AKC Group: Sporting
The Labrador Retriever probably arose from the St. John’s Dogs used for fishing in Newfoundland. The St. John’s dogs would go out with the fishermen on their boats and retrieve the lines or nets and haul them back into the boat. Late in the 19th century, they were brought to land and trained as gun dogs by aristocrats. The more “refined” dogs were soon labeled “Labrador dogs” to distinguish them from the Newfoundland Retriever breed, which was developed for the same reason. The popularity of these dogs soon took off worldwide. Today, the Labrador Retriever continues to rank high on lists of most popular breeds.
Size: 20 to 25 inches; 55 to 80 pounds
Color: Solid black, yellow or chocolate
Life span: 10 to 12 years
Health problems: Eye problems, hip or elbow dysplasia, craniomandibular osteopathy (CMO), thyroid problems, von Willebrand’s disease, diabetes, progressive retinal atrophy, osteochondritis dissecans, allergies, seizures, heart problems.
The Labrador Retriever is a good natured, loving, loyal dog and has been proven to be a wonderful addition to the family. A Lab is intelligent, responsive and one of the easiest breeds to learn
obedience. Quick learners, friendly and sociable, full of energy and affectionate; this dog is all positive personality traits to a T. A Lab thrives on human attention, so if you don’t have time for a
dog, check out another breed. He may have a tendency to chew. This may be most especially displayed when bored. A Lab gets along with everyone: kids, strangers, pets, other animals. They do require regular exercise and need a safe, secure play/exercise area. A Lab loves to swim! They have a tendency to pull on their leash and jump up on people. Start training as early as possible (a Lab is full grown at six months, although mentally it takes three years). After six months, training can become more difficult, so start with basic commands before this six-month birthday. Always discourage jumping. Be consistent and reward good behavior. If the entire family is involved in training and one member allows something, you will all have to allow it. Otherwise, your Lab will become confused and carry on with the behavior. (A Lab can “unlearn” a rule as easily as he can learn one.) Labs lean toward overeating, so try not to food reward and keep a watch on how much he eats.
Labrador Retrievers are handsome, large, sturdy dogs. They have dark, wallowing eyes with an eager and intelligent expression. The coat is short, close fitting and sleek. Brush him weekly to keep
him looking handsome. He tends to be a medium shedder, though he does shed seasonally.