Labrador Retriever, also called a Lab, is a retriever-gun dog—hence the name. The Labrador is one of the most popular dog breeds in not only the United States but in the United Kingdom as well. This breed is also frequently trained as a disability assistance animal and are still prized as a sporting and hunting dog to this day.
Known for being a loving, loyal and smart breed, the Labrador Retriever is a strong choice among families for the types of dog to bring home. They are great with kids and love to play as much as they can, so going on family adventures is just as exciting for them as it is for the family.
The origin of the Labrador Retriever comes from Canada as well as the United Kingdom. The ancestors of the Labrador Retriever—a St. John’s water dog—were in England. At the same time, over in Canada, the St. John’s water dog started to lose its numbers due to rabies quarantine issues.
In the 1830s, many ancestors of the breed were imported from Newfoundland to Europe to be used for gundogs. Moving forward to 1880s, the 3rd Earl of Malmesbury, the 6th Duke of Buccleuch and the 12th Earl of Home came together to breed what is now the modern Labrador Retriever.
In terms of the history of the subtypes of the Labrador Retriever, there is a Yellow and a Chocolate option for this breed. The first Yellow Labrador Retriever was born in 1899 while the first Chocolate Labrador Retrievers were established in the 1930s. There is also a black Labrador Retriever.
The Labrador Retriever is considered a medium large-sized dog. The average height of a male Labrador is 22 to 22.4 inches, while a female is between 21.3 to 22 inches in height. The weight average for a male Labrador is 68 to 80 pounds. On the other hand, the Labrador Retriever female averages 55 to 70 pounds.
Labradors are described as all around great dogs. From being kind, nice, smart, outgoing, Labrador Retrievers bring a tremendously positive outlook to a family. Labrador Retrievers are known for their loyal and loving behaviors. They are fun-loving and boisterous, and they are great with children.
Females have been known to be more independent than males, and the maturity levels of Labrador Retriever peak at around three years old. Before this time, Labrador Retrievers have their constant puppy energy. Labradors are not usually barkers or territorial, but they may bark at a noise called, especially unseen, “alarm barking”.
The life expectancy of a Labrador Retriever is normally between 10 to 12 years. With only a few health problems, Labrador Retrievers are generally health animals.
In the larger Labrador Retrievers, they are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia (although smaller animals are not immune). Labradors also suffer from the risk of knee problems, such as a luxating patella. Eye problems are also possible in some Labradors, such as progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, corneal dystrophy and retinal dysplasia.
Interesting, out of all of the different dog breeds, the Labrador Retriever is the most likely to be obese. This has to do with a genetic mutation that hinders the proper appetite regulation. At the same time a more basic reason is that Labradors like to eat and need exercise. If one happens and the other doesn’t, this can contribute the obesity of a Labrador Retriever as well.
Training is important for Labrador Retrievers just as with any dog. Even with a reputation as being a “good” dog, there still need to be proper training given to Labradors.
As for the level of activity, Labrador Retrievers need to exercise every day. Daily walks, playing fetch and others are great ways to help the Labrador get rid of extra energy. They need proper stimulation to keep them healthy and free from the problem of obesity that can cause more problems such as the above mentioned hip dysplasia. As a lonely or bored lab will dig or chew, keeping a Labrador Retriever active is a good idea for your house—and your shoes.
In temperate climates, Labrador Retrievers shed their coats twice a year. Some dogs can shed on a constant basis, but it depends on the dog. Keep their coats brushed once a week and be ready to break out the vacuum or broom daily.
Here is a link to the Labrador Retriever Club. Please check your local area for other rescues near you or to learn more about this breed.