About the Labrador Retriever Dog Breed
The Labrador Retriever originated in Newfoundland in the 1500s. Smaller water dogs were bred with Newfoundlands in an effort to design smaller, faster dogs that would jump into icy waters and retrieve fish and pull in fishing nets. This new dog breed excelled at these jobs due to their water repellent coat and webbed paws-making them great swimmers. In the early 1800’s, the dogs made their way to England where they were eventually bred and got their name “Labrador Retriever”. In the early 1900’s the breed was officially recognized by the AKC and has since become one of the most popular breeds in the world and the most popular dog breed in Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Labs are the perfect pets for students, apartment dwellers and seniors. They’re generally considered ‘medium-large’ sized dogs , weighing between 45-80 pounds and come in three breed-recognized colors: Black – Yellow and Chocolate . Their coats are nearly water-proof, which makes for some adorable bath time photos , and their webbed feet make them great swimmers. Silver Labs are chocolate Labs with a gene mutation, and although they are handsome dogs, the silver color is not recognized by any kennel clubs.
Labrador Retriever Dog Breed Temperament
Generally a very even-tempered-good-natured dog, the Labrador Retriever makes an excellent family pet and is great for first-time dog owners. They naturally socialize will with other pets and family members and have a great reputation with children. Labs are usually not big barkers and can be very trusting of strangers. Their high intelligence and even temperament makes them ideal for therapy work and search and rescue operations. Labs were bred to be water dogs and generally love to swim. Usually it won’t take too much coaxing for a Lab to jump in the water and, in fact, you may be training them to stay out of the water!
Labrador Retriever Dog Breed Training
Introduce you Labrador puppy to as many people and situations as possible as they socialize well and should take quickly to people and familiar situations. They are intelligent and active dogs who like and need to exercise regularly. They are energetic dogs! Labrador Retrievers are intelligent dogs and usually love to learn. With consistent, positive reinforcement training they will quickly learn commands and expected behaviors. Labradors tend to have a long adolescence and can retain some puppy-like behaviors for some time-keep them active and entertained. Crate training is important as they can try to “take over the house” to be with you!
Labrador Retriever Dog Health and Care
The Labrador Retriever is a short haired breed but do tend to shed more than average. As a breed, Labs are generally have few major health problems. Some conditions that may become an issue are:
Obesity-a genetic mutation in the POMC gene can make Labs have the tendency to overeat, beg for food and become very food-oriented-leading to obesity. Food training is usually very effective with Labs because of this.
Hip or Elbow Dysplasia-this is a rather common condition effecting may dog breeds. The condition causes pain in the hip and elbow joints and tends to be more prevalent in overweight dogs.