Dog Breeds > Labrador Retriever
|Group||Fetching and Retrieving Dog, Water Dog|
Labrador Retriever Profile
The Labrador Retriever is a heavy, strong and robust dog. The head should be proportionate to the dimensions of the body, well modeled, dry, with little fleshy cheeks. The skull is wide with a well-defined stop. The eyes are dark brown or hazel, of medium size, with a good and intelligent expression. The ears should be neither large nor heavy: they should be worn hanging close to the head and attached a little behind. The chest is broad with well-sprung ribs (like a barrel). The dorsal line must be straight from withers to croup. The tail is a characteristic of the breed: very thick at the base, it tapers towards the end. It isn’t feathered but is covered with thick, short hair, and has the appearance of an “otter tail.” Members must have good bone structure and be straight.
Fur: short, thick, unfeathered and rather rough. Dense and weather resistant undercoat.
Color: only three colors are accepted: the chocolate color Labrador (brown), the sand color Labrador and the black Labrador.
Size: maximum 57 cm for the males and maximum 55 cm for the females.
Weight : About 30 kg.
Origins and History
The origin of the Labrador Retriever has a lot in common with that of the Newfoundland dog, it is, indeed, quite hard to distinguish the two original forms. In numerous 19th century’s texts, the terms “Newfoundland” and “Labrador” are both used to refer to water dogs from the Canadian coast. The ancestor of the Labrador seems to be the St John’s Water Dog, a smaller version of the Newfoundland dog that developed in Canada at the same time. The Cão de Castro Laboreiro also probably participated in the formation of the breed. The breed spread widely throughout Great Britain, which became its parent country.
Character and Abilities
It is one of the friendliest, happiest and most playful of dogs in the world. While it is an excellent working dog, it actually only thinks about playing and being happy (that’s why the best training system will be game based). The Labrador Retriever is without any danger for bigger children but can, however, be of “danger” for smaller ones, due to its strength. He could, for example, hurt them while playing. Like all the Retrievers, the Labrador Retriever is a very sweet and easily trained, tireless worker, but it has become increasingly popular as a pet dog.
Theoretically, it can live in an apartment, but when younger, will the apartment survive it? Adult Labrador Retrievers tend to quieten down a little, but its tireless and endless happiness frenzy (which can also be contagious, since the Labrador can be a very good antidepressant) would suggest that a life in the garden is more appropriate.
Very young Labrador Retrievers should avoid excess exercise (for example they shouldn’t climb stairs). Once grown up it is a very strong and healthy dog. Everything that applies to other Retrievers also applies to the Labrador. As with the Golden Retriever, it is necessary to dry the base of the tail when the dog gets out of water.
Average life expectancy: about 13 years.