General Information About Labradors

History: Labrador Retrievers were bred in Newfoundland in the 1800’s to be retrieving gun dogs. They were bred to retrieve birds like pheasants. The breed was developed from the combination of a St John’s Water Dog and a smaller water dog. They are in the sporting class of dogs.

Appearance: There are two types of Labrador Retrievers. The British Labrador Retriever is a solid and stocky Labrador

whereas the American Labrador is lanky and tall. Both types share many characteristics. The head is broad, neck is thick and strong, and the muzzle is wide. Labrador Retrievers have medium sized triangular shaped ears that hang close to the head. Labrador Retrievers have an otter shaped tail. Thick at the base and tapering to the tip, covered with hair and solidly built for steering the dog as it swims. Labradors have webbed feet which also aid in swimming. Labradors are extremely study in the front quarters and sleek in the rear making them very strong dogs.

Colors: Labradors come in yellow, black, and chocolate. There is also the silver or white Labrador which is controversial in the literature about them. Some references say it is a chocolate mutation, some say it is a cross between a chocolate and a yellow Labrador retriever.

Nose: Brown (sometimes with freckles) on brown Black on blacks Either black or lightly pink on yellows

Coat: Labradors have short, non wavy, double coats consisting of longer courser outer hair and shorter softer under down that keeps the Lab warm and dry. Depending on the dog they are medium to heavy shedders.

Size: Average Height:21”-24” Average Weight: 60-90 lbs.

Generally the male Labrador is taller and heavier than the female. There are always exceptions to this rule. There seems to be no difference in the size and build from Yellow Lab to Chocolate Lab to the Black Lab.

Great Characteristics

Kind to children and other animals Friendly to most people Always anxious to please Stable temperament Great stamina Not shy or nervous Very patient Usually not aggressive Sweet Very intelligent Deeply devoted Easy to train Obedient Adaptable to either hot or cold climate Thrives on exercise Cheerful tail-wagging personality

Drawback Characteristics

Limitless energy Bore very easily Chewers Diggers if not supervised Mediocre watch dog Sheddders Mouthiness Exuberant jumpers Separation anxiety Some serious health problems

Labradors are excellent matches for large active families, hunters, fishermen, outdoor people, runners, campers, and hikers because of their love of exercise and need for companionship.

Because of their high intelligence they are used for hunting, tracking and drug detection, disabled assistance and carting, and as therapy dogs. About 65% of guide dogs are Labrador Retrievers.

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