Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever was bred as an all-purpose water dog breed that originated from Canada. The Labrador Retriever originated in the early 1800s and were of varying sizes like the Lesser or the St. John’s Newfoundland which was the earliest incarnation of the Labrador. These were black Labradors that were medium-sized with short hair. They retrieved game and fish, pulled small fishing boats for fisherman in icy water, and also helped fisherman with their daily work.

The Labrador Retriever is part of the UKC, Gun Dog Group, and the AKC, Sporting Group and was recognized by the English Kennel Club in 1903 and by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1917. During the 19 century, British breeders refined the Lab and helped to standardize the breed.

This breed’s popularity continues to grow because few other breeds compare in temperament and overall excellence in dog sports and training. The Labrador Retriever Club is the only organization recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) as the national parent club of the Labrador Retriever.

This club was established in 1931 in New York. Additionally, the first Retriever field trial licensed by the AKC was held on December 21, 1931. That same year, on October 24, the Labrador Retriever Club was incorporated under the State of New York laws by a group of sportsmen led by Franklin B. Lord.

height
21 to 24 inches
weight
55 to 80 pounds
life span
10 to 12 years
group
Sporting Dogs
Adapts Well to Apartment Living
Good For Novice Owners
Sensitivity Level
Tolerates Being Alone
Tolerates Cold Weather
Tolerates Hot Weather
Affectionate with Family
Incredibly Kid Friendly Dogs
Dog Friendly
Friendly Toward Strangers
Amount Of Shedding
Drooling Potential
Easy To Groom
General Health
Potential For Weight Gain
Size
Easy To Train
Intelligence
Potential For Mouthiness
Prey Drive
Tendency To Bark Or Howl
Wanderlust Potential
Energy Level
Intensity
Exercise Needs
Potential For Playfulness

History

Labrador Retriever Portrait

The Labrador was bred as a hunter and water retriever. These dogs helped the fisherman in all tasks related to fishing. The Labrador Retriever became a distinct breed by the mid-nineteenth century.

Today the Labrador is one of the most popular dog breeds in the US and still participates in hunting and other jobs like search and rescue, detection work, medical service alert dogs, and as a companion dog. This is an athletic dog breed with a well-balanced conformation that allows it to function as a retrieving Gun dog.

It was bred to hunt waterfowl and game for long hours under challenging conditions. This dog breed has the ability to win in the show ring because of its character and the quality of the breed. The Labrador Retriever has one of the best temperaments and is one of the best companion breeds. Not only is this wonderful dog breed intelligent and loyal, but the Retriever really enjoys being around children and other pets.

Physical Description

The Labrador Retriever has large, kind, and friendly eyes and a broad head with a black or brown nose. This is a medium to large-sized muscular dog breed. Eye color should be brown in black and yellow Labradors and brown or hazel in chocolate Labradors.

Retrievers can be yellow, brown or black, and have short triangular-shaped drop ears. The tail is long and thick and rather otter-like. The coat is a double coat. The double coat has a short, dense undercoat and a short, water-resistant straight outercoat that can be black, yellow, or chocolate. The undercoat is weather-resistant and provides protection from harsh weather conditions and all types of terrain. White spots on the chest are also accepted.  

Temperament

Labrador Retriever With Duck

The Labrador Retriever is social, even-tempered, and, when trained, an obedient and amiable companion dog. This dog breed tolerates other pets and children and does well with plenty of space to run around in. Although a calm housedog, this is a powerful dog breed that needs regular exercise and mental challenges to keep it busy. 

Bored Labradors can get into trouble, and if Labs are not trained, they tend to be hyperactive and over playful. The Labrador’s hunting instinct may lead it to straying. This dog breed enjoys swimming and retrieving objects in his mouth.

The AKC adds that “True Labrador Retriever temperament is as much a hallmark of the breed as the “otter” tail. The ideal disposition is one of a kindly, outgoing, tractable nature; eager to please and non-aggressive towards man or animal. The Labrador has much that appeals to people; his gentle ways, intelligence and adaptability make him an ideal dog. Aggressiveness towards humans or other animals, or any evidence of shyness in an adult should be severely penalized.”

Special Needs

The Labrador Retriever requires daily exercise, socialization, and positive dog training. This is an all-purpose water dog with plenty of energy. This breed is a hardy and sporty dog breed that needs to be around active pet parents or live on a large farm where he can run freely and swim in lakes and rivers. Pet parents should consider dock diving, agility, flyball, obedience, hiking, and canine surfing if living in a suburban area. 

