Dog Breeds: The Labrador Retriever
Very few dogs are as lovable as a Labrador Retriever. If you are an outdoor person who loves the company of a four-legged companion, then this dog may be for you.
Before we begin, know that there are two types of Labrador: the American and the English. The breed as a whole originated in Newfoundland but was taken to England in the 1800s. It worked side by side with fishermen, helping them to bring in their catch. As a service dog, the Labrador Retriever has enjoyed a long history in a variety of services: police dog, watchdog, hunting, disability services, search and rescue, competition and field training. It is one of the oldest and most popular canine pets.
This dog is well-balanced both in body proportion and temperament. He is a friendly outgoing dog who loves to be loved by his owners. If you own an American breed, then your dog is tall and lanky. The English version is bred more for hunting and retrieving.
Labradors are great companions who are good with children and adults. They are friendly and love any opportunity to show their masters that they can do the job you give them. They love to swim and play games with their human family.
Intelligent and devoted, they crave the attention of their family. This dog has the potential to become quite destructive without human contact. Be sure that you have enough time to devote to play and recreation each day or you will have a problem. Socializing them well can put an end to this problem.
Labradors have a double coat. the under coat is weather-resistant and soft. It helps to insulate the dog from the cold. The shorter outer coat is water-resistant and very dense. This dog is an average shedder. Regular brushing with a firm brush is needed to keep from forming mats and tangles. Coat colors are usually chocolate, yellow or black. Bathe your dog when needed. Dry shampooing is preferred but only when necessary.
This dog can be prone to a few health issues. Be aware that they can develop hip or elbow dysplasia and eye disorders. Exercise them well to keep their weight in check.
Exercise is also essential to fulfill their migration instinct. Apartment dwellers can own this type of dog as long as they are walked briskly on a daily basis.
This dog is not hard to train. In fact they enjoy it most when you give them a job to do. Labradors also subscribe to the “pack” mentality. This means that they need to know that their human master is the pack leader to feel comfortable. When walking them, be sure that they stay behind you or at your side. When you stop, the dog should heel behind you. This prevents them from bounding out of doors and tackling people.
Labrador Retrievers are loyal, loving, energetic and responsible. If you have the time and space (they get quite large), try this dog.