Labrador Retriever

General Information

  • The Labrador Retriever or simply Labrador is a British breed of retriever gun dog that originated from fishing dogs imported from Newfoundland, Canada. It is named after the Labrador region of that province.
  • It is a medium-to-large dog with a short, dense coat that comes in black, chocolate, or yellow. It has floppy ears and soulful eye. It is friendly, outgoing, high-spirited, gentle, and clever.
  • It is America’s most popular dog breed and among the most commonly kept dogs in several countries, especially in the Western world. It needs attention, training, and love.

History and Origin

  • The Labrador was developed in the United Kingdom from fishing dogs imported from the colony of Newfoundland (now a province of Canada) in the 19th century. It was bred by crossing flat-coated retrievers, tweed water spaniels, and other breeds to create a versatile hunting and retrieving dog.
  • The early patrons of the breed included the Earl of Malmesbury, the Duke of Buccleuch, the Earl of Home, and Sir John Scott. They imported progenitors of the breed from Newfoundland to Europe for use as gun dogs.
  • The dogs Buccleuch Avon and Buccleuch Ned, given by Malmesbury to Buccleuch, were mated with bitches carrying blood from those originally imported by the 5th Duke and the 10th Earl of Home. The offspring are the ancestors of all modern Labrador.

Breed Characteristics

  • The Labrador belongs to the sporting group of dogs and has a sturdy, well-balanced body. It stands 21.5 to 24.5 inches at the shoulder and weighs 55 to 80 pounds. The head is wide, the eyes glimmer with kindliness, and the thick, tapering ‘otter tail’ seems to be forever signaling the breed’s innate eagerness.
  • The coat is flat or wavy, with good feathering and a dense water-resistant undercoat. The average litter size is six to eight puppies.The coat color can be black, chocolate, or yellow (ranging from pale yellow to fox red).
  • The Labrador has a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years and is prone to some health problems such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, and cancer. It needs regular veterinary check-ups and screening tests to prevent or treat these conditions.

Maintenance and Care

  • The Labrador is a trustworthy, intelligent, playful, and energetic dog that needs regular exercise and mental stimulation. It is easy to train and enjoys obedience, agility, and other competitive events. It is also an excellent service dog and can perform tasks such as guiding the blind, assisting the disabled, or searching and rescuing.
  • The Labrador is a loyal and affectionate family dog that gets along well with children and other pets. It needs regular grooming to keep its coat clean and healthy. It sheds moderately throughout the year and heavily twice a year. It needs a high-quality diet that meets its nutritional needs and prevents obesity. It can also benefit from natural home made food such as lean meat, eggs, vegetables, fruits, and grains.