Dog Breed: The Labrador Retriever – Character, Education and Health
The History of the Labrador Retriever
Several hypotheses have been propagated concerning the origin of this dog over time. The most plausible one suggests that their ancestors were present on the island of Newfoundland from the 18th century onward. They would share their history with the St. John’s dogs, black water dog’s native to this region.
They were present on the island thanks to the English fishermen and hunters who were accompanied by them to help them in their work by bringing back fish and small game. The English became very interested in the breed and invested in their breeding during the 19th century, but it would not be until July 7, 1903 that the breed would be recognized by the English Kennel Club in England.
They were bred for their exceptional qualities as retrievers and their robustness, which enabled them to work in difficult conditions (icy water, cold temperatures).
Temperament and personality of the Labrador Retriever
The Labrador is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world and with good reason! A greedy and endearing Roger Bontemps.
He is known as a loyal, affectionate, sociable and very intelligent dog. His great adaptability makes him a perfect dog for many types of homes. He loves the presence of humans as well as other animals.
It is a dog that does not tolerate loneliness and requires a lot of affection. Therefore, he cannot stay alone for long hours, otherwise he could develop several behavioral problems, including destruction or anxiety.
Originally bred for hunting, it is a working dog that is also often trained as an assistance dog and in search and rescue. Its versatility allows it to excel in many disciplines. He can very well perform in different dog sports and follow his human in all kinds of adventures!
He is an active dog who needs to expend his energy before he can be calm. He needs long daily walks that allow him to run, swim (he LOVES water!!!), explore and let go of his bishop. Summer and winter, he is an outdoor enthusiast.
His coat adapts well to all seasons, so he is very resistant to cold and snow. If you’re the type to hibernate in winter, this is not a dog for you! He needs to go out rain or shine.
His intelligence also makes it possible to teach him a lot and this, relatively easily, with the right dog training methods. Obviously, his well-known greediness is an asset for learning!
Mental stimulation and training are essential to teach him to focus his energy and spend it in a healthy way. This will prevent your dog from destroying your furniture and shoes because he is bored!
Often very excited and playful, it is important to work on self-control from a young age to avoid excitement that could result in intense biting or unintentional pushing and shoving. This is what is most important to watch for if he is in contact with children, as he is often unaware of his own strength.
Physical Characteristics Of This Retriever
Males can reach 65 to 80 pounds, while females weigh more at around 55 to 70 pounds. The body is robust and compact. Its hair is short and rough and it has a very dense undercoat that allows it to adapt to very low temperatures in icy water. Such a dense undercoat also means significant shedding. A good brushing should be done daily during molting periods.
Coat colors vary between black, brown, yellow and red. The head is large, the ears drooping and the eyes are very expressive. Their sharp tail is very practical to facilitate their changes of direction in the water; they are known to be excellent swimmers.
The Health Of “Labrador Retrievers”
The biggest weakness of Labradors is their joints. Indeed, they often develop elbow and hip problems (including dysplasia). Their great appetite and greed can lead them to obesity very quickly, which accentuates the risks and consequences of joint problems.
In fact, did you know that there is a gene associated with weight and appetite that is very present in this breed of dog? It’s this gene that makes them so greedy!
It is therefore important to keep them active and to calculate their food intake carefully so they don’t gain too much weight over the years.
Eye problems, such as cataracts, are also very common. It is advisable to be alert about the health of their eyes.
It is important to choose an ethical and responsible dog breeder who performs all the necessary health tests to reduce the risk of disease or malformations in their puppies.
The Labrador, For Which Type Of Families?
As mentioned, the Labrador has an excellent capacity of adaptation. He can therefore join several types of families. A house with or without children, where he can have canine or feline friends or any other species with him! Attention, it is important that the contact with the children is well done and that it is above all very positive! The most important thing is that his family is active continuously during the year to make him spend his energy.
It is a dog who likes to have a mission or a job, he likes to follow his humans and accompany them in their activities. He needs a family that will not leave him alone all day long, because loneliness is his worst nightmare.
Be Aware Of Myths!
Labradors, like golden retrievers, are often considered perfect family dogs. Unfortunately, this much sought-after quality depends on various factors:
- The involvement of adults at home in dog training;
- The knowledge of canine language on the part of parents and children;
- Supervision at home;
- The dog’s genetics in relation to certain problems related to handling, protection of resources, reactivity or fear of strangers, impulse control problems, etc.
The Labrador can be an exemplary family dog that knows how to adapt to its environment, as long as it can move daily and has been well socialized. His fidelity and love for life are unparalleled!
An excellent retriever and a great sportsman, he also likes to be close to his human as a service or assistance dog. But don’t leave food lying around, he may swallow it all!
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