Labrador Retriever Dog Breed - Lab, Labrador Retriever Clubs, Labrador Retriever Breeders, Labrador Retriever For Sale, Labrador Retriever Puppies

 
DOGS | CATS | BIRDS | REPTILES | RODENTS | INSECTS | OTHER PETS
 
     

 

 
 

The Labrador Retriever is one of several kinds of retriever, a type of gun dog. The Labrador is considered the most popular breed of dog (by registered ownership) in the world, and is by a large margin the most popular breed by registration in the United States (since 1991) the United Kingdom, Poland, and several other countries.

 

 

Labrador Retriever Dog Breed, Lab


Labrador Retrievers includes Black Labrador Retrievers, Chocolate Labrador Retrievers, Yellow Labrador Retrievers & Silver Labrador Retrievers.
  
The Labrador Retriever (also known as Labrador, Labby or just Lab for short), is one of several kinds of retriever, a type of gun dog. The Labrador is considered the most popular breed of dog (by registered ownership) in the world, and is by a large margin the most popular breed by registration in the United States (since 1991) the United Kingdom, Poland, and several other countries.
 
Country of Origin  Newfoundland / Canada
Weight Male 2736 kg (6080 lb)
Female 2532 kg (5570 lb)
Height Male 5663 cm (2225 in)
Female 5460 cm (2124 in)
Coat  Smooth, oily
Color Black, chocolate, or yellow.
Life Span 1013 years
Litter Size 1012 pups

The Labrador Retriever is also the most popular breed of assistance dog in the United States, Australia, and many other countries, as well as being widely used by police and other official bodies for their detection and working abilities. They are exceptionally affable, gentle, intelligent, energetic and good natured, making them both excellent companions and working dogs. Although somewhat boisterous if untrained, Labrador Retrievers respond well to praise and positive attention, and are considerably "food and fun" oriented. These dogs are loyal and good with little children. They may be used in shows. With training, the Labrador is one of the most dependable, obedient and multi-talented breeds in the world.

The Labrador is an exceptionally popular dog. As of 2006 the Labrador Retriever was widely considered the most popular breed in the world.

Most popular dog by ownership in USA (since 1991), Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

In both the UK and USA, there are well over twice as many Labradors registered as the next most popular breed.  If the comparison is limited to dog breeds of a similar size, then there are around 3 - 5 times as many Labradors registered in both countries as the next most popular breeds, the German Shepherd and Golden Retriever.

 
Hershey the Chocolate Lab

 

 
Classification & standards
FCI Group 8 Section 1 #122
AKC Sporting standard
ANKC - Group 3, Gun dogs
CKC - Group 1 - Sporting Dogs
KC (UK) - Gun dog
NZKC - Gun dog
UKC - Gun Dog
Appearance

Labradors are relatively large, with males typically weighing 3036 kg (6580 lb) and females 2532 kg (5570 lb). Labs weighing close to or over 100 lbs are considered obese or having a major fault under American Kennel Club standards, although some labs weigh significantly more. Their coats are short and smooth, and they possess a straight, powerful tail often likened to that of an otter. The majority of the characteristics of this breed, with the exception of color, are the result of breeding to produce a working retriever.

As with some other breeds, the English (typically "show" or "bench") and the American (typically "working" or "field") lines differ. Today, "English" and "American" lines exist in both the United Kingdom and in North America. In general, however, in the United Kingdom, Labs tend to be bred as medium-sized dogs, shorter and stockier with fuller faces and a slightly calmer nature than their American counterparts, which are regionally often bred as taller, lighter-built dogs. These two types are informal and not codified or standardized; no distinction is made by the AKC or other kennel clubs, but the two types come from different breeding lines. Australian stock also exists; though not seen in the west, they are common in Asia. Other "local minor variants" may also exist in some areas.


Black Lab Puppy

The breed tends to shed hair twice annually, or regularly throughout the year in temperate climates. Some labs shed a lot, however individual labs vary. Labrador hair is usually fairly short and straight, and the tail quite broad and strong. The otter-like tail and webbed toes of the Labrador Retriever make them excellent swimmers. Their interwoven coat is also relatively waterproof, providing more assistance for swimming. The tail acts as a rudder for changing direction.

Color
There are three recognized colors for Labs: black (a solid black color), yellow (anything from light cream to gold to "fox-red"), and chocolate (medium to dark brown). There are no such things as silver or golden Labradors, a common mistake for the Yellow variant. There is also a black-and-tan coat type, but this coat color is the least popular as it renders the Labrador un-showable except in the UK.

