The Labrador Retriever- A Warm, Intelligent and Friendly Dog
4 November, 2014
The Labrador Retriever is a warm and intelligent dog that is easily recognized by everyone with their flappy ears, and medium sized bodies. The Lab is known as a loyal companion with their wagging tails and sweet disposition. Labs are also extremely agile and very obedient dogs. However, don’t look for a Lab to be your watchdog. The sweet Lab is more likely to greet the intruder with warm kisses!
The Labrador’s size
Labrador males generally stand at 22.5 to 24.5 inches, and weigh from 65 to 80 pounds. Female Labs are usually from 21.5 to 23.5 inches tall and weigh 55 to 70 pounds.
Labrador Retrievers love to eat and have a propensity to become obese very quickly if overfed. Limit treats, give your Lab plenty of exercise, and measure out regular meals rather than leaving food out all the time. And Lab’s large appetite extends to people food and even inedible items such as socks or toys. Labradors will forage in garbage, counter surf, and can make a meal out of chewed-up items like children’s toys.
Labradors still need training
Labs have such a good reputation that many people think they don’t need to bother with training them. But Labs are large, energetic animals, and like all dogs, they need to be taught good manners.
Training is definitely necessary because labs have a lot of energy and exuberance. Labs needs activity, both physical and mental, to keep him happy. There is some variation in the activity level of Labs: some are rowdy, others are more laid back. All thrive on activity.
The Labrador’s personality
The Lab has the reputation of being one of the most sweet-natured dogs and it’s well deserved. Most Labs are social, outgoing, eager to please, and friendly with both people and other animals.
Labrador Retrievers can sometimes be runners when they have something that tempts them such as a whiff of something yummy and they will take off in a heartbeat. Make sure your Lab has current identification tags and a microchip so you can always find them as they have a natural curiosity, a desire for companionship and an uncanny single-mindedness that could drive them to break through a fence or leap over it.
Labrador’s tend to have hip and wrist issues
Labrador Retrievers are generally healthy, but like all breeds, they’re prone to certain health conditions. Not all Labs will get any diseases but the two most common are hip Dysplasia and injuries to their elbows and wrists.
Hip dysplasia is an inheritable condition in which the thighbone doesn’t fit snugly into the hip joint. Some dogs show pain and lameness on one or both rear legs, but you may not notice any signs of discomfort in a dog with hip dysplasia. As the dog ages, arthritis can develop. If you’re buying a puppy, ask the breeder for proof that the parents have been tested for hip dysplasia and are free of problems.
Elbow Dysplasia is also an inheritable condition common to larger-breed dogs. It’s thought to be caused by different growth rates of the three bones that make up the dog’s elbow, causing joint laxity. This can lead to painful lameness. Your vet may recommend surgery to correct the problem or medication to control the pain.
Labs are social animals and love to be with their family
The lovable Lab needs to be around his family, and is definitely not a backyard dog. If he’s left alone for too long, he’ll probably tarnish his sweet reputation. A lonely, bored Lab is apt to dig, chew, or find other destructive outlets for his energy.
Around the house, Labs are animated and good-natured, playing well with children and other dogs. They like to be involved in family occasions, joining social gatherings in an easygoing way, and they are pretty good about sharing and respecting space.
Labradors tend to get bored when left alone indoors for too long. This can lead to listlessness and destructiveness from all the unspent energy and lack of attention. Labs happiest and healthiest with plenty of exercise and outdoor play.
The life expectancy for Labrador Retrievers is generally 10-12 years. It’s very important that they get daily exercise along with moderate rations of food.
Labrador Retrievers’ Traits
Labrador Retrievers come in black, chocolate and yellow. They have a broad, clean-cut head with hanging ears and alert, friendly and intelligent eyes. They have thick noses and wide muzzles and strong necks. Labradors have a short, dense and water-resistant outer coat and a downy undercoat that keeps them warm. Their straight tail, also covered by the coat, is otter-like—beginning thick and tapering at the end and defecting water—and their webbed feet are great for swimming. Though not very tall, Labs are solid and well built. They are usually slim but can get a little heavy without enough exercise.
The Labrador Retriever is a fun, sweet, recognizable dog that will bring love, joy and happiness to you and your family.