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Labrador Retriever

Quick facts

Labrador Retriever AKC Group: Sporting
Height: Male: 22-24 Inches; Female: 21-23 Inches
Weight: Male: 60-75 lbs; Female: 55-70 lbs
Colors: Solid black, yellow, or chocolate; Rare silver or grey color also classified as chocolate
AKC recognized in: 1917

By registered ownership, the Labrador Retriever is the most popular. It is one of several breeds of retrievers. It is also widely used breed for assistance work in the USA, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, and other countries in narcotics detection, assisting the blind, search and rescue operations, and retrieval operations.

The modern breed of the Labrador Retriever is traced to the island of Newfoundland in Canada. Through time, it is said that the St. John's Dog that is a native of the island was bred with the mastiffs brought by Portuguese fishermen. The mastiffs were known to retrieve fishing nets in the water. The St. John's Dog is characterized by what is called tuxedo markings or white markings on its chest, feet, chin and muzzle. Some of the newly bred dogs were brought to England. The Earl of Malmesbury was so impressed with the first Labradors that landed in England that he devoted his entire kennel to breeding these retrievers.

In breeding field and working types of Labs (Labradors), they are known as American bred. On the other hand, the Labs bred for shows are known as English bred. To be able to distinguish which type of Lab a dog is, the English breed is heavier and short-bodied while the American breed is taller and lankier.

Labradors are double coated which is smooth and does not have waves. Its coat is easy to handle and water resistant. Eye color depends on the coat. Yellow and black Labs have brown eyes, chocolate Labs have hazel brown eyes, silver Labs have grey eyes, and other Labs have green or greenish yellow eyes.


Labrador Retriever Summary
Affection five paws
Cold Tolerance four paws
Ease of Training five paws
Energy level five paws
Exercise Requirements five paws
Friendliness : Children five paws
Friendliness: Other Animals four paws
Friendliness: Other Pets five paws
Grooming Requirements one paw
Heat Tolerance three paws
Playfulness five paws
Protection Ability three paws
Watchdog Ability one paw

English Labs are usually calm and easy to train while the American Labs are high-strung and harder to train. It is important that these Labs are trained with a leash to lessen its energy to bolt doors and gates.

Labradors can be stubborn if they are not given sufficient exercise or when the authority is not pronounced such that the dogs think that they can overrule the command. On the other hand, when the Labradors are taken care of well and trained properly, these dogs are the best working dog and best pet ever. It can handle things by its mouth like carrying eggs without breaking them.

It has an even temper and is demonstrated by its gentleness towards children and in assisting the blind. Since its coat is water repellent, it is useful in waterfowl hunting and also when game or objects fall on water, the Labradors can retrieve them in one piece. Sometimes, it is prone to chewing but it can be trained not to chew objects being retrieved.

The Labrador Retriever is one of the most sweet natured breeds around, and she is friendly to both people and animals. This sweet disposition is exactly why the Lab makes such a poor watchdog. Instead of stopping intruders, she is more likely to show them around, with her tail wagging.

Health and Exercise

The Labrador Retriever has a life span of between 10 and 12 years.

While the Labrador Retriever is generally a healthy dog, they are susceptable to certain health problems, including:

  • Hip Dysplasia - Where the thigh bone does not fit snugly into the hip joint. This can lead to severe lameness or arthritis. A dog diagnosed with hip dysplasia should never be bred, as this is an inherited condition.
  • Gastric dilation-volvulus, or bloat - this is a life-threatening condition where the stomach becomes distended with gas or air, and then twists. This can happen with all deep chested dogs, especially if they eat their meal rapidly or drink large volumns of water. If this happens, it is extremely important that you get your Akita to a vet immediately.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy or PRA - This is an eye disease that results in deterioration of the retina, and can lead to blindness. Most Labs that get this have dealt well with the loss of eyesight, though.
  • Obesity - Labradors just love to eat, and if not kept in check will become overweight very quickly.

Daily walks for 30 minutes minimum will provide the necessary activity both to combat obesity and to satiate the mental needs.

Visitor Comments

This is your chance to add your feedback. Do you have a Labrador Retriever in your family, or know one in someone elses? Do you have a story to tell related to that Labrador Retriever? Or maybe you have more questions that either or another of our visitors might be able to help you with? Feel free to add your comment or question below.

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