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Labrador Retriever

The Canine Chronicles Directory

Labrador Retriever

There are actually two types of Labrador Retrievers. They are the English and the American Labradors. The English bred Labradors are generally heavier, thicker and squarer in appearance than their taller, longer-limbed cousins. Labrador Retrievers have weather-resistant, double coats. Their outercoats are short and dense and their undercoat is soft and downy. The preferred show colors are black, chocolate and yellow. However, this breed also comes in silver and white. The broad head has a pronounced and fairly wide stop. The medium-sized eyes are either brown, chestnut or hazel in color. The pendant ears are medium in size and hang close to the head. The nose is wide and thick. Black and yellow coated dogs have black noses and chocolate coated dogs have brown noses. The jaw is powerful and the teeth meet in a scissor-like bite. The neck should be clean and strong merging into long, sloping shoulders. The deep chest should be wide and the topline level. The straight forelegs should be well-boned and the hindlegs should be well-developed. The round, compact feet should have strong pads. The feet should also be arched and webbed to aid in swimming. The tail is thicker at the base then tapering to point. The Labrador Retriever show lines are usually a little heavier than the field lines and field lines tend to be more energetic. A combination of show and field make the best household pets.

Temperament Labrador Retrievers are loving, patient, good-natured, eager to please, and high spirited. They are naturally sociable and affectionate with everyone. They are devoted to their families and enjoy being a part of every aspect of family life. They are patient and forgiving with children and develop strong bonds with them. They love to play, especially in and around water. They also get along with household pets. They will bark to notify you of strangers but will be as friendly with them as they are with their own family. Some lines may be more cautious around strangers, but socializing them as puppies will prevent this. This breed should not be left alone for long periods of time or they will become destructive. Labrador Retrievers are generally more dominant and independent than Golden Retrievers. The English variety is usually more relaxed and laid back than their American counterparts. They also mature quicker. Labrador Retrievers have been used for hunting, tracking, retrieving, watchdogging, police work, narcotics detection, guide dogs, assistance dogs, search and rescue, sledding, carting, agility, and competitive obedience.
Height, Weight Male Height: 22-24" ; Weight: 60-75 lbs.
Female Height: 21-23" ; Weight: 55-70 lbs.
Health Problems Labs are prone to hip dysplasia, eye disorders and PRA.
Living Conditions This breed will do okay in an apartment but does best with an average-sized yard.
Exercise Labs like to play and work hard. They need lots of exercise to prevent them from becoming overweight.
Life Expectancy About 10-12 years
Grooming The short coat of this breed is easy to groom. Comb or brush with a firm brush, paying attention to the undercoat. These dogs are average shedders.
Origin The predecessors of the Labrador Retrievers are believed to have come from Great Britain and Greenland. However, this breed was developed off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada during the 17th century and was originally called "St. John's". They were used to jump out of fishing boats into frigid waters and haul the fishing nets to shore. In the early part of the 19th century, sailors brought the Labrador Retriever to Poole Harbor, England. Englishmen loved the Labrador Retrievers and the demand for the breed increased. Their retrieving instincts were honed and instantly successful as gundogs. The Earl of Malmesbury became fascinated with these dogs and began a breeding program. He also changed their name to "Labrador Retrievers". Breeding programs increased throughout Great Britain and grew until a heavy dog tax in Canada and quarantine laws in Great Britain were passed. Because of this, imports from Canada were unavailable leading to a decrease in the breed. There were however, several serious breeders in England that had a large number and excellent quality of dogs which led to today's English Labrador population. Labrador Retrievers are one of the most popular breeds in the United States. They are recognized by the AKC and the UKC.
Group AKC Sporting, UKC Gun Dog