Description: The labrador retriever is a strongly built, very active dog. Wide over the loins and strong and muscular hindquarters. He is very easy to train and is good with children and other dogs. The labrador retriever is good natured, loyal and hardworking. He should never be aggressive. He makes a good gun dog and domestic pet.
Height: Males: 22.5 - 24.5 Females: 21.5 - 23.5
Weight: Males: 85 - 95 lbs Females: 75 - 85 lbs
Colors: Black, yellow, chocolate
Labradors come in three flavors ~ black, yellow and chocolate. Often the question is asked whether or not coat color plays a part in trainability, intelligence etc. There is NO significant difference in these areas in regard to coat color.
Coat: close, short dense
Temperament: Responsive, friendly, non aggressive, intelligent.
With Children: Devoted to his family and pleasing them.
With Pets: Yes
Special Skills: Field sports dogs, guide dogs for the blind, drug seach dogs, family pet and others. Labs are the favored breed as guide dogs for the blind and helpers for the deaf and paralyzed.
Learning Rate: Very high
Problem Solving: Medium
Care and Training: Needs plenty of exercise and should not be kept in a locked space. Needs daily contact. Loves vigorous exercise including swimming. Puppies are easy to raise and train and should be introduced to people at an early age.
Labs require very little maintenance in comparison to other breeds. Because they are a short coated breed, they require minimal grooming. They should be exercised regularly to maintain muscle tone and fitness (as they love to eat, if not exercised sufficiently they tend to pack on the pounds). Contrary to belief, they do not require a lot of open space to run around and can live quite comfortably in an apartment with frequent leash walks (though it is a treat for them to go on outings where they can safely be unleashed and allowed to play ball or go swimming). Owning your own home with a fenced-in yard just means there's less walking for you. The Lab is, after all, most happy when his owner whom he loves above anything else (except his food, maybe) is happy.
There are two negative features of the Lab that do not particularly trouble us but may be of consequence to others. The first is that Labs shed. The trait which made them desirable to the waterfowlers nearly 200 years ago owes its water repelling ability to the short, dense undercoat characteristic to the breed. The trait is still highly desirable and necessary, unfortunately, to some it may be a nuisance.
The second negative feature doesn't really affect the owner at all, but rather the dog itself. This is an intolerance to heat. This, of course, can be said of many other breeds particularly those bred to work under cold weather conditions. Labradors thrive in cool to cold weather, but during the summer special attention must be given to ensure that they do not become over-heated. Air conditioning is not a necessity, in fact, it isn't recommended since dogs do not acclimate well to extreme temperature changes (for example, relaxing in an air conditioned home in which the temperature may be equal to or less than 75 F, then having to go outside and relieve themselves where the temperature is higher than 85 F). A solution to prevent over-heating is to exercise Labs early in the day or late in the afternoon. Also, a reminder that fresh water should always be available.
Living Environment: Urban or country environment with a fenced yard with sufficient exercise is given. Labs are active and enjoy human interaction. The owner of a Lab needs to be able to spend time to exercise, train and play with him.
Health Issues: Usually hardy. Potential problems with hip dysplasia, epilepsy, progressive retinal
atrophy and skin allergies. Life Span: 10 - 14 Years
It is quite natural for the first-time-buyer to consider cost when selecting a puppy. There is nothing wrong with shopping around for the best buy, but low prices, or high prices for that matter, do not constitute the best deal. Probably the worse possible place to purchase a puppy is a pet store in the mall. The quality of the dog is atrocious, its health questionable, and the prices are absurd. Equally as bad are the so-called breeders who undercut prices in order to make a quick sale. Their usual scheme is quantity in place of quality, and they make up the difference with mass production and cut corners. Be equally careful when purchasing a puppy with online classifieds such as Kijiji. While there may be some above board breeders, please do your homework. Labradors only come in three colors, silver is not one of them. "Designer dogs" with huge price tags may be cute but what is the genetics behind them? Do they come with a guarantee? Will the breeder stand behind the dog/puppy should there be problems?
Our best suggestion to prospective puppy owners is to shop around and compare. In this way, one will see the differences in breeders and what they breed. Study all aspects paying particular attention to the number of dogs that are kept on the premises, the appearance of these dogs (cleanliness, health, disposition), the environment in which they are kept. Of greater importance is the appearance of the dam of the litter (it is normal for the dam to sometimes lose her coat while caring for a litter, but she should not look weak, malnourished, or ill in any other way).
Country of Origin: Canada