Labrador is one of the most popular breeds in the modern world. It is an ideal pet for families with children, hunters, rescuers, and people with disabilities.
- Breed name: Labrador Retriever
- Country of origin: Canada
- Time of origin of the breed: XIX century
- Type: Retrievers, Spaniels, and Water Dogs
- Weight: 26 – 40 kg
- Height (height at the withers): 55 – 57 cm
- Life Expectancy: 10-13 years
Brief Description of the Breed
The Labrador Retriever is bred as a working dog with a friendly disposition. Initially, these animals were indispensable helpers for fishermen. They helped haul fishing gear, retrieve fish from the cold waters of the North Atlantic.
Labrador today is an affectionate, good-natured dog, a reliable helper, and friend. These pets are the first helpers for people with disabilities. They are actively involved in various search and rescue operations.
The Labrador is a sporting dog. The animal has a good character. The pet does not require excessive care. He is energetic and very attached to the person. The Labrador Retriever is distinguished by its loyalty to the family. Many owners of these dogs compare them to real guardian angels.
The breed originated on the island of Newfoundland, located on the northeastern coast of Canada. At first, the breed was called “St. John’s dog”. Labradors assisted local fishermen in their fishing, both at sea and on land.
Modern Labradors are no longer amenable to human exploitation. Now, these pets are real family pets, surrounded by love and warmth. Although, in fairness, we note that Labradors are still happy to help their owner – a fisherman.
Labrador’s gentle disposition made him an excellent therapy dog. Animals provide psychotherapeutic assistance in orphanages, nursing homes, shelters. But the sharp mind made the Labrador an excellent guide and a real professional in the search and rescue of people. The Retriever is also popular among hunters. All thanks to the keen sense of smell, fearless character, and athletic constitution of the animal.
According to dog breeders, the Labrador retriever should not be used as a guard dog. They will not be able to cope with this task because of their friendly mood towards a person. But as a companion dog, the Retriever is simply incomparable.
The first dogs of the Labrador breed had only black color, due to which they got their name. For reference: Labrador is a resinous semi-precious stone found in the North American continent. In the nineteenth century, only black color was officially recognized. By the end of the nineteenth century, breeders had managed to obtain fawn and brown puppies.
- The black Labrador, which fully complies with the standard, is characterized by a completely resinous color. A barely noticeable whitish spot in the chest area of the animal is considered the border of the permissible norm. The nose of a purebred Black Labrador is charcoal and pigmentation is absent. However, during the lack of sunlight, typical for winter and autumn, the nose of a black Labrador can lighten to a pinkish hue. The pigmentation around the eyelids and lips is also pure black. The eyes of a black Labrador are deep brown, rarely nutty.
- The chocolate Labrador color comes in many different varieties. The standard chocolate dog has a coat that resembles milk chocolate. The nose of such a Labrador has a color similar to the color of the coat. The dog’s eyes have hazel or greenish tint. Labrador shade light chocolate is also called liver. This dog is characterized by a brown nose and a pink border around the lips. A dark chocolate dog resembles a black Labrador with its dark color. Eye color ranges from deep brown to light hazel.
- Fawn Labradors have a contrasting (black, dark brown) pigmentation of the border of the lips, nose, and the area around the eyelids. The eyes of these dogs have a pronounced brown, close to black, color. By the way, in winter, the dark nose of a fawn Labrador can turn pink, but this feature does not apply to genetic defects.
Although the exact history of the Labrador’s origins is unknown, many believe that the animal originated from the crossing of St. John’s dog with local dogs. The amazing abilities of the Labrador did not go unnoticed. Therefore, later the Labrador Retriever appeared in England in the service of members of the royal family. The definition of the breed as a Labrador appeared in 1830. This name was a merit of the English Earl of Malmesbury.
It’s amazing that the Labrador Retriever is now one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. But back in the 1880s, these dogs were practically exterminated on the American continent. The breed also disappeared in Newfoundland itself. This was due to government tax restrictions. A family was allowed to keep no more than one dog, and the maintenance of a female dog was taxed.
However, the breed was preserved in England. In 1903, the Kennel Club recognized the Labrador Retriever as a separate breed. In 1903, the American Kennel Club followed the lead of the English Club and recognized the breed as well. In the early 20s, mid-30s of the last century, active breeding of the breed began in America. The popularity of the Labrador Retriever began after the Second World War. The breed reached its peak in popularity in 1991. It was then that the Labrador Retriever was recognized as the most popular breed in the United States.
Labrador Retrievers are affectionate and loyal dogs. The animal ranks first among the breeds registered by the American Kennel Club. Labradors are full of energy and always welcome the owner and family members. This breed is an unrivaled example of a true “human friend”. Happiness overwhelms these dogs when they are with their families. They love to run, swim, play with children of any age. Dogs of this breed are an excellent choice for beginner dog breeders. The owners of these affectionate dogs unanimously claim the ease of care and maintenance of Labradors. This once again confirms that any beginner who is ready to pay attention to the dog can safely acquire a Labrador Retriever puppy.
Who shouldn’t get a Labrador Retriever:
- for those who have little time – the only serious drawback of Labradors is the need for movement, with these dogs you need to walk for a long time and actively, with insufficient physical activity, they easily gain excess weight;
- for those who need protection, it is useless to count on protection from the Labrador, he simply is not able to bite anyone.
