Labrador Retriever

Type: Gun Dog

Height: Males 22.5 - 24.5 inches; Females 21.5 - 23.5

Weight: Males 60 - 75 lbs; Females 55 - 70 lbs.

Life Span: 10 - 14 years.

Litter Size: 7 - 8 puppies.

Country of Origin: Canada (Greenland)

Activity: Outdoor - High. They are playful and exuberant if you want them to be. Indoor - Medium.

Watch-dog: High. Labradors are very alert and attune to their surroundings, and will let you know what is going on.

Guard-dog: Medium - Low. They will evaluate a potential threat, but they are still quite friendly to all.

Description: The Labrador Retriever is a strongly built, very active dog. They are wide over the loins with strong and muscular hindquarters. They have smooth, thick fur all over which can be yellow, black or chocolate colored. Black used to be the favorite among fanciers, but now yellow has taken on this role. Labs have medium length drop ears and a brown or black nose. Labrador Retrievers are easy to train and are good with children and other dogs. The Labrador Retriever is good natured, loyal and hardworking. Labrador Retrievers are employed as guide dogs and sniffer dogs, detecting drugs and explosives. They are very intelligent animals, able to pick things up quickly. The Labrador Retriever should never be aggressive, they are good tempered and very agile and make a devoted companion who has a strong will to please. Enthusiastic tail-waggers, the Labrador Retriever is a dog who enjoys simply being around their human companions.

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Other Names: Lab, Labrador

Colors: Black, yellow, or chocolate colored. All colors are solids.

Coat: Close, short, and dense without waves or feathering. Their double coat is also waterproof.

Temperament: Labrador Retrievers are responsive, friendly, non-aggressive, and intelligent. They have excellent scenting abilities, able to pick out the slightest detection of explosive substances. They are outgoing, eager to please, and enjoyable. The Labrador Retriever's temperament makes it one of the most popular dogs in America. They are docile, playful and have an all-around pleasing demeanor. They are alert, but are too friendly for guarding. They love the water and love to carry things in their mouths.

With Children: Yes, devoted to their family and pleasing them. Excellent playmates.

With Pets: Yes, they get along with almost anyone.

Special Skills: Field sports dog, guide for blind, drugs search dog, family pet, Swimming and others.

Care and Training: Labrador Retrievers need plenty of exercise and should not be kept in a locked space. Minimum light brushing of the Labrador Retriever's coat every once in a while will keep it in great shape. Labrador Retrievers needs daily contact. The Labrador Retriever also loves vigorous exercise including swimming. Labrador Retriever puppies are easy to raise and train and should be introduced to people at an early age. Beware of overfeeding your Labrador Retriever as it is easy for them to become lazy and obese.

Learning Rate: Very High. Labradors are very intelligent. Obedience - High. They are great for obedience runs and as police dogs. Problem Solving - Medium.

Special Needs: Exercise and training.

Living Environment: Labrador Retrievers are happiest out in the countryside, but will adapt to an urban environment with a fenced yard when sufficient exercise is given. Labrador Retrievers are active and enjoy human interaction. The owner of a Labrador Retriever needs to be able to spend time to exercise, train and play with them. They can become obese if not exercised regularly. The best owner for this breed would be an active family living in a rural or suburban environment.

Health Issues: Usually hardy. Potential problems with hip dysplasia, epilepsy, PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy), arthritis and skin allergies.

History: Labrador Retrievers are believed to have their origins in Greenland, from which their ancestors were used by fishermen. The current Labrador Retriever developed from the Newfoundlands, dogs called Labradors, and a breed called St. John's Dogs, all originating and named for different places in Greenland. An interesting piece of trivia is that the Labrador got its name from Greenland, for Greenland used to be called Labrador. These old type dogs from Greenland were only medium sized, had curly coats, and produced spots on the fur. From these dogs came the modern Newfoundland, Landseer, Flat Coated Retriever, Chesapeake Bay Retriever as well as the Labrador Retriever. They were then introduced into Britain in the 1800s by ships, and from there the breed was developed into what it is today. There the Labrador Retriever worked collecting fish that fell out of the nets. They were also used as a retriever for water birds. The Earl of Malmesbury was said to have named the breed, buying his first Labrador in 1870 from a fisherman. In 1917 the breed was accepted by the AKC, and the Labrador has performed in shows for decades now. At one time Labrador Retrievers were only black in color, now yellow and chocolate have become more popular. The Labrador Retriever remains one of the most popular breeds of dogs.

First Registered by the AKC: 1917

AKC Group: Sporting Group

Class: Gundog

Registries: AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI (Group 8), KC (GB), UKC