- SIZE: 7
- GROOMING:: 4
- EXERCISE NEEDS: 5
- GOOD WITH DOGS: 6
- WATCHDOG: 6
- BREED: Labrador Retriever
- COLOR(S):Black, chocolate, and yellow.
Labrador Retriever dogs are the most popular in the world, ranking #1 in registrations at Kennel Clubs in the United States, Canada, and the UK. It has held this position for over 10 years at the American Kennel Club. The Labrador, or Lab for short, is a retriever type of dog breed that loves to run, swim, and play with children and adults alike. They are extremely loyal to their owners, hard-working and are generally good-natured, originally a type of gun dog. It is the archetypal family dog that appeals to all sorts of individuals and families. Its origins trace back to Newfoundland, Canada with the St. John’s Water Dog as the founding breed. Working with fishermen in Canada, they would retrieve small birds and fish, and would soon find their way to London where the demand for gun dogs began to pick up in the early 1800’s. Labs are extremely versatile and have been put to use in the following roles: hunting, guide dog for the blind, police k9, search and rescue, drug sniffing, retrieving, as well as tricks and competitive obedience.
The Labrador Retriever is a wonderful family dog that gets along with all members both big and small, rarely are they aggressive. They are very loving and affectionate and are eagerly playful. They love kids and are superb with children, just remember to be careful around smaller kids as their playfulness can be a bit rowdy and jumpy. They get along well with other dogs and can easily adapt to live with other small pets. Labs have a very positive temperament and get along with most strangers.
Grooming your Labrador Retriever is not time consuming and minimal brushing is required. However, although labs have short hair, they shed often especially during the spring and fall. Brushing regularly will usually suffice; make sure to brush the undercoat as well. Because they have an affinity for swimming and water, mud should be allowed dry first before attempting to brush it out. Their coats come in three distinct colors, yellow (often ranging from a reddish to a light cream), black, and chocolate (medium to a darker brown).
Labs are overall a strong and healthy dog breed. The most common problems are hip & elbow dysplasia which should be screened for when buying from a breeder. The larger the dog the more susceptible they are to hip dysplasia. Labs can also have varying eye problems and should be taken to the vet to receive an eye score. As they age they can also be susceptible to obesity. The average life span is 10 – 12 years.
Daily exercise is a must for this breed, and a big backyard to run and play is essential. They love any and all exercise so this is not an ideal indoor or apartment pet. Maturing around 3 years of age, their energy levels are extremely high during this time as a young puppy; don’t mistake this for hyperactivity. Labs often need a job to do as well; playing fetch on land or the water, retrieving the daily newspaper, or regular dog training should satisfy them. Remember Labs have an innate desire to swim, jumping in a body of water while out for a walk can and will happen.
Labrador Retrievers are very easy to train and can often get bored with simple tricks. However, they are eager to learn and crave human interaction and attention. They are very obedient dogs and loyal to their master. Teaching your Labrador Retriever to do any and all sorts of tricks should not be a problem. Starting early when a puppy is ideal.