Commonly known as Labrador or 'Lab', Labrador Retriever is the most popular breed in the Australia & the USA. This breed defines energetic, loving, and loyal dogs who love their family. Having enormous amounts of energy, they are always ready for a lot of training and strict exercise schedules. Especially the young ones who enjoy working the entire day. There are many reasons why Labrador Retrievers are the most famous dogs, one of them is their ability to perform a variety of jobs including companion dog as well as working dog. If you want a dog that loves your family and always wants to be around them, Labrador Retriever is ideal for you.
According to the Kennel Club, Labradors are classified as a medium-large sized breed weighing 25 to 32 kg for females and 29 to 36 kg for males. Ideally, their height should be nearly 55 to 56 centimeters for females and 56 to 57 centimeters for males. They are available in three colors, which include yellow, black, and chocolate. With sturdy legs and muscular bodies, they almost appear to be square-shaped. The unique features that make Labs different from other dogs include their big, beautiful eyes, broad head, and drop ears. They have a short double coat that is non-absorbent and waterproof. It is also known as 'Otter Tail.'
They were trained to help fishers retrieve the fishes in the North Atlantic. That's why hardworking has become a part of their personality just like their ancestors, and hence, they are classified as working dogs.
Labs are considered friendly, social, and caring dogs who encourage socializing with people. Due to these personality traits, it is easy for them to adjust to a new environment, whether moving to a new house or changing their owner. They can adapt to the changes quite quickly. As for adaptability, their score is 3 out of 5 stars.
Below you can see how this score is justified
Labradors are one of the sweetest breeds among all. Their personality consists of some wholesome traits. They are always eager to please their owner. They befriend other pets as well. Unlike some breeds, Labradors don't have a dominating attitude towards other animals. They have a gentle and kind temperament, which is why they have secured 5 out of 5 stars in all-around friendliness.
Here is how:
Health and Grooming Needs
It is vital to have prior knowledge about the health and grooming needs of your dog. Labradors are generally easy to groom. They don't require frequent baths, although brushing should be more often. Their total score for health and grooming needs is 4 out of 5 stars.
Here are the reasons why:
When it comes to training, Labradors would never give you a hard time. They also have a sharp mind that helps them learn things quickly. For their trainability, Labradors scored 4 out of 5 stars.
Labrador's physique is strong and energetic, which means it needs a proper exercise schedule daily to meet its physical needs. Labradors scored 5 out of 5 for their physical needs.
One of the best qualities of Labrador Retrievers is that they are a highly intelligent breed. They have the ability to analyze the situation around them and make decisions accordingly. Their mind is sharp and focused. Moreover, they are also quick learners who won't give you a hard time during training.
Typically, Labrador Retrievers are a versatile breed that is very agile. They can easily cover long distances in a short span. Due to high agility, they can jump as high as a meter and even more. Although agility also varies in different types of Labrador, it is incredibly high in all Labrador Retrievers.
If you observe your parks nearby, you'll find numerous Labrador Retrievers hanging around with children, enjoying Frisbees and tennis balls, and entertaining their family members. Along with other traits that include intelligence, friendliness, and devotion for their family, Labrador Retrievers are also very gentle with people, especially kids.
Another remarkable quality of Labrador Retrievers is that they are incredibly kind. They have the tendency to analyze whenever their owner needs them. That's why people who suffer from any mental health condition such as anxiety, panic attacks, or depression are suggested to get a Labrador Retriever. They remain calm and patient with their owners and help them calm their nerves too.
Unlike some breeds which prefer spending their day inside the house on their couch, Labradors love to explore new places. They are outgoing and lively. You can take them to the parks, beaches, or any picnic spot. They will surely enjoy their time and make your trip memorable.
Their name indicates that Labrador Retrievers originally belong to Labrador, Canada. However, the reality is quite different. Their origin lies in Newfoundland back in the 1500s. It was when the fishermen of Newfoundland were breeding water dogs to form a breed, namely, Lesser Newfoundland or St. John's water dogs.
These dogs were trained to catch the fish by jumping in the cold, icy water if it falls from the fish hook. Their job also included pulling out the net full of fishes. Labradors were the right fit for this job because they could tolerate cold weather, and their coat was water-resistant. Thanks to their paws, they turned out to be amazing swimmers too.
