The Labrador Retriever has long been regarded as one of the most suitable dogs throughout the world. Specially suited for hunting and often trained to hunt with hunters.
It is a remarkable work buddy that is used for various purposes, such as physical assistance and personal protection.
However, its loyalty and friendly temperament also make the Lab an outstanding pet.
Now let’s talk all about Labradors!
With a strong body the Labrador Retriever is classified as a working dog. One of their trademark characteristic features is a strong jaw, set in a broad head.
These dogs also have strong legs and shoulders, which add to their fast pace. Full grown they stand at about 21 to 24 inches in height, with a weight of 50 to 80 pounds.
The average Labrador Retriever life span is 12 to 12.5 years.
Their coat is straight and short, with the outer part being a bit coarse, and the undercoat thick and soft. This makes the Labrador all but completely waterproof, with the thick undercoat protecting the skin, and the outer guard coat whisking water away.
Labradors carry themselves with an upright, proud demeanor, but with a friendly facial expression that invites new acquaintances and endears them to their human families.
The Labrador Retriever is generally categorized by lines that are destined for slightly different purposes. The show Labradors are bred for beauty.
The hunting dogs follows the more traditional bloodlines, with usefulness being the key to perfection. The hunting Retriever has the physical characteristics that make it impervious to frigid water, an extraordinary sense of smell, and the agility to bag game with speed, along with companionable devotion to its human counterpart.
Champions are bred for speed, energy, and intelligence, with appearance being the last consideration. Their appearance strays somewhat from the traditional Labrador. They are quite thin with smaller heads, and agreed that this line may be a bit too enthusiastic for the average dog owner. They require a much higher degree of exercise, and considerably more space to move around.
Now the Family Lab is bred for intelligence, gentleness of temperament, tolerance, and a balance of energy with composure. They are as happy with a romp through the park as they are with a quiet evening at the hearth.
No matter what differences in lines, all Labrador Retrievers are expected to maintain the characteristics that originally made them working dogs.
Other Than Black
The Labrador Retriever is found in black, chocolate, and yellow, with black being the most popular, and chocolate running a close second. The color of the nose should be the same as the color of the hair, with minimal fading.
All other colors are the result of cross-breeding and are not accepted as purebred Labrador Retrievers. The eyes should give the impression of intelligence and kindness.
Colors for the eyes are brown for black and yellow haired Labs, and brown or hazel, for chocolate haired Labs.
The Labrador Retriever has a strong hunting instinct and loves to roam. They are active, but calm and obedient if trained properly.
Swimming and retrieving are among their favorite activities and they make a wonderful swimming companion. Regular exercise is a must, to keep them fit. Labradors are keen on learning, easy to get along with children, and just about anyone they meet.
The Labrador Retriever temperament makes them a top choice for families and excellent therapy dogs, but not an especially good choice for a guard dog.
While brushing is a luxury, rather than a necessity, since its coat is designed to naturally care for itself, it does go along way to improving your Labs natural beauty and overall health.
Regular exercises very important in a labs life span. The Labrador is a high-energy dog that loves to play, and it should be given the opportunity to do this on a daily basis. When possible, Labrador Retrievers should be allowed to swim, as it is one of their favorite activities.
One thing that is especially important to keep in mind is that this breed has a tendency to retain weight. One of the most common health problems for the modern Labrador dog is obesity.
A healthy Labrador should have a trim, hourglass shape. While it may be tempting to treat your pal often, in return for their unconditional affection, it is far better to treat your friend with quality playtime rather than edible treats. This will ensure that you and your Lab will enjoy a long and healthy companionship.
Labradors do very well outside with a doghouse, as they are adaptable for outdoor conditions, but they prefer to live indoors.
A Little History
The modern Labrador Retriever is the ancestral result of a popular fishing and retrieving dog from Newfoundland and Labrador, an Atlantic coastal province in Canada near the Labrador Sea; as such, the Labrador carries with it some relationship to the modern Newfoundland water dog. Originally, there were two distinct types under the one classification of Newfoundland dogs: the greater and the lesser, in which size was the main dictate for differentiating the two.
The lesser Newfoundland was black, smooth coated, and of a medium size, where the greater Newfoundland was considerably larger, and better suited for pulling heavy loads. Not to say that the lesser “Newfie” was incapable of pulling its fair share. Its great agility at fetching fishing lines and nets in the water and delivering them, along with its noteworthy style of affection and playfulness with families at the end of a long work day, made the smaller of the Newfoundland dogs the more popular choice for fishermen working in the waters off the coast of Newfoundland.
The Most Popular Purebred
The Labrador Retriever has consistently ranked as the most popular purebred dog in the United States for more than 10 years, according to the American Kennel Club. The AKC registers more than a hundred thousand new Labrador Retrievers each year, but when you take into account all the Labs never registered at all, or registered with another organization such as the United Kennel Club, the popularity of this family/friendly dog is truly staggering.
Happy Tails, Happy Trails!
To find out more about Labrador Retrievers, their character, personality, and how to care for a Labrador retriever, check out our Labrador Retriever most frequent asked Q&A’s.
If you have any questions, comments, or even a loving lab story, we would love to hear about it below in the comments section. I will get back with you very soon!