One of the most well known breeds in the United Kingdom, the Labrador retriever was once called “St John’s Dog”. Being native to Newfoundland, this breed worked alongside fisherman helping them catch fish that escaped from the nets. They were specially trained to jump into cold waters and pull them back into the net. Dog breeders crossed these dogs with spaniels, other retrievers and setters to help improve its hunting instincts. Among most large dogs, the Labrador retriever is one of the best pets and is extremely easy to train for many other activities like tracking, police work, hunting, guide for the disabled, rescuing, carting, detection of drugs and narcotics and overall obedience activities. Let us take a look at the important information that one should be aware of when getting a Labrador retriever as a pet.
Labradors are of two main types, the English and the American. English Labradors are generally heavier and blockier while the American Labradors are lean and lanky. They come with a double coat that is usually smooth and without any waves and generally of chocolate, black or yellow color. Its nose is thick and black on black and yellow coat dogs and a brown shade on dogs with a chocolate coat. The teeth generally meet in a leveled scissor bite; the muzzle is wide with a proportionately powerful neck. The body of the Labrador is longer that it is taller with a short and hard coat that is very easy to maintain as well as resistant to water. The eyes are medium in size and are set apart from each other. The color of the eyes varies depending on the color of the coat, from black, to brown, grey and even green. The ears are medium size as well and are shaped like a pendant, while the tail tapers towards the tip but thick near the base. The feet are webbed and very strong and help in swimming.
Considered as a great family companion, this big breed dog is extremely loyal, good natured, affectionate, eager to please, intelligent, patient and a fast learner and is among the top options for great service work. Labrador retrievers are extremely playful dogs and love to play mostly in water and don’t mind a regular swim. They are very friendly and harmless to children and other dogs and have a very reliable disposition. They crave a good firm leadership, although some dogs may be reserved and socialize less but need to be trained well to be friendlier with strangers. Labradors must be trained when they are puppies so that they can heel while on the leash and not run out when the door is left open. They make great watch dogs, but not very good guard dogs. If they are not given enough physical and mental exercise, they can be a bit destructive. Labradors that come from English lines are much more calm and friendlier than those that come from America.
This breed is extremely easy to maintain as its coat is short and very smooth. Regular brushing and combing with a steady hard bristled brush keeping in mind the undercoat is given an equal amount of attention. Dry shampooing and bathing should be done when it is required or when necessary. These dogs are average shedders so it would be easy to take care of their coat throughout the year.
Known to be extremely energetic and delightful dogs, they must be taken out on daily long walks, jogs or runs beside your bicycle. They should be trained while on walks, to walk behind the owner and should know when to heel. You must ensure not to over feed your Labrador retriever as they can put on weight very easily. If given a special task to do, they could be extremely overjoyed.
Height & Weight
A male Labrador retriever weighs from 60 to 75 pounds and a female from 55 to 70 pounds approximately. The average height of a male Labrador can go up to 22 to 24 inches tall and for females from 21 to 23 inches approximately.
Labrador retrievers are easily trainable and excel in many different activities and make extremely great family pets. So for those who want a friendly, reliable, protective, strong and faithful friend, opt for a Labrador retriever.