The Best Of The Labrador Retriever

Best Sprinter and Retriever Dog Breed

The Labrador retriever is a sporty dog that came from Newfoundland in Canada. Moreover, it is one of the most popular breeds in America.

Besides, it is known for his playful and friendly nature. Not only, is it a strong muscular breed, but also athletic that loves to swim, fetch, making it an ideal dog for an active family.

Key Breed Facts

  • Life expectancy is 12-13 years.
  • Adapt well to a cold environment.
  • Grooming is minimal.
  • America most popular breed.
  • Adapt well to families.
  • Great workers, for instance, (search dog, guard dog, therapy dogs, and companion dogs).
  • Thrive well in most environments.

Breed Characteristics

  • He is a sprinter-need room to run.
  • Active and playful breed.
  • Obedient and social dog.
  • Friendly easy going dog.
  • Receptive dogs.
  • Weigh 55-80 pound.
  • Height is 22-24 inches long.

Breed Highlights

  • Loves to participate in family activities.
  • Easy to train.
  • Loyal dog and a wonderful pet.
  • Eager to please.
  • Used in therapy, also as a guide dog and police dog to detect narcotics, arms, and drugs.
  • Extremely energetic, with a lot of energy and stamina.
  • Wonderful companion to Family, other pets due to his loving nature.
  • They excel in dog sports.
  • They are followers.

History

It should be noted, in 1800 in Newfoundland when fishermen use to lose their fish the Labrador would be used to retrieve fishing net, ropes or fish.

Originally called the St. John’s dog, after the capital city of Newfoundland.

Clearly, the fishermen created a dog that loved to swim, had great stamina and could leap into the water almost 27 feet. Furthermore, this breed was used to retrieve fish that had escaped the fishing net, retrieve ropes.

Apart from this, later in the evening, the dog would spend time with its owner’s family as a great companion.

Even so, the early breeders couldn’t name the dog Newfoundland but named it after the sea they use to work on the Labrador Sea.

Nevertheless, it is believed that this breed (St John dog) was interbred with Newfoundland and other small water dogs to get the Labrador.

Due to tax laws, quarantine and restrictions by the government the breed disappeared in Newfoundland later on.

 When Were Labrador first Documented?

Undoubtedly, the dog was first documented under the name Labrador in 1839.

Additionally, the modern Labrador breed was developed and established during the 1880s. Particularly, the Labrador was developed when the 3rd Earl of Malmesbury, the 6th Duke of Buccleuch and the 12th Earl of Home collaborated.

Early records show that in 1912 there were 281 Labradors registered with The Kennel Club; ten years later that figure had risen to 916.

Subsequently, the Labrador retriever took first place as the most popular dog registered by AKC in 1991.

Due to the Labrador sporting nature, in 1900 the English sportsmen went with them to England. In addition to this, they were used for hunting after the sportsmen found them very useful and composed.

Following this, the breed was developed to the modern Labrador that we know it today.

Alternatively, it was refined into a sporting dog for waterfowl and upland game making it a popular breed in America after World War II.

Besides, they are good with children, other dogs, strangers and family as a whole.

Not only, have they been used over the years as guide dogs for people with disability, but also, used by law enforcers to sniff out drugs, search and rescue people. Unquestionably, making them great workers for everyone.

In 2004, over 45,000 Labradors were registered, this being the highest number in all breeds.

Appearance

Appearances of Labrador retriever colours

Distinctive Labrador Retriever Colours

Labrador comes in three main distinctive colours white, yellow and black.

The back legs have strong joint cartridges which assist the Labrador to leap into the water fast almost 27 feet inward.

Moreover, they have a strong muscular body which weight around 55-80 pounds and a height of 22-24 inches (male) long and 21.5-23.5 inches (female).

It should be noted, that the Labrador is a very good swimmer due to his webbed feet.

Additionally the Otter like tail boosts him in his swimming activities.

Along with this, his layered coat keeps him/her warm and drip dry when wet.

The breed also comes with a soft mouth, indeed if well-trained she can carry a fragile item in her mouth without cracking it.