This breed inhabited Newfoundland till the start of the 1800s. After that, Labradors were imported to Poole, England. Soon, they became popular and were bought by the Earl of Malmesbury. Labradors were described by Colonel Hawker in sports shooting by the Duke and Earl of Malmesbury. They named this breed 'Labrador dog.' The English Kennel Club recognized this breed in 1903.
Their popularity continued to increase during the 1990s, and in the early years, they gained the attention of the farmers and hunters from the United States. They were impressed with the work ethic of Labradors and included Labs in their lives too. Hence, they were recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1917 as Labrador Retrievers, and numerous families welcomed them with open arms.
Labs can be classified as medium-to-large-sized dogs. The ideal weight of male Labradors is between 29 to 36 kg, whereas, for female Labradors, the ideal weight is around 25 to 32 kg. The ideal height for males is 57 to 62 cm, and that of females is 55 to 60 cm.
Like most of the dog lovers, if you adore Labrador Retrievers and are planning to get one soon, it's better to start preparing for it. Understanding what problems your Lab might go through in the future and planning for it beforehand is a sign of being a thoughtful and responsible owner.
Even though Labradors are usually a healthy breed, they, too, are prone to certain health issues.
Here are some common health problems found in Labrador Retrievers.
It is a genetic condition in which the hip joints and thigh bones don't fit properly. The dog might go through severe pain in one or both of its rear legs due to which it would feel difficulties in moving. It is a very common health condition among the Labradors.
Hip Dysplasia can develop arthritis and immobility in the long run. Mainly, it occurs to older dogs but can occur to the dogs as young as 5 months of age too.
For Labradors suffering from mild hip dysplasia, medications can help in pain relief and limit the symptoms. Some exercises which are not weight-bearing, such as swimming, can help reduce the pain. Maintaining the weight of the dog is also essential for your dog's wellbeing.
As for those labs that go through severe hip dysplasia, surgery might be the solution. There are two types of surgeries i.e., hip replacement surgery and triple pelvic osteotomy. In a triple pelvic osteotomy, the hip is rotated after cutting the pelvic bone into three pieces. These are major surgeries, and your dog would require a significant amount of time (typically numerous months) to recover.
It includes multiple diseases that develop retinal degeneration and cause blindness in the long term. Mainly, the type of PRA which Labradors suffer from the most is called Progressive Rodcone Degeneration. In this condition, the development of cone and rod cells of dogs is normal. However, it starts degenerating as time passes due to mutation and eventually results in blindness.
Although this condition can occur to young dogs, older dogs of 3 to 7 years are more likely to suffer from it. Some common symptoms include a change in the color of their eyes, behavioral change, etc. The dog may start bumping into the furniture because of its inability to see properly. Early symptoms also include night blindness that turns into permanent blindness over six months. PRA is incurable, but it's not harmful and won't reduce the lifespan of your dog.
This genetic disease has a higher possibility of occurring than PRA. In Retinal Dysplasia, retina's layers cannot completely form, which causes the development of a fold at the end of the dog's eyes. Due to the folds, the dog experiences blind spots.
The mild case of Retinal Dysplasia is not dangerous. The dog still can see because the blind spots are insignificant and small.
In severe cases, the blind spots are larger, making your dog visually handicapped. The worst-case scenario is when the retina is entirely covered with blind spots, and the dog is unable to see anything at all.
To detect Retinal Dysplasia, the dog goes through several eye conditions. The best age to get the tests done is puppyhood, usually when the pups are 14 weeks old. Even though Retinal Dysplasia is not curable, it does not affect the lifespan or the dog.
Though heart disease is common in Labrador retrievers, it is more likely to occur to older Labradors. It doesn't happen to the weak ones only. It can happen to a perfectly fit dog. To prevent heart diseases, you should take care of the dog's vaccination, healthy diet, sufficient amount of water, and the required exercise schedule.
Numerous symptoms can be a sign of heart diseases such as loss of appetite, coughing, swollen abdomen, fatigue, weight loss, and inability to breathe. If you observe your dog suffering from such conditions, tame it to the vet without wasting much time.
Tricuspid valve Dysplasia occurs too commonly.
Finally, the most common disease which becomes the cause of death to many old dogs is cancer. The possibility of cancer occurring in dogs is three times more than that of humans. Fortunately, it can be cured if diagnosed at early stages. So it is not entirely a deadly disease.
Some alarming signs of cancer are unusual swelling, which keeps growing, uncommon discharge or bleeding, breathing issues, eating difficulty, loss of appetite, weight loss, loss of stamina, mouth odor, and persistent limping. Such signs should never be ignored, and the dog should be taken to the vet right away. Remember, early detection of cancer is the key to the survival of the dog.
