The Labrador Retriever is a well-built, medium-sized, short-coupled dog with the substance and soundness to hunt waterfowl or upland game for extended periods of time in challenging conditions, the character and quality to succeed in the show ring, and the temperament to be a family friend.
Physical and mental characteristics should point to a dog that has been raised to function as a reliable game Retriever with a stable temperament suitable for a variety of activities other than hunting.
The Labrador Retriever is known for its short, dense, weatherproof coat, “otter tail,” clean-cut head with a broad rear skull and moderate stop, strong jaws, and “kind,” amiable eyes that indicate character, intelligence, and a good disposition.
Above all, a Labrador Retriever needs to be balanced so that it can move with ease in the field or in a show ring. The traditional Labrador has solidity without being heavy or cloddish, as well as style and quality without being excessively refined. Because the Labrador was developed largely as a working gun dog, structure and soundness are quite significant.
|Labrador Retriever Dog Breed Information|
|Dog Breed Group:||Sporting Dogs|
|Height:||21 to 24 inches|
|Weight:||55 to 80 pounds|
|Life Span:||10 to 12 years|
|Temperament:||Intelligent, Even Tempered, Kind, Outgoing, Agile, Trusting, Gentle|
|Health and Grooming:|
|Amount Of Shedding:|
|Tendency To Bark:|
Table of Content
History of Labrador Retriever
The origin of this breed is Newfoundland, where they were used for fishing purposes. It was realized that the Labradors were well suited for retrieving fish and other objects from the cold water bodies.
The early settlers in Newfoundland were deserters from the traveling British fleets. They had to get accustomed to hunting and fishing in a tough environment. They were deployed by fishermen to jump into the freezing waters and pull their nets across. They were also used for assistance in towing the ropes from one boat to another.
These dogs were bred along with a random mix of working-class dogs. It led to miscellaneous dog breeds such as the flat-coated Retriever, The Greater Newfoundland, and the St. Johns’ dog. It was ultimately the St. Johns’ dog that was preferred due to its short coat and ability to repel water.
More About Labrador Retriever
Known for their distinctive appearance, amiable nature, and trainability, Labrador Retrievers are one of the most well-liked dog breeds in the world.
Let’s explore these qualities in greater depth.
The Labrador Retriever is a heavily built, sturdy dog. They have broad heads, and their eyes are deep-set, big, and expressive. The hair coat is short and can be of various colors, ranging from black, brown, and yellow to even cream. The fur is also naturally water-resistant.
The Labrador can be considered to be a born water dog. This is because of its history of breeding for bringing back game from the rivers or lakes. They have some unique features which aid in swimming, such as an otter tail and webbed paws. The tail is thick and tapering, medium in length, and tapers towards the tip. The paws have a membrane that extends in between them, which becomes more visible if you separate the toes from each other. They will usually not have any fur on the webbing.
Labrador Retrievers typically have a withers height of 21.5″-24.5″ (55-62 cm) and a weight of 55-80 lb (25-36 kg). The Labrador Retriever has a body length of 36″-42″ (91-107 cm), a standing height of 28″-33″ (71-84 cm), and a lifetime of 10-14 years.
Personality and Temperament
Labradors are known to be amiable and are loved across cultures. They are one of the most universally loved animals. This is due to their enthusiastic nature and their happy-go-lucky demeanor. It is against the nature of this dog to show anger or to get frustrated. They can be extremely loving of their family, guests, or other people around them. Although, they can also tend to be clumsy at times.
While inside the home and with their family members, the Labradors tend to be docile and loving. Even outside, they are affable with a cool temperament, and welcoming towards strangers or other animals they might meet.
It should be noted that the Labrador can have complex emotional issues in case it feels it is not being adequately cared for. In case they feel that their family is not duly caring for them, they can start brooding and interact less. Labradors are prone to dependence issues and hence unlike other dogs that have a more independent streak, can develop symptoms of separation anxiety.
Of course, a Labrador does not have the level of intelligence that a German Shepherd or a Doberman characteristically has. Nevertheless, they are smart dogs in their own right. They can quickly pick up on instructions and remember the lessons imparted to them. They are always looking to learn and can quickly pick up new commands.
