Origins and Brief History
The Labrador Retriever is a working dog, whose origins go all the way back to the 1700’s in Newfoundland Canada where they were primarily used as retrieval dogs for hunting and fishing. These days, the “Lab,” is considered to be a great family dog. They are known to be great around children and the elderly, and generally have a very calm and predictable temperament. Because of this excellent reputation, they are currently they are the most popular breed of dog by registered ownership in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.
In addition to being a great family dog, the Labrador Retriever continues to be a working dog in our society. Labrador Retrievers are still some of the most trusted dogs in fishing and hunting. The Lab’s intelligence and demeanor make it one of the most common breeds trusted to be a therapy dog, which requires the ability to pass extremely difficult tests. These smart dogs are also used in search and rescue, criminal detection cases, and in a variety of other important tasks throughout the world.
Specification of Breed
There are two most common types of Labrador Retrievers, the “Yellow Lab” and the “Chocolate Lab,” which are named for their differences in color. These are considered to be large dogs. The average male weighs 65-90lbs and stands at 22-24 inches, and the average female weighs 55-70lbs and stands at 21-23 inches. An interesting fact is that Labrador Retrievers are noted for having webbed feet, which greatly helps them to maneuver in the water.
The grooming process for a Labrador Retriever is not complicated but it requires consistency. Labs can shed quite a bit, so it is recommended to brush their coat at least once a week. Shedding season also happens twice a year, and during this time a daily brushing will help to ensure that the dog’s coat is free of dead hair and looking its best. Labrador Retrievers love to play outside and get dirty, and the brushing serves the dual purpose of checking for insects or pests that may get into the fur.
The biggest concern in the ownership of a Labrador is simply keeping up with an active and intelligent dog. Although they have a very calm demeanor, they are not to be mistaken for a lap dog. Without proper exercise and stimulation, Labradors can become heavy eaters and easily become overweight. Healthy Labradors get approximately two hours of exercise per day, so it is extremely important that owners who choose this breed are prepared to live an active lifestyle and get plenty of exercise with their new companion.
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