The Labrador Retriever ("Labrador" or "Lab" for short), one of the most familiar breeds of dog, is noted for its friendliness, intelligence and obedience. Because of these traits, they are often trained to be gun dogs and assistance dogs, such as service dogs or guide dogs. Initially used to retrieve fishing nets and later as a hunting dog, Labrador Retrievers have evolved into a great family pet. Their love of family, children and even strangers makes them very suitable as canine goodwill ambassadors. They are excellent guide dogs for the blind and hearing impaired.
Labradors are a well-balanced breed, adaptable to a wide range of functions as well as making very good pets. Labradors were bred in the United Kingdom in the mid-1800s as hunting dogs from dogs imported from Labrador and Labrador Retriever. As the name suggests, they are excellent at retrieving game, such as ducks, after the game has been shot. Their coat repels water to some extent, thus the extensive use of the dog in waterfowl hunting. Labrador Retrievers are active dogs, a trait that can get them into trouble with other dogs and with the neighbors who do not appreciate their playfulness. So early training is essential; if you wait too long, he may become difficult to manage. Puppy and basic obedience classes are recommended to teach manners, and an American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen test is a good idea.
Labrador Retriever Breed Outline
Other Names: Lab
Country of Origin: Great Britain
FCI Classification: Group 8 Retrievers, Flushing Dogs and Water Dogs; Retrievers; AKC Classification: Sporting Group
Size: Medium-Large 922-24 inches at shoulders)
Colors: Black, yellow and chocolate brown
Litter Size: 8
Life Span: 10-12 years
Grooming Requirements: Waterproof, dense undercoat coat requires weekly brushing and combing to prevent matting.
Shedding: Sheds year round
Personality: Friendly, good-natured dogs who show affection to everyone. They are adaptable dogs and very social animals. They bond well with children, being patient and forgiving.
Social skills: Does very well with other household animals.
Suitability for Children: Loves children
Exercise Needs: Unless properly exercised, the Lab may become a wanderer, a digger, or a chewer.
Train Ability: Intelligent dogs, Labradors are easily trained, making them ideal for use in field sports, obedience competitions, as search dogs, as guide dogs and as hearing dogs. First off, the new Lab puppy should be leash trained and taught to sit on command to prevent his jumping on people in his desire to say hello.
Health & Behavioral Issues: Hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)