Species group: Sporting Group dogs
Other name(s): Lab; Labrador
The Labrador Retriever has been ranked as the most popular dog in the United States by the American Kennel Club for 25 years in a row. They're active, energetic, and seem to have the personality of an outgoing puppy for many years, making them well-regarded family dogs. Developed in Canada and then England to fetch waterfowl for hunters, these intelligent and active dogs love to get out there and play fetch with their humans. They're happy dogs who aren't annoyed by noisy, active families.
As an exuberant dog that must be trained not to jump up, they may not be right for fragile owners or for people who just want to kick back on the couch. Be prepared to keep those busy mouths supplied with chew toys.
Appearance / health:
Labs are medium-sized, strongly built dogs possessing a sound, athletic, well-balanced conformation. The head should be broad with a moderate stop and a slightly pronounced brow. The eyes should be kind and expressive and be either brown or hazel in color. The upper and lower eyelids of the yellow Labrador Retriever should be outlined in black. The ears should hang close to the head and be set slightly above the line of the eye.
The muzzle should be on the same (parallel) plane as the skull and should be of a length approximately equal that of the skull. The lips should not be squared off or heavy but curve gracefully back giving the Labrador the appearance of having a slight “smile”.
The Labrador’s tail is a distinguishing feature of this breed. It should be quite thick at the base; it should also be flat underneath at the base and then rounding as it gradually tapers toward the tip. It should be of medium length and thickly clothed all around, free of feathering, with the short, dense coat thus giving the tail the peculiar rounded appearance that is described as the “otter” tail.
Labrador Retrievers are relatively low maintenance dogs. A weekly brushing with a firm bristled brush, followed by a wipe down with a rough towel is sufficient to keep the coat clean and promote healthy coat and skin. Brushing, including the use of a tool such as an undercoat rake, several times a week will be necessary during shedding periods. Labrador Retrievers having proper coats are heavy shedders during the twice yearly shedding seasons and healthy dogs do shed some hair throughout the year. Unless the dog get into something foul smelling or staining, Labradors should not be bathed. Unnecessary bathing strips the natural oils from the skin and coat and can cause problems. Labradors should never be shaved down in hot weather. The coat protects the from heat and sun and insect bites. Toe nails should be kept short by regular clipping.
A daily brisk walk, in addition to the usual walks for elimination purposes is required to keep the dog physically fit and mentally stimulated. Investigate and consider the now popular dog parks as a source of exercise and socializing for your dog. But this is recommended only for the adult dog that has had some training and is generally obedient.
Labrador Retrievers are subject to Hip and Elbow Dysplasia and the breed is subject to inherited conditions of the eye, such as Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Retinal Dysplasia, some forms of inherited cataracts and other conditions which can cause problems with vision, including blindness. When buying a puppy ask if both parents have been certified by OFA to be free of hip and elbow dysplasia and registered with CERF as having been examined by a board certified ophthalmologist and found to be free of hereditary eye problems.
Labradors are also subject, though not in great numbers, to anterior cruciate ligament tears and ruptures, tricuspid valve dysplasia (a debilitating heart condition), hypothyroidism, allergies (food and environmental), and epilepsy. Reputable breeder test potential breeding stock and avoid using any dogs which exhibit any of the forgoing health issues.
Behavior / temperament:
Being developed and bred to be retrievers, Labradors are naturally “mouthy”. They will attempt to carry in their mouths anything from clothing to the human hand, arm, ankle or foot, usually with a gentle mouth but they do have to be trained to leave those objects not meant to be retrieved. Because of this mouthiness biting accidents do occur. For that reason the interaction between children and dogs must be supervised. Labradors are intelligent and generally easy-going with strangers, which makes them unsuitable as guard dogs. This intelligence, good temper and activity level are reasons why Labradors have been found to be ideal as detection, therapy, search and rescue and guide dogs. Labradors should never be either shy or aggressive. Labradors have been developed to want to be with humans and other animals. Because of their basic nature, Labradors get on well with other domestic animals. Because of their intelligence they are easily trainable and should be trained because that same intelligence will create chaos if the dog is allowed to grow up untrained. The Labrador Retriever very much reflects the time and attention given it by its owners.
