Breed of the Month–Labrador Retriever

2January 2017

Labrador Retriever

Colors:  Black, yellow, chocolate
Height:  Males: 22-24.5 inches/  Females:  21.5-23.5 inches
Weight:  Males:  60-80 lbs/  Females:  55-70 lbs
Life span:  10-14 years

Breed health concerns:  hip dysplasia, retinal dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, hereditary myopathy, and progressive retinal atrophy.

Coat:  Double coat with a dense, short, straight outer coat and a water-resistant, soft undercoat.
Country of Origin:  England

Visit the American Kennel Club for breed standards and more information.

This breed became very popular in the 1800s.  The English marveled at this dogs abilities:  able to work in icy waters and retrieve whatever necessary, these dogs were noted for their weather resistance and responsiveness.  The first actual kennel for Labradors was founded by the second Earl of Marlesbury, and by the late 1800s the English had begun using these dogs to develop the Flat-Coat Retriever and the breed known today as the Labrador Retriever.

Today in both the United States and England, the Labrador Retriever has become a very popular dog.  Today there are considered to be two types of Labs:  the show type and the field type.  The show type is shorter and stockier, whereas the field type is more energetic and skinnier.

The Labrador Retriever is willing to please, even-tempered, intelligent, affectionate, and sensible.  Labs seem to understand that children need to be treated with an extra gentle touch, but are willing to play with anyone.  Labs can be kept happy for hours with a tennis ball or toy, and are generally exceptional swimmers.  These dogs are a large breed dog.

Labrador Retrievers are very high energy dogs and must get plenty of regular exercise.  A 10 minute walk around the block will most definitely not keep this breed happy.  The Lab must get several hours of mentally stimulating exercise daily.

Labs must be brushed frequently; they are considered moderate to heavy shedders.  With this breeds love of swimming, it is important to keep the dogs ears clean and dry to help prevent infection.

The Lab is one of the most highly trainable breeds.  Labs love to please and are attentive to work for their owners.  Training ability along with an excellent temperament makes this breed highly popular is the use of service dogs, police dogs, and drug-detection dogs.  Labs make excellent hunting dogs with their keen sense of smell.  Many Labs are also big stars in the dog show world and arenas of agility, tracking, flyable, and obedience.  This breed tends to love to do anything his owner is willing to participate in.