Labrador Retriever is one of the most popular breed of dogs. They are fairly good with small children as they tend to tolerate their mischievous activities quite well. These medium to large sized dogs love to spend their time playing in water.
The breed is found to have been originated in Newfoundland, Canada and descended from St. John’s Water Dog. Labrador Retriever dogs used to help fishermen in retrieving and pulling fishing nets. These dogs have an acute sense of smell coupled with a good temperament. This makes them good service as well as therapy dogs. So, this sporting breed of dogs can be used as companion dogs and working dogs too.
Labrador Retriever breed dogs are athletic and sturdy in build. Their feet are webbed to help them swim easily in water. Yellow and black Labrador Retriever dogs have black noses whereas the chocolate colored Labrador dogs have brown noses.
The medium sized eyes are usually brown in color but could be hazel colored in case of chocolate Labs. Black and yellow colored eyes are generally not preferred. The pendant shaped, medium sized ears hang down. The tapering tail consists of short hair but no feathering.
Color: They can be black, chocolate or yellow in color. The silver colored ones are considered variations of chocolate colored Labs. The yellow ones, on the other hand, can range from lighter yellow in color to fox red. Yellow colored Lab with chocolate colored pigmentation around the nose or eyerims is referred to as Dudley.
Height: The normal height for Labrador Retrievers is 22.5 to 24.5 inches. The females are generally a bit shorter, that is, 21.5 to 23.5 inches in height.
Weight: The ideal weight for these dogs ranges between 65 to 80 pounds. Female Labrador Retrievers are usually 55 to 70 pounds in weight.
These large dogs are susceptible to health issues like Hip dysplasia, Elbow dysplasia, Luxating Petalla, Osteochondrosis, Arthritis and other joint related problems. They are also prone to eye diseases, especially Progressive Retinal Atrophy.
Other less common problems include autoimmune diseases, Hereditary Myopathy etc. These dogs like to eat more than what is sufficient for them. Therefore, do not give in to their persistent begging to avoid obesity and ailments related to obesity.
Life Expectancy: The average Labrador Retriever lifespan is 10 to 12 years.
Litter Size: the average litter size is 8 puppies.
The rich, short and straight Labrador Retriever coat needs regular brushing and combing, at least once in a week. Use of slicker brushes is often recommended for brushing them easily. They are heavy shedders and require more grooming during the shedding seasons (twice a year).
The dense undercoat is weather resistant that repels water. These dogs are quite clean normally. Hence, they do not require frequent bathing. Plus, clean the ears regularly to prevent troublesome ear infections. Their nails need to be trimmed on a weekly basis.
Labrador Retriever breed dogs are loving, stable, loyal, friendly, playful, fearless and active in temperament. Hence, despite their hunting instincts, they get along well with other pets in the house. These excellent and adaptable family dogs are reliable around children too.
In fact, they seem to love the company of children. They are neither aggressive nor timid. Labrador Retriever puppies tend to be quite hyperactive and exuberant in temperament. These high spirited dogs tend to crave human attention as much as they crave physical activity.
Early training and socialization are necessary to keep them in control. These tasks should not be difficult as Labrador Retriever dog breed is characterized by a fairly good level of intelligence. They can make for good watchdogs but not guard dogs.
Like other dogs, even these dogs require their share of attention from their owners otherwise they may exhibit destructive behaviors. The male Labrador Retrievers are usually more dependant as compared to the female ones.
As the latter part of their name suggests, these dogs are fond of retrieving objects. In fact, they love to hold objects in their mouths with remarkable tenderness. Their eyes almost always reflect their kind and intelligent temperament. These fast growing dogs can look like adults within six to seven months, but their puppy temperament usually lasts up to 3 years or more.
Basically, Labrador Retriever dogs are outdoor dogs that need plenty of exercise. Still, apartment dwellers can also lay their hands on these charming dogs, provided they are given access to moderate sized yards and long daily brisk walks. Be proactive in discouraging the dog from pulling the leash or else you might have to cope with the problem for the rest of your doggy’s life.