Puppies of all colors can potentially occur in the same litter. Color is determined primarily by two genes. The first gene (the B locus) determines the density of the coat's pigment granules: dense granules result in a black coat, sparse ones give a chocolate coat. The second (E) locus determines whether the pigment is produced at all. A dog with the recessive e allele will produce little pigment and will be yellow regardless of its genotype at the B locus. Variations in numerous other genes control the subtler details of the coat's coloration, which in yellow Labs varies from white to light gold to a fox red. Chocolate and black Labs' noses will match the coat color.



Silver Labrador Retriever Yellow Labrador Retriever
  
  




Black Labrador Retrievers


Chocolate Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever Temperament

Labradors are a well-balanced, friendly and versatile breed, adaptable to a wide range of functions as well as making very good pets. As a rule they are not excessively prone to being territorial, pining, insecure, aggressive, destructive, hypersensitive, or other difficult traits which sometimes manifest in a variety of breeds, and as the name suggests, they are excellent retrievers. As an extension of this, they instinctively enjoy holding objects and even hands or arms in their mouths, which they can do with great gentleness (a Labrador can carry an egg in its mouth without breaking it). They are also known to have a very soft feel to the mouth, as a result of being bred to retrieve game such as waterfowl. They are prone to chewing objects (though they can be trained out of this behavior). The Labrador Retriever's coat repels water to some extent, thus facilitating the extensive use of the dog in waterfowl hunting.

Labradors have a reputation as a very mellow breed and an excellent family dog (including a good reputation with children of all ages and other animals), but some lines (particularly those that have continued to be bred specifically for their skills at working in the field rather than for their appearance) are particularly fast and athletic. Their fun-loving boisterousness and lack of fear may require training and firm handling at times to ensure it does not get out of hand - an uncontrolled adult can be quite problematic. Females may be slightly more independent than males.[8] Labradors mature at around three years of age; before this time they can have a significant degree of puppyish energy, often mislabeled as being hyperactive. Because of their enthusiasm, leash-training early on is suggested to prevent pulling when full-grown. Labs often enjoy retrieving a ball endlessly and other forms of activity (such as agility, frisbee, or flyball). They are considerably "food and fun" oriented, very trainable, and open-minded to new things, and thrive on human attention, affection and interaction, of which they find it difficult to get enough. Reflecting their retrieving bloodlines, almost every Lab loves playing in water or swimming.

Although they will sometimes bark at noise, especially a degree of "alarm barking" when there is noise from unseen sources, Labs are not on the whole noisy or territorial, and are often very easygoing and trusting with strangers, and therefore are not usually suitable as guard dogs.

Labradors have a well-known reputation for appetite, and some individuals may be highly indiscriminate, eating digestible and non-food objects alike.[24] They are persuasive and persistent in requesting food. For this reason, the Labrador owner must carefully control his/her dog's food intake to avoid obesity and its associated health problems (see below).

The steady temperament of Labs and their ability to learn make them an ideal breed for search and rescue, detection, and therapy work. Their primary working role in the field continues to be that of a hunting retriever.

 

Labrador Retriever History

The early Labrador originated on the island of Newfoundland, now part of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. The breed emerged over time from the St. John's Water Dog, also an ancestor of the Newfoundland dog (to which the Labrador is closely related), through ad-hoc breedings by early settlers in the mid to late 15th century. The original forebears of the St. John's dog have variously been suggested to be crossbreeds of the black St. Hubert's hound from France, working water dogs from Portugal, old European pointer breeds and dogs belonging to the indigenous peoples of the area. From the St. John's Dog, two breeds emerged; the larger was used for hauling, and evolved into the large and gentle Newfoundland dog, likely as a result of breeding with mastiffs brought to the island by the generations of Portuguese fishermen who had been fishing offshore since the 1400s. The smaller short-coat retrievers used for retrieval and pulling in nets from the water were the forebears of the Labrador Retriever. The white chest, feet, chin, and muzzle characteristic of the St. John's Dog often appears in Lab mixes, and will occasionally manifest in Labs as a small white spot on the chest or stray white hairs on the feet or muzzle.

Health and well-being

Labrador pups should not be brought home before they are 710 weeks old. Their life expectancy is generally 12 to 13 years or a few years longer with good medical care and proper feeding, and it is a healthy breed with relatively few major problems. Notable issues related to health and wellbeing include:

Inherited disorders

Labs are somewhat prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, especially the larger dogs, though not as much as some other breeds. Hip scores are recommended before breeding.

