Origin and characteristics

Labrador retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds in the UK, Canada and the United States. They are originated in Newfoundland, Canada. Their exact origin is not known for sure, but it is assumed that the St. John’s dog was cross bred with the Newfoundland Dog and other small local water dogs to achieve the Labrador breed in its current form.

They were kept as fishermen’s helpers: hauling nets, fetching ropes, and retrieving fish. They have almost gone extinct in the US by the 1880s. In Newfoundland the breed disappeared because of government restrictions and tax laws. In England, however, the breed survived, and the British Kennel Club recognized the Labrador Retriever as a distinct breed, and soon the American Kennel Club followed. British Labs were imported to re-establish the breed in the U.S. Labradors have a great personality and a sweet nature, so they are perfect therapy dogs. Due to their muscular and strong build, they are also excellent search and rescue dogs, they work in drug and explosive detection. They are great as retrievers for hunters, and because of their athletic body, they have achieved much success in dog sports. They are affectionate dogs, perfect companion or family pet. They are intelligent can be easily trained to get on well with other dogs, pets and children. They thrive on activity, require a lot of exercise, at least 1 hour a day. If they don’t get enough exercise, they might start taking out their excess energy in destructive ways, digging, barking or chewing. Labradors’ ideal place to live is a house with a garden, where they can exercise and play to release their high levels of energy. Labradors have a large appetite; they love to eat, so they can become obese very quickly. Regular exercise and establishing a feeding routine are very important to keep the weight off.

  • Lifespan: 10 – 12 Years
  • Size: 57 – 60 cm
  • Weight: 25 – 36 kg
  • Breed group: Gundog
  • Coat: Short double layered

Coat, Shedding, Grooming

Labradors shed more than some other breeds, because their coat has two layers: it’s made up of a short, thick, straight topcoat, and a soft, weather-resistant undercoat, which protects them from the cold and wet and makes them practically waterproof. They are easy to groom, but they do shed a lot, so during shedding, they need daily brushing to remove loose hair from their coat. Unless they get themselves extremely dirty, experts recommend giving them a bath every 2 months to wash away dirt and excess trapped hair. This will leave them fresh, clean and with a nice smell. Labradors shed their coat twice a year, in the winter to produce a thicker layer of coat to protect them against the harsh cold winter weather, and in the spring they simply shed off the thick winter coat to keep cool for the summer.

How to manage shedding?

Labradors’ short double coat doesn’t tangle easily, which makes brushing simple. Brushing them 2-3 times a week helps to remove dead hairs and stimulates healthy skin and hair growth. More frequent brushing is recommended during molting season. Using various brushes on your dog can remove dead skin cells and hair and make their coat.

An occasional bath with help prevent them from getting smelly, loosen shed hair and lessen the amount of hair around the house.

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