The Labrador retriever dogs are meant to be both a friendly companion and a useful dog breed. Historically, they earned their keep as fishermen’s companion and assistant, as they were efficient in hauling nets, fetching ropes, and retrieving fish from the chilly seas of North Atlantic.
With changing times, modern Labs are adopted by the hunters as their hunting friend, policemen as their search, rescue & assistant dogs. Hence till today, the lab is known for its good-nature and hence has managed to become America’s most popular breed due to its affectionate, energetic, and sociable spirit.
Labradors are one among the favorite dog breeds because of their easy-going temperament, endearing traits — intelligence, easy to coach, and is a superb family companion.
Here, in this article, we shall understand a brief history of your Lab pet, their characteristics, grooming & care techniques, training tips, and nutritional factors.
History of the Labrador Retriever
When you talk about Labrador, you will find yourself in Northern America territory. People often think this is to be the origin of the Labrador, but the breed has its roots inside the Newfoundland area of the map, since the 18th century. It is thought that the dogs were brought over on a fishing boat from England. These original dogs before bought in the landscape of America, were smaller than the Labrador Retrievers we recognize today and were called St. John’s Dogs.
With much affection, the dog continues to work on the boats, retrieving nets & ropes in the countryside of the United States of America. So, by now you have started to ascertain where the “lab retriever” hails from. What marks the dog special is their skills and their healthy relationship with the human being. Adding more, these dogs tend to heavily rely on their master and are considered loyal.
The shiny appearance of the breed
Labrador retrievers are sturdy, solid dogs. They are almost square in appearance, with a robust body and durable legs. The utmost height of a male is 60cm, which puts them within the medium-size dog category, but their sturdy build can make them appear much larger & healthier. Their weights range from 38kg for an outsized male to 25kg for a smaller female.
Labrador retrievers are easily recognized by their broad head, dropped ears, and enormously expressive eyes. The major trademark of the lab is that they have thick, shiny, but fairly short double coats, which are water repellent. The tails are represented as “otter tail.” These tails are thick, fluffy, and come off the topline. The feet are described as “webbed,” with longer skin between the toes to assist in swimming.
While the color of Labrador can range from black, chocolate, and yellow. These dogs are a moderately fast maturing breed, reaching a height of 57–62 cm (male), 55–60 cm (female).
The life expectancy of the breed is expected to be approximately 10-14 years.
Friendly and Agile Personality
In general, Labrador retrievers are excellent family dogs. These dogs are playful, active, and loyal to their masters. They are strong dogs, requiring some obedience training at an early age, or else they will be seen dragging their owners down the road.
Due to their energetic nature, Labradors should not be left alone. If you have expensive stuff inside or outside your house, you should carefully get it tucked before it gets ruined. You do not want them to chew your favorite pair of shoes, or start digging the beautiful portion of your garden, do you? For that, good training is a must to prevent the destructive habit of theirs.
Nutritional and Health Factor
Labradors do tend to place on weight easily. So, when it involves nutrition, you will need to keep an eye fixed on their treats and food intake. You have to feed them high-quality dog food, either prepared under the vigilance of a vet or by purchasing them commercially. Labs are often addicted to getting over-weight, so you need to watch their diet chart, calorie consumption, and weight level.
Do not feed them human food containing artificial sweets and caffeine. If you are still not sure of the food, please consult your regular vet. Also supply them with clean, freshwater throughout the day.
Labs are indeed a healthy dog and responsible breeder. However, these dogs are likely to self-generate life-threatening stomach conditions called bloat. Similarly, young labs can generate a serious condition of exercise-induced collapse (EIC). Hence, as suggested by the American Kennel Club, the following health tests are recommended,
- EIC DNA test
- Elbow evaluation
- Ophthalmologist evaluation
- Hip evaluation
General care and grooming for your dog
Labs have a healthy coat. However, to keep them healthy, they are going to need a proper diet and the appropriate amount of care. Frequent cleaning and occasional dog bathing can be enough to keep their grooming on spot.
Their nails should be trimmed regularly, for long nails can cause breakage and infection. One important part of Labrador ownership is grooming. While these dogs tend to be rather prolific shedders, brushing once every week is adequate, especially during the shedding seasons.
Proper training for your Labrador
Giving training to your dog is a fair mount task. You need to be prepared and get prepared. Labs are going to be simple to coach – particularly given their history as assistance dogs, no tons of labor are required to brush their skills. The great news is that with their abundance of energy, intelligence, and enthusiasm, they are always a keen learner.
To start, it is best to socialize with your puppy during the primary months of their life. That means it includes spending time with a variety of individuals, old and young, and other dogs. To brush their socialization skill, you can even make them attend outdoor parties. Indulge them in daily exercise & evening walk to maintain their active life.
Additional training tips for your lab includes
- Crate training: By fixing an area only for them, you will feel sure they will not be tearing up the house when you are not there. It will also act as a peaceful spot when they need to spend their own time.
- Walk training: You will be walking your dog once or twice a day, so use this as an opportunity to coach. Teaching tricks like walking to heel, employing a lead, and wearing a collar can be an added perk for you.
- Obedience training: Simple commands like “drop it” and “here” are often done during playtime and walks. These can be incorporated on their daily activities such as during their mealtime or walk time.
- Treats and affection: This is often a part of the positive reinforcement training technique. When your dog responds to a command correctly, reinforce that behavior with a cuddle, or a treat.
Do’s and don’ts for a Labrador pup
Taking care of a dog may begin from a commitment to affection. Once you commit yourself as a dog owner, you oblige yourself to supply them with the simplest of everything that they need, including food, recreation, grooming, accessories, health, and more.
Every caring and the responsible owner hopes their dog to be healthy and happy.
Luckily for us, caring for a Labrador retriever is not as demanding. A nutritious diet, regular exercise, grooming, preventive measures, and regular visits to the vet are the important key to maintaining a high level of wellness and healthiness for Labrador’s.
All these actions are your responsibility and solely must be under your control.
This portion of the article is your doorway to the wealth of information on Labrador Puppies that simply demonstrates the Do’s & Don’ts.
- Feed your pup with a proper diet. Pet-food is formed to contain all the nutrients needed by a dog. Human food or other sorts of pet food do not contain all of those essential nutrients. Read pet-food labels carefully, before purchasing the dog food. This determines the ingredients used in making the food with the right portion. If your dog is allergic to any product you will know instantly and avoid it. If you are again not sure of the right food filling your dog’s needs visit the vet.
- Use the feeding guide. Remember your Lab pup is an individual and therefore the guide is simply an idea. So, an active, playful dog may have more food than an older pet, but you need to keep a check on the diet, as you would not want them facing obesity.
- Provide ample fresh clean water. If you are feeding your dog dry food, confirm you give them extra water.
- Give your pup a bowl for food and water and do not forget to scrub the bowl as dogs do not like eating from dirty plates.
- Leave your Lab alone while they are eating, as they wish to dine in a quiet, peaceful place.
- Feed tons of treats for your dog may have stomach related issues.
- Do not give human food snacks and treats to your pup. These are often harmful and can decline your dog’s health.
- Do not give chocolate to your dog’s! It’s toxic for your dog. Only feed your dog ‘chocolate’ treats that are specially formulated for dogs.
- Feed grapes or sugary substance
- Never leave your dog alone for a long time as it can make them feel lonely.
- Do not overfill your dog’s bowl even if you have too much affection for your dog.
Basically, Labrador breeds are a gem. They are loyal, caring, and friendly. So as a dog owner it is essential for you to take care of their well-being & wellness. If you have any queries related to your Labrador breed drop in the comment section.