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labrador retriever black

Labrador Retriever

labrador retriever blackLabrador Retrievers are the most popular dog breed according to the American Kennel Club (AKC). That’s no surprise as they are highly intelligent and very friendly with children, adults, and other animals.

Being high energy dogs, they will need lots of exercise and enjoy a game of fetch or swimming. Behavioral problems can develop with a lack of exercise.


Labrador Retriever Origin

This breed originated in Newfoundland, according to the AKC, along the Canadian coast of the Atlantic ocean.

The Labrador Retriever was bred to be a friendly companion and a working dog. They would help fishermen with fishing nets, ropes, and retrieving fish that escaped the nets.

Today, they are trained to perform many duties such as a hunting dog, service dog, therapy dog, drug and explosive detection, and search and rescue dogs.


Group

In the sporting group of the American Kennel Club, Labrador Retrievers are flushing dogs that will retrieve game that is down for a hunter. It is the most popular dog in the US and UK.



Size

Labradors Retrievers are medium to  large dogs weighing 55 to 80 pounds. They stand 21.5 to 24.5 inches at the shoulder. They are muscular and athletic with high energy levels.


Color

Labrador Retrievers can be one of three common colors: black, chocolate brown, or yellow. They have a short, thick, straight coat with an additional soft undercoat.


Temperament

labrador yellowLabradors are even-tempered and friendly with people and other dogs. They can be a perfect family pet for a high energy family. They love children and are very affectionate and good with strangers.

If you are looking for a good watchdog, this is not the dog breed for you. Labrador Retrievers are very friendly would most likely greet an intruder to make friends.


Energy

Labrador Retrievers are high energy dogs that love to play, especially fetch. They are powerful swimmers and enjoy the water. They are very good in competitions of agility and obedience, especially obedience.

With a strong chewing desire, a variety of tough chew toys will help prevent destructive chewing. Without proper exercise, they can also display bad behaviors such as digging and excessive barking.


Health

Obesity can become a problem if your dog is overfed and/or a lack of exercise. They love to eat, but too much food and treats can be bad for their health. Feed your dog a healthy diet and provide plenty of exercise to burn those calories away.

Because they love the water and swimming, they are prone to hot spots and ear infections. Water can get trapped in the coat and/or ears causing these infections. Take your dog to see your veterinarian who can create a treatment plan for your dog.

The average lifespan of a Labrador Retriever is about 10 to 12 years, although some live longer. They are somewhat prone to hip and elbow dysplasia.


Coat

This dog breed has a short, dense double coat that repels water and cold. It is a seasonal shedder that will shed twice a year, and will need daily brushing when they are shedding. Otherwise, brushing once a week will suffice.


Other Grooming

You should clean your dog’s ears once a week, and each time after they have been swimming. Check the ears for redness and/or odors that could indicate an infection.


Training

Very eager to please their owners, they are easy to train and are smart dogs that learn quickly. Not being a prey driven dog, it is easy to keep their attention.


Separation Anxiety

labrador retriever chocolateLabrador Retrievers have a strong need to be with their family, inside your home with you. When they are alone for long periods of time they can display destructive behavior such as chewing, digging, and excessive barking.

If you are away at work all day, consider hiring a dog walker, dog sitter, doggie daycare, or have a friend or family member stay with your dog or come over and take them for a walk and some play time.

You can use a Petcube to see a live video of your pet and be able to talk to them. The Petcube connects to your WiFi signal, streams live video with it’s camera, and has two-way communication so you can talk to your dog while you are away.


Rescue

There are many Labrador Retriever rescue groups that have dogs available for adoption from puppies to seniors. Use a search engine to search for one in your area or go to PetFinder and search for Labrador Retrievers in your area.


What do you think about Labrador Retrievers? Leave a comment below or share a story. The information on this website is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian, dog trainer, or dog behavioral specialist.

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4 Comments

  1. Labs are amazing dogs! My baby is 100 lbs. of pure love 🙂 I like that he has what I call his “big boy voice”, that lets people know there is a big dog in the house and they should be wary, but truthfully he’s not vicious at all. They are the best companions and always want to be near by. I always tell people that if they are looking for a great family dog, get a lab!

    • Alice

      January 18, 2017 at 1:35 pm

      Thank you for your comment. I agree, Labs are amazing dogs! Your baby is a big one at 100 lbs! They do make great companions and family dogs.

  2. Hi Alice,
    Labs are my favorite. I have an 85 pound black Lab named Sawyer. He’s seen me through some pretty tough times over the last few years. he always knows when i need a hug or I need to laugh. He may not be a very good watch dog, but people are sure scared of his deep, booming bark! He has scared off many unwanted sales people–just by his bark! Of course, I don’t ever tell them he’s harmless and wagging his tale, waiting to say hello. 🙂 Here is something a bit odd about him; he doesn’t like water very much. We took him to a nearby park where there was a brook and ducks. He ran along the shore barking and chasing after the ducks instead of going into the water. My son had to coax him with a stick. He just couldn’t resist the urge to fetch! It doesn’t matter though, because he’s our love and we wouldn’t want him any other way. He’s got an excellent personality.
    Kathy

    • Alice

      January 21, 2017 at 2:06 am

      Thank you for your comment, Kathy! I have never seen a Lab that didn’t like water, but who cares, he sounds like a great dog! I understand the bark scaring people away. I have a Basset Hound with a deep bark that sounds like a really big dog. It’s funny sometimes when people actually see her and say “Where’s the big dog?”. Enjoy Sawyer and keep playing fetch, it’s great exercise for him!

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