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Labrador Retriever

Labrador, Lab, Black Lab, Yellow Lab, Chocolate Lab

Family: Canidae Labrador Retriever PIcture, Chocolate Lab"Picture of my Chocolate Labbie"Canis lupus familiarisPhoto Public Domain: Courtesy The Random Editor at Wiki Commons
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In 2013 i.e. recently, I found a local pariah [street] dog puppy playing in the roadside and I brought it home. My wicked old grandmother told me to throw him... (more)  vineet mondal

   The Labrador Retriever is the most popular dog breed in the world!

The Labrador is classified as a sporting breed, but is best known as a companion and working dog. Its beginnings are from the island of Newfoundland where it was used to retrieve and pull fishing nets out of the water for fishermen. When introduced to England in the 1800's its retrieving instincts were further refined. Today this multi-talented dog is often used as a service dog and is sometimes employed by the police as a drug-sniffing dog.

This breed is commonly discribed by its color variation as a Black Lab, Yellow Lab, or Chocolate Lab. These are all Labrador Retrievers. There are also Silver Labs which the AKC considers a variation of Chocolate Labs. And then there is a rare variation in coloring that has a pinkish nose and eye rims, it is known as a "Dudley." The exception is the Golden Labrador, this is actually Labrador and Golden Retriever mix.

Labrador Retrievers are beloved for their affectionate and gentle nature. They are known for their great ability to get along with everyone, though may be apprehensive of strangers if not socialized properly as puppies. They are very playful and want to be treated like part of the family. They can be trained as guard dogs, and they also possess a number of other talents. They are favorites of duck hunters, and they do well in agility and competitive obedience.

When selecting a Lab, be aware that the breed is prone to joint problems, eye problems, and hereditary myopathy.


  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Carnivora
  • Family: Canidae
  • Genus: Canis
  • Species: lupus familiaris
Wonder Dog, Captain retreives frisbees underwater

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Captain the dog retrieves 2 Frisbees underwater in one dive.

Captain the dog retrieves 2 Frisbees underwater in one dive.

Common Name(s)

Labrador Retriever, Labrador, Lab. These breeds are commonly named by their colorations as well, being the Black Lab, Yellow Lab, or Chocolate Labs, and a rare variation in coloring that is known as "Dudley".

Breed Type

The Labrador Retriever is classified as a sporting breed, but is best known as a companion and working dog. The Labrador is the most popular dog breed in the world according to registration records.

Background

The Labrador Retriever hails from the island of Newfoundland. Its ancestors include the Newfoundland, the St. Hubert's Hound, and various European pointer breeds. The Labrador was used to retrieve and pull fishing nets out of the water for fishermen. The breed's retrieving instincts were further refined in the 1800s, when it was introduced to England.
Today, the Labrador is often used as a service dog. It is also sometimes employed by the police as a drug-sniffing dog. Varieties include the English Lab, which has a thick build, and the American Lab, which is taller and lankier.
A rare variation in coloring is known as "Dudley." These yellow Labs have pink, liver or flesh-colored noses and rims around the eyes. Popular Lab hybrids include the Labradoodle (Labrador and Poodle mix), the Golden Labrador (Labrador and Golden Retriever mix), and the Labradinger (Labrador and English Springer Spaniel mix).

Description

The Labrador has a solid build, with a broad head, wide muzzle, and thick, tapering tail. Its eyes are chestnut or hazel, and the ears are of medium size and pendant. The feet are webbed, making swimming easy. The coat is short and hard, with no wave. Colors include black, yellow and chocolate. There is also a silver coloring that the AKC considers a variation of Chocolate.
Male Labs are 22 to 24 inches tall and weigh 60 to 75 pounds. Females are 21 to 23 inches tall and weigh 55 to 70 pounds.

Care and Feeding

A Labrador Retriever needs a diet low in carbohydrates and high in fat. Recommended food sources include fish, poultry, lamb, and green vegetables. Labradors do not require a great deal of grooming. Regular brushing and as-needed bathing are all that is necessary. Too much bathing could damage the natural waterproofing of the coat.
Labrador Retrievers need annual checkups to stay healthy. Vaccinations are due as follows:

  • 6-8 weeks: Distemper, Leptospirosis, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvo, and Corona virus (DHLPPC)
  • 10-12 weeks: Second DHLPPC
  • 14-16 weeks: Third DHLPPC and rabies
  • Annually: DHLPPC and rabies booster

A Lab sheds moderately, but continuously. If kept indoors, regular vacuuming will be necessary.

Housing Your Dog

Labradors make good housedogs as long as they get enough exercise. They need a yard of adequate size to run in.

Social Behaviors

Labradors are known for their ability to get along with anyone. Despite their large size, they are great with children due to their gentle nature. They may be apprehensive around strangers if they are not well socialized as puppies. Do very well with other pets.

