The Labrador Retriever is a breed that is native to Newfoundland. From the very beginning, this breed was closely related to man, as in the 17th century it accompanied fishermen during fishing. The dogs' job was to help to pull out fishing nets, and because Labrador Retrievers are excellent swimmers, they also helped to haul drowning people out.
In the past, the Labrador was used as a hunting dog. Due to its excellent sense of smell, it participated in hunting as a tracking dog, also retrieving from water. These dogs are large, well-built, with a broad head and a well-developed chest. Originally dogs of this breed were black in colour. Occasionally liver or yellow puppies were born, but they were unfortunately killed. Only after the lapse of time, yellow, liver and chocolate Labradors were brought into the breeding.
In 1903, these dogs enjoyed great interest among hunters and were recognized by the English Kennel Club, at the same time receiving the name Labrador Retriever. Also then, the first hunting trials were introduced in England, with Labradors taking first place due to their high fetch tendency. And so it was that working trials were and are the specialty of retrievers. At the beginning of the 20th century, Labradors also became exhibition dogs.
The ideal height at the withers for a male dog is 56-57 cm, and for female dogs - 54-56 cm. They can live up to 13 years, and their weight should not exceed 30 kg.
The Labrador retriever is a dog with a strong and compact build. It is very active so it cannot be heavy and too bulky. Labrador is a gentle and very mobile dog. It has a great sense of smell. It is a great water lover who easily adapts to its surroundings. It is intelligent, quick-witted and obedient, always playful. It has a friendly disposition, shows no signs of aggression or timidity. It is a devoted friend.
Labradors are balanced, cheerful and friendly dogs. They love all household members and are an irreplaceable friend of children, which is why they are perfect family dogs. They are gentle with other animals. However, it should be remembered that they are also vigorous dogs, full of energy, who like long walks. They love exercising, including swimming. Labrador will not pass by indifferently even a puddle, water is its passion regardless of the weather conditions.
Like most breeds, Labrador Retrievers are sensitive and very attached to humans, which makes them great companions and guardians. This dog likes to feel that it is needed, so it eagerly learns and works. It is also great as a guide for the blind and deaf people. It is very patient and tolerant, which makes it very good as a dog therapist. Labradors have an excellent sense of smell, which is their advantage. Thanks to this sense of smell and a well-developed tracking instinct, dogs of this breed participate in many search actions. Labrador retriever can find a person buried by a snow avalanche, or a person covered with debris. These dogs are independent and persistent in the course of work, e.g. in search. Labradors have excellent memory. They are brave dogs, they can squeeze into crevices or ruins of buildings without fear only to help people. This breed is also used by the Customs Service to detect tobacco products and drugs. They are dogs made for work. Since Labradors have worked in a wide variety of places and conditions, they have a great ability to adapt to them.
The Labrador is not one of the dogs lounging on the couch. It is intelligent and focused on cooperation with humans, which gives excellent training results. It tries to please its master at every moment and has a strong need to meet its master's expectations. Its gaze shows sympathy, peace and, above all, the joy of life.
Since Labradors are very gentle dogs, they will not prove to be a protection or guardian dog. They will welcome the intruder with a wagging tail and a ball in their mouth. However, in the population of this breed, there may also be individuals showing excessive hyperactivity or even aggression towards humans or other dogs. In such situations, you should intervene immediately so that the dog knows that it is not allowed to do this. It is very important to check what kennel the sweet puppy is from before buying a dog. In summary, the Labrador is a working dog, a rescue dog and a human loving dog.
Anyone can have a Labrador Retriever. It is perfect for families with young children, and also for people who like to spend time actively. Just remember that Labradors are a breed that is prone to diseases related to the locomotor system. It is important to adjust the physical effort to the dog's age so as not to strain the joints that are not yet developed.
Labradors have a short, hard coat and a dense undercoat that protects the dog against external factors, including low temperatures and humidity.
Caring for Labradors is quite simple. It is enough to have a rubber glove and a damp towel to wipe its feet after a walk. When our pooch wants to bathe in a mud puddle, then the shower is the best. It should be remembered that, like most breeds, Labradors shed very strongly twice a year and their hair flies in the air. You should then comb it as often as possible with a fine comb to get rid of the dead hair.
- Ears and eyes
The Labrador Retriever is a dog whose ears are gently sloping, which makes them vulnerable to various infections. Healthy ears have no discharge and they are pink. Therefore, watch your dog carefully. If you notice that your pet shakes its head quite often, scratches its paws around the ears which give off an unpleasant smell, it may indicate that it has become inflamed and you should consult your veterinarian. Prophylactically the ears can be rinsed with a damp cotton swab but remember not to clean the ears with cotton buds.
The care of the claws depends on the surface on which our dog moves. If the dog goes for long walks and its claws are in contact with, for example, concrete or asphalt, trimming them is not necessary because he wears them down himself. However, if the dog is sitting at home for a long time, then the treatment of trimming them is necessary. You can do this yourself or go to the vet. It is a very quick and painless procedure.
The color of the Labrador Retriever's coat may be:
- chocolate (liver)
Yellow in shades from light cream to reddish. A small white spot on the forechest is acceptable. The hair is short and dense, not wavy, and hard to the touch. The undercoat is weather-resistant.
The main health problems that Labradors can experience include:
- Hip and elbow dysplasia
- Osteochondrosis of the shoulder joint
- Food allergies
Labradors are among those dogs that are practically non-stop hungry and just waiting for something extra, in addition to their food, to nibble off the table. It is very important for your dog to eat well-balanced food appropriate to its age. Then you will avoid obesity in your dog.