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The Labrador Retriever Dog Breed Explained

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Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers are among the most popular dog breeds in the world. From their humble roots as fishermen's helpers in Newfoundland over a century ago to their membership in countless happy families all over the world today, Labrador Retrievers have left smiles on their owners' faces.

These dogs seem almost predisposed to good behavior and happiness, if treated well and exercised adequately. While the Labrador Retriever may not be the exotic breed for which some new dog owners long, it is a certainly a breed guaranteed to provide top-notch companionship. You don't need to have an Atlantic fishing adventure or the need for a hunting to find a good friend in a Labrador Retriever.

History of the Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever was originally bred by Newfoundland fishermen. The loyal dogs learned to navigate the ice and freezing waters to aid with retrieving waterborne nets to shore. The dog found its way to England in the 1800s. Over time, English breeders reinforced the dogs' retrieval skills, resulting in an exceedingly trainable and good natured dog.

Today, Labrador Retrievers are both popular pets and working dogs. They excel in fields ranging from contraband detection to assisting the disabled. You're more likely to find a Labrador Retriever playing with a happy family's children than you are to find one in the field retrieving game, but their ability to perform such a task is beyond question. A true "renaissance dog", the Labrador Retriever excels at nearly anything it's asked to do!

Temperament of the Labrador Retriever Dog

Labrador Retriever

There are few dogs with a disposition as pleasant as that of the Labrador Retriever. There are several apt and complimentary adjectives one could use to describe the breed, including loyal, loving and intelligent. Labrador retrievers are friends to everyone, boasting a gregarious personality and a love of human company.

The Labrador Retriever rarely finds itself in the role of a guard dog, but they do develop a deep loyalty to their masters and families. They make excellent pets and seem to have a natural affinity for children. The Labrador Retrievers' good nature extends to other members of the animal kingdom, as well. They're known for working and playing well with other animals.

The one potential temperamental drawback of the Labrador Retriever stems from its love of human company. These dogs, particularly younger ones, may have a tendency to “act up” around the house if left alone for too long. They crave company and prolonged periods with out can lead to occasional behavioral difficulties.

Size and Appearance of the Labrador Retriever Breed

The Labrador Retriever is not a small dog. Males reach heights of approximately two feet, with females measuring, on average, about an inch shorter. Weights vary between fifty-five to seventy-five pounds, generally, although some males may reach the one hundred pound mark.

Labrador Retrievers are short-haired dogs who have a smooth double coat. This makes them relatively easy to groom with an appropriate brush. They do shed, but no more than any other popular short-haired breed. Labrador Retrievers will require occasional baths and grooming, of course, but there's no reason to dread these occasions, as the dog tends to be quite cooperative.

Health Information Regarding the Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers are generally healthy animals. These hardy animals tend to live between ten and twelve years, on average. PRA is a concern with Labrador Retrievers and, like many other breeds, eye disorders and hip dysplasia sometimes manifest.

Those health concerns are often encouraged by obesity. Labrador Retrievers have very healthy appetites and do require a solid exercise regimen to prevent excessive weight gain.

Training the Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever

Though Labrador Retrievers will excel in environments that offer them room to play, it is possible to keep one as a pet in an apartment setting, so long as adequate exercise opportunities are afforded. Remember that Labrador Retrievers are active and gregarious animals. They like to play a great deal and require daily long walks or runs. Absent appropriate physical exertion, these heavy eaters can experience unhealthy weight gain.

Most owners find Labrador Retrievers to be a delight when it comes to training. They are quick studies, interested in pleasing their masters and have great memories. Any smart, positive training plan should produce good results with this popular breed. The range of success experienced by those training Labrador Retrievers for a wide variety of "working dog" positions is a testament to just how effectively the dogs are able to master tasks.

Labrador Retriever related links

Labrador Retrievers belong to the working group of dogs

Retrievers excel at dog training and need to learn young

Is the Labrador good enough to be a dog hero?

Dog owners hand book. Complete answer to raising perfect Labradors

Labrador retrievers are dying from commercial dog food. This video has shocking evidence

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