The main treatments of cancer are radiation, surgery, and chemotherapy.
Every dog owner wants their dog to remain healthy and happy, and it is possible. With little care and attention, your dog can live a long, healthy life. Labradors are low maintenance dogs who do not need constant grooming like some other breeds. So their grooming is very easy.
You are responsible for the health and grooming of your Labrador. You must provide them with sufficient amounts of diet, nutrition, exercise, and grooming. Additionally, regular checkups from vets are essential for your dog's wellness.
If you want to learn more, here is a comprehensive guide on how to take care of your Labrador Retriever. If you want to get a lab, you should be aware of all these things, so keep on reading.
Grooming includes both brushing and bathing. Since Labrador Retrievers do not need regular baths, the main thing to care about is brushing. Labrador Retrievers should be frequently brushed because they shed a lot of hair. If they don't get brushed frequently, they will be shedding hair all over your house, including the furniture, car, and clothes.
Besides shed hair, brushing will also keep the dog away from dirt and help spread natural oils all through their coat. As a result, the dog will have more shine and gloss on his coat that everyone loves.
The natural oils also help them remain water-resistant and excessive bathing may lead to loss of these oils. It will also keep the dog cold and wet in winters, and their skin will become dry. That is why frequent bathing is not recommended to Labrador Retrievers.
If the dog seems unusually smelly or dirty, you can bathe him. Generally, you should wash the Labs not more than 3 to 4 times per year.
Labrador Retrievers need their nails to be trimmed regularly after 2-3 months. In some cases, they don't need trimming at all.
When you regularly take out your dog, particularly on the roads and sidewalks, it will cause a filling effect in their nails and get dirty. That's why checking on the nails is necessary, especially for Labrador Retrievers, one of the outgoing breeds.
Always keep paying attention to the claws and nails of Labradors and trim them before they overgrow. If you hear the sound of their nails striking the floor, it's trimming time! However, you must be aware of how to trim the nails. If you are not, you can consult the vet.
Since Labs enjoy being in the water, it sometimes stays inside their ear and doesn't get out. Having extra moisture results in bacteria in ears, which later can cause infection.
To prevent such diseases, keep checking their ears regularly and clean off ear wax. Make sure their ears are neither inflamed nor red colored from the inside.
Dog owners often ignore dental care of their dogs. You should take care of this part, just like every other, to ensure good health for your dog. Some common teeth problems include gum disease, broken, loose, cracked teeth, and tartar growth. Such problems make the dog highly uncomfortable. They can also cause additional issues in the future if you don't treat them.
Therefore, it's better to clean their teeth regularly and visit a canine dentist once or twice per year.
Labrador Retrievers can catch parasites such as ticks and fleas. It can cause irritation and sores in their skin. If not dealt with early, the problem can become worse and cause extreme infections. The dog can end up getting the gapeworms and Lyme disease.
However, none of it would happen if you just make a habit of brushing your dog regularly. While brushing, keep searching for small moving creatures and ticks. There are several flea-control products that are very effective in preventing parasites.
Whether your dog is sick or not, you should regularly visit the vet for routine checkups. Sometimes the owner is unaware of the health problems, but the dog is suffering from it. That is why vets are essential. They can diagnose the disease even if everything seems perfectly fine.
Sufficient amounts of food with a balanced diet make the dog healthy. But excessive treats can cause obesity, and it may lead to various health problems. When it comes to Labradors, they love eating. That is why they are at higher risk of weight gain. Every animal has certain nutritional requirements, and so do Labradors. Such requirements are unlikely to be fulfilled by low-quality, cheap dog food.
Labradors require a particular amount of proteins, minerals, fats, and vitamins. They should never be fed leftovers of the family because it will create multiple deficiencies.
Ideally, Labradors should be fed twice a day. You should set a proper schedule for them. Be vigilant while giving them treats because treats are one of the shortest paths to obesity. Make sure your dog eats well but doesn't overeat.
According to one of the dog food manufacturers, The Eukanuba Adult Breed Lamb and Rice Food, the following are the required amount of dog food per day for Labradors.
