Everything you Need to Know about the Labrador Retriever Dog Breed
Labradors are loyal and playful dogs that offer companionship and friendship for a lifetime. Labradors are popular dogs and are kept as pets around the world. They adapt well to different environments and get along well with children and adults.
Labradors are bred to be friendly dogs that are also a working breed of dog. The Labrador breed originates from Newfoundland where it was later taken and bred in the UK as a companion dog.
Labradors are a breed of dog that is comfortable around water. Labrador dogs are great swimmers and at one time were taken on boats by fishermen in Newfoundland. At the time, Labradors were known to help fishermen by pulling nets, swimming in cold water and catching stray fish that may have come free from nets. To this day, Labradors share a close connection with water and are agile swimmers.
Labradors are clever dogs that are also working dogs. They are useful for hunting, guarding, as a seeing dog, and as service dogs in the police and army. Labrador retrievers are decorated sniffer dogs and search and rescue dogs.
In this article, we are going to take a closer look at the qualities of the labrador breed of dog and also their various health needs. Labradors are outgoing dogs and are the most popular dog breed in the USA. They offer friendship and loyalty and are always in the mood to run around and play.
Physical Characteristics of the Labrador Dog
Labradors are strong and large-sized dogs that have a height of approximately 25 inches at the shoulder. The labrador breed of dogs is heavy and weighs approximately 90 pounds, depending on the sex.
Labradors have a short and straight coat of fur and come in various colors. It’s not uncommon to see golden labradors, white labradors, and chocolate coloured labradors. Labradors have thick tails that are flat at the base and taper at the end. This type of tail is commonly known as the “otter tail”.
Labradors are friendly by nature and bond with the whole family. Labradors are known to get along well with other dogs and strangers alike. Labs are very active dogs and need at least an hour’s walk on the leash per day.
Other activities that labradors enjoy are swimming, fetch, exercise, and running. In order to have a dog that is physically and mentally fit, labradors need all the exercise they can get.
Labrador Retriever vs Golden Retriever
In this section, we will be comparing the Labrador retriever with the good-natured golden retriever.
The first thing you’ll notice when you compare a labrador with a golden retriever is the type of coats that these two breeds possess. The labrador coat is short and straight whereas the Golden Retrievers coat is longer and wavier.
For this reason, it takes more time to groom a golden retriever than it would take to groom a labrador.
Another subtle difference between a labrador and a golden retriever is that golden retrievers have longer snouts when compared to labradors.
Labradors have a more muscular build as compared to golden retrievers. Labs have flat heads and stronger bodies as compared to golden retrievers.
Both Labradors and golden retrievers are large dogs, however, the lab breed is slightly larger than the Golden Retriever breed.
When it comes to comparing the weight of these two dogs, it’s found that labs and golden retrievers weigh about the same. However, it’s difficult to notice this as a Golden retriever’s body is covered by its lustrous fur. Height wise too, Golden retrievers and labs are an equal match.
What about the colour of golden retrievers and labradors? Labradors come in three main colours which are yellow, chocolate and white. Labrador retrievers come in more rusty colours ranging from yellow to golden.
Temperament and Traits of Golden Retrievers vs Labradors
Both Labradors and golden retrievers are good-natured dogs. They are known to be friendly around strangers and other dogs and are real people-pleasers. Labs and golden retrievers are ideal breeds that can be kept around kids as they are gentle around children.
Labradors and golden retrievers are both excitable breeds and enjoy the companionship of their owners. Labradors and Golden retrievers both crave attention from their owners and more than delighted when they receive it.
How to pick a Labrador puppy to bring home
Labradors are usually born in a litter of 7 to 9 puppies. Just like other puppy breeds, the labrador puppy’s eyes are closed for the first 2 weeks of its life. The ideal age to bring home a labrador puppy is at the age of 8 weeks, as at this age they are developed enough to be taken away from the mother dog.
How do you choose a puppy to bring home?
Start by carefully observing the litter of puppies and their interaction with each other. Different puppies in a litter have varying temperaments. Choose a puppy that is not too aggressive, as these dogs may grow up to be unmanageable when fully grown. Also, avoid a dog that is too meek as compared to its other littermates. Meek dogs may be very shy or jumpy and may snap at people when fully grown because of their shy attitude.
If you are looking to buy a dog, approach a breeder who ethically breeds dogs. This means that the health of the puppy’s mother and father must be well kept and these dogs should not be bred every season.
If you are looking to buy a labrador retriever in India there are a number of breeders who specialize in Labrador puppies for sale in Chennai.
Health and Care of Labrador Retrievers
Labradors are strong hardy dogs that are adaptable to any environment. However, all through the life of your labrador, there will be a number of things that you should be aware of regarding the health and care of your dog.
Labradors have short and lustrous coats that do not need much upkeep. Brushing your dog when needed (Maybe once a week) is all it takes to keep your dog’s coat smooth and lustrous.
Bathe your dog not more than 5 times or so a year. A bath every 2 months or so is fine for your dog. Here’s why. Your dog secretes oils that take care of its fur. Bathing too often can affect this natural balance in the dog’s fur.
The first point to note is that Labradors are prone to obesity. If you’ve noticed, your labrador loves to eat and this can affect the health of your dog if you overfeed a labrador. By maintaining the weight of your dog it will reduce the stress on the joints of your dog.
Unfortunately, labradors are also prone to slow vision loss. The name of this condition is retinal atrophy and this affects dogs in their later years.
Labradors also have joint problems that arise due to stress on the dog’s hips and joints. Regular exercise and maintaining your dog’s diet to avoid obesity are two ways that you can take the stress off your dog’s joints.
Labradors have good teeth and you can maintain the health of your dog’s gums and teeth by brushing them twice a week.
Your labrador’s diet
Ideally, your labrador puppy or dog should be fed twice a day. Dogs of 0-45 days survive only on milk and this potion is either offered by the dog’s mother or you will have to feed the dog yourself using a milk bottle of roughly 100 ml twice to thrice a day.
At 2 to 6 months Labrador puppies are able to eat dry food. If you are feeding your labrador in Chennai, dog food, opt for a nutritious diet that is specific to large dog breeds. Labs need high levels of energy and this reflects in the diet that they consume.
For the nutritious meals of your dog, you can opt for feeding your labrador chicken stalk, chicken pieces that are boneless, eggs, curd and other food that is rich in protein.
Remember to not overfeed your dog and adjust your food according to the weight of your labrador retriever dog.
In this article, we explored the physical and behavioural characteristics of labradors. We also took a closer look at the health and nutritional needs of the labrador dog. The labrador may be a low upkeep dog, however, they do have specific needs that have to be taken care of to ensure that they live a long, healthy and active life. If you are looking to bring home a labrador dog, there are many labrador puppies for sale in Chennai.