Possible Health Concerns

The Labrador Retriever is a healthy dog breed, yet may be susceptible to the following health problems:

  • Hip Dysplasia is the abnormal development of the hip joint in large dog breeds. It is generally characterized by a loose joint and then degenerative joint disease. The Labrador should be fed a high-quality diet that is geared towards their life stage.
    A puppy Lab should only be provided high-quality puppy dog food. Excessive growth, types of exercise, nutritional factors, and hereditary factors all play with hip dysplasia. Ask your vet for the best nutritional advice for active dogs like the Labrador Retriever.
  • Bloat or gastric dilation often occurs in larger breeds. Exercise needs to be avoided right after eating or drinking large amounts of water. Left untreated, this will usually result in death. Symptoms include dry retching, vomiting, pacing, heavy panting, and an enlarged abdomen. Contact your emergency veterinarian right away, even if it’s the middle of the night. This condition cannot wait to be treated and is considered an emergency.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is the name for a group of diseases that cause degeneration of the retina. This will include inherited abnormalities of light-sensitive cells.

Nutrition

Labrador Retriever Eats

All dog breeds, regardless of size and age, need to be fed a high-quality diet. With so many high-quality dog food brands out there today, choosing the right one for your Lab is easy.

Labrador dog parents should never underestimate the importance of high-quality, balanced nutrition for all dog breeds.

Start by you assessing your Lab’s activity level, age, breed, and any medical conditions that he or she may be prone to when selecting the best dog food. With options like bison, duck, venison, quail, wild boar, lamb, salmon, and turkey, dog food brands offer unique and unusual protein sources that are healthy for active dogs. Consult with your veterinarian if your dog shows signs of food allergies. 

Some dog food formulas contain probiotics, salmon oil, and guaranteed calcium and phosphorus levels to help support your pup’s teeth and bones’ healthy development. 

For older dogs, look for recipes that offer glucosamine and chondroitin for hip and joint wellness. The protein options can include turkey and chickpea stew, salmon and chickpea stew, and a chicken with chickpea with no artificial flavors, corn, or soy in the ingredients.

  • There is no “best diet.” Dogs are individuals. A diet that works for one Lab may not be the best for another. Age, energy level, and individual medical concerns play a large role for each dog.
  • The recommended guidelines on bags often contain more calories than dogs need. Unless your Lab a very energetic (and intact) animal, veterinarians will usually recommend feeding the lower end of the recommendation.
  • Feed a complete and balanced food for the appropriate life stage of your dog. Always consult with your veterinarian if your Lab develops food allergies and needs a change of diet. Some Labs may have special needs like a weakened immune system. Adding supplements is always a good idea.

Grooming

The Labrador Retriever is a shorthaired dog breed with a soft undercoat and a slightly rough outer coat. This breed needs to be brushed every day and bathed regularly. Labrador coats shed water quickly, and this breed needs weekly brushing to remove dead hair. The coat is thick and is water repellant. This breed also sheds.

If your Lab has dry skin, use a natural shampoo that soothes and heals. That said, nails need to be trimmed when needed and ears cleaned. Overgrown nails can splay toes and cause pain. Teeth need to be brushed every day.

Your Labrador is going to need regular dental care. Dogs develop gum disease from tartar buildup and need a twice-yearly professional dental cleaning.

Adopting a Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever Puppies

Gun and sporting dog breeds like the Labrador Retriever make excellent companions. They are loyal, fun, active, and love children. Gun dogs were bred to accompany hunters when out hunting for large game birds. Additionally, this breed is used to being around people and was bred to be enthusiastic, social, and friendly. This breed loves being outdoors and is a very sporty dog breed that enjoys hiking trips and going camping with the family.

Potential pet parents to the Labrador should be active and love the outdoors come rain or shine. These gentle and wonderful dogs are so easygoing and even-tempered.

Always opt for dog adoption as opposed to purchasing from a pet store or online. Do your research on your dog breed, and as usual, spend time with your potential Labrador Retriever before adopting and bringing him home.

Labrador Retriever Breeders in the USA

Iowa Pointing Labs (Iowa)

Address
Knoxville, IA
Website
iowapointinglabs.com
Phone
(515) 8055927
Email
iowapointinglabs1@gmail.com

Hunters Point Kennel (Iowa)

Address
Marshalltown, IA
Website
www.pointing-lab.com
Phone
Empress Labradors
Email
hunterspointkennel@gmail.com

Empress Labradors (Illinois and Wisconsin)

Address
Illinois and Wisconsin
Website
www.empresslabradors.com
Phone
(815) 2188765
Email
dawnnacey@gmail.com

Simpson’s Labrador Retrievers (Illinois)

Address
Red Bud, IL
Website
labpuppiesillinois.com
Phone
(618) 6157006
Email
g_sn_08@hotmail.com

