Labrador Retriever : An Insight Into Their Life
Labrador Retriever is a large type of retriever gun dog that is even referred to as Labrador. It is one of the most popular breeds of dog that is found in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. If you visit the dog training institute then you are sure to find Labrador. The reason is that it is one of the most popular breeds. These are complete family dogs that’s why people love adapting them. Also, the breed needs proper care otherwise the problems like rambunctiousness are sure to be faced. They are so good at nature that even children love playing with them.
Labradors are famous for their friendly nature. Not only with the family members, but these dogs are also familiar with the neighbor dogs too. Some people think that friendly dogs are low in energy. This is their biggest mistake as these dogs are high in energy. To keep them physically fit you have to make sure that they get involved in some sort of physical exercise. It could be games to fetch, marathon, or anything else.
You might be unaware of this fact that the Labrador Retriever has been consistently leading as the popular purebred dog. This information is released by the American Kennel Club every year and Labrador has been leading for almost ten years. This is just one scenario that we have discussed. There are multiple other clubs that claim similar results in terms of popularity. People who do not know much about dogs can easily recognize a Labrador. Owing to its popularity it is artists and photographer’s favorite.
Labrador Retriever is one of the popular breeds even for disability assistance. There are institutes where these dogs are specially trained to help the blind people or the one dealing with autism. Law enforcement agencies use them for performing screening and detection. In earlier times, the Labrador Retriever’s were involved in a lot of physical tasks. Now, people keep them at their home and pamper them. You will find multiple fields where Labs play an important role. Due to their athletic build and courageous nature, these are also used by hunters.
How Labrador Retriever Got Its Name?
Labrador Retriever was formerly called St. John’s water dog. It was only after they were brought to England that the renaming happened. The geographical area was the reason that they were given the name Labrador. They retrieved in the Labrador Sea hence the name Labrador Retriever. So a lot goes into the naming of these dogs.
Labrador Retrievers: History
The origin of the Labrador goes back to the island of Newfoundland. This island is now part of the province of Labrador and Newfoundland that are part of Canada. If you talk about their founding breed then it is St. John’s water dog. This breed emerged from the ad-hoc breedings that were carried on by early settlers of the island around the 16th century. It was only in 1820 that the first St. John’s dog was brought to England. It is said that the 2nd Earl of Malmesbury was the one who made arrangements with traders to import these dogs to England. He saw the St. John’s dog on a fishing boat and took this decision immediately.
The ancestors of the first Labradors Retriever were highly impressive. Due to these dogs high skill and ability he focused on stabilizing their breed and devoted the entire kennel to it. It was Earl’s son who gave this name to the dogs. In the year 1903, the Labrador’s breed became official and it was announced by the Kennel Club in England.
In the 20th Century, Labrador’s made their way to North America. Labrador’s athletic body and great adaptability impressed the American sportsmen that’s why they were imported. Since then their popularity has been growing. You can understand this from the fact that in 1997 a chocolate lab pup became the first one to make White House it's home. Today, these dogs work in explosive and drug detection, search and rescue operations.
The Labrador Retriever appearance plays a major role when you play to adopt one. They are medium to large in size. Coming to the weight the males weigh between 65 to 80 lbs and females between 55 to 70 lbs. Most of the characteristics of these dogs are the result of breeding. The sole aim of breeding is to produce a working retriever. There are basically two breeds that focus on confirmation and the field. Coming to the conformation ones they are bred medium-sized ones. You will find them stockier in size with a fuller face and caring in nature.
If you talk about the field ones then they are bred to be taller and lighter-framed dogs. These dogs have a less broad face and their nose seems to be longer. Labrador Retriever tends to shed their hair twice annually. In the temperate climates, the result is different as they may shed hair throughout the year.
The hair of Labrador is usually short and straight. Also, they have webbed toes that make them excellent swimmers. There is one more benefit of webbing and that is it serves as a snowshoe. In colder climates, snow tends to get stuck between their toes that could be really painful. So they have a high advantage of webbed toes.
Personality And Temperament
The Labrador Retriever personality basically meets all the requirements of the user. This is a loyal, happy, and lovable dog. In fact, these are always full of energy. If you have a Labrador at your home then you might know how lovingly it welcomes you when you come back home. They run to greet you. So if you are back from a long trip then all the stress will be gone in minutes. They love spending quality time with the family members and are the happiest when you involve them within activities at your home. You can take them for multiple physical activities like swimming, hiking, running, and more.
If you talk about the Labrador breed standard then there are multiple things that can be counted but the temperament is considered the hallmark. The ideal Labrador is the one that is friendly, kind, and not aggressive towards the people or other animals. Of course, there might be a bit variation in the general personality of the dog but these traits are considered the foundation of its personality.