According to the experts, the best dog food is the one that provides the right nutrition to your dog while being cost-effective. A key to a healthy and happy dog is a balanced diet. There are numerous dog foods available in the market for Labradors. Some of the best are listed below:
It is necessary to teach the house rules to Labradors and that they cannot do their business wherever they feel like. They should be potty-trained right from the early stages. You must teach them about a certain place where they should go for potty. However, potty-training is not all about knowing the right place. It's also about safely reaching there without creating a mess. So, you should also teach them how to hold until they reach that place.
Select an area for potty training and make sure that it is easy to clean. Observe how frequently they need to go to pee or poo. When they start doing it correctly, reward them with treats, so they remain motivated throughout the training.
For crate training, you need to place the dog inside the crate. To boost their mood, you can drop treats, so they understand there's nothing to worry about. Ay first, the dog should get used to the crate and understand that it is their safe place. At the initial stages of crate training, don't lock them up and keep the door opened, so they don't feel captured or scared. They should see their crate as a fun place to sit around. When they get used to it, start closing the door for a short time. Repeat this behavior multiple times until the dog feels comfortable behind closed doors. So, teach them to hold their bladders if they need to go to the toilet. They should know that they cannot do it inside the crate.
Teaching commands is fun with Labradors because they are intelligent and don't take much time to understand new commands. At early stages, you can simply train them for easy, one-word commands such as go, sit, and come, etc. Teach them such words in a fun and playful environment, so they learn it happily. If the situations where you use commands are plain boring, your dog will give you a hard time learning. So it is important to associate these calls with exciting moments where your dog gets to enjoy the situation. For instance, you can train them during playtime, dinner, or simply by spending some time alone with them.
Don't forget the treat. When they realize there is something exciting for them, they'll be more eager to learn. You should praise them by telling them that they did an excellent job or that a simple pat in the back would motivate them to do better the next time.
Labradors have all the characteristics of a family dog. They are loyal, friendly, energetic, and people-friendly breeds. But are they children-friendly and dog-friendly too? People who want to buy a Labrador Retriever while having kids in their house have multiple questions like these in their minds.
Are Labradors good family dogs? Do they get along with children? Are they going to scare other pets away?
Fortunately, they are the best breed when it comes to children and other pets. Since their nature is friendly and energetic, they love making new friends (humans as well as animals) and playing with them. Not only will they entertain your kids with their never-ending games and enthusiastic attitude, but they will also help them learn some key lessons of responsibility. So parents with toddlers can welcome Labradors wholeheartedly as this new addition will be very special to the family.
One thing that is common between Labradors and Children is their endless energy and love for games. Just like our children, Labradors are always ready for some new adventures. They can become great partners for games like fetch with Frisbee or ball. They also like to spend time with each other while running and jumping outside.
If you are in search of some rescue groups in Australia, you can get connected to the following groups:
Formed in 2018, LRRA is operating in New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland. A group of passionate dog lovers run this group and work hard to rescue, rehome, and rehabilitate Labrador Retrievers that are lost or abandoned. The dogs get their routine checkup by vets to ensure their sound health.
Labrador Rescue was formed in 2007. It is a registered charity-based rescue group. It has been run by volunteers who wish to provide the Labradors with new homes and caring families. So far, Labrador Rescue has successfully connected more than 1500 abandoned/lost dogs to new loving families. It is located in New South Wales, having volunteers from ACT, NSW, Victoria, Western Australia, and Queensland.
Gunlance Labrador has been running for 42 years. It is known for breeding high-quality Labrador Retrievers with classic temperament. Their experience of more than four decades makes them experts in breeding Labs with excellent types and temperaments.
The founder of Truebred Labradors is Mrs. Belinds Daniel. She started breeding Labradors after getting one as a gift for her daughter. Not only is she a registered breeder, but also a member of Labrador retriever Club NSW. She looks after every pup with love and cares while ensuring a safe and sound environment to raise them.
Situated in New South Wales, Dowlfalls Labradors is a registered breeder who breeds remarkable Labrador Retrievers with excellent temperament, high quality, and perfect health. They are a member of the Labrador Retriever Club of NSW and Royal NSW Canine Council.
In this guide, we have covered all the essential information about Labrador Retriever dogs, including where they originally come from, their size, temperament, and personality. They are highly enthusiastic and intelligent dogs with sweet, friendly nature. If you think you can be a responsible parent to a Labrador Retriever and take care of its grooming, fitness, health, and dietary needs, you should get one right away!
You can trust them with your children and other dogs, too, as they are known to be one of the best choices for families that want a friendly and loving dog.
Due to so many qualities, it's no wonder that they are the most popular breed in the USA and famous all across the world.