About Labrador Retrievers :
Friendly, Active, Outgoing Temperament AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 1 of 196
This may come as no surprise, but Labrador retrievers are America’s number one dog. With friendly eyes and a variety of coat colors, Labs are social creatures that instantly love almost everyone.
Labrador retrievers hail from the eastern part of Canada, in the provinces Newfoundland and Labrador, as descendants of the now-vanished St. John’s Water Dog. In the 1800s, Labs were primarily friends of the fishermen and champion duck hunters. A Labrador’s short, thick, and water-resistant coat was ideal in the icy waters of Canada. The short hair was preferred over the long-haired retrievers to prevent icicles from hanging off the fur.
English nobles caught sight of these earnest swimmer dogs and brought a few home with them, where they became sporting dogs for royalty. By the late twentieth century, Labs had officially captured America’s hearts, and have been USA’s favorite breed ever since.
Labs are famously friendly. They are companionable housemates who bond with the whole family, and they socialize well with neighbor dogs and humans alike. But don’t mistake his easygoing personality for low energy: The Lab is an enthusiastic athlete that requires lots of exercise, like swimming and marathon games of fetch, to keep physically and mentally fit.
Medium Size Dog with Massive Heart!
The sweet-faced, lovable Labrador Retriever is America’s most popular dog breed. Labs are friendly, outgoing, and high-spirited companions who have more than enough affection to go around for a family looking for a medium-to-large dog.
The sturdy, well-balanced Labrador Retriever can, depending on the sex, stand from 21.5 to 24.5 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 55 to 80 pounds. An adult male Labrador retriever weighs between 65-80 pounds and 22.5-24.5 inches at the shoulder, and females weigh 55-70 pounds and reach 21.5-23.5 inches.
With a strong build and expressive eyes, Labrador retrievers are a favorite of many dog owners. They have a lovely weather-resistant coat and an otter-like tail for swimming gracefully. Their coat is dense and varies between yellow, chocolate, or black varieties.
Their head is wide, their eyes glimmer with kindliness, and their thick, tapering “otter tail” seems to be forever signaling the breed’s innate eagerness.
Labs were born to have fun. Don’t be surprised if they’ve made friends with everyone around you. They are sporting dogs, so playing games like fetch or tug-of-war can come in handy when interacting with your new puppy. They’re awfully determined, so you’ll likely know exactly what they’re thinking any time of the day.
Though naturally friendly, Labrador retriever puppies benefit from socialization classes and obedience training early. Interacting with other dogs early will help them understand boundaries. A Labrador is born to hunt, training them on retrieval games. Swimming is a good way of expending excess energy.
Don’t let the easygoing personality fool you: Labrador retrievers have a lot of energy! Labs are perfect for taking on long weekends camping, as they thrive in the wilderness and may intentionally bring you back a hunting prize.
TIP: Make sure Labs get plenty of exercise throughout the day to discourage any destructive or hyperactive behavior.
Grooming & Health Needs
Besides giving an occasional bath and once in a while brushing their teeth and trimming nails, Labs are fairly low maintenance. Their water-repellent double coat does shed and should be brushed out regularly, especially in the summer.
If you have a young adult Lab, consider getting a DNA test to see if they carry a gene for exercise-induced collapse (EIC). This is fairly common in Labrador retrievers and should be taken seriously. Other common Lab health issues include elbow and hip dysplasia, muscle weakness (hereditary myopathy), and heart disorders.
Lastly, Labs might develop a serious condition called bloat. Be sure to learn the symptoms early.
Are Labradors the prefect breed for you?
Labrador retrievers are America’s favorite for a reason: they are born and bred family dogs! Eager to run around in the backyard with the little ones or play roughhouse with another dog, a Lab is built for family life with a lot of outdoor activities. If you love walks on the beach make it two sets of prints; one being paw pints.
Fun Fact: Labradors sport an “otter tail” that helps them propel through the water with ease. This also makes him or her the prefect hunting companion.
Your K9 friend would love nothing more than to ride shotgun in that old beat up Chevy truck, as long as he's with you.