"Labradors are athletic, playful, and the most popular breed of dog by registered ownership in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States."
Other names for this breed:Labrador
Country of origin:Canada, England, United Kingdom
Weight:Male 29–36 kg (65–80 lb), female 25–32 kg (55–70 lb)
Height:Male 57–62 cm (22.5–24.5 in), female 55–60 cm (21.5–23.5 in)
Coat:Smooth, short, dense and straight
Color:Black (solid black), yellow (cream to red-fox), chocolate (medium to dark brown)
Litter size:5-10 puppies (average 7.6)
Life span:12-13 years
One of the most family friendly dogs you can choose is a Labrador Retriever. These well known family friendly dogs are highly intelligent, very trainable and simply adorable. The Lab is a breed of dog that originates from Newfoundland and was originally bred as a hunting companion hence the “retriever” part of the name.
These dogs would set out with their human companions and help them to hunt small game. They are still the perfect hunting companion but do love to be a part of an active family life.
Coat Care Requirements
This breed has a double coat which helps the dog to be somewhat waterproof to help in fetching water fowl. The top coat is of short length and typically straight. Shedding is a seasonal activity as the old coat falls out to be replaced by a new thicker coat in the winter months and a thinner “summer coat”. Regular grooming activities like bathing and brushing is strongly encouraged to help the dog maintain the waterproof under coat as well as a healthy top coat. Regular grooming can also help to keep the shedding under control.
Some Labs can shed year round in temperate climates. If allergies are an issue this may not be the best dog breed to choose.
The Lab is a very easily trained intelligent breed that is wonderful with children. They are not aggressive and are willing to work hard to please their family. They are social dogs that require companionship and an active lifestyle. They are playful and enjoy a rousing game of fetch since that is what they are bred for!
Labs have slowly crept to the top of the list of “best family breeds” because of their laid back manner and their willingness to adapt to a family dynamic.
As an example of their excellent willingness to comply with commands this breed is often utilized by police forces and the military to be trained into a host of roles from cadaver dogs to bomb sniffing dogs. They are also used by custom agents as drug dogs.
Labs are also used as seeing eye dogs and other disability companion dogs to assist their human companions with day to day activities. They typically get along very well with other dogs and animals and are not easily distracted from their task at hand.
These are considered large sized dogs. They weigh in around 80 lbs for males and about 70 lbs for females. Any dogs of this breed that weigh more than 100lbs are considered obese and are at a health risk.
A Labrador can live in an apartment and be happy with enough walks and visits to the local park. Of course because of their size and their need for activity to truly thrive a house in the suburbs with a nice sized fenced yard would be ideal, but these are adaptable dogs that can do well in just about any type of housing situation with the right amount of exercise.
There are three recognized colors of the Labrador Retriever. Yellow (blonde to white haired), Chocolate (light brown to medium brown), and Black (solid black). There is potential for a pure bred Lab to have white markings on the chest, tail, and paws, and even though is a disqualifying factor in the show dogs it does not effect the personality of the dog nor does it indicate any mixing of the breed.
There are some Silver Labs but they are not recognized by the AKC. They are allowed to be registered but under the heading “not recognized”. There is some debate as to the purity of the line of the Silver Labs. Evidently the first Silver color appeared from a litter of puppies that were bred by a breeder that also bred Weinmeiner’s. There is some speculation that the breeder did a little cross breeding with the genetics to get the new silver color.
This is an old breed that has a life expectancy of about 12 years. General overall health is good there are some concerns as there are with all large dogs for hip dysplasia and elbow issues. Labradors enjoy a good meal and a lot of them so they are prone to obesity if they are not exercised regularly.
These dogs are built to swim and sprint, if they are allowed. The waist should be visible and there should be ample opportunity to get out and play and run to keep the threat of obesity down. Obesity especially in older dogs can cause a host of problems like joint issues and diabetes.
There is also a possible predisposition to vision problems with this breed but the incidence is relatively low and with the proper screening of the parents it can be null.