Regarding dog breeds, the Labrador retriever is one of those that occupy the first places in popularity since, due to its noble and intelligent character, it is the ideal candidate to be integrated as another member of the family.
- Big size.
- Weight: Between 25 and 37kg.
- Hair type: Short, abundant, and straight.
- Character: Intelligent, loyal and kind.
- Health: Healthy.
- Life expectancy: between 10 and 12 years.
If you decide to carry out the adoption of a Labrador retriever puppy, you must take into account its characteristics and qualities. This will allow you to have a clearer notion regarding the actions that you should apply for their training and care.
Luckily, in this article, you will get the information you need to know everything about this breed.
Origin and history of the Labrador retriever
Its name refers to the Newfoundland and Labrador region of Canada. However, it is alleged that this breed could come from Great Britain. Although a stronger link has been established in its origins with the city of Saint John, also located in Canada.
This is because it is thought that the Saint John’s dog established there was probably related to the water dogs of Great Britain, from which the Labrador retriever breed was later derived.
English fishermen would be responsible for having introduced this type of water dog to the island of Newfoundland. In this territory, these dogs would be used as a complement to drag fishing net lines, being a very useful helper for this type of activity.
In this sense, these water dogs had a physiognomy that gave them great resistance and the ability to swim. Favored by the abundance of their fur, they could withstand the low temperatures of the north, as well as a thick tail that helped them as a rudder.
Among the variety of Saint John dogs that existed, the smaller one gave rise to other breeds of dogs called retrievers (retrievers) from which the Labrador we know today arose.
In the middle of the 19th century, Saint John’s dogs were exported to England, where they would be put in charge of expert breeders with the purpose of refining their behavior and thereby obtaining a perfect retriever dog.
This premise would be maintained throughout several generations. After different evaluation and selection processes, the dog, the breed we know today, was born.
During the advance of the first two decades of the 20th century, the morphological bases that served as the basis for generating the current identification with which the breed is known were developed.
It should be noted that in England, during that period, there were already some retrievers members of the prestigious Kennel Club.
During the development of World War I, many Labradors were taken to the United States. But it was during the Second World War when harmful consequences for the breed (as well as other breeds) were generated. This was due to the importance that this breeding work lost as a consequence of the war.
After the culmination of the Second World War, the popularity of the Labrador took a new peak, gradually allowing it to demonstrate its capabilities as a hunting dog. His abilities were further enhanced by his good nature and docile and approachable appearance.
At present, there are numerous activities in which this breed performs successfully.
One of them is part of the K-SAR search and rescue dog group. Here most of her abilities are made the most of, also serving as a therapy for people suffering from emotional problems, probably making this the most famous canine pet in the world.
Physical characteristics of the Labrador Retriever
A muscular body of medium size with a greater length concerning its height, constituted by a strong and compact structure, are some of the characteristics that distinguish this retriever.
Add to this a broad, deep chest and a straight back, as well as a broad head complemented by an equally wide and elongated muzzle that generates a reinforced scissor bite with strong jaws. It should be noted that their sense of smell is one of the most developed among the different existing dog breeds.
The ears of the Labrador Retriever are of medium size hanging to the sides, and their eyes are brown or brown, which reflect an expression of permanent joy.
One of the most notable features is its tail. It has a thick base ending in a point covered by dense fur that gives it a rounded appearance. It is often called an otter tail.
The coat of the Labrador Retriever is short, abundant, and without curvatures. It is arranged on its skin in a double layer in which the inner layer is made up of a soft and waterproof texture whose property is greater in the outer layer, where the fur is harder to the touch.
Within the range of hair colors, there are 3 shades: chocolate, black and yellow, with this tone having variants that go from light cream to reddish. There are occasions in which small white spots may appear on the chest of black dogs.
Regarding size, males can have a height at the withers of 56 and 57 centimeters while in females the height at the withers oscillates between 54 and 56 centimeters.
In weight, the males are between 27 and 34 kilograms. Females can be between 25 and 32 kilograms.
Character and temperament of the Labrador
Their character is something that distinguishes them significantly from other breeds. The Labrador Retriever is characterized by being a dog with a friendly appearance, this being a quality that gives it the necessary ability to generate sociability with the people around it.
Not for nothing have they remained for more than a decade as one of the most appreciated breeds in the world.
Along with this, it should be noted that the stable character of this race has allowed them to become great allies of humanity, lending their skills to the performance of different tasks.
