Labrador Retriever

April 12, 2012

The Labrador retriever is a very strong medium size dog and very athletic. This is a great dog for hunting to retrieve your birds. They will go for hours in many different aspects of land, whether water or brush he will work hard for you.

They have the clean cut coat that repels water and their tail kind of looks like an otter’s tail. He will swim to get your bird, come out, shake, and sit waiting for the next one. All the time he will be looking up at you with his expressive eyes full of love.

Even though they have been bred mainly for gun bird dogs and are used to retrieving, they have been recently trained to point. Therefore, if you are hunting, he will point to the birds, flush them out, and after you shoot them, he will retrieve them. He will come full circle back to you with his prize to give you.

With hunting requiring different types of land and other terrain, there were different dogs for each area. The Setters and Pointers were used in the heavy brush and the Spaniels used for finding the birds in uplands. Then the Chesapeake Bay was used for water retrieval. Soon, the Americans were realizing the Labradors were proficient in all these areas. Many hunters say they are even better than all the others because their coats repel and do not ice up when used in water and cold temperatures.

Information

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Appearance

There are two different types of Labrador Retrievers. You have the American and the English. The difference between the two besides where they come from is that the English is heavier, thicker, and blockier. The American types are bigger and long-limbed. The Labrador retriever is muscular and longer than he is tall. They have a thick dark colored nose, a bite that is scissor, and a very large head. Their eyes have a smart expression to them and their color is chestnut or hazel. They have medium sized ears that hang on the side of their head. Their tail is like an otter’s tail. Their tail is covered with fur and curls upward toward the back of their body. The Labrador Retriever has feet that are webbed to help with swimming.

Their coat is short, hard, and has a water resistant double coat. Their color can come in solid black, yellow, or a chocolate color. You may have seen rare colors of silver or a gray color. This double-coated lab has a coat that is very easy to take care of.

The height for the males is anywhere between 22 inches to 24 inches high. The males weight is anywhere between 60 pounds to 75 pounds. For the females, their height is anywhere from 21 inches to 23 inches high. The females weight can be anywhere between 55 pounds to 70 pounds. The females are always smaller than the males when it comes to height and weight. Some males have been seen to weight up to 100 pounds, as well.

Personality

The Labrador retrievers are wonderful as family dogs. They are very loyal, caring, loving, and smart, love to show affection, and very high spirited. This dog loves to go out and play with the family. When it comes to swimming, this dog is your best friend. This breed of dog is a wonderful family dog. When trained at an early age for socialization then the Labrador Retriever will be easier to deal with around kids and other animals. The English bred Labs are more laid back and calmer than the American bred Labs. The English also grow and mature more quickly as well.

If you want to own one of these dogs and you live in an apartment, then you are fine with this breed. Just make sure they get the proper exercise they need. This breed is fairly active indoors and loves it best when they have an average to large size yard to run around and play in.

Care

The Labrador Retriever coat is fairly easy to take care of. They need to be combed or brushed regularly. You can use a firm bristle brush to ensure they have no burrs or mats in their hair. Make sure to pay attention to their undercoat when brushing them. The only bath this breed will need is when they are very dirty. The Labrador retriever is your normal shedder.

The Labrador retrievers are very active dogs and love to go outside and play. This breed is also a breed that loves to eat, so plenty of exercise is good for this dog to stay in shape. Since they love to eat, they have a tendency to overeat.

History

The lesser had the hunting abilities, which made them famous. They were imported to Great Britain where they became very popular on large estates. The breeding of the Labrador Retriever began with the 3rd Earl of Malmesbury writing to a friend where he always mentioned his dogs by Labrador Retrievers. He also said he kept the breed as pure as he could while breeding them.

Then you get those who did not want to keep the breed pure and started messing with other hunting breeds to get what they wanted in a hunting dog. This is where the long coats and the curly coats came from. Then many of the breeders decided they wanted the Labrador traits only and started to cross them with theirs.

This began the Labrador Retrievers gene pool of dominance, where if they were bred to another the Labradors traits would be more dominant than any of that breed. This would start producing excellent offspring.

Luckily, for them, they started the breed in England because the Quarantine Act of 1885 stopped all importing of the Newfoundland’s and it was not until 1903 that the Labrador Retriever was time-honored as its own breed. This true breeding strain was granted registration into the English Kennel Club and followed by the American Kennel club in 1917 with its own category of retrieval status.

The bad thing about this breed is that people only see money when looking at them and this has caused an over population. Many puppy mills have been found with Labrador retrievers in abundance. You never know what you are getting from puppy mills, because of all the interbreeding of these dogs. They are only in it for the money and do not care about the health or well-being of these dogs. You should make sure you get a reputable breeder when looking for your Labrador retriever.

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