Smoky Mtn Labradors (Tennessee)

Address
Knoxville, TN
Website
www.smokymtnlabrador.com
Phone
(865) 4401100
Email
gene@smokymtnlabradors.com

Dawson Labs (Missouri)

Address
Claycomo, MO
Website
www.dawsonlabs.com
Phone
(816) 8386811
Email
jason@dawsonlabs.com

Silver & Charcoal Kennels (Mississippi)

Address
Greenwood, MS
Website
www.silverandcharcoalkennels.com
Phone
(662) 2995435
Email
info@silverandcharcoalkennels.com

Snowy Pines White Labs (Arkansas)

Address
Batesville, AR
Website
www.snowypineswhitelabs.com
Phone
(870) 8056039
Email
puppies@snowypineswhitelabs.com

Amber Sky Labradors (Ohio)

Address
Columbia Station, OH
Website
amberskylabradors.com/index.html
Phone
(440) 5375013
Email
russkrivak@gmail.com

Sunny Creek Labs (Ohio)

Address
Greenville, OH
Website
www.sunnycreeklabs.com
Phone
(937) 6214357
Email
response.sunnycreeklabs@gmail.com

Laurkim Labradors (Ohio)

Address
Medina, OH
Website
laurkimlab.com/index.html
Phone
(330) 4211603
Email
Laurakimlab@me.com

Cherryacre Labradors (Michigan)

Address
Plymouth, MI
Website
www.cherryacrelabradors.com
Phone
(734) 3416204
Email
tmicall2@gmail.com

Michigan Elite Labradors (Michigan)

Address
Wheeler, MI
Website
www.mielitelabs.com
Phone
(989) 3267928
Email
SteveAndAlisha@mielitelabs.com

Lakota Retrievers (Michigan)

Address
Lenox, MI
Website
www.lakotaretrievers.com
Phone
(630) 2923658
Email
paul@lakotaretrievers.com

Prospect Hill Labrador Retrievers (New York State)

Address
Wallkill, NY
Website
prospecthilllabradorretrievers.com
Phone
(845) 7874872
Email
pups@prospecthilllabradorretrievers.com

Breeders in the Canada

Luckyshoes Retrievers

Address
Kamloops, British Columbia
Website
www.luckyshoes.ca
Phone
(250) 8281525
Email
dean@dogacademy.ca

Prairiestorm Kennel

Address
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Website
www.prairiestorm.ca
Phone
(306) 9312026
Email
danielle@prairiestorm.ca

Trailrunners Reg’d

Address
Big River, Saskatchewan
Website
www.trailrunners.ca
Phone
(306) 4698009
Email
trailrun@sasktel.net

Rickway Kennels

Address
Anola, Manitoba
Website
rickway.com
Phone
(204) 7552338
Email
rickway@rickway.com

Wimberway Kennels

Address
Powassan, Ontario
Website
www.wimberway.com
Phone
(705) 7242676
Email
sandy@wimberway.com

Cooperslane

Address
Arthur, Ontario
Website
www.cooperslane.com
Phone
(519) 8486192
Email
valerie@cooperslane.com

Baypoint Kennels

Address
Port Rowan, Ontario
Website
www.baypointkennel.com
Phone
(519) 4299120
Email
baypt.kennels@gmail.com

Huntsdown Perm Reg’d

Address
Erb’s Cove, New Brunswick
Website
huntsdown.ca
Phone
(506) 8327252
Email
huntsdown@xplornet.ca

Labrador Rescue Groups in the USA

Golden Gate Labrador Retriever Rescue

Address
San Francisco Bay Area, CA
Website
www.labrescue.org
Phone
(415) 6526091
Email
krisellen.nm@gmail.com

Southern California Labrador Retriever Rescue

Address
Torrance, CA
Website
www.sclrr.org/rescue/
Phone
(888) 554ALAB

Lab Rescue LRCP

Address
Maryland, Virginia, Washington DC, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and North Carolina
Website
www.lab-rescue.org
Phone
(301) 299-6756
Email
info@lab-rescue.org

Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida

Address
Pompano Beach, FL/dd>
Website
lrrof.org
Phone
(877) 5227352
Email
info@lrrof.org

Midwest Labrador Retriever Rescue

Address
Lombard, IL
Website
mlrr.org
Phone
(847) 7806577
Email
mail@mlrr.org

Safe Harbor

Address
Golden, CO
Website
www.safeharborlabrescue.org
Phone
(303) 4647777
Email
info@safeharborlabrescue.org

Central Indiana Lab Rescue

Address
Indianapolis, IN
Website
www.cilra.org
Phone
(888) 8821900

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