The Labrador is full of energy but sometimes it can act a bit reserved, serious, or anything else. Some people claim that Labrador’s personality varies according to their color. This is not the case. It the way you treat it for reaching your goals that affect Labrador Retriever’s temperament. Field-Trial dogs are basically the ones that demand more exercise and training. They just can’t behave like couch potatoes. So the lying around the house doesn’t suit them at all. In the case of conformation ones, the temperament is totally opposite. These are the dogs that are more laid back.
In the initial stage of growing up that is at the age of three, the Labradors can be extremely active. Whatever you have heard about the calmness of Labradors is absolutely true but the initial stage is an exception. It is often seen in the extended adolescence that the Labradors find things like rocks and socks more appealing. So they love swallowing these things and the breeder have to get them removed from these dogs.
You must involve the Labrador in some sort of physical activity. For this, you must start walking. Now, you cannot simply stroll them around the block. They need to run in order to burn that excess energy out of their body. If you do not take them for running they will have to find a way on their own to burn that extra energy. For this, the dog will turn to a destructive path.
If you are a swimming pool owner then it will be a bit difficult for you to handle them. They love swimming so they will try and enter the pool. Once they enter the pool it is difficult to take them out of the water.
You must start training the Labrador early. For this, you have to be patient and consistent. It is not difficult to handle the dog but with consistent training, you will realize that this dog is wonderful. In fact, there are certain traits that you will have to adjust and live with throughout their life. Labradors are mostly in the active state until they are sleeping. If the dogs get involved in a lot of physical activity then eventually it will sleep peacefully.
The best part of the Lab’s personality is that you can get it involved in physical activity in a fun way. For example, if you are going for a swim then take him along. Another thing could be that you ride a bike and teach him to run along with your bike. In this way, you won’t be tired as the dog can get fully involved in the activity. There are tons of other options. There are some areas where the dog activities are conducted so you can get your dog registered for it.
Another good thing could be to give your dog an open space. It can become the best dog you have ever come across if you give it what it wants. If you don’t then the dog will spend most of its time in destructing things at your home. This would, in turn, mean that you spend your time and energy in repairing stuff at your home. So don’t give the dog that sort of chance.
Labradors love to eat anything that comes in their way. If something looks like food to them then they will try to chew it away. There are a lot of people who leave things here and there. In such a case it is difficult to teach them to keep things at the place. You will learn it by keeping a Labrador at your home. To save your favorite stuff you will have to do it.
Labradors are fairly easy to train. We have already provided a lot of information about Labrador’s personality and temperament. It is important to note that the dogs are certainly unpredictable. A dog can develop certain characteristics like digging, barking, and others. These behavioral changes can be dealt with if you are going to train them properly.
There are three main colors in which you will find the Labrador Retrievers. The colors are black, chocolate, and yellow. Now, there is another color availability and that is silver. These silver-colored dogs are currently in dispute state as stated by the breed experts. There are some clubs that allow them to be registered as “non-recognized” ones.
The Labrador Retriever’s coat has a lot of fascinating features that you might be unaware of. Labrador’s have a double coat. The coat is basically the fur. It is found in two layers. The first one is the guard layer that is at the top. This layer is more abrasive in nature. Just under this layer, you will find a soft layer that is called undercoat. In combination, these layers work in regulating the body temperature, repelling water, protecting the skin from harmful UV rays. The one most important benefit of the undercoat is that it is an insulator. So it will keep their body warm in the colder months. These layers of fur also help them in keeping their body cool in the summer. This is the reason people consider it a bad practice to shave the Labrador. In a way, you will hinder with the natural process of keeping their body temperature normal.
If you love their beautiful coat then you must know that Labrador’s shed hair. It varies from one dog to another that how much hair does the dog sheds. It is seen especially in the spring and fall season that they shed the maximum.
There are certain tips that you can follow to control the whole process of shedding. Try the tips given below:
The first and foremost tip is to follow a brushing routine. Just like we human they need brushing too. If you will brush your Labrador at least once a week it will reduce shedding.
Apart from the natural process, there is one more reason behind shedding and that is a poor diet. So you have to ensure that you give the Labrador diet rich in omega fatty acids. This will promote stronger hair follicles. This will certainly result in less shedding.
Make sure you are aware of any sort of dry and flaky skin issue that the dog is going through. If the dog has any sort of allergy then it will lead to excessive scratching. This will shed off more hair so consult the vet to take the required action.
When we people get stressed the harmful effects can be seen on our body. Hair fall, breakouts, fatigue are some of the most common effects on our body. Dogs face similar issues. When they are stressed the results can be seen through excessive shedding. So it is important to give your dogs a comfortable environment. This will reduce the stress on them and hence there will be less shedding.
