. The Labrador retriever is enthusiastic, social and biddable. It is even-tempered and friendly with almost everyone, including children and other dogs. Aside from a winning personality, he has the intelligence and eagerness to please that make him easy to train. It loves the water and carrying objects in its mouth. The lab was originally a working breed. This means this breed needs activity, both physical and mental, to keep him happy. There is some variation in the activity level of Labradors: some are rowdy others are more laid back. Take a look at this Dog training course if you wanna train him good.
It does well with an active family in a rural or suburban environment but can adapt to city life with sufficient exercise.
Labrador retriever pups for sale
Taking care of a Labrador
A lovable lab needs to be around his family and is not a backyard dog. If he’s left alone too long, he gets lonely and bored. A bored lab is apt to dig, chew or find other destructive outlets for his energy. Labs show variation in their activity levels, but all of them need activity. A daily 30-minute walk, game or romp at the dog park are a few ways to help your Lab burn off energy. However, a puppy should not be taken too long walks and should play for a few minutes at a time. Labs are “workaholics” and will exhaust themselves.
One big mistake, you sometimes hear, is that they have such good reputations that owners think they don’t need training and education. Without training, a rambunctious lab puppy will soon grow up to be a very large rowdy dog. Luckily, labs take to training well.
If you have no experience with dogs, start with a puppy kindergarten or take a puppy course. It will not only teaches your pup good canine manners but helps him learn to be comfortable around other dogs and people. But wait for until the adult rabies/adult vaccine for going to a puppy kindergarten.
You’ll need to take special care if you’re raising a Labrador puppy. Watch out that you don’t let your lab puppy run and play on very hard surfaces until he’s at least two years old. Then his joints are fully formed. Normal play on grass is fine. Like all retrievers, they are happiest when he has something to carry in his mouth. He’s also a chewer, so be sure to keep sturdy toys ( unless you want your couch chewed up). When you leave the house, it’s wise to keep your Labrador retriever in a crate, kennel or bench so he can’t get himself into trouble chewing things he shouldn’t.
Feeding you Labrador
How much food your Lab needs depends on his size, age, build, metabolism and activity level. A recommended amount is 2.5 to 3 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals. Dogs are individuals, just like people, and they don’t need the same amount of food. It’s normal that a highly active dog needs more food than a couch potato dog.
The better the quality of the dog, the less you will need to feed your dog. But keep in mind that the food can have a maximum protein percentage of 28%. Else your dog will grow to fast and the skeleton doesn’t grow as fast so it gets porous.
Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.
The Lab has a thick, water-repellent double coat that sheds. Give occasional baths to keep them clean. As with all breeds, the Lab’s nails should be trimmed regularly and his teeth brushed frequently.
The Labrador Retriever is an exuberant, very energetic breed that needs lots of exercises every day. A Lab who doesn’t get enough exercise is likely to engage in hyperactive and/or destructive behavior to release pent-up energy. The breed’s favorite activities are retrieving and swimming. Labs also love to burn up energy on hunting trips or at field trials, as well as by participating in canine sports such as agility, obedience, tracking, and dock diving. Many Labs also work hard in important roles such as search-and-rescue, drug and bomb detection, and as service and assistance dogs.
With the Lab’s physical strength and high energy level, early socialization and puppy training classes are vital. Gently exposing the puppy to a wide variety of people, places, and situations between the ages of 7 weeks and 4 months and beginning obedience training early on will help him develop into a well-adjusted, well-mannered adult. Puppy training classes serve as part of the socialization process and help the owner learn to recognize and correct any bad habits that may be developing. Labs are devoted, intelligent, and enthusiastic companions who need to be included in family activities.
The breed standard
The Labrador Retriever is a strongly built, medium-sized, short-coupled, dog possessing a sound, athletic, well-balanced conformation that enables it to function as a retrieving gun dog; the substance and soundness to hunt waterfowl or upland game for long hours under difficult conditions; the character and quality to win in the show ring; and the temperament to be a family companion. Physical features and mental characteristics should denote a dog bred to perform as an efficient Retriever of the game with a stable temperament suitable for a variety of pursuits beyond the hunting environment.
The most distinguishing characteristics of the Labrador Retriever are its short, dense, weather resistant coat; an “otter” tail; a clean-cut head with broad back skull and moderate stop; powerful jaws; and its “kind,” friendly eyes, expressing character, intelligence, and good temperament.