THE LABRADOR - BEST DOGS EVER
Labradors are the most popular dogs in the world for good reason. They are highly intelligent, super friendly, have a great disposition and just love people, kids and aim to please. What more could you honestly want from a dog?
Official classification: Gun Dog
Country of origin: United Kingdom
Size & Weight: Males 56 - 57 cms, Females 55 – 56cm
Males 29 – 36kg, Females 25 – 32kg
Canine Snake Avoidance
Labradors are one of the easiest dogs to train in canine snake avoidance. They are super keen to please so a range of different training techniques is applied focusing on this point. Labradors are taught what not to do around snakes, but also what to do (move away) and thrive on the positive rewards when they learn this life saving lesson. Once Labradors are trained to avoid snakes, they stay away for life. One interesting feature about Labrador canine snake avoidance is that they often scent the snake before most other dogs do and stay away from the scent before Labradors even see the snake.
POSITIVE FEATURES OF THE LABRADORS
Labradors are Cheerful, enthusiastic and loyal
Labradors are Great with kids and other pets
Labradors have Above average intelligence and ability to be trained
Labradors Love to play games, especially retrieving games such as fetch.
Labradors are very eager to please people
Labradors have a Gentle disposition and friendly nature.
CHALLENGING FEATURES OF LABRADORS
Labradors Will eat way too much if given the opportunity and prone to obesity.
Labradors Can be rowdy as a younger dog.
Labradors Need a lot of exercise
Labradors Can be mouthy and loves to carry and chew things.
Labradors Can develop separation anxiety.
Labradors are Easily bored and requires a lot of mental stimulation. If bored can develop destructive behaviours.
Labradors Mature slowly and are sensitive.
History of Labradors
Newfoundland waterdogs brought by European settlers into Canada were introduced to Britain from trading ships between the two countries. In the early 1800’s, these were then bred with British hunting dogs to create the modern day Labrador retriever. The first photograph of the Labrador was taken in 1857 and Labradors have since become one of the most popular breeds of dogs in the world.
People quickly began to identify Labrador retriever’s intelligence, trainability and keen sense of smell. Their adaptability and work ethic made them highly popular dogs in Europe and North America. Originally, these dogs performed a multitude of tasks including retrieving items from water including fish laden nets and swimming messages between boats. They were also used a lot in hunting.
Since then, Labradors have evolved today to perform high level tasks that they are perfect for including working as assistance, service or guide dogs for people with disabilities, they also function as police, military, rescue and detection dogs and of course, make an amazing family pet.
Coat: Chocolate, black or yellow coat of uniform colour. Short, straight and waterproof undercoat.
Head: Skull is broad with a defined stop. Jaw is medium length and powerful. Nose is wide with well developed nostrils.
Ears: Medium sized hanging ears close to head.
Eyes: Medium size brown or hazel eyes which express good temper and intelligence.
Body: Good width and depth in chest, stocky strong body.
Gait: Straight true free moving gait.
Legs: Forequarters straight, well boned and placed well under body. Hind quarters are well developed with well turned stifle.
Tail: Labradors have a distinctive tail which is very thick towards the base and gradually tapering towards the tip of medium length hair giving a rounded “otter” appearance tail.
Health & Lifespan
Labradors are susceptible to bloat, this is where the stomach twists itself and fills with gas cutting off circulation to the stomach and spleen. They are also prone to portosystemic shunt of the liver, hepatitis, hemophilia, hip and elbow dysplasia, torn cruciate ligaments, osteochondritis dissecans, wobbler disease, diabetes, allergies, lymphoma, eye conditions, Cushing’s disease, epilepsy, heart disease, exercise induced collapse, and they are especially at risk of obesity due to their love of food. To prevent most issues, only acquire a Labrador for select breeders.
Labradors do not require fancy grooming and are easy to maintain as long as owners understand that Labradors shed a lot and require very regular brushing outside. Labradors also love water a lot and will get wet. Labradors often consider mud to be a fashion accessory and will happily shed this of on white carpets. Therefore, when wet and before they get in the house, labradors need a thorough rinse with fresh water which can dry up in the undercoat. One important note is to always lean the ears which are at risk of infections. Nails need to be trimmed approximately ever 2 weeks depending upon how much Labradors are walked.
Labradors have the most friendly and gentle disposition which is hallmark of the breed. They are outgoing, kind, eager to please, rarely aggressive to much too easy to love. Each Labrador has their own personality which is unique. Often the personalities are tied to their colour, but it has more to do with genetics. Some Labradors are reserved, others are very funny. Labradors bred for hunting tend to be more serious, especially when it comes to training but they can also be bred to be dogs that sleep a lot when people are not around.
Before the age of 2 – 3, Labradors are very active, can be destructive and end up frustrating their owns both in terms of temper and vet bills. Young Labradors are known for swallowing rocks, small clothing, children’s toys, bits of furniture they have chewed off and often, this results in veterinary surgical intervention.
Exercise & Training Considerations
Many Labrador owners will state their dogs are either very active, or sleeping. Labradors require a lot of exercise, mental stimulation and ‘fun’. They love to go swimming, run along side bikes or go for hikes, sit on boats, and go to different places exploring with their owner. Labradors perform very well at sports such as obedience, rally, tracking, flyball, freestyle, and agility.
When training Labradors, if you make time with you fun, mentally challenging and physically demanding in terms of games, training and exercise, they can be an amazing companion. Failure to meet the energy and psychological needs of the dog will mean you have a destructive dog that digs, chews and causes a host of problems.
When it comes to training, Labradors will eat anything (including non edible products) and do anything for food. They will countersurf at the earliest opportunity. While this is advantageous for training, keep in mind it is also a reason Labradors are often obese.
The Labrador Retriever
Labradors are prized sporting and hunting dogs as well as being great family pets. They come in chocolate, black or yellow colours. They are a medium sized dog with a stocky frame and fuller face. Labradors are known for the gentle disposition and amazing temperament combined with a strong desire to work and please their owners. They are patient enough to guide a disabled person through busy streets, and can guide a hunter directly to the kill. Labradors absolutely and naturally, love the water.
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