Labrador Retriever

Breed History

Chocolate Labrador Retriever Puppy Sitting

Labrador Retriever is an intelligent, retrieving, working dog that is known for their capabilities to assist humans and are friendly dogs. Energetic and king but you will need to provide a solid outlet for the energy they have.

A St. John water dog descendant along with a few other retrieving breeds from the area. They come from the Island of Newfoundland and documentation of them date back to the 19th century.

Rumor has it that they got their name from the coast of Labrador in Eastern Canada and retrieving items from the Labrador Sea. Somehow the name stuck to these dogs although they come from Newfoundland.

Popular in Canada where they are from, United Kingdom, and the United States of America. They’ve made their mark in a variety of ways on society.

Usage of the dog includes

  • Hunting
  • Tracking
  • Smell Dog
  • Guide Dog
  • Retrievers
  • Life Saving Rescue
  • Therapy dog
  • Police and military dog

There has been no shortage to the amount of jobs or abilities that the Labrador Retriever possesses at any time in history.

Registration

Showing registration with the American Kennel Club in 1917 it is safe to assume they were in America before that date of recognition. The fact is that this is the most popular dog in America and ranks in the top 3 for years. Europe shows a large popularity of the dog as well.

Here are the Kennel Clubs that shows recognition and track the bloodline of the Labrador Retriever

Size

Male Height: 22.5-24.5 inches

Female Height: 21.5-23.5 inches

Male Weight: 65-80 pounds

Female Weight: 55-70 pounds

Men and women in this breed aren’t too far apart in size but the difference is noticeable enough where you can easily recognize a boy dog versus a girl dog.

Litter Size

Average litter size in 6-8 puppies. The breed can have more puppies with litters as big as 10 plus and as small as three to four. There are no known health issues or procedures that needs to happen with the mom during puppy birth.

Colors

  • Black
  • Yellow
  • Chocolate
  • Small white spot on the chest is ok but not desirable.

Any other color will not be allowed in this breed.

Shades of yellow and chocolate are good, and some are lighter or darker than others. When this dog has any patches or brindle on their coat that isn’t desirable.

Price

Labrador Retriever puppies will cost $1,000-$2,000 on average for a puppy with papers. Dogs with papers will ensure and track the bloodline and you will know exactly where your dog is from looking at different Kennel Clubs from their ancestors.

Without papers you will be looking at paying $300-$500 per puppy but the quality of puppy and previous generations will not be a guarantee.

Grooming

They have a short and dense double coat with the under coat being weather resistance that assist them with water missions. Shedding will happen often and a few times per year but there isn’t much to shed.

Here are the areas that you need to focus on for any breed

  1. Brushing
  2. Combing
  3. Bathing
  4. Ears
  5. Nails
  6. Professional Help

Brushing should happen at least two times per week and this will help a lot with the shedding times of the year. That would assist with the ability to shed less in the house, car, and all the couches in the house.

Combing the coat will not be necessary. Although there is no issue you will not have to deal with coat tangles or matting so we don’t recommend you need to do it often to keep the coat healthy.

Bathing the dog when dirty is something most dog owners like to do. You can also bathe the dog on schedule. For example, every two weeks on Sunday. The choice is yours either is fine.

Ears can get an infection if they don’t stay clean. You should look to clean them once a week but if you live in a dirty environment you want to clean them often to keep the vet bills lower.

Nails can be trim with exercise and that’s our recommendation. No dog in the wild needs nail clippers they get them from traveling. Although this is a last resort you can cut the nails with clippers.

You shouldn’t need professional help but if you feel at any time you can’t properly groom the dog then take them to a professional and get the job done.

Life Span

10-15 years is the lifespan expectation for a Labrador. This dog lives for a very long time.

You can raise your kids throughout their entire childhood with one dog.

Proper preparation for this timeline is the best situation for the owners and dogs. Taking the first few years to really train and exercise them a lot will help sustain a great relationship for many years down the road.

