The Labrador Retriever is a large breed of gundog and is the most popular breed of dog (by registered ownership) both in the United Kingdom and in the United States. It is famous for its water-resistant coat, webbed feet and “otter tail” that gives the breed its excellent swimming ability. It is strongly built, slightly longer than it is tall, characterized by a broad skull, broad and deep chest and ribs and strong hindquarters. It is very muscular and has a wide muzzle, wide nose with well develop nostrils, medium sized brown or hazel eyes that offers an intelligent and good tempered expression and pendant ears that hangs close to the head and set rather far back. A strong and powerful neck that sits on a long, sloping shoulder provides sufficient bearing to the large head. It has well boned and straight forelegs with equally broad hindquarters supported by round, compact, well padded feet. The tail is very thick at the base which gradually tapers towards the tip and is covered with thick, short coat giving a rounded look often referred to as an “otter tail.” The weather-proof coat of the Labrador Retriever is short and dense without wave or feathering. It comes in solid black, yellow (light cream to red fox) or liver/chocolate colour.
All dog breeds have different levels of intellect. Some dog breeds; working dogs in particular, are very independent thinkers and have been evolved to be very intelligent. Typically, a highly intelligent dog does well in obedience training and other activities. A highly intelligent dog can be very demanding and do require lots of physical and mental stimulation. If you’re looking for a relatively laid-back dog, that doesn’t require lots of mental and physical stimulation, then you must fully understand the level of intelligence of your dog breed of choice.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, you must fully understand their intellect levels and their specific levels of energy. To keep your dog well-balanced and happy, their needs must be met and maintained.
All dog breeds have different needs when it comes to the level of exercise they require. For the high energy dogs; which are your typical working dogs, they have a lot of energy and require lots of daily exercise along with plenty of mental stimulation. A highly energetic dog breed would suit an individual or family that is equally as active and loves the outdoors. There are also breeds that have relatively low exercise needs, such as toy dog breeds. Although they require daily exercise and mental stimulation, they’re just as happy chilling at home with their loved ones. This type of dog breed would suit an individual or family that prefers the peace and quiet and relaxation.
Before deciding on your chosen dog breed, Mypetzilla recommends that you research the exercise needs and whether you’re well equipped before committing to buying or adopting a particular dog breed.
There are several dog breeds that are known and potentially predisposed to developing health related conditions. Sensible breeding can help prevent the onset of health related conditions and this should always be taken into condition when researching your dog breed of choice. Before committing to a dog, you should speak to the breeder about any health related conditions that may affect the dog you’re looking to buy or adopt. You can also request to see any test results from genetic testing.
There are many dog breeds that tolerate children really well and are not affected by the constant noise and need for play-time. However, there are some dog breeds that don’t do very well with children and can become frustrated and snappy. That being said, all children should be shown how to handle and care for a dog in their home and should always be supervised when playing. As much as a dog can become annoyed and snappy with a younger child, the child can also become less tolerant and misbehaved towards the dog.
Mypetzilla recommends that you always supervise play-time between your children and dog. Children need to respect the boundaries and feeding time for the dog and likewise for the child. We also strongly advise that play-time doesn’t get out of control and too rough which can cause injury to both child and dog.
There are lots of dog breeds that are well suited to living in an apartment. It’s worthwhile noting that you need to check that you’re allowed dogs in your building before committing to bringing one home. If you do decide to own a dog and are living in an apartment, then you must make sure that they have plenty of room to roam around and frequent walks outside to prevent them from becoming bored and depressed.
Mypetzilla recommends that you check as to whether you’re allowed dogs in your apartment building and to fully ensure your apartment is dog proof before committing fully to bringing a dog home.
All dog breeds shed to some extent, some more than others. With this, all potential dog owners should be aware of this, as it will be a matter of putting up with some hair or lots of hair being left around the house. Depending on the dog breed, there are certain times during the year where some dog breeds shed the most and this is typically around spring and autumn. However, there are some dog breeds that shed all year round.
If you’re very house-proud, they you may want to choose a dog breed that sheds very little. Mypetzilla strongly recommends that you fully research your dog breed of choice and their shedding levels before committing.
All dog breeds require different levels of grooming. Some dog breeds are easier to maintain than others and only require a weekly brush to help keep their coat in good condition. There are some dog breeds that require regular trips to the grooming parlour and this can come at a huge cost. Either way, all dog breeds require their coat and nails to be maintained and cared for.
Mypetzilla strongly advices that potential owners research the grooming needs and associated costs with their desired dog breed before fully committing.
Barking is a necessity for your dog to communicate. However, it can also be a nuisance to yourself and fellow neighbours if it’s not kept under control. If you live in an apartment, then you’re better off choosing a dog breed that doesn’t bark as much. If you live further out and far from civilisation, then it’s worthwhile looking into a dog breed that does bark and will bark to alert you of any other company on your property.
Mypetzilla advices that you research the behaviours of your dog breed of choice and whether this would work for you and your family. It’s worth noting that dogs can be trained to bark less and this will take a lot of effort and training from the owner.
