Almost everyone knows the Labrador Retriever. Its friendly nature has made it one of the most popular dog breeds in recent years. These usually laid-back dogs are the perfect companions for active families who love to be out and about. Once you let a Labrador into your life, you won't want to miss this power package.
The Labrador Retriever has a handsome, massive head with a large muzzle. Particularly striking is its relatively broad top of the head, which is characteristic of this breed. The brown eyes have an intelligent and friendly expression. The Labrador thus has a real puppy dog look.
The overall physique of the Labrador is strong. His neck is very broad. Also his chest is deeply arched and imposing. A Labrador male should be about 56 - 57 cm high and weigh about 32 kg. Slightly smaller and lighter are females with 54 - 56 cm and 27 kg.
Labradors possess a short coat with a pronounced undercoat. Due to its original use as a Retriever dog the Labrador's undercoat is water repellent. The Labrador is usually solid in color. Only a small white patch on the chest is allowed in breeding. The colors of the Labrador are black, but lighter shades from brown to yellow are also allowed.
The large muzzle of the Labrador is equipped with large teeth. But a Labrador should have a "soft" mouth. This means that in the hunt he delivers his prey without resistance. Of course, this characteristic also applies in play. The Labrador has a passion for playing and romping. Especially for retrieving he is always available. In doing so, he tirelessly retrieves the toy.
He is a sporty companion. His attentive and good-natured nature makes him a good family dog. As an original hunting dog, he is a real sportsman and always in a good mood. In everyday life he accompanies his family everywhere and is open for new acquaintances.
Due to its friendly nature, the Labrador is often used as a therapy or companion dog. At the same time, he shines with his self-confident and people-friendly character.
But you should never forget his past as a hunting dog. You should therefore be aware of this, so that the Labrador should also be educated consistently. A good education is also important because of his exuberant character.
Labradors are almost always friendly and do not show aggression. However, due to their strength and size alone, they are sometimes very clumsy with people and other dogs. As a Labrador owner, this means you sometimes have to rein in your Labrador to protect others.
Most Labradors are in everyday life very calm and serene. But once the sporty dog gets going, there's no stopping him. In addition to physical exercise, the intelligent dog also wants to be promoted intellectually. He learns quickly and with pleasure.
He also enjoys the recognition of his peers. If he has built up a good relationship with his owners, he can be steered well by this. The so-called show line, which was bred for exhibitions, is perhaps a little more stubborn.
Almost every Labrador loves water and throws himself into any puddle. They are usually very good and persistent swimmers, as their physique is almost perfect for this. Labradors can occupy themselves for hours in the water. They especially enjoy playing with their fellow humans or other dogs.
The right food
Among the breeds of dogs Labrador is considered a real glutton. Most Labradors are thus satisfied with almost any food and hardly grumble. The intelligent dog quickly learns to encourage its owners to feed extensively. If you have a hard time withstanding the dog look, you should practice a lot of discipline with your Labrador.
Since the Labrador is a Very active dog is, he needs a large ration of food. Suitable for this purpose are for example special food for large dogs. These foods often have less energy per mass. By choosing the right food, you will prevent your Labrador from becoming overweight.
Also with treats you should hold back on your Labrador. Store-bought treats often contain a lot of fat, carbohydrates and sometimes sugar. Instead, you can offer healthier alternatives. Many Labradors, and of course other dogs, like cooked or raw carrots, apple pieces and potatoes. Compared to industrially produced treats, you can reward him in such a low-calorie way or even bake the treats yourself.
The Labrador requires relatively few calories compared to other dogs. This means that the dog puts on weight quickly and thus tends to be overweight. Many foods for medium-sized dogs are too high in energy for the Labrador. As an owner, you should pay attention to the ingredients of the food. Foods for large dogs contain all the nutrients, but less energy. This will ensure that the Labrador who loves to move does not suffer from deficiencies.
If your Labrador often seems hungry, you can stretch his food ration with vegetables. This will fill him up, but he will hardly consume any more calories.
As with any dog breed, the food should be adapted to the activity. A Labrador, which has a lot of daily exercise and is also busy with brain games, needs more food than a couch potato. Since the Labrador genetically caused problems with the joints can have, it