Health Issues

All dogs have health problems that are specific to the breeds due to their size or what they inherit from their parents. Besides this you want to get a few evaluations done no matter what kind of dog you have.

Health issues to look out for are

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Heart issues
  • Bloat

Hip dysplasia is a condition where the socket and legs don’t sit properly, and the dog will not want to exercise due to the discomfort it causes. X-rays will need to be done to tell you if your dog has this issue. Young puppies a few months old will show signs if they have this problem.

Heart issues are a cause of concern for this breed. Annual checkups are important to let the vet listen to the heart and see if there is anything irregular with the heartbeat.

Bloat is one of the main causes of death for dogs who have a large sized chest. When the stomach is extended it puts pressure on organs and veins.

These are the exams you should give your dog

  • Hip
  • Elbow
  • DNA test
  • Eye evaluation

Once you get these exams at the appropriate age you will have a better understanding of what health problems are present if any and adjust your exercise routine and lifestyle according to the guidance giving by the vet.

Breed Group

Proud and popular member of the Sporting Group. Most of the dogs in this group retrievers, pointers, setters, or spaniels known for their gamesmanship. Hunting and working in water is the common characteristics that makes this group distinct from others.

Here are some of the intelligent dogs that make up this group.

Exercise Needs

Labrador Retrievers needs a lot of exercise. There is no way to sugar coat their exercise needs. Many dog owners are unable or unwilling to get their dog out for exercise every single day. Unfortunately, that is exactly what they need to do to get the exercise requirements for this dog.

You should pay close attention to your dogs’ behavior and how much you exercise them. When the dog’s behavior is bad you should see how much exercise you’re giving them if you’re giving them any at all.

Lack of exercise will be the main root of behavior and socialization issues. Enough exercise will show the opposite effect and the dog will be calm and behaved.

Here is a basic guideline for exercising a dog with high energy

Morning: Hour (run, walk and treadmill)

Evening: Hour (run, walk, and treadmill)

Two sessions per day is something you need to do as many days as possible. More times you can accomplish this per week the better your dog will behave.

Age plays a big factor in the way you are going to exercise. As expected, the younger the dog is the more exercise they need. Although this is true older dogs still need to get out as well, but much less.

Young dogs need to get out two times per day for at least one half and a half a day. Running will be more dominant at this point in their lives because they need it more.

Older dogs around 3-5 years need less runs and more walks.

Senior dogs will need a 30-minute walk most of the time and that’s it.

Training

  1. Exercise program
  2. Commands
  3. Socialization
  4. Corrections

Exercise program will be the center of the program and where you are going to spend most of your time. Best part about this is that your dog spends hours every day listening to multiple commands simultaneously. Homeless dog owners have some of the best-behaved dogs and they walk theme everywhere they go. They’re not giving them commands all day long!

Commands will make up a smaller portion of the program. You will teach your dog these commands through repetition and keep them going through repetition. Treat training or before you give them a life reward will be enough to keep them current on their training. Again, we teach great behavior and don’t focus on bribing the dog with treats or “good boys”

Socializing the dog will be important to do after you start executing the first part which is exercise. Think about it when you see a documentary of dogs in the wild you will see them walking and running together. At the end of the day they will show affection after exercise and eating. Exercise the dog twice a day and it will be able to socialize in a normal fashion.

Correct the dog verbally, on-leash, or of leash at any time when it is a requirement. Verbal is the first step and progress if you need to do it. After any type of correction make the dog sit or lay. Every single time without failure and your dog will listen and give their full attention every time.

Are Labrador Retrievers Good Pets?

Labrador Retrievers are one of the best pets you can have. The proof is in the popularity. Great with the kids and don’t show signs of aggression. Other dogs aren’t a problem and you can train them to do multiple jobs in the household. If you love exercising you will have a great buddy to blaze the trail with you.

Additional Resources