Handling and Training

The Labrador Retriever is a very intelligent breed, and it trains quite easily. It does well in shows and competition, and can be trained for a variety of work and sport purposes.

Activities

Labradors need plenty of activity to keep them happy and to prevent weight gain. They need to walk, jog or run daily, and they love to run and play off-leash as much as possible. Working and hunting dogs can get a portion of their exercise through those activities.

Breeding/Reproduction

When seeking a mate for your Labrador Retriever, check bloodlines for deafness, hereditary myopathy, autoimmune disease, and hip dysplasia and other joint problems. The eyes of both dogs should be examined prior to breeding.

Common Health Problems

Ear infections are common in Labradors due to the design of their ears. You can help prevent this by clipping the hair around and under the ear, and by checking the ears regularly for signs of problems. Obesity is also a frequent problem, and can lead to other ailments. Proper diet and plenty of exercise can prevent weight gain.

Availability

Labrador Retrievers are widely available, and breeders can be found virtually anywhere. Prices average between $500 and $1,000.

References

"Labrador Retriever", Dog Breed Info Center, Copyright 1998-2008
Cusick, William D., "What to Feed a Labrador Retriever", Referenced online, 2008
"Labrador Retriever Puppies for Sale", Copyright PuppyFind.com, LLC, Referenced online, 2008
"Labrador Retriever", Wikipedia, Copyright 2008

Lastest Animal Stories on Labrador Retriever

vineet mondal - 2013-08-10
In 2013 i.e. recently, I found a local pariah [street] dog puppy playing in the roadside and I brought it home. My wicked old grandmother told me to throw him outside but I did not listen to her.  For 8 to 9 months he stayed with me. But one problem was there and it was that he excretes in the home and therefore one day my grandmother secretly sent him somewhere with the help of my uncle. When I came to know about it I cried bitterly. Till today she didn't tell me where she left him. I miss my dog very much. Now I had decided to buy a yellow lab and I can gurantee one thing that no one can separate him from me.

  • Nihar Gawand - 2014-04-19
    See I have owned 3 black labs, one still lives with me and 2 I gave to my 2 friends as they wanted dogs and their parents were not willing to pay keeping them. Was ok I daily meet them you won't have any problem with them  and try leaving your grandmother 2 days at old age home and then she will understand her mistake and even tell you where your dog is ;)
Reply
Nihar Gawand - 2014-04-19
I own a 3 years old female black Lab Magie she loves walks swimming and especially sleeping. My dad feeds her rice mixed with chicken soup on somedays and sometimes bread (wheat) mixed  with milk is this diet ok she weighs around 65 to 70 pounds is this diet ok for her?

Reply
Tianna Hooker - 2011-12-01
How much do i feed my one year old black lab Sadie?

  • Charlie Roche - 2011-12-01
    It depends on the type of dog food and how much your pup weighs. There should be directions on the bag of food. Also depends on how much toast and treats you are giving. A treat now and then is OK but too much detroys a nutritional diet.
Reply
Douglas Siebigteroth - 2012-08-31
My 4 year old yellow lab is constantly itching herself is there any thing I can use to help her control or stop this? I don't want her to be scrathching all the time.

  • Charlie Roche - 2012-08-31
    Try the basics first.  Switch foods in case she is allergic.  Think about dog collars (do you have a pest control collar on her) and would she be allergic to that.  Do you spray her with anything - what do you bathe her with.  Think about anything that she can be around that is making her itch and change that.  Did you recently change her shampoo for instanse?  For some relief with itchy skin - for no reason I ever found out, I was told to use AVON Skin So Soft - I would bathe my dog and then use the AVON Skin So Soft and it did stop the itching - or at least she stopped scratching. 
  • unknown - 2012-11-01
    what happened Doug??? jeez
Reply
john - 2011-09-25
My lab wont stop farting and I have no idea why! Any ideas?

  • Jasmine Brough Hinesley - 2011-09-25
    Your lab is most likely passing gas due to what he is fed. Make sure you are feeding them a high quality dog food and not much (if any) people food. People food in general is not good for dogs. Lots of carbohydrates including starches and fibers can cause them to not digest their food all that well and cause gas. Also, if they swallow too much air while gulping down food, this can also cause gas.
  • Charlie Roche - 2011-09-25
    My dobie did this quite a bit and it was the food. Big Time. I called the breeder and she recommended Eukanuba and said that is what she fed. I fed Euknuba to all my dogs after that and no problem.
  • Neyde - 2012-10-24
    Thanks Karen for the great tips and reminders. I've nocetid a huge difference in the dogs I was caring for when I cut down on their dog food and added a mixture of rice, veggies and other leftovers such as beef juices when I made a roast. The dogs that had skin issues cleared up and the older ones seemed to be more energetic. Just like with us, too much junk food isn't good for them.
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