Labrador Retrievers: The Most Popular Dog Breed
History: The Labrador Retrievers roots, depending upon which theory you adhere to, either started in England or Newfoundland. Most theories suggest that the origin of the Labrador Retriever dates back to Newfoundland in the 1700s, where they were originally considered a smaller version of the Newfoundland, and might even have been a partial cross of a now extinct St. Johns dog and the larger Newfoundland. By the 1800s, the Labrador began making its way to England and European countries, but compliments for refining the breed as a hunting and retrieving dog go to the English breeders. They are known for being black in color originally, with the first yellow and chocolate colored Lab's being recorded around the end of the 19th century.
To this day the Labrador Retriever was and still is used for bird hunting and retrieval of birds in the water. Even though today the Retriever is a natural when used for bird hunting, they were in the past, excellent at retrieving fish too, and still show their love for a good swim. Said to have originated in Newfoundland, there are those who speculate that the Labrador name comes from the Canadian Province of Labrador. Popular among breeders in Canada around the 1800s, the Labrador Retriever only made it's way to America in the early 1900s, where it was finally registered with the American Kennel Club in1917.
Description: Thriving in all types of weather, the Labrador Retriever has a thick, resistant to water coat, that comes in the various flavors of yellow, black or chocolate brown. Female Labrador Retrievers weigh in at around 55-75 pounds, while the larger male tips the scale at between 65-80 pounds. the height of the Labrador can range from 21-24 inches tall. Some of the beautiful features that this dog possesses include their muscular hind legs combined with an otter like tail, most often recognized while in their stance. They are also known for their proud, powerful looking head.
Life Span: 10-13 years
Common Ailments: May be prone to Hip and Elbow Dysphasia which might cause problems with mobility and arthritis in it's later years. otherwise, this is a hardy dog breed. Another possible ailment known to this breed is called Retinal Atrophy which is a progressive disease that results in reduction or complete loss of vision.
Suitability with Children: Yes, a very even tempered breed as well as gentle natured.
Suitability with Other Pets: Yes
Living Conditions: Labrador Retrievers do best in a home with a large yard or with land. They are easily adaptable though, and would also do well in an apartment or with a small yard if received plenty of exercise on a daily basis.
Training: This breed is easily trainable as a puppy. Combining their intelligence with their easy trainability makes them one of the most powerful combinations as a superior working dog and excellent sporting dog, as well as a wonderful family pet. Remember that Labradors need consistency and reinforcement from the time they are puppies and they will grow into a strong and gentle family pet.
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