Labs also suffer from the risk of knee problems. A luxating patella is a common occurrence in the knee where the leg is often bow shaped.

Eye problems are also possible in some Labs, particularly progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, corneal dystrophy and retinal dysplasia. Dogs which are intended to be bred should be examined by a veterinary ophthalmologist for an eye score.

Hereditary myopathy, a rare inherited disorder that causes a deficiency in type II muscle fibre.

There is a small incidence of other conditions, such as autoimmune diseases and deafness in labs, either congenitally or later in life.

Other disorders
Labs are sometimes prone to ear infection, because their floppy ears trap warm moist air. This is easy to control, but needs regular checking to ensure that a problem is not building up unseen. A healthy Labrador ear should look clean and light pink (almost white) inside. Darker pink (or inflamed red), or brownish deposits, are a symptom of ear infection. The usual treatment is regular cleaning daily or twice daily (being careful not to force dirt into the sensitive inner ear) and sometimes medication (ear drops) for major cases. As a preventative measure, some owners clip the hair carefully around the ear and under the flap, to encourage better air flow. Labradors also get cases of allergic reactions to food or other environmental factors.


Obesity
Labs are often overfed and are allowed to become overweight, due to their blatant enjoyment of treats, hearty appetites, and endearing behavior towards people. Lack of activity is also a contributing factor. A healthy Labrador should keep a very slight hourglass waist and be fit and light, rather than fat or heavy-set. Excessive weight is strongly implicated as a risk factor in the later development of hip dysplasia or other joint problems and diabetes, and also can contribute to general reduced health when older. Osteoarthritis is commonplace in older, especially overweight, Labs. A 14-year study conducted by Purina showed that dogs which were fed a diet to maintain a lean body shape outlived dogs fed ad libitum by 15% or two years for the 48 dogs in the study stressing the importance of proper feeding.

Labrador Crossbreeds

The "Labradoodle" is a popular "designer dog" that combines a Labrador with a Poodle, to create a hybrid that is more suited to allergy sufferers.

Some assistant-dog groups also like using Golden Retriever / Labrador Retriever hybrids (officially called a Golden Labrador Retriever) in hopes of having dogs with fewer genetic problems. Naturally it is important to use dogs from good stocks since crossbreeds are not immune to such problems and since Golden Retrievers and Labradors have some of the same health problems.

Another significant crossbreed of the Labrador Retriever is the Labradinger, which combines a Labrador with an English Springer Spaniel. This breed is generally smaller and is recognized by the American Canine Hybrid Club.

Labrador Retriever Popularity

The Labrador is an exceptionally popular dog. As of 2006 the Labrador Retriever was widely considered the most popular breed in the world.

Most popular dog by ownership in USA (since 1991), Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

In both the UK and USA, there are well over twice as many Labradors registered as the next most popular breed.  If the comparison is limited to dog breeds of a similar size, then there are around 3 - 5 times as many Labradors registered in both countries as the next most popular breeds, the German Shepherd and Golden Retriever.

Most popular breed of assistance dog in the United States, Australia and many other countries, as well as being widely used by police and other official bodies for their detection and working abilities.  Approximately 6070% of all guide dogs in the United States are Labradors.

Seven out of 13 of the Australian National Kennel Council "Outstanding Gundogs" Hall of Fame appointees are Labradors (list covers 2000-2005).

There is no global registry of Labradors, nor detailed information on numbers of Labradors living in each country. The countries with the five largest numbers of Labrador registrations as of 2005 are: 1: United States 2: United Kingdom and France (approximately equal), 4: Sweden, 5: Finland.  Sweden and Finland have far lower populations than the other three countries, suggesting that as of 2005 these two countries have the highest proportion of labs per million people.

More Information about Labrador Retrievers:

Labrador Retriever Information & Pictures
All about the Labrador Retriever, info, pictures, breeders, rescues, care, temperament, health, puppies and much more.

American Kennel Club - Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever
A comprehensive resource for Labrador Retrievers

Dog Owner's Guide Profile: The Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever Puppies For Sale

Midwest Labrador Retriever Rescue

Labrador Retrievers on K9Web

 


Pets - Pet Care - Pet Reviews - Dogs - Cats - Rodents - Reptiles - Birds - Insects
Home - Photo Album - Club Links - Contact