The Labrador responds well to positive reinforcement methods. You can try giving it dog treats after the successful execution of each command. You can also offer it its favorite game or the option to cuddle with you. It will soon become apparent that the Labrador will be obedient without requiring much prompting.
The following are some of the conditions to which your Labrador Retriever might be vulnerable:
- Stomach problems: Since Labradors have a playful nature, they might start picking up on garbage and scavenging leftover foods from the roadside. This might ultimately harm them and cause problems in the stomach or other illnesses related to digestion.
- Sore tail: Given their background of swimming in the water, Labradors tend to use their tails as rudders in the water. However, overuse can cause the tail to become sore and swollen. If this is the case, the Labrador needs to take adequate rest.
- Laryngeal paralysis: The muscles in the voice box of the canine become paralyzed. This is more common in canines that have grown up to middle or older. You can find the dog panting for breath or having a muffled bark. This can be quite a threatening condition and might require surgical intervention.
If the dog is more active than usual, it would require increased food intake. After exercise, plenty of water should be available to the dog to prevent dehydration.
The nails of the dog should be trimmed every 2 to 3 months using proper dog nail trimmers. Also, the ears of the Labrador should be regularly checked for smelly discharge. If not cleaned properly, they can become a host to bacteria clusters. Also, if the dog is quite active, it will require frequent care of its teeth. The vet should be consulted at least twice a year to prevent gum disease, loose teeth, tartar build-up, etc.
You can feed the Labrador two times a day. For puppies who are in their growing stage, feeding is recommended a day thrice. It will help if you plan a diet high in fat and protein and low in carbohydrates.
A minimum of one to a maxim of six cups of food may be given. It should be remembered that Labradors are not good at regulating their eating habits. It hence may even demonstrate an obsession with food. Thus, the supervision of the owner is required.
The Labrador being a large breed dog, is prone to diseases of the joint and so on. Consequently, the food needs nourishment with Omega fatty acids, beta-carotene, and amino acids.
Labradors have thick, double-layered coats. It can range from black to yellow to luscious chocolate. This coat was most useful in retaining their body temperatures during their original role, which required them to swim in the waters. The fur stands up straight and feels hard upon touching. However, it should be noted that only the outer layer is made of this harder fur.
Also, the condition of the coat is dependent upon the diet that the dog is receiving. If sufficient protein and fat are provided, it will stay in good condition. On the other hand, if there is a deficiency in protein consumption, the coat of the Labrador is likely to suffer.
Children and Other Pets
Due to their kindness, Labradors make for excellent companions with children. They can easily distinguish between a child and an adult, and they behave adorably with the former.
Unlike dogs that can become hostile to other animals, Labradors usually stare inquiringly at the other animal, wondering whether they can be friends.
The Labrador should be used to being brushed from an early age. Firmly brush the dog to remove the mud or dirt that may have accumulated.
For most of the year, the Labrador remains dogs that requires low maintenance. During the summer, though, regular brushing is recommended. The Labrador does not require bathing too frequently. The natural oils present in the Labrador’s coat can help to get rid of ticks and fleas. A washing every three to four months would suffice when the dog’s coat becomes too smelly.
In this article, we have summarized the key features of the Labrador Retriever, their original purpose, and how that has affected their adaptation. We have also discussed various aspects of how to care for them, what are some of the diseases that you need to be on the watch out for, and what is the best way to keep your pet in shape.
The expression signifies the rounded appearance of the Labrador’s tail. This helps the Labrador to navigate the water body while it is swimming. It functions as a rudder.
Over the growing months, the Labrador sheds its soft and fluffy coat to reveal an adult coat. The latter is less fluffy, denser, and more suited to practical requirements.
Crate training is required, so the Labrador does not roam around the house. The crate should also have interesting toys for the dog to stay occupied with or chew.
Labradors are high-energy animals. They should be given exercise every day. If this is not done, the Labrador might resort to destructive behavior such as digging, growling, etc.
Hi, I’m Walter,
I live in Oklahoma City, USA, and have extensive dog caring and grooming expertise. In addition, I provide dog training tips and tricks through my blogs in Canine Weekly. I have a Dog Behavior and Training diploma and have previously worked as a Dog Trainer at ROC Animal Training and Behavior and Tip Top K9 of OKC Dog Training.
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