Fun, intelligence, loyalty, and friendliness are other qualities implicit in the personality of the breed. Being also a dog whose training has no complexity since it is one of the most intelligent dogs in the world. However, it must be applied correctly when they are still in the puppy stage so that they acquire habits that make them excellent company at home as they grow.
How does your personality fit?
Although the Labrador Retriever is a breed that can get used to living in an apartment, they tend to be very energetic, requiring a lot of exercises to stay active. It is a good option to take them for long walks to the park or spaces where they can play with other dogs.
For this dog, water is a pleasant element, also presenting a predisposition to obtain gratifications generated by bringing things, an action that will be very easy to teach them.
Attention is something that will demand frequently. This need can be corrected by applying the correct measures in the puppy stage to reduce this behavior and avoid anxiety developed by separation.
The stage of adolescence is usually maintained for a long period of its development. This is a feature that those who prefer to lead a sedentary lifestyle should consider if they want to keep this dog as a pet.
On the contrary, it will be of great advantage for people who enjoy doing sports activities outdoors.
In this sense, being in open spaces surrounded by other dogs, you may feel the urge to approach them in an invasive way but without the intention of generating conflict. These dogs are generally peaceful and avoid fights, although their drive and energy can lead them into trouble.
With a sufficient dose of exercise and a long session of walks, the Labrador Retriever can adapt without any problem to living in small spaces.
In this way, it is recommended to take it out for a walk 3 times a day. Complementing this action with an appropriate exercise routine, obesity caused by the great appetite that this breed has at mealtime can be avoided. Food, therefore, should be an important issue to deal with.
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Doing this will also allow you to calm the active and restless temperament that they usually possess, analyzing it appropriately.
In this sense, toys are a fundamental part of achieving this purpose. These will provide you with the necessary entertainment to keep you busy for a long time. Teethers represent the most used toy for this.
And as a final part of the rules of care, we also mention the bathroom. It should be done once every month or a month and a half, combined with a good brushing to keep their coat straight, shiny and untangled. It will also serve to prevent the appearance of parasites.
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Due to its tendency to receive gratifications and displays of affection and, of course, its great intelligence, the Labrador is a dog whose education and training do not involve many difficulties. But for these processes to be effective, it is necessary to apply them correctly from the puppy stage.
From here it will be key to promote socialization in him, developing it gradually until reaching the stage of maturity.
For this, it is advisable to introduce the puppy to dealing with people, other animals, and objects. In this way, the appearance of phobias or irrational fears in their adult stage can be avoided.
At the same time, it is also important to develop correct learning of the basic obedience orders made up of actions such as sitting, staying still in one place, responding to calls, and bringing things, among others.
By executing these orders you will develop trust with us, as well as a bond that will strengthen the relationship and stimulate you mentally.
This stimulation will be given by the creation of games and activities oriented to active participation that allows the dog to put its agility into practice, keeping it happy without getting tired.
Labrador Retriever Health
Regarding the health of the Labrador retriever, it is characterized by being healthy and long-lived thanks to the good physical condition achieved with constant exercise, which also favors the maintenance of an optimal state of health.
However, the excessive reproduction regime carried out in this breed has caused the appearance of genetic diseases that can manifest when reaching old age, such as hip dysplasia.
It is during the puppy stage when the first vaccinations should be applied to strengthen their immune system so that their antibodies can effectively fight the diseases that generally affect this breed, maintaining a vaccination schedule from that moment on to keep track.
It is advisable to take the dog for a checkup with the veterinarian every 6 months to carry out a basic review and ensure the proper functioning of its entire body. Yes, how to detect any anomaly, if any.
In addition, as an owner, measures must be applied to prevent the appearance of diseases such as obesity. This breed is prone to this problem if the dog is not given enough exercise. The situation can be aggravated by affecting your muscles and joints.
One notable event involving a Labrador retriever as its protagonist is depicted by Endal, a dog from Great Britain whose act of heroics earned him the honor of receiving the Dog of the Millennium award .
Thanks to his intelligence, Endal had the initiative to come to the rescue of an unconscious man. To save his life, she placed him in a side position to keep him safe.
Not enough that, Endal also covered the person’s body with a blanket to keep him warm while he went for help at nearby houses.
Finding no answer, he went to a hotel where he finally managed to get the attention of the people who were there, who followed him to the place where the victim was.
Notably, Endal also recovered the mobile phone of the person he helped rescue.