Like any other dog, the Labrador Retriever also needs regular grooming. If you are going to take care of yourself just like you take care of yourself it will improve your bond with him. With regular grooming, you can stay more close to your animal so it will give a chance to monitor him more closely.
- The first and most important step towards grooming begins with clipping. So you should keep your dog’s nail clipped. Due to long nails, the footpads of the dog are forced apart. It makes it difficult for the dog to walk correctly. Make sure you do not cut the nails too far as it will hurt the dog. So the next time you will try to cut the nails it will refrain from clipping.
- Brush your Labrador Retriever dog’s teeth regularly. Dental plaque is a severe problem that is seen in multiple dogs. The plaque doesn’t seem harmful but it can enter the dog’s blood and eventually reach its heart. Prefer a soft toothbrush over a harsh one. All you have to do is lift their lips and gently brush the outer surface. In case your Labrador Retriever is already facing the plaque issue then your vet can remove it. If you really care about your dog then avoid the use of canned dog food. The canned food has more moisture content so it sticks to their teeth. So try and include dry food in your dog’s diet.
- Give the Labrador Retriever an amazing grooming session. This should involve massage from head to toe. When you give massage you touch the body of the animal more closely. So you can feel hair loss, dry patches, bumps or anything else that feels abnormal about it. If you are going to massage your Labrador then it will get used to getting touched. So the vet will find it easy to treat him.
- It is extremely important for your Labrador to go through brushing once a week. For brushing, you can use either natural or nylon bristle brush. You can even opt for daily brushing option. With daily brushing, you can stimulate the natural oil producing process of their skin. It will further help in keeping their coat glistening. Brushing is also going to help in improving the overall appearance of your dog. It is obvious that a well-groomed dog is loved by everyone.
- Labrador is one dog that doesn’t need to be bathed too often. These types of dogs need bathing only when it gets really dirty. So make sure that just to ensure grooming you do not overdo things. If you are going to regularly bathe your dog then it can have ill effects on them like drying out their skin. Also, some people keep their dogs indoor just to ensure they stay clean but that shouldn’t be practiced. You must ensure that outdoor air reaches the dog as that helps in keeping their skin moist.
- It is important to keep a regular check on the eyes of the Labrador Retriever. You must check that the dog is facing irritation or discharge issues or not. If your dog is facing such a problem then use a cotton ball to wipe the eyes. You can dip the ball in saline for better results. Don’t get mistaken by the staining around the eyes of Labrador. It could be the result of the dog’s tears. In case, you want to get rid of the tears then you can again use the cotton ball but this time it should be dipped in hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide can irritate your dog’s eyes so add a drop of mineral oil in their eyes. The oil will act as a shield that will protect its eyes from hydrogen peroxide.
- The dogs tend to get irritated with the pests on their body. Also, it may lead to various sort of infections in them. So it is extremely important to apply pest control products on the body of the Labrador Retriever. For this, you should always trust the vet. They have complete knowledge about the dogs and it is not necessary that what works for one dog will work for another dog. Another thing that is very important is that the product should cover fleas, ticks, and worms.
- If the Labrador’s ears look dirty or waxy then it is clear that they need cleaning. For the parts that are visible to us, we can opt for using a cotton ball or cotton swab. It should be dampened in ear cleaner. In case the dog is shaking ears more than it naturally does then there is a problem. Also, you may notice bad smell or redness in ears. So in such a case take your dog to the vet. So do not neglect even minute changes in your dog’s characteristics. If you go on to find Labrador retriever vs golden retriever then you will find that the former one is the best.
Before proceeding towards the whole Labrador Retriever feeding process it is important to know what are the different types of food available for the dogs. It will give you a clear picture of the food that has to be served.
- Raw diet-The first one in the list is the raw food. In this category, you will find meat, bones, fruits, and vegetables. Now, this food has its own advantages and disadvantages so it is important to understand this diet before going for it. Gather proper knowledge about this food and its canine nutrition content. Feed your dog with the food that meets its nutritional needs.
- Dry diet-The dry food as the name suggests are much easy to store and serve. These are basically pellets of food. For healthy growth of the Labrador Retriever puppies, the ready-made food is added with the right proportions of nutrients.
- Wet diet- The wet food falls in the category of commercially manufactured food. It consists of chunks of meat that are available in both gravies and without gravy form. To make your dog’s diet nutritionally complete the wet food has all the needed vitamins and minerals. As it covers all the elements so you have given this food to the dog.
Talking about the daily food requirements of the dog it is between two and a half to three cups of food. Here, we are talking about the whole day’s requirement. You have to divide this meal into two. Again the factor that influences the amount of feeding is the dog itself. The amount of feeding a large dog would need will obviously be different from the amount of food a Labrador Retriever puppy needs. If you are going to give the Labrador Retriever the better food then it will automatically help it in living a healthy life. You should feed the dog in proper interval twice so that it has the habit of eating on a set time. If you are lazy and you will leave food for the dog all day then it will grow in bad shape.
