Labrador Retrievers are an extremely popular family pet as they are
patient and obedient, crave human attention and can be extremely gentle
with children. Labradors make for fantastic watchdogs and also excel in
areas of tracking, detection, hunting, retrieving, guiding, searching
and rescuing. They are a popular breed among police forces and are known
to be excellent companions for the blind. More information about having
a Labrador Retriever as a pet can be found below.
Description and Quick Facts
• Body: English breeds have heavy and thick bodies whereas American breeds are tall and lanky
• Tail: Known as an otter tail, a Labrador’s tail is thick at the base and gradually tapers down to the tip
• Teeth: 42 strong teeth
• Height: Male dogs can reach 22-24 inches (56-61cm) whereas bitches are generally measured at 21-23 inches (53-58cm) in height
• Weight: Male dogs can grow to 60-75 pounds (27-34kg) and in some cases up to 100 pounds whereas bitches tend to grow between 55-70 pounds (25-32kg)
• Life expectancy: 10-12 years
There are two types of Labradors, the English Labrador and the American Labrador and can be found in an array of colourings including:
Labrador Retrievers are highly intelligent and love human attention. When trained and handled well Labradors can make for an excellent family pet and their temperament can be described as follows:
• Reliable, loyal and superb with children and other animals
• Loving, affectionate and friendly
• Patient, intelligent and lively
• Loves to play, good-natured, willing and eager to please
As adult Labradors are particularly strong it’s advised that you train them well from a very young age. Destructive behaviour can occur when trained poorly, left to their own devices without human interaction and without daily physical and mental exercise. English Labradors are known to mature quicker than American breeds and can be a lot calmer, but nevertheless these intelligent animals are very energetic and require a lot of exercise.
Like all dogs, Labradors require a dominate authority figure to keep them in check, this requires you to have a strong demeanour to show your dog who is boss. When training your Labrador Retriever puppy you need to ensure that he heels on the leash, and doesn’t bolt out doorways before you.
Having spacious surroundings is not essential, but having a large back garden is preferable when exercised regularly.
There are a few health problems associated with a Labrador Retriever including:
• Hip and elbow dysplasia
• Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) and other eye disorders
Labradors are prone to weight gain and so it’s imperative that you ensure your pet has a daily exercise routine. As they love to run around searching, sniffing and retrieving objects a toy to throw and a large outdoor space (such as a park) is a great way of making sure he gets all the exercise he needs. Jogging around the park or running alongside your bicycle is a great form of exercise too.
More information on the best ways to walk your dog can be found on our blog. Why not read Leash training and Training your dog to walk with you?
Their short, hard coat is easy to care for and is water-resistant (perfect for the water loving Labrador) making grooming a breeze. Regularly brush and comb your dog’s coat with a firm bristle brush and bathe him when necessary. Labradors generally shed throughout the year, but not heavily. Find out our top Tips for bathing your dog.
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