Labrador Retrievers - The most famous Dog in the world
Labrador retrievers are the most popular breed of dog in both the United Kingdom and the United States. They originate from the island of Newfoundland in Canada and are closely related to the Newfoundland breed. References to the Labrador as an accepted breed date back to at 1814 but The Kennel Club didn’t recognise and document it until 1903.
There are two separate types of Labrador; the English Labrador and the American Labrador. It is thought that the American breed is descended from the English Labs that were sent to America after the First World War. The main difference between the two varieties is in their structure; the English Lab tends to be short and more solid whereas the American Lab is taller and slimmer. Both varieties are commonly seen with yellow, black or chocolate coloured coats however a few Labradors are described as having silver or grey coats.
Labrador retrievers make great pets. They are affectionate, loving dogs that enjoy playing and running around. Their easy-going, patient personality makes them an ideal dog if you have small children or other dogs already in the house. Labradors are highly intelligent and so are easily trained from a puppy. They may be quite reserved around strangers because their loyal nature makes them part of your family group from the moment they are introduced. This can make them very protective of the humans they become attached to. Similarly they are great watch dogs and alert their owners to any potential dangers, for example someone entering the garden that they don’t recognise.
Labrador retrievers are energetic dogs and need a lot of exercise. A moderately-sized back garden is sufficient while they’re puppies but adult dogs need plenty of long walks. They love to play ‘fetch’ and this helps to provide the exercise they need. If Labradors are left for long periods of time they can become bored and destructive. It helps to have plenty of toys and chewy bones around so they don’t feel the need to chew things they shouldn’t. They also need a lot of human contact; without it they tend to misbehave in order to get attention.
An adult Labrador retriever should weigh between 25kg and 35kg depending on its sex. This is not excessively big in the dog world. Even so they do eat a lot more than other breeds of the same size and have a tendency to become overweight. Small rations should be combined with plenty of exercise to ensure the dog does not become obese. The life expectancy for a healthy, well-cared for Labrador is about 10-12 years.
The Labrador’s short-haired coat is easy to groom and should be brushed regularly with a firm-bristled brush. They do shed their hair when the seasons change but only in small quantities and this can be virtually stopped by grooming the dog on a daily basis.