The Labrador puppies need more care as compared to a grown-up Labrador Retriever. There is rapid growth seen in them between the age of four and seven months. Just like you take care of a newborn baby so that he or she doesn’t fall ill you have to take care of the Labrador puppy too. There is a simple hands-on test that you can do at your home to check your dog’s feeding requirements. Hold the Lab in such a way that your thumbs are along the spine while your fingers are spread downwards. If you can’t feel the ribs of the Lab then he needs less food. Alternatively, you can indulge him in more exercise.
Your dog needs a lot of care especially Labrador puppies. If you leave the dog alone at home for long then it will affect the dog’s behavior. There are amazing dog strollers available in the market that will resolve this issue. If you are going to visit a mall then carry the dog in the stroller so that he sits comfortably. He will feel more secure and while you shop he can also take a quick nap. This is one of the ways by which you can show your love towards the pet. We highly recommend that you go through the dog stroller reviews once as they come with varying interesting features. You can check out the link given below to know more about it.
Related: Double Dog Strollers
Interesting Facts About Labrador Retriever
- We are sure you are unaware of this fact. Labrador retrievers are trained to detect cancer. They work with the cancer cells in order to know the smell of the disease. In fact, the fastest way to know that whether the patient is suffering from early stages of ovarian cancer is by using these dogs. They sniff the patient and detect the change in organic compounds that lead to cancer.
- When it comes to the selection of guide dogs, Labrador Retriever is the first choice. If you compare the ratio of the number of guide dogs in America then the Labrador Retrievers top the list with more than 60% of ratio.
- Have you heard that there is a place where the mayor is a dog? We haven’t got insane but there is a place named Sunol that is part of California. In 1981 a black Labrador was elected as the mayor. The dog’s name was Bosco and the two other competitors were human. This honorary position was with Bosco until he died in 1994.
- It is not dependent on the parents color that what would be the color of the Labrador puppy born. It could be yellow, black, or chocolate in color. The reason for such variation is that there are two genes that cause pigmentation. You can even see this variation in a single litter.
- Labrador is athletic in build. They have to ability to hit more than 10 miles an hour that too in three seconds. This is the reason a lot of crime agencies use them.
- For twenty-four consecutive years, this breed of Labrador has been topping the most popular breeds. There hasn’t been any breed in the history of dogs that has been consistently topping the list.
- Labrador was originally considered the perfect water dogs. The water coats are water-resistant that provide them with complete insulation. So the fishermen had a perfect companion that could bring in nets, pull ropes, or recover the escaped fish.
- Just like the fact that the Labrador became the mayor, another one says that the Labrador went to jail. The crime committed by the Lab was killing the cat. Now, the cat wasn’t an ordinary one. It belonged to the Pennsylvania Governor Gifford Pinchot. On 12th August 1924, the dog was sent to jail and it had to spend ten years of time over there.
FAQs About Labrador Retriever
Are Labrador good family dogs?
Yes, the temperament clearly states that Labrador is a good family dog. When you will meet them you will yourself experience their gentle and kind behavior. This is the reason why most families are interested in adopting a Labrador as a pet. They are wonderful family pets.
Are Labs aggressive?
The answer is no but there are exceptions. There are some Labrador puppies who have shown the sign of aggression but this can be dealt with in this phase itself. You might not be feeding the dog in the right way or there might be some other issue. So try to figure out what’s the problem with your dog to understand his behavior.
What problems do Labradors have?
Labradors are healthy dogs but there are certain health issues that may be faced by them. The first one is the Cataracts. In this condition, there is the development of cloudy spots on the eye lens. This may cause severe vision loss in some cases to no effect on vision. Hip Dysplasia is another medical condition in which thighbone misfits the hip joint. If this happens then the dog will show some sign of pain or lameness. Likewise, there are other conditions too like Elbow Dysplasia, Volvulus, and more.
Do Labs shed a lot of hair?
Labradors shed hair but it depends on the season and internal conditions of the dog. Shedding is not bad as the old hair are shed and new hair build up. For controlling it you can always opt for a good grooming routine. You can clean up your home with a vacuum cleaner once in a while to maintain the hygiene of your home.
Here, we have given clear information about the dog breed that is Labrador Retriever. You will find its characteristics, color, feeding, and other information in detail. So now if you find Labrador Retriever for sale then it will be easier for you to select one owing to its amazing personality. The Labrador Retriever cost may vary depending on the size but the dog is a family dog. Still, there are certain facts that you must know before buying a Labrador Retriever. They will help you in choosing the best one from the lot. We have even shared the reviews of the best dog strollers that you can check out now.