Labrador Retrievers

Quick Facts

Coat: Water resistant double coat comes in 3 recognised coat colours by the Australian National Kennel Council (black, yellow, and chocolate).

Dog Breed Group: Sporting Dogs (Gun Dogs)

Height: 56-63 cm (males), 54-60 cm (females)

Weight: up to 40 kg (males), up to 35 kg (females)

Life Span: 10 to 13 years

Summary

The Labrador Retriever was bred to be both a friendly companion and a useful working dog breed. Historically, he earned his keep as a fisherman’s helper: hauling nets, fetching ropes, and retrieving fish from the chilly North Atlantic (Labrador, Canada).

Most Labrador Retrievers skip the hard labor and spend their days being pampered and loved by their people. Common duties in all environments are: retrieve game (or toys), assist and bless the handicapped as a therapy dog, visiting homes for the elderly and hospitals, look snazzy for show competitors, sniff and rescue for police as well as military.

Most Labrador Retrievers work as canine companions and give love, kisses, affection, fun, and some even serve as couch potatoes, armrests, foot warmers, alarm clocks, door bells, diggers and ‘gardeners’! And Labs have also become the breed to beat at dog sports such as agility and obedience competitions – especially obedience.

The warm, loyal and intelligent Labrador Retriever is the world’s most wanted breed accordingly to Wikipedia. Even non-dog people can recognize a Labrador Retriever.

Built for sport, the Labrador Retriever is muscular and athletic. and have a short, dense, water proof double coat coat, kindness, intelligence, and plenty of energy. Devotion to this breed runs deep; Labs are loving, people-oriented dogs who live to serve their families.

There’s one dog job that Labs are hopeless at: guard dog. In fact, owners say their sweet, helpful Lab is likely to greet an intruder and happily show him where the goods are stashed.

The breed originated on the island of Newfoundland, off the northeastern Atlantic coast of Canada. Originally called the St. John’s dog, after the capital city of Newfoundland, he was bred to help the local fishermen – hauling nets, fetching ropes, and retrieving fish that had escaped the nets — as well as to be a family dog. Read more about the History of the Labrador Retriever.

Labrador Retrievers have proven their usefulness and versatility throughout the breed’s history, easily shifting from fisherman’s companion, to field retriever, to show dog, to modern working dog. One role has remained constant: wonderful companion and friend.

Personality

The Labrador Retriever has the reputation of being one of the most sweet-natured breeds, and it’s well deserved. He’s outgoing, eager to please, and friendly with both people and other animals.

Aside from a winning personality, he has the intelligence and eagerness to please that make him easy to train. Training is definitely necessary because this breed has a lot of energy and exuberance. The working heritage of the Labrador Retriever means he is active. This breed needs activity, both physical and mental, to keep him happy. There is some variation in the activity level of Labrador Retriever: some are rowdy, others are more laid back.

Care

The lovable Labrador Retriever needs to be around his family, and is definitely not a backyard dog. If he’s left alone for too long, he’ll probably tarnish his saintly reputation: A lonely, bored Lab is apt to dig, chew, or find other destructive outlets for his energy.

Labrador Retrievers show some variation in their activity levels, but all of them need activity, both physical and mental. Daily 30-minute walks, a romp at the dog park, or a game of fetch, are a few ways to help your Labrador Retriever burn off energy. However, a puppy should not be taken for too long walks and should play for a few minutes at a time. A common rule is 5 minutes per month of life, so when a puppy is 3 months old it should not exercise more than 15 minutes a day (5 minute per month of age for forced exercise). Labrador Retrievers are considered “workaholics,” and will exhaust themselves. It is up to you to end play and training sessions.

Labs have such good reputations that some owners think they don’t need training. That’s a big mistake. Without training, a rambunctious Labrador Retriever puppy will soon grow to be a very large, rowdy dog. Luckily, Labrador Retriever take to training well — in fact, they are easy to train because they are so eager to please.

Start with puppy kindergarten, which not only teaches your pup good canine manners, but helps him learn how to be comfortable around other dogs and people. Look for a class that uses positive training methods that reward the dog for getting it right, rather than punishing him for getting it wrong.

Like all retrievers, the Labrador Retriever is mouthy, and he’s happiest when he has something, anything, to carry in his mouth. He’s also a chewer, so be sure to keep sturdy chew toys available all the time — unless you want your couch chewed up.

Kongs are designed to stimulate curiosity and inquisition and Labs just love to chew them. A great chew toy for combating boredom and separation anxiety, and suitable for both puppies and adult Labrador Retrievers. Fill it with treats, mince, cookies or peanut butter and you will have a very busy dog for quite a while. They come in all shapes and variants.

And when you leave the house, it’s wise to keep your Labrador Retriever in a crate or kennel so he’s can’t get himself into trouble chewing things he shouldn’t. Slowly increase the time you leave a dog in the crate, do not leave a dog longer that 2-3 hours in the crate by himself.

Children and pets

The Labrador Retriever not only loves kids, he enjoys the commotion they bring with them. He’ll happily attend a child’s birthday party, and even willingly wear a party hat. Like all dogs, however, he needs to be trained how to act kind around kids — and kids need to be taught how to act around the dog. It helps if you learn stationing your Labrador Retriever puppy on his mat/crate at an early age and teach the kids to let the dog be if stationed. That way your Labrador Retriever puppy will have a place to withdraw himself if he had enough.

As with every breed, you should always teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party. Teach your child never to approach any dog while he’s eating or sleeping or to try to take the dog’s food away.

Anaysis and further testing

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A positive result

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