Breed Focus – Labrador Retriever

If you are looking for the perfect dog to bring home as your pet, you might want to consider getting a Labrador retriever. After all, the Labrador retriever is the most popular pet in the United States – and for good reason! The Labrador has a long history of being a faithful and easy-going pet that is highly intelligent and trainable. What more could a pet owner want from a dog?

History

Labradors originated from the coast of Newfoundland in the 17th Century. They were trained by fishermen, to collect the nets from the icy waters and for this reason, were bought to Poole Harbour in the UK in the 19th Century.

With such an attractive dog, the fishermen were often offered money for them and they very soon were found to be extremely effective as gun dogs.

The Earl of Malmesbury was a huge fan and began breeding these dogs, and named them “ Labradors”.

Appearance

Labradors are extremely attractive dogs, with kind faces and gentle eyes. They are strongly built and broad through their chest and rib cage.

According to the Kennel Club, Labradors should stand at approximately 55-56 cm tall for females and 56-57 cm tall for males.

Labradors have a short, dense coat which has a waterproof undercoat. They come in 3 solid colors; yellow, black, and chocolate. Yellow Labradors can range in color from a light cream to red fox.

Temperament

Labradors make one of the best family pets, being friendly, kind patient and very forgiving. They will bond with children and adults alike and just love to be a part of the family. They are not a good guard dog and will welcome strangers like old family friends. They like other dogs and are good with other animals too.

Grooming

With their short coats, they will only require a minimal amount of time spent on grooming.

Exercise

Labradors love to be outside; they appreciate long walks where they can run off the lead. But do beware; because of their love for water, it is likely that they will become oblivious to your shouts of “NO”, as they head for the nearest muddy water hole, to wallow like a hippo! Care should be taken around large expanses of water, as they will swim and swim!

Health Problems

When you purchase a Labrador puppy, you must check that the breeder screens for hereditary problems, especially Hip and Elbow dysplasia. You should also be aware that progressive retinal atrophy and epilepsy are also hereditary problems.

Keeping a Labrador Retriever as a Pet

Due to their outgoing nature, Labrador retrievers make great pets. Many do tend to be a bit hyperactive, however, which can potentially be frightening to small children. Therefore, while Labradors are good-natured and gentle pets, you should exercise caution before bringing one home as a pet if you have young children at home. In addition, while Labradors can easily share a home with other dogs, it is best to introduce them to the other pets at an early age because Labradors do have a tendency to be jealous.

Labrador retrievers are excellent pets that are well-suited to any household. Just be certain to give your pet plenty of opportunities for exercise and to give it plenty of love and affection and you will be certain to have a healthy and happy companion for years to come.

Labrador Retriever 101 – Feeding, Grooming, Socializing & Training a Lab

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