Majority dog breeds form very close relationships with their owners and as a result can become very stressed when left alone for a period of time. If a dog is suffering with separation anxiety then they’re very likely to become destructive around the home as a way of dealing with their anxieties. Dog breeds that do form strong bonds with their owners are better accustomed to a household where one member of the family remains home, whilst the others are out, this is to help avoid further anxieties and destructive behaviours.
Mypetzilla recommends that all potential owners research their dog breed of choice on their bonding abilities and how well-adjusted they are to being left alone at home. It’s also worth noting that you should never leave your dog for longer than 4 hours alone at home.
There are certain dogs breeds that have very high intellect and therefore easier to train than other dog breeds. There is also a downside to this; as fast as they learn the new trick or command, they can easily pick up bad habits just as quick. Other dog breeds that don’t rank as high on the intellect scale require patience and plenty of reward treats from their owners during training.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, Mypetzilla advices you to fully research your dog breed of choice and their level of training needs.
All dog breeds have different energy levels. The working dog breed has one of the highest energy levels in comparison to the low-energy dog’s breeds such as the Toy dog breed group. To keep a dog truly happy, healthy and well-balanced, their energy levels must be met.
High-energy dog breeds need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. High energy dog breeds would suit an active family or person. Dog breeds that are considered as low-energy, love to spend the majority of their time relaxing and sleeping in their favourite, comfy spot. A low-energy dog breed would suit an individual that equally loves the quiet life and relaxing lifestyle. Of course, low-energy dogs still need their daily walks and mental stimulation, just not as much as a high-energy dog breed.
Mypetzilla recommends that potential owner research fully on the type of dog breed that would suit their existing lifestyle and to also take into consideration the dog breeds energy levels and exercise requirements.
Before you decide on what dog breed would be suitable for you and your family, you must consider whether they’re a friendly dog breed and if you already have other pets within the household. For homes that already have dogs and other domestic pets, then it’s wise to choose a dog breed that has a friendly personality and temperament.
There are some dog breeds that mix well with other dog breeds and there are others that don’t suit one another and this could potentially cause issues later on down the line.
Another important point to consider is whether the dog breed of choice is friendly towards people and children.
Mypetzilla recommends to research fully on the right dog breed for your family and to also consider their temperament and characteristics.
The Labrador Retriever was developed on the island of Newfoundland which is now part of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Although it developed there, it is not indigenous to the place but is considered one of the oldest among the modern breeds that resulted from a mix of several retrievers and water dogs. It is thought to have descended from the St. John’s Water Dog (an extinct breed and is thought to be a crossbreed between the black St. Hubert’s hound from France, some working water dogs from Portugal and old European pointing dogs indigenous to the area) and the Newfoundland dog, which is closely related to the Labrador. The Labrador was extensively used by fishermen to haul nets to the shore, swimming in the water and grabbing the net then gently pulling it to shore. The name was given by the Earl of Malmesbury and other dog breeders in England to differentiate it from the Newfoundland breed. The first written reference to the Labrador can be found in “Instructions to Young Sportsmen” inked in 1814, around the same time that the Labrador gained a reputation for upland game retrieval in England. The first recorded yellow Labrador was born in 1899 and was named Ben of Hyde, although black Labradors are more popular then.
It is a highly spirited breed known for its good temper, adaptability, an excellent nose and a keen love of water. It is not aggressive nor does it show undue timidity. It is also a slow-maturing dog; typically taking about three years before it becomes fully mature, mentally speaking. Physically however, this dog will usually take one year to reach full adult height. This mental progression makes the dog significantly energetic which is often misinterpreted as hyperactivity. It is typically reserved around strangers and will announce house guests by barking which makes the Labrador an excellent watchdog.
Because the Labrador Retriever is a courageous, fun-loving and boisterous breed it needs firm handling at times to make sure that this does not get out of hand.
The smooth, short coat of the Labrador is quite easy to groom. Regular brushing with a firm bristle brush is sufficient, bathing only when absolutely necessary to avoid depleting the natural oil protection of the skin.
The Labrador’s life expectancy is generally 11 to 13 years. It is in general, a healthy breed but like most dogs, it is prone to some health problems including:
The Labrador is a heavy eater and must be fed several small meals rather than one large meal to avoid becoming overweight. Like most large breeds, it is not recommended to take the dog for an exercise immediately after meal. Foods that contain fish, wheat, corn, and poultry are ideal base diet for this breed. Limit the amount of beef as much as possible. Also, the Golden Retriever should be given a diet with the best sources of fatty acids (fish-, linseed-, corn- or wheat germ oil) in order to keep the coat in excellent condition.
This lab responds well to praise and positive attention. This breed requires constant family attention. Although exercise requirement is medium, the Labrador must be given sufficient exercise or it may become bored and develop destructive behaviour. Daily long walks are ideal exercise routines as well as swimming, retrieving and sessions of play in an open area. This active breed is not recommended or suitable for an apartment dwelling and will typically do best in a house with an average size yard.
The Labrador is extremely friendly, devoted, highly clever, vigorous and good natured, making it an excellent companion and working dog with an excellent reputation with children of all ages. It is not a territorial breed and will get along very well with other dogs and household pets