Who should get a Labrador Retriever:
- people with an active life position – athletes, adolescents, and everyone who loves movement, will find a tireless companion in the Labrador for all occasions, the Labrador will gladly share the joy of walking, play, take part in a run;
- hunters – although the companionable nature of the Labrador overshadows his other abilities, the hunting qualities of this breed are at the proper height. These dogs perfectly search, scare away and bring water, upland, steppe game, the soft grip of the Labrador does not damage the carcass of the killed bird;
- large families – if you already have children or pets and you are afraid of how the dog will perceive them, then feel free to start a Labrador, he will make friends with everyone;
- people with disabilities – thanks to their intelligence, friendliness, and poise, Labradors are considered the best guide dogs in the world, they will treat the shortcomings of their owner with understanding and care, show endless patience, their desire to help does not depend on their mood Suffice it to say that 80% of dogs are the world’s guides are Labradors.
Conditions of Maintenance and Care
Labradors shed heavily throughout the year. Regular brushing will prevent hair from spreading around the house and will help keep the coat in good condition. Labradors often have an unpleasant “doggy” smell. Therefore, these dogs will have to be bathed more often than representatives of other breeds. Watch your ears constantly. Be careful not to show signs of inflammation or irritation. Treat the ears with a special solution prescribed by your veterinarian. Avoid using a cotton swab. Remember to brush your Labrador Retriever’s teeth weekly to prevent tartar and odor.
Labrador Retrievers need a comprehensive, thoughtful diet. Dry food or organic food – the choice is yours. But you should not mix these two types of food. Also, keep an eye on the food you leave in the dog’s reach.
The dog has an impressive size, so if there is a lack of food, it can lose weight. If you overfeed your pet, it becomes obese. If you notice a change, increase your physical activity and the number of walks, and also change your diet.
Labradors are very easy to train. Representatives of this breed try to please their master in everything. Therefore, there should be no special problems during training. The main condition is to start training at an early age. Labradors love to play, if they think learning is fun, the result will not belong in coming. Labradors grow quite quickly, which is why training should be started as early as possible. After mastering the basic commands, it is sometimes difficult to teach the dog more complex commands. The thing is that despite the fact that physically Labradors grow quickly, in their hearts they remain puppies for a very long time. Like all children, puppies find it difficult to complete difficult tasks. Therefore, only by showing patience, you will achieve the result. So start training at an early age and continue until fully absorbed. Labrador Retrievers are particularly successful in obedience missions. But in agility, these dogs are not so successful, although they love physical activity and an active lifestyle.
Labradors are large and hardy dogs, but they also get sick. Causes:
- Digestive tract. Problems: diarrhea, lack of stool, or nausea, you need to urgently see a doctor. The causes of these signs are poisoning, inflammation, or constipation.
- Injuries and their consequences. Open injuries – Cuts and wounds need to be treated right away to prevent infection. For fractures and bruises, you need to contact a veterinarian. For sprains, it is recommended to reduce the load, in case of allergies, skin rashes, cracks, and calluses on the joints – contact a specialist.
- Pregnancy and false pregnancy. A false pregnancy may appear in some females a couple of months after estrus. It needs to be treated. Seeing a veterinarian is also recommended during the first pregnancy, especially in young animals.
- Heredity. Many puppies are genetically transmitted diseases associated with joints and bones: dysplasia of the hip and elbow joints, as well as osteoarthritis in old age.
Common illnesses are diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. But with proper care, proper nutrition, and moderate exercise, Labrador Retrievers can live 10-14 years.
- The Labrador Retriever originated on the island of Newfoundland, which is located northeast of the coast of Canada. In the 18th century, the dog was an indispensable assistant to the island’s fishermen. The animals worked all day long, helping the fishermen to fish and move heavy fishing tackle, and in the evenings the pets enjoyed spending time with their families.
- The Labrador Retriever loves to eat tightly. Therefore, the animal is prone to obesity. Be sure to control the nutrition of your pet, give him more physical activity. Do not forget that a large appetite is detrimental to the animal. You should also watch out for the Labrador on the street because he can eat food from garbage cans and food leftovers from other animals.
- Labrador Retrievers were bred specifically for hard physical work. Dogs are full of energy, so they need daily vigorous exercise. The duration of these sessions should be between 30 and 60 minutes. Without physical exertion, the dog will be forced to throw out unrealized energy on the surrounding objects.
- The unrivaled reputation of Labradors leads some people to believe that these breeds are not worth training at all. This opinion is wrong! The process of training and socialization must begin from the first days of the puppy’s appearance in the house.
- Labradors are very active. This is especially evident at an early age. In the process of growing up, the dog will become calmer, but the animal will never become passive. Labradors remain active throughout their lives.
- The combination of a Labrador of unlimited love for food and a sharp scent is a potential nuisance for the owner. Your pet, smelling the scent of delicacies, can rush to find it!
- The popularity of the Labrador Retriever has provoked the emergence of careless dog breeders who seek to breed more puppies without worrying about health. Therefore, do not resort to the services of random breeders. Buy puppies only from trusted dog breeders. This will protect you and your pet from various diseases, possibly even genetic ones.
- When deciding to purchase a Labrador Retriever, you need to know that some breeders focus on the physical training of the animal, others on the external athletic appearance, and still others try to achieve maximum success in developing the animal’s ingenuity. Therefore, do not be surprised that your dog may differ slightly from their fellows who are at the canine service, or, for example, from those who participate in well-known exhibitions.