The Labrador Retriever is known for its fun, smart and friendly nature. They make fantastic family pets, and are great with kids and adults alike. The Labrador Retriever is America’s most popular canine breed
The Labrador Retriever was initially bred as a working breed-namely as a helper to fisherman. It helped by fetching ropes, hauling nets and catching fish in the North Atlantic. The Labrador Retriever was originally bred in Newfoundland, off the coast of Canada.
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Although Labs are no longer solely used for hard labour, they are most likely to be family pets-pampered, loved and wonderful companions. They are still, however, used for work that many other breeds are unable to do. Because of their kind and gentle nature, they are often used as therapy dogs, giving joy to the elderly, the ill, and can be used to assist the handicapped due to their exceptional intelligence.They are even used as search and rescue dogs, as well as assisting in drug and explosive sniffers.Labs are also often used as search and rescue dogs, thanks to their keen nose, strong build and agility. A bit of a fun fact, however, is that the Labrador Retriever is not exactly the best watchdog! Rather than scaring intruders away, this friendly mutt is more likely to welcome intruders in!
- Breed type: Sporting Dogs.
- Average height:Height:Around 2ft tall.
- Weight: ranges from 50-80 pounds.
- Average Lifespan: 10-12 years
Because Labrador Retrievers were built for physical jobs, they need plenty of exercise. They may be seen as boisterous, taking out pent up energy out in unpleasant ways, including digging, chewing and barking. This can be misunderstood as hyperactivity. In fact, labs need at least 30 minutes of exercise a day-even as much as an hour, to keep them satisfied.
Labradors are known for their love for food. This is why owners need to ensure that they have a high risk of obesity. Make sure your lab gets plenty of exercise, and never overfeed with treats. Rather limit to measured regular meals . In fact, labs are so full of quirks that they will go as far as foraging through bins, dirty diapers, and other inedible foodstuffs.
While Labs are overall healthy and strong dogs, like all dogs they do experience health problems. While your lab may not necessarily experience these problems, here are some problems to look out for.
- Hip Dysplasia. This condition is often inherited from parents. It is a condition whereby the thighbone doesn’t fit into the hip joint s it should. This can cause pain and lameness, and can often result in arthritis.
- Elbow Dysplasia.Also an inherited condition, although it is a common condition for larger breed dogs, the condition is caused by the three joints that make up the elbow growing at different rates. This can cause lameness and pain, but it can be corrected with surgery or medication can be used to manage pain,
- Osteochondrosis Dissecans This is an orthopedic condition, usually occurring in the elbows and shoulders, caused by incorrect growth of joint cartilage. This condition can cause pain and stiffness. Luckily it can be detected early, as 4 months. It can be treated with specialized diet plans.
- Ear infections
As mentioned, this loving and social breed needs plenty of love, attention and exercise. Additionally, because of it’s predisposition to obesity, a carefully planned out, healthy diet is vital. When it comes to grooming, labs are pretty low maintenance. However, they do tend to shed a lot, so a vacuum cleaner and a quick brush daily is a good idea.
Labs only really need to be bathed about once every two months, unless of course they roll around in something unpleasant.
Brush your Labs teeth twice a week to avoid buildup of tartar and bacteria.
The Bottom Line
It is no wonder that the Labrador Retriever is America’s most loved breed. They are intelligent, energetic, hard workers and beautiful companions. Are you a Lab lover? Leave a comment and tell us all about it!