The Labrador Retriever (more commonly known as just the Labrador or “Lab” for short) is officially the world’s most popular dog, which is largely due to their adaptability and appeal as a family pet. They are known to come in three distinct colors – yellow (being the most popular) chocolate and black (which was once preferred but now not so much). Their gentle and eager to please nature along with their extreme intelligence help make the Labrador Retriever a highly popular dog breed as a family pet, guide dog, search and rescue dog or police dog.
Origins Of The Labrador Retriever
The Labrador Retriever originated in the island of Newfoundland and was used by English, Irish and Portugese fishermen with the goal of pulling in nets to retrieve fish. They are thought to be a consequence of crossing the St. John’s Water Dog and a mix of other English, Irish and Portugese working breeds.
Average Size Of The Labrador Retriever
Labrador Retrievers are classed as a large-sized breed of dog. The recommended standard size for the Labrador Retriever male is 22.5-24.5 inches high from paw to shoulder and a weight of 65-80 pounds, whereas the recommended size for female Labrador Retrievers is 21.5-23.5 inches tall from paw to shoulder with a weight of 55-70 pounds.
Temperament Of The Labrador Retriever
The Labrador Retriever is well-known for their gentle and outgoing manner. They are generally trusting and easygoing with unfamiliar people when properly socialized, which can make them somewhat unsuitable as a guard dog.
The Labrador Retriever is also accepted to be extremely intelligent – placing 7th in comparison with other dogs in terms of their capability to be taught obedience instructions.
They are famously known to be patient with kids – which makes them very suitable and popular as a family pet. The Labrador Retriever is usually very companionable with animals such as other dogs.
Living Requirements Of The Labrador Retriever
The Labrador Retriever can be kept happy with a medium to large yard (and perhaps even a pool) to give them room to run, though they are suitable for living in an apartment just as long as they are given adequate exercise.
Health & Life Expectancy Of The Labrador Retriever
Like most large-sized breeds of dogs, the Labrador Retriever is by and large shorter-lived with a life expectancy of 10-12 years. The most severe health problem for Labrador Retrievers has commonly proven to be hip and elbow dysplasia – especially in larger dogs. They can also be vulnerable to conditions that include knee problems, eye problems such as progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) or cataracts and deafness in a small number of cases later in life. They are also commonly known to love their food, so careful feeding is necessary to avoid excessive weight gain.
Exercise Needs Of The Labrador Retriever
The Labrador Retriever benefits from hobbies such as swimming and chasing after balls or frisbees. They have a high (some would say hyper, especially as puppies) quantity of energy and this necessitates exercise each day in the shape of long walks or jogs to preclude hyperactivity, obesity and other destructive behavior problems.