The Labrador Retriever Dog Breed at a Glance
The Labrador Retriever dog breed is of the most favored dogs of all in the United Kingdom and the US. It is also a favorite in numerous countries for disability assistance. Labradors are often trained to assist those who have autism, or the blind, to be therapy dogs, and conduct screening and detection work for law enforcement. These are prized hunting and sporting dogs. Their kindness and ease of getting along with children gives them the reputation of being the best family dog. The Lab is also good for new owners without previous dog ownership experience. It makes a great watchdog but is not likely to frighten away intruders.
HISTORY of the Labrador Retriever Dog Breed
Originally called the St. John’s Water dog is now the Labrador Retriever. When the canines had been later introduced to England, they were named after the geographic region referred to as “the Labrador.” These dogs earned their name, Labrador Retrievers, because they “retrieved,” for one, and also to distinguish them from the bigger, Newfoundland breed.
The Labrador’s ancestors came from Newfoundland, Canada, and Labrador exceptionally, as is the breed known as the Newfoundland. The two breeds’ names and origins had been mixed once moved into England and the Americas.
In earlier years, Labradors of a yellow shade took on the name of its color, even though it was almost a butterscotch color. Eventually, the yellow Labrador was later called the Golden Labrador, after the UK Kennel Club officially changed it. The darker shades of gold and fox crimson were re-established by English breeders in the 80s as certain champion dogs passed down their genes.
The Lab’s temperament makes it a favored pet. It is friendly, loyal, cheerful, loving, affectionate, gentle, and playful, while being alert, out-going, and social. However, the Labrador is sensitive, so it does not handle reprimanding very well. Labs are great companions for kids and are cat friendly, and good for first-time dog owners.
Note: As per PetBreeds the Labrador Retriever is linked to 60 human attacks since 1982, ranking this breed in the top 10% of dog attacks. This resulted in 38 child victims, 22 adult victims, and 3 reported deaths. The Lab was involved in 48 maimings, with regards to permanent disfigurement and/or the loss of a limb. The average attacks per year is only 2, but caution is warranted with this breed. There are 3 deaths attributed to the Lab, but it its unlikely that the Labrador will cause death.
Unfortunately, 3 deaths were attributed to the Labrador Retriever. When spreading the incidents across the years, it’s unlikely the Labrador Retriever will cause deaths.
Physical Characteristics of the Labrador
The common colors of the Labrador Retriever dog breed are black, brown (chocolate), and yellow. Their coat is short, straight, and dense, and fairly water-resistant. In colder climates, the webbing between their toes “transforms” into a “snowshoe, preventing snow from balling up in there. The same webbing allows them to be great swimmers. The Labrador has strong jaws and its body is muscular and powerful.
The Lab weighs between 55 and 80 pounds, and so it is one of the heavier of all dog breeds. It stands between 22 and 25 inches tall.
Shedding is significant, so prepare to vacuum frequently, and especially when seasons change. Brushing helps! It is NOT a hypoallergenic breed. The Lab may also drool on occasion.
HEALTH and CARE of the Labrador Retriever
The life expectancy of the Labrador Retriever is between 10 and 12 years, which is slightly shorter than comparable-sized dogs.
Common Health Concerns
Each breed is susceptible to certain health issues. The Labrador runs a high risk of:
- Patellar Luxation
- Osteochondrosis of the Elbow, Knee, and Ankle
- Exercise Induced Collapse
and runs a medium risk of developing:
- Elbow Dysplasia
- Hip Dysplasia
This breed is able to handle most types of hot and cold weather. It needs plenty of exercise and thrives in a home with a yard but can adapt to apartment living. However, frequent walks will keep it fit and trim, since this breed has a great potential to gain weight. Training a Lab is easy because it obeys its owner with pleasure.
Feed your Labrador Retriever between 3 and 4 cups of dry dog food each day to meet its nutritional needs without overfeeding so as to reduce the risk of weight-gain.
Trimming and/or stripping are not required, however, some grooming is necessary to keep its coat in top shape.
The Labrador Retriever dog breed was recognized by the AKC in 1917, and it wasn’t until the 20th century that Chocolate Labradors were considered by the UK Kennel Club.