These dogs are so popular for a variety of reasons, including:
- Vivacious, cheerful, devoted, and enthused
- Excellent with children and other pets
- When positive reinforcement training methods are used, the intelligence and trainability are above average
- Enjoys playing games, especially fetch
- People-pleasing and eager to please
- Temperament stability and a gentle demeanour
However, no dog is perfect! You might also notice the following characteristics:
- Can be rambunctious and rowdy, particularly as a puppy.
- Is a bit "mouthy"—likes to carry and chew things and requires a lot of exercise
- If left alone for an extended period of time, exhibits signs of separation anxiety.
- If not given something to do, they become easily bored, which results in barking and chewing.
- Sensitive, slow maturation
Labrador Retrievers were bred from St. John's water dogs in Newfoundland in the 1800s. Fishermen admired them for their trainability, trustworthiness, and work ethic. They would dive into icy cold waters to help pull in fishing nets and sometimes catch stray fish that had escaped, thus living up to their retriever name.
Today, there are two types of Labradors: American (tall and lanky) and English (short and stocky). All three colour variants—black, blonde, and brown—can be found in both American and English ancestors. These sweethearts are gentle and well-behaved in the home when given plenty of vigorous exercise and attention. All you need is a ball to throw, and your Lab will be your best friend for life! Let us know more about Labrador Retrievers:
The Labrador Retriever should thrive on high-quality dog food, whether purchased commercially or prepared at home with your veterinarian's supervision and approval. Any diet should be age-specific for the dog (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to becoming overweight, so keep an eye on your dog's calorie intake and weight level. Treats can be a valuable training aid, but giving too many can lead to obesity. Identify which human foods are suitable for dogs and which are not. If you have any concerns about your dog's weight or diet, consult with your veterinarian. At all times, clean, freshwater should be available.
The Lab has a double coat that is thick and water repellent and sheds. Bathe them frequently to keep them clean. As with all breeds, the Lab's nails should be trimmed on a regular basis, and his teeth should be brushed on a regular basis.
The Labrador Retriever is an exuberant, energetic breed that requires daily exercise. If a Lab does not get enough exercise, he or she is more likely to engage in hyperactive and/or destructive behaviour to release pent-up energy. Retrieving and swimming are two of the breed's favourite activities. Labs enjoy burning off energy on hunting trips or at field trials, as well as participating in canine sports such as agility, obedience, tracking, and dock diving. Many Labs also work hard in important roles like search and rescue, drug and bomb detection, and service and assistance dogs.
With the Lab's physical strength and high energy level, early socialisation and puppy training classes are essential. Between the ages of 7 weeks and 4 months, gradually exposing the puppy to a wide variety of people, places, and situations, as well as beginning obedience training early on, will help him grow into a well-adjusted, well-mannered adult. Puppy training classes help the owner learn to recognise and correct any bad habits that may be developing as part of the socialisation process. Labrador Retrievers are loyal, intelligent, and enthusiastic companions who must be included in family activities.
Labs are generally healthy dogs, and a responsible breeder will screen breeding stock for conditions like elbow and hip dysplasia, heart disorders, hereditary myopathy (muscle weakness), and eye conditions like progressive retinal atrophy. In some young adult Labs, a condition known as exercise-induced collapse (EIC) can occur; a DNA test allows breeders to identify carriers and plan breeding to avoid producing the disease. Labs, like other large, deep-chested dogs, can develop bloat, a potentially fatal stomach condition. Owners should educate themselves on the symptoms of this condition and what to do if it occurs.
Health examinations suggestions:
- Hip Examination
- Evaluation of the Elbow
- Evaluation by an Ophthalmologist
- DNA Exam for EIC
Males weigh 27 to 36 kilograms and stand 22.5 to 24.5 inches tall while females weigh 25 to 32 kilograms and stand 21.5 to 23.5 inches tall.
Much of what you can do to keep your dog happy and healthy, just like it is for people, is common sense. Keep an eye on their diet, make sure they get plenty of exercises, brush their teeth and coat on a regular basis, and call a pet emergency hospital if anything seems out of the ordinary. Make sure to follow the examination and vaccination schedule that are recommended for them. This is when you will perform the necessary "check-ups" and tests for diseases and conditions common in Labradors. They will almost certainly require medical tests and procedures throughout their lives.
Tips on Routine Care, Diet and Exercise
Include routine care in your schedule to help your Labrador live longer, be healthier, and be happier for the rest of her life. The importance of a healthy diet and exercise routine cannot be overstated.
- As you would a toddler, keep an eye on your pet. Close doors, pick up after yourself, and block off rooms as needed. This will keep them out of mischief and away from objects they should not be putting in their mouth.
- Brush their coat on a regular basis, at least once a week.
- Labrador Retrievers' teeth are generally healthy, and you can keep them that way by brushing them at least twice a week!
- Even as a puppy, your pet should have its ears cleaned once a week.
- They are intelligent dogs with a lot of energy, so keep their mind and body active or they'll become bored. That's when the bad stuff begins.
- Always walk your Lab on a leash because they have a habit of bolting after interesting smells and people.
- They love the water, and swimming is an excellent form of exercise for this water retriever.
- Maintain a consistent diet for your dog and avoid feeding her human food.
- Feed them a high-quality, age-appropriate diet.
- Regular exercise is important for your dog, but don't overdo it at first.
As with any breed, teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to avoid biting or ear or tail pulling on either party's part. Teach your child to never approach a dog that is eating or sleeping, or try to take the dog's food. No dog, no matter how friendly, should be left unattended.