The Labrador Retriever has been the most loved and desired dog breed in the U.S. since the 90s according to the American Kennel Club. In the last article, we listed the top twenty dog breeds in the U.S.
In this article, we will take a deeper look into the characteristics, features, facts, personality, history, health requirements, grooming needs, training, and breed information regarding the Labrador Retriever.
So, if you’re interested in adopting the most adorable dog breed and the most loved pet dogs ever, keep on reading and you’ll know more about the specific breed of your pet dog.
History of the Labrador Retrievers
According to the database of the American Kennel Club (AKC), the very first Labrador Retriever was originally bred in England. Its ancestors included St. John’s water dog, which was a very unique and water-loving dog breed.
St. John’s water dogs were originally imported from Newfoundland and these dogs were very helpful to fishermen there as they used to retrieve fishnets or even dropped fish from the net.
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It’s because of this special ancestry that Labrador Retrievers are so playful and working dogs. They have become sporting dogs because of their mighty physique which lets them perform harder tasks. Labrador Retrievers have been the most loved dog breed in the U.S. and they still manage to be one of the most popular dog breeds among dog lovers in the United States, Canada, and England.
The Appearance of Labradors
These dogs have a wide-headed structure with a length of short to medium but dense hair coat. They have a body that’s made flawlessly for swimming or one can say it’s perfect for knocking things off your coffee table.
Like they have webbed toes that are very helpful while crossing wet surfaces and also an otter tail having a rubber-like structure that also moves fluently to help them swim.
The webbed feet of these dogs aren’t just helpful in passing through wet places but also help the Labs stay warm in close climates as they tend to form a snowshoe. Snowshoe keeps the ice from getting stuck in between the toes of the dog.
They have different categories based on the various colors they are born with. Examples are pure black, chocolate brown, silver-grey, and yellow. The rarest of them all is Silver Labrador Retrievers that have a greyish-silver color with striking blue-colored eyes.
I’m very well aware of the fact that this may make them sound like they are golden Labs but they are very different from the Labrador Retrievers as they are bred as a result of a cross between a Golden Retriever and a true Labrador Retriever.
Based on the body type, these dogs are divided into two main categories:
The American Labrador Retrievers
These are referred to as working or field Labrador Retrievers because of their working physique. These Labs have a long dense hair coat, lighter bones as compared to the latter, a longer muzzle with a narrower head shape. These labs have such an energetic spirit.
It’s almost like they were built to work!
The English Labrador Retrievers
These Labs are referred to as show variety Labrador Retrievers because their physique isn’t built for fieldwork. These Labs have a dense, short hair coat, shorter legs than the former category, and a broadhead. The English or show variety dogs are the best for family pets.
As far as the hair shedding of these dogs relates, they usually shed two times a year or maybe once in a year in temperate areas. As far as the grooming of the Labrador Retrievers goes, brushing the hair coat once a week is quite enough to avoid the build of the dreaded blowout under the hair coat.
Feed Guide for a Labrador
Here is the feed guide according to the weight that you can use to feed your dog.
|1.||40 – 45 pound||205 – 230 grams per day|
|2.||50 – 55 pound||240 – 265 grams per day|
|3.||60 – 65 pound||270 – 300 grams per day|
|4.||70 – 75 pound||300 – 335 grams per day|
Recommended Dog Food Brands
Here are some recommended dog food brands.
- Wellness Natural Pet Food CORE Natural Grain Free Dry Dog Food
- Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
- Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Natural Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food
The Grooming Needs of Labradors
The grooming needs of these dogs are quite easily fulfilled, according to many Labrador Retriever parents. Most Labradors shed their undercoat two times during the spring and fall season annually. In temperate climates, Labs shed their undercoat year-round.
If your dog is going through seasonal undercoat shedding periods, you can brush their coat daily just to remove the shredded fur and prevent its buildup in the undercoat.
For the rest of the period, brushing the Lab’s coat once a week is quite enough according to experts. If your Lab finds smelly surfaces to lay down on, it’ll need occasional baths for hygiene and cleanliness.
Like most dog breeds, Labs also need their nails trimmed every once in a while and their teeth brushed to maintain their dental health along with the health of their gut.
Labrador Retrievers were originally bred to be family-friendly pet dogs that are affectionate and cordial towards both humans and other dog breeds.
And to go with their gentle, loving, and cordial nature, their history of fieldwork gives them such a highly energetic spirit that makes them not just bold and brave but also gives them such a lion-hearted personality.
Such dogs own a curious nature that compels them to seek intelligence in every aspect of daily life that ultimately making them great service dogs.
This can also be a massive drawback because your dog can suddenly disappear following something interesting like a squirrel. This is the main reason why many Labrador owners like to keep their dogs microchipped.
What is the Ideal Environment for Labradors?
As the name of this dog breed suggests, they love to retrieve. So, their nature implies that they need plenty of space for exercise and outdoor games.
You can provide ideally the best environment for your dog by living with them in a house that has a big backyard or a garden where they can play the game of fetch with you. Labrador Retrievers are considered to be a popular dog breed for an active family that likes to play a lot with them.
Who is the Ideal Companion for a Labrador?
There are a few things that are expected from an ideal human companion. These things include long walks, runs, playing the game of fetch, tossing the ball around, and swimming as well.
One can provide their dog, regardless of the dog’s breed, with an ideal companionship by just giving them time. In that time, one can take their dog on a walk or play a game with them or maybe just pat their backs.
The history of these dogs as working members of society won’t let you stop at long walks or runs. You’ll have to play more tricky games with your Labs such as puzzle toys or hide and seek etc.
Training your Labrador to be Obedient
With consistent positive triggers, one can train their Labrador to be obedient. Your dog can be a very distracted dog breed as it comes to its curious nature and playful personality.
But as their intellectual abilities exceed their competition, they are proven to be great service dogs and guide dogs for the blind. These dogs have been on top of the list of dog breeds that have been companions to people with serious illnesses or vulnerabilities.
They are also proven to be great water rescue dogs and they are considered the heroes of the dog world. So, you’ll just have to be consistent enough to make your Labrador whatever you want them to do.
Are Labrador Retrievers good guards?
Yes. These dogs are proven to be one of the greatest guard dogs ever. As I’ve mentioned earlier, they are the best fit for the definition of man’s best friend and they are very protective of their human companions. They’ll guard their owners with their lives.
Are Labrador Retrievers easy to train?
One can say Labrador Retrievers are easier to train than many other dog breeds which are more stubborn. But training Labrador Retrievers isn’t a piece of cake. It takes consistency and punctuality on the owner’s part as well.
How big can a Labrador Retriever get?
A male Labrador Retriever, when fully grown into adulthood, is 22.5 to 24.5 inches high. Your healthy adult male Labrador Retriever should weigh between 65 to 80 pounds. A fully grown healthy female Labrador Retriever is 21.5 to 23.5 inches high and weighs 55 to 70 pounds.
At what age does a Labrador Retriever reach its full growth?
At the age of 6 to 12 months, a Labrador Retriever is fully grown in height and weight mostly but many Labs might also take up to 2 years of age to get full in their size and height.
Are Labrador Retrievers hypoallergenic?
No. Labrador Retrievers shed their hair seasonally and they are put in the category of dogs that are not considered to be hypoallergenic.