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If you are seeking a friendly, loyal, good natured dog, then you will want to consider the Labrador retriever, known also as the Labrador or “Lab” for short.
General Appearance and Description
The Labrador is a medium-sized dog that has a short, smooth, dense coat. While the “Black Lab” is a popular and common color choice, Labradors with chocolate and yellow coats are also available. Multi-colored coats can appear on purebred Labs, but are more common on Lab mixes.
There are two types of Labrador Retrievers: “Confirmation” and “Field”. Confirmation Labs are show-bred and are stockier with broader faces, whereas Field Labs are bred for field work and hunting, and are lankier with narrower faces.
Both Labrador types are personable dogs, eager to please their owners and make new friends (human and canine alike).
Field Labs are more energetic than the calmer Confirmation Labs, but both Retrievers love activity and working (i.e. retrieving balls, hunting, detecting, etc.).
Labs are not known to dig, are not territorial, and only bark occasionally, usually at unseen noises.
Labradors require basic grooming which includes brushing, washing, trimming nails, and checking eyes, ears, and skin for pests or infection.
The Labrador’s coat is easy to groom. Regular grooming will reduce the amount of shedding which will be beneficial for owners with allergies. However, an excess of grooming can be bad, so consider the following Labrador information.
Some important Labrador facts are that Labs tend to fall victim to dry skin which can be exacerbated by over washing. Dry skin can then contribute to irritation and potential infection. Therefore, weekly dry grooming and quarterly bathing are typically sufficient.
If you want to avoid costly professional groomers and instead prefer to groom your dog yourself, additional Labrador information and grooming instructions can be found here.
The Labrador is intelligent, curious, and exploratory by nature and – as their name suggests – loves to retrieve. It is important to provide this or some other form of activity (i.e. fast-paced walk, dog park, Frisbee, etc.) on a daily basis to prevent boredom.
While not common, bored Labs are known to find ways to amuse themselves, including escaping captivity to explore their surroundings.
As the Labrador grows from a puppy to an adult, he or she will require leash training so that they learn to let their owner lead.
Due to their energetic and enthusiastic nature, some Labs (particularly Field Labs) may require behavior training to ensure their excitement does not get out of control.
Because of their love of food, the Labrador may need training to eliminate begging or eating miscellaneous objects (discarded food, trash, and sometimes items that are not edible!).
For more detailed Labrador information pertaining to training, read this article.
Height and Weight
Labrador size is determined by genetics and diet. Typically a male Lab is approximately 23 inches tall at the withers, with females standing about 22 inches tall.
While DNA can play a part in how much a Labrador weighs, diet and exercise can be significant contributing factors. If fed a proper diet and exercised regularly, the standard weight is 65-90 pounds for males and 55–71 pounds for females.
Health and Longevity
Some additional Labrador facts are that Labs are susceptible to hip dysplasia and knee problems; the risk of acquiring these health issues increases for overweight Labs. Eye and ear infections, while not common, are also possible and more frequent with water-sport Labradors.
In short, a healthy diet and regular exercise in conjunction with regular grooming will contribute to the health and extended longevity of your Labrador’s life. All things considered, the average Labrador life expectancy is 10-12 years.
Because of their friendly and affectionate nature, Labs are better suited as companions than guard dogs. The Labrador’s even-temperedness makes them ideal family pets for families with or without children of any age.
They love active lifestyles and would be a perfect fit for any human(s) who loves the same. The Labrador is also well suited for any service-oriented task or organization.
For more information and everything you need to know about the Labrador, check out the highly recommended Labrador eBook and audio package today!