Labs are an intelligent breed, and are never shy or aggressive. They like human company and would not like to be left alone for more than few hours. They are affectionate and devoted toward their owner with a strong will to please. Labs are very playful and are quick to join family members in any type of activity.
Most Labrador Retrievers love to work and to learn, if only to be in the company of their owner. Labradors often believe they know best so training must be consistent in vocabulary, correction and most important, in praise. If you have never trained a dog, it is suggested that you obtain a referral obedience training classes conducted by an experienced instructor. Your veterinarian, local shelters or the breeder from whom you purchase your Labrador can make recommendations.
Remember that the breed was developed for hunting purposes and a noisy hunting dog would be counterproductive. Adult Labradors will bark at the approach of strange cars or people onto their property. In general, the Labrador is not a barker and should not be thought of as a potential watchdog.
exceptional family pets, excelent service dogs, good hunting dogs, affectionate, energetic
joint problems, hyperactive, hard headed pet, heavy shedder, exercise requirements, hip dysplasia
strict feeding schedule, Labs LOVE water, muscular dogs, weather resistant coat, insane drive
"Ellie is going on 14 now and lives with my parents. This dog helped raise my brother and I, being an loyal emotionally stable force in our life from teenage years to now. She has some hip/arthritis issues that started when she was 7 from a previous break (we found her at a ferry terminal, vet think she was hit my by a car when she was puppy). She is a beautiful average sized lab with all the lab features- she loves to play, be with the family and swim swim swim. She also loves the trash and any food available on the counter. She was easy to potty train and basic obedience train as well as any trick we tried to teach her she would learn quickly. Wilson, a male from a breeder was much harder to train, very stubborn and took forever to potty train. He ate anything and everything: couch pillows, DVDs, linoleum flooring, shoes and everything in between. After he turned two, he finally calmed down and has become a fantastic loyal good dog. He is large and in charge, our mail man is officially afraid of him as his bark is loud and his size is intimidating. He has never bit anyone or anything he just likes to let us know someone has arrived at the house. I would recommend this breed for any family or person. Great all around family dog.."
From crstigen Jan 21 2017 3:52AM
"Being the owner of multiple long hair or semi-long haired dogs, I have found vacuuming to be an awesome tool. When it is mid-summer and my shepherds start to blow their coats (loose all their undercoat), this is one of tools that saves my house from being a complete mess of fur! My one shepherd is OK with it. The vacuum is loud, it pulls a bit at their fur and looks like a monster. My other shepherd is not a fan of it, so I stopped trying since he is older and it's not worth him experiencing the stress. However, if you get a puppy who will have a long coat or be a shedder later on, introduce them early! Desensitizing a dog to a vacuum can save you time and money down the line, and will help them learn that if you say something is OK, even if it appears scary, that it REALLY is OK. This tool does work best on clean coats, so a bath and full dry is best before using. The more expensive models can serve as a blower and vacuum, so if you have multiple full coated dogs it might be worth the investment. All in all this is a great tool for all those shedders out their, it will help keep your dog comfortable and you sane! ."
From Emily S 27 days ago
"Working with the neurology department at UF Small Animal Hospital, I saw many dogs who had suffered back injury while being walked on standard buckle collars with leads, especially Flexi leads. Most prone to this sort of injury were "long" dogs like dachshunds, corgis and basset hounds. These dogs are often prey motivated, the sort of dog nothing can stop once they're after a squirrel. Unfortunately what often does stop these dogs is a pull to the neck at full speed. The result can be catastrophic back injuries. <br /><br />I consider back clip harnesses generally ineffective at controlling pulling behavior. They were originally designed for dogs to pull loads and enable the dog to pull as hard as he can quite comfortably. However, if you have a dog who has suffered back trouble before, or if he belongs to a breed prone to back problems, I advise a back harness along with positive reinforcement training to reduce unwanted pulling behavior. Do not attempt to use the harness to control behavior. Rather, use it to hold on to your dog while you use visual and audio cues and positive reinforcement, especially potent smelling treats, to get his attention when he is pulling against his harness. <br /><br />Ideally, watch for potential distractions and get his attention to reward him before he notices the distraction. After awhile, when your terrier sees a squirrel, he might just look to you for a treat! If he doesn't, and decides that he's going to get that squirrel no matter what, you can rest assured that when he throws his weight into the harness he won't be throwing out his back. ."
From Coral 26 days ago