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Labrador Retriever

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Labrador Retriever is one of several breeds in the retriever group. Both the Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever are among the most popular breeds in the world due to their friendly temperament. The Labrador Retriever is the most registered breed in America since 1991. The Labrador Retriever has a black, brown or yellow coat color and an outgoing, happy and gentle temperament. A characteristic of all dogs from the Retriever group is that they were bred for hunting to assist in duck hunting etc. Therefore Labrador Retriever has a well developed fetch instinct and is a great swimmer. The Labrador Retriever is good with children and makes a good family dog.

The Labrador Retriever at work

The Labrador Retriever is the most frequently used professional assistance-dog in the USA and is often used by police or other governmental organizations as drug or bomb dog due to the Labrador Retriever’s well-developed sense of smell. The dog breed is very friendly, gentle, intelligent, energetic and good-natured and that makes a Labrador Retriever an excellent work or pet dog. An untrained Labrador Retriever may be very brash. The dog breed responds well to positive attention and are very “food” and “fun” oriented. The Labrador Retriever is good with children and one of the most reliable, obedient and multi-talented breeds in the world.

Labrador Retriever origin

The original Labrador Retriever came from Newfoundland Island that is now a part of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. The Labrador Retriever emerged over time based on the St. John’s Water Dog (that is also an ancestor of the Newfoundland dog) through ad-hoc breeding by settlers in the fifteenth century. Two new breeds emerged from the breeding program based on the St. John’s Water Dog. A larger dog that was used for carrying (this dog was the basis for the large and friendly Newfoundland dog – possibly the result of a cross with Mastiffs) and a smaller short-haired Retriever that was used to retrieve fishing nets in the sea and is the forerunner of the Labrador Retriever we know today.

The white spots in the black coat

The white chest, feet, chin and nose that’s characteristic of St. John’s Water Dogs, you will also often see in various Labrador crossbreeds. This may also only manifest itself as a small white patch on the chest or random white hairs on the paws or muzzle. The fishermen initially mostly used St. John’s Water Dog to assist in bringing nets to shore. The dog swam out and held on to the floating cork at the ends of the net and pulled it ashore. Some of these dogs were brought back to the Poole area of England in the early 1800s that were very active in fishery. There the breed was frequently used as sporting and hunting dogs.

Labrador Retrievers gets quarantined at home

Some kennels were established in England at the same time as a combination of laws to protect sheep and introduce rabies quarantines ended the breed permanently in its homeland. The first and second Earl of Malmesbury, who bred the dog for duck hunting on his property and the fifth and sixth Duke of Buccleuch was important for the establishment of the Labrador Retriever breed in the 1900s England. The dogs Avon (Bucclecuch Avon) and Down that was given by Malmebury to assist the Duke of Buccleuch with his breeding program in the 1880s are generally regarded as the ancestors of all modern Labrador Retrievers.

Labrador Retriever is a medium sized working dog

The Labrador Retriever is a relatively large dog and the male typically weighs 30-36 kg and females weigh 25-32 kg. Some Labrador Retrievers may become obese and weigh a lot more. The Labrador Retriever coat is short-haired and soft, and the dog has straight and strong tail tht are often said to resemble that of otters. Most of the Labrador Retriever traits and characteristics, apart from coat color, is a result of targeted breeding with the aim of creating a working dog. Labrador Retrievers have a tendency to shed two times annually or periodically through the year in temperate climates. Some Labrador Retrievers shed a lot but individual dogs vary. The otter-like tail and webbed toes of the Labrador Retriever makes the dog an excellent swimmer. The coat is also relatively waterproof helping the dog to swim. The tail acts as a kind of rudder that helps steer the dog in the wanted direction in the water.

Labrador Retriever has a broad head and kind eyes

According to the description in the breed standard the Labrador Retriever has a broad head with friendly and expressive eyes. Acceptable eye colors are brown and hazelnut. The rim around the eye must be black. The ears should hang and be located a bit above the eyes. The Labrador Retriever has a strong and powerful jaw and a muzzle of medium length that is not too pointed.

The black, brown or yellow Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever can have three recognized coat colors Black (plain), yellow (anything from light creamy to golden) or chocolate (medium to dark brown). Puppies of all colors may occur in the same litter. Brown or black Labrador Retrievers have the same color muzzle as coat color.

Famous Labrador Retrievers

The Labrador Retriever “Endal” of England, is one of the most famous assistance dogs in the world. Endal has received lots of medals and titles and was the first dog to take a trip on the “London Eye”. Endal was also the first dog that could use an ATM machine. During 2007 plenty of journalists interviewed Endal and his owner Allen Parton. A movie about a year in Endals life is in production.

The Labrador Jake became a folk hero in the terrorist attack of 9 /11 when he plowed himself through glowing fallout and smoke in search of survivors. Jake also participated in rescue work during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Lucky and Flo, two Labrador twins, sniffed their way to 2 million illegal DVDs in 2007 and received a medal from Malaysia’s Government.

Vladimir Putin owns a Labrador named “Koni”.

Bill Clinton has two Labrador dogs named “Buddy” and “Seamus”.

If you are considering buying a Labrador Retriever you should consider the following:

Would you like a dog that is:

  • Medium of size and has a positive attitude to life.
  • Have a short-haired coat that doesn’t require much grooming.
  • Loves exercise and outdoor activity.
  • Has a good and stable temperament and is friendly towards all people and animals.
  • Loves to please its owner and is easy to train.

This can be negative depending on your personal preferences:

  • A Labrador retriever needs a lot of exercise to thrive.
  • Can have a tendency to jump up on people if not trained.
  • Loves to chew on things and gather up objects and bring them to you.
  • A Labrador retriever sheds a little.

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