The Labrador Retriever

Quick Facts

- Fine for novice dog owners
- Good with children
- Good with other animals
- Medium-Large in size
- Medium exercise needs
- Medium shedding
- Low guard dog capabilities
- High ease of training

Labrador Retrievers are one most popular breeds around. This is for good reason. They are fantastic all around dogs. They are adaptable, intelligent and extremely good tempered. They are great with children and other animals, and make outstanding family pets. However, they are not dogs to be taken on lightly and do require dedication to bring out their best. They are slow to mature and are rambunctious and easily distracted during their first few years of life. This can make early training a little more difficult. They are active dogs that require daily exercise to keep them calm and happy. Labradors who lack adequate exercise can be noisy, destruction and prone to troublemaking. Training, especially during their early years, takes patience and time. Owners need to be firm, yet fair, positive reward focused training is best. Their biggest sins are those of enthusiasm, like pulling on lead, jumping up on people and obsessive ball chasing. They are water-loving dogs, who will jump in any water they see, from lakes to ponds, swimming pools and even mud puddles.

Well raised Labradors are sweet tempered gentlemen, who get along with just about everyone they meet. Due to their friendly temperament, they really cannot be counted as a good guard dog. However, they are loyal and courageous dogs who will defend their family if needed.

Labrador Retrievers like to be active. They like to go swimming, hiking, jogging and camping. If it is outside and with their family, they want to be involved. They are best suited for a family that shares their passion for activity and fun. They also enjoy many of the organized dog sports and trials. Labradors usually enjoy conformation shows, obedience and agility trials, scent hurdles, flyball and hunting trials. They are also excellent dogs for therapy work and search and rescue. Labrador Retrievers also make excellent hunting companions.

Appearance and Grooming:
Labrador Retrievers are strong athletic dogs. They have short weather resistant coats and webbed feet to help with swimming. They are 21-24 inches tall and weigh between 55-90 pounds. Their coat comes in yellow, black or chocolate. They should be brushed at least once a week. They are moderate shedders.

Labrador Retrievers are extremely popular dogs and like most popular breeds are prone to numerous health problems. They are susceptible to bloat, hip and elbow dysplasia, PRA, cataracts, cancer and hemophilia. Perspective owners should buy from a breeder who offers puppies that come from OFA and CERF certified parents. This will help prevent hip dysplasia and PRA. Buying from a breeder who offers a 2-3 year health guarantee is best. Bloat can be prevented by feeding several small meals a day instead of one big one and by withholding water and exercise for an hour before and after eating. Labrador Retrievers tend to have a huge love for food and are big eaters. Their diet should be constantly monitored to insure they do not become obese. Their usual life span is 10-12 years.


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