The Labrador Retriever is a retrieving gun dog famous in the United States, United Kingdom as well as Canada. Besides being efficient as a working dog, it has also gained an immense reputation as a house pet because of its even temperament and fun loving nature.
The following physical features characterize these medium-sized dogs with a strong and athletic built:
Head: Clean cut, bony and wide.
Eyes: Medium sized and well set of black, brown or yellow color.
Ears: Lowly set on its skull, close to its head.
Muzzle: Medium length, neither too short and stubby or long and narrow.
Tail: Medium in length, thick at its base and tapered to the tip.
|Coat||Soft, short, straight, dense, water resistant|
|Color||Black, chocolate, yellow|
|Group||Retrievers, Lifesaving dogs, Sporting dogs|
|Average lifespan (How long do they live)||12 to 13 years|
|Height of a full grown Labrador Retriever (How long do they grow)||Male: 22.5 to 24.5 inches; Female: 21.5 to 23.5 inches|
|Weight of a full grown Labrador Retriever
(How big do they get)
|Male: 65 to 80 pounds; Female: 55 to 70 pounds|
|Litter size||5 to 10 puppies|
|Behavioral characteristics||Sweet-natured, outgoing, friendly, energetic, kind, pleasing|
|Good with children||Yes|
|Climate compatibility||Tolerant of most climatic conditions, but are fond of snow|
|Shedding (Do they shed)||Moderately though excessive in spring and fall|
|Competitive Registration Qualification/Information||AKC, FCI, CKC, ANKC, NZKC, UKC, KC(UK)|
|Country||Canada and United Kingdom|
These are dogs from the island of Newfoundland, initially known as St. John Dogs, renowned for being the fishermen’s ideal companion, as it helped them in retrieving the fish that slipped out of the nets and hooks and later also spent time with his master’s family. They began to get popular in the first half of the 19th century when noticed by the English nobles visiting Canada. They went on to be the pets of the earls and the lords until the 19th century when breeders took the initiative of refining and standardizing this breed. It attained recognition from the Kennel Club of England in 1903 and the AKC in 1917.
The labs of England and America differ from one another regarding physical features and behavioral traits. While the English labs are better suited for any home desiring a pet, the American varieties are the energetic lot being apt for experienced owners who can give it more time to train to participate in field trials. Concerning appearance, the English Labs possess blocky heads while the American dogs are lean and long-legged.
They have a soothing and charming disposition with a sharp sense of smell that helps them to track any scent that comes to their nose. They are kid-friendly, amicably mingling with them, tolerating the noise or nuisance they make. As far as their interaction with strangers is concerned, they are quite friendly with the former thus not being suitable as guard dogs. The Labs are not noisy when it comes to barking, neither are they territorial but would only be vocal on hearing a noise from an unseen source. They also share a good rapport with other dogs and cats especially if brought up with them. Labs are curious, always enjoying the company of people and also exciting scents. Hence, you need to keep them engaged, else they could turn escape artist and disappear in no time.
Because of their innate sense of smell, they are used as detection dogs by police and military forces for tracking down smugglers, black marketers, terrorists, and thieves.
These dogs are brilliant swimmers known to withstand extremely cold water for prolonged periods, thus being apt as lifesaving dogs to rescue people from water. The Labs are popular for their sweet disposition and high level of intelligence ranking 7 in The Intelligence of Dogs by Stanley Coren, therefore put to use in disability assistance helping the blind and those with autism, also being taken to hospitals and homes for the seniors to soothe and comfort them.
They are intelligent and sweet-tempered so training them would not be tedious but a firm taskmaster is needed to handle it well.
Though they are sweet tempered and friendly, there have been past reports of this dog attacking people on several occasions like a Lab Retriever killed a 5-year-old girl in 1997 and a 2-year-old in 1987