Lastly, the strong joint cartridges on his hind legs enable him to sprinter and can run 12 miles an hour in 3 seconds. Unquestionably, making the Labrador not only an assisting dog but also a great rescue dog.

Temperament

In particular, it is hard not to love the lab, it is big, friendly, and full of life.

Due to their loving nature, they are used by the therapist and also assist disabled people. Especially they are trained to aid those with blindness and autism as they are intelligent and easy to train.

The breed continues to be among the most popular pets due to its great disposition and versatility.

Evidently, they are devoted family members as well as a hunting companion. Great with children due to their loving nature. Indeed, tend to enjoy the company of other dogs and family members. Definitely, comes out as a popular breed with numerous great qualities as they thrive in most environment and are easy to please.

A gentle temperament combined with friendliness and intelligence makes Labs the most popular breed in the country.

Labradors need love and you need to make sure he knows you will always love and care for him.

Intelligence / Trainability

Proper and constant training keeps Labrador energy levels in check. If not so, this could lead to destructiveness and bad behaviour. Importantly, they need to be taught good canine behaviours, and it is better if you start the training while he is a puppy.

It is an intelligent breed due to his fast ability to learn, and with a good trainer, it takes a shorter time to understand and respond to commands and expectations.

Nonetheless, this is a breed that thrives well and has pent up energy hence needs activity, to keep her both physically and mentally fit.

For toilet training, a Labrador puppy might need to go for bathroom breaks after every 20 minutes outdoor. In case you use a crate indoor for potty training your puppy it can take 1-4 months.

Once your Labrador does toilet training outside ensure to clean up the feaces to avoid transmission of parasites/worms to other pets or children around.

Children and Other Pets

Labrador retriever

Labrador Retriever, Fun Loving Dog

Kind, temperament, fast and good with children that is what a Labrador is mostly known for. Additionally, fun-loving dogs who like retrieving things.

Above all, it is healthy for your Labrador to play with other dogs. Introduce him to other family members and pets after bringing him home, once he is familiar with his new environment.

These can be done during your daily walks or while bonding at the park.

Labrador likes to follow and a quality leash around 5-6 feet and a collar will be a good product for restricting her from wandering off, as she is a sprinter. Carry her toys along and have play dates with other dog owners.
Health

Labradors like eating everything and if not supervised can turn out obesity. It is crucial for all dog owners to takes control of her feeding and ensures the diet is healthy. You can discuss the dietary need of your dog with the veterinarian.

Being a great breed the Labrador also has several health problems. Most importantly, is hip dysplasia which is caused by the abnormal formation in the hip. Particularly, leading to loss of cartridge and causes pain at the hip joints.

Another major health problem is rectal dysplasia in the eye which causes blindness as the Labrador ages.  Ensure to take your dog for regular eye checkup in case you notice infections and difficulties with your dog’s vision.

Caring for a Labrador Retriever

Need to prepare the necessary products for your Labrador before he arrives home. The major items range from dog supplies, that is, food (dry and wet food), Bed, Collar, Crate, Leash.

Other things that you need to consider is vet fees, vaccinations needed, training needs, grooming and any other treatment that might be needed from tick to flee, parasites and worm treatments, neutering. Being ready emotionally and financial makes it smooth sailing for both you and your Labrador.

Labrador is an active breed and will need to be feed 2 times if over 6 months. For puppies, it can be fed 3-4 times daily for proper growth. Check also the feeding instructions on the food packet so as not to overfeed or underfed her.

How to make it Easy when caring for a Lab

Talk to your vet to know the best feed for your dog, be it dry food or wet food, which proportions to gives and prepare a feeding schedule.

Give your dog a few treats during training and avoid giving human food leftovers as it can be detrimental to her health.

Get separate water and food bowls, and give enough water to avoid constipation and dehydration.

Clean the bowls after meals and change the water daily to avoid her getting sick from dirt and contaminated water/food.

Groom your dog regularly to keep her clean and not smelly. No one likes a dirty pet.

Keep your Labrador bed and crate clean, change the blanket and clean off the fur your dog sheds regularly for a clean environment for both of you.

Grooming

When grooming your Labrador start with checking for any lumps in her body by running your hand all over her body. Think also of pest control and tick treatment measures.

Get a nylon bristle brush to brush off the dry hair and dead skin in your dog coat once a week. This keeps her coat shinning as regular brushing stimulates the natural oils in the skin keeping her clean and shiny as she sheds a lot.

You can also use a fumigator as a DE shedding tool for a thorough job.

The good thing is Labrador bathe when dirty, you can use a compressed shower and do the bathing outdoor.

Compressed Shower for Labrador Retriever

Great when having outdoor activities, hiking or on a road trip with your Lab.

Even so, you do not need to bathe your dog daily but regular is better as the Labrador can benefit from constant touch. Especially, the coat makes it so easy to drip dry for a Labrador as it has a smooth coat.

How to clean your Labrador Fast

When cleaning your Labrador check the ears and eyes for any discharge and discoloration. Firstly, for the visible ears clean with a ball of cotton wool and an ear cleaner recommended by your vet.

Secondly, for the eyes use a ball of cotton wool dipped in saline, very easy procedure.

In case you notice serious infection in both cases take your dog to the vet for immediate checkup and medication.

Grooming should be done when you notice your Labrador is dirty or smelly. Their love for swimming makes them wet often and can end up rolling in the dirt while playing.

Thirdly, remember to trim their nails with a clipper to avoid difficulties while walking.

You want your Labrador to smell nice and have a dry coat hence come prepared with good dog shampoo and quality towel during bathing.

Lastly, the after result will be divine for a while before he/she goes sprinting out again outside. Grooming helps your lab maintain his health and also look good.

Exercise

Obviously, Labradors need a lot of exercise daily. If you are a busy person/family you might want to consider not having an active breed like a Labrador.

Definitely, they will need 1-hour training daily to use up their pent up energy. On the other hand, they might engage in destructive behavior.

Despite that, Labradors need a lot of space to stretch and run, considering they are fairly large and lively dogs hence ample space is required.

Indeed, Labs are playful breed and love engaging in swimming, marathon, a game of fetch to reduce their pent up energy.

Feeding

The veterinarian should be able to give you tips on what your dog needs to eat, you will also be able to know if your dog is overweight or underweight.

Following, this is a breed that eats anything and if the feeding is not regulated can be obese.

Ensure to give her proper nutrition and not give a lot of treats in between meals. Due to high activity level Labradors tend to be hungry in no time.

During training, you can praise and use positive reinforcement like a game of fetch instead of rewarding with treats always or give a vegan diet.

Average Cost to keep/care for a Labrador

You may be wondering how much it costs to keep a Labrador comfortable after you bring her home.

Obviously, they are a handful, you must be committed to her with your time, effort and finances.

Not only, is this a breed that needs an active family but a prepared family too.

Above all, prepare emotionally and financially from food, treats, toys, vets fees, vaccinations, dog supplies (bed, blanket, dental items) and other expenses.

Breed Specific Buying Advice

Will you buy a shelter dog, a dog from the pet store, or from a backyard breeder (someone who breeds dogs from their own home) or a reputable breeder? You need to understand your dog, remember a dog from the shelter may have health and trust issues.

Background and family lineage of the Labrador are important issues you should know before taking her home.

Purchasing from a qualified, registered breeder will ensure quality and also gives you someone who will answer your questions when needed.

Check with the relevant dog breeders association for suggested breeders and to be certain that the breeder is registered.

Get your Labrador from a reputable breeder, sometimes a cheap deal from an advert might cause you emotional and financial pain later.

Final Thoughts

Labradors are friendly, outgoing, and easy to please family pets’ great for a family looking for a medium-to-large dog.

Finally, this is a retriever in the class of sporting dogs used to retrieve game for the hunter or fish or nets for fishermen and also a great family companion to date.

Last but not least, this is a breed with so many excellent qualities ranging from high intelligence level, high energy level, and great family pet, thrive well in all environment and adapt well to other pets and strangers.