Labrador Retriever

Considered to be the most popular pets the Labrador retriever is quite suitable for giving company to hunters as well. Apart from being a great companion, the Labrador is good for protection and assistance purposes too. It also is extremely loyal and his friendly nature covers up for any other kind of anomaly in his behavior.

History

The Labrador retriever is considered to be the traditional waterdog of Newfoundland. Its popularity started rising in the early 1800’s when English nobles spotted this breed in Canada. It was during the latter half of the 19th century when breeders started working on refining and standardizing the breed.  The Kennel club of England recognized it as a Lab in 1903 while the AKC registered the first dog of this breed in 1917. In 1991 they had the most registrations and ever since they have retained this top spot.

Physical Features

The Labrador retriever is bestowed with a strong built and a heavy body making it fit to accomplish all the tasks. Their strong shoulders and legs provide the speed and agility. By the time they reach adulthood their height can reach a maximum of 21-24 inches and weight of 50-80 pounds. Their furry coat has straight and dense hair and mostly the outer coat is coarse while the undercoat is soft and supple to touch.

Mostly the Labrador retriever can be found in three distinct colors i.e. black, chocolate and yellow where black is the clear favorite. The nose of the retriever would be of the same color as the coat. Each Labrador retriever is trained according to the requirement. Show Labradors are bred to exude grace and style while the hunting ones work on proving their usability. Field trail Labradors are bred with the intention to provide energy, intelligence and speed, and appearance is the last thing to be considered important.

Temperament

Your Labrador is basically a calm dog but his exploring instinct is quite strong too. Though they are quite active if you train them in the right manner they can be obedient and provide you great company in all your escapades. They love swimming and chasing and are easy to get along with. The temperament they are endowed with makes them suitable for being a family dog but they may not be suitable as a guard dog.

Maintenance

The waterproof coat that a Labrador retriever has requires minimal care as it is also resistant to dust and soil. A weekly combing is sufficient to ensure that the coat remains clean and devoid of any germs. One ailment that afflicts the Labrador is Obesity. If not very active this breed tends to put on weight pretty soon a scenario which should be avoided at any cost. Instead of offering him treats take them out to play or better still swim and your Lab may never need medical attention.

Life span and health

The average life span of a Labrador retriever ranges from 10-12 years. They may suffer from ailments like Distichiasis, diabetes, muscular dystrophy, Entropion, Tricuspid valve dysplasia, patellar luxation, and Canine elbow and shoulder dysplasia. His regular check-ups should include Knee, hip, elbow and eye tests to ensure that he does not fall prey to any of the above problems.

Training

Being a breed with very high energy the Labrador retriever needs early socialization and puppy training sessions. If you can introduce your puppy to different types of people, places, and situations early on between 7 weeks to 4 months of age then he would surely grow up to become a well -mannered dog. Since Labs are a devoted breed it is wise to make them a part of all your family activities. Their enthusiasm on such occasions adds up to the fervor and helps them in adjusting to their surroundings.

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