If you are looking for a large dog that is athletic and has a sweet temperament, the Labrador Retriever is the perfect pet for you. Here is a look at everything you need to know about this intelligent Canadian dog.
Size Large Dog (24-36kg); height 53-60 cm
Coat Short fur coat that is thick and shiny
Energy Active and energetic dogs that should be walked daily.
Lifespan 10 – 12 years
Country of origin Newfoundland
Breed type Labrador Retrievers are a mixed breed of Labradors and Retrievers that originated in Great Britain, Canada, and Portugal. These dogs are natural born athletes and are friendly with other dogs and people.
Other names Also known as simply “Lab” in the USA.
Great breed for:
- Home with yard
- Families with kids
- Active lifestyles
About the Labrador Retriever
Labrador Retrievers are natural-born athletes who love a good old-fashioned game of fetch! They are popular among hunters for their remarkable ability to track down and retrieve birds and other small animals in the wilderness. Labrador Retrievers are the most popular family dog in the United States and have a lifespan of 10-12 years. This breed originated in Newfoundland, Canada during the 1500s and possess the best qualities of their cousins the Labrador and the Golden Retriever.
Labrador Retrievers make the best family dog thanks to their highly affectionate and friendly personalities. They love to play with people and are a great companion to other dogs, making friends quickly with just about anyone they come in contact with.
What do Labrador Retrievers look like?
Labrador Retrievers are a large dog breed that weighs in at 24-36kg, with females being slightly smaller than males. They feature a luscious thick coat of black, dark chocolate brown, or golden fur in a single colour. This thick coat is perfectly suited for long, cold winter months of the north.
Dogs of this breed have long thick tails, which help them swim, and a muscular body that is well suited for intense outdoor play. Labrador Retrievers have floppy ears and a sweet face that can melt the heart of just about anyone.
Is a Labrador Retriever the right breed for me?
Labrador Retrievers are the ultimate family dog, whilst also being an excellent companion for those who live a solo lifestyle. They are highly active dogs that require a great deal of exercise and are best suited for families that enjoy getting out in the great outdoors. This breed is a true working dog that favours retrieving hunted game and playing fetch with his or her family. Labrador Retrievers should only be welcomed into a home where there is a lot of indoor and outdoor space for them to run around; this is not a good breed for those who live in an apartment.
Dogs in the Labrador Retriever family shed some of their fur during the spring and summer to stay comfortable during the warm months, so you should take this into consideration if you have pet allergies.
How often do I need to groom my Labrador Retriever?
Whilst this breed does not require special grooming by a professional, you do need to be sure to give Labrador Retrievers a good scrubbing at least once every couple of weeks to keep doggy smells at bay. Labs have a thick coat of fur that traps in oil and dirt and sheds during the warm months of the year.
You should also brush your Labrador Retriever’s teeth regularly to ensure good oral health. Provide your dog with plenty of chew toys to assist with cleaning their gums and teeth. Their nails also need to be trimmed regularly so they do not snag on furniture and carpets.
Are Labrador Retrievers good with other pets?
Yes! Labrador Retrievers are a friendly breed that enjoy the company of most other pets in your home. Whether you have cats, smaller dogs, or rabbits running around the house, your Labrador Retriever will see them as a playmate. Labs are a large dog breed and you should train them early on to be careful around pets that are much smaller than them because they can be rambunctious.
How do I train my Labrador Retriever?
Train your Labrador Retriever early on as a puppy and you will have a loyal companion that can do tricks, help out with work around the yard, and be an overall loving best friend to everyone in your family. Training should begin when your puppy is about 7 weeks old so they have an easier time socializing with kids, adults, and other pets. Labrador Retrievers are natural people pleasers and respond well to positive reinforcement training techniques – don’t forget to give your Lab a delicious treat when they do a good job!
If you have never trained a Labrador Retriever before, it is best that you sign them up for doggy obedience lessons with a professional dog trainer.
Labrador Retriever FAQs:
What is the lifespan of a Labrador Retriever?
With adequate exercise, a healthy diet, and a loving home, your Labrador Retriever will enjoy a long lifespan of 10-12 years.
Are there any health issues I need to be aware of?
Labrador Retrievers are healthy dogs that are not prone to many medical issues. Dogs in the Lab family can develop bloat, which is a life-threatening, but treatable medical condition when identified and treated early on by a veterinarian. Feed your dog a healthy diet as Labrador Retrievers are prone to obesity if they eat poorly and do not get good exercise. Later in life, Labrador Retrievers can develop hip dysplasia, which is common in large breed dogs.
Can I leave my Labrador Retriever home alone during the day?
Yes! Labrador Retrievers are good at entertaining themselves as long as they have toys or other pets to play with while you are at work. Good training early on will ensure you do not come home to a wrecked house.
Are Labrador Retrievers barkers?
Labrador Retrievers primarily bark when they sense potential danger or when they are trying to get some attention. For the most part, they are a quiet breed that just likes to play. They have a deep bark that can be intimating to strangers.
Where can I find a Labrador Retriever?
If you have decided that a Labrador Retriever is the perfect pet for your family, you can find additional resources on adoption as well as guides for working with a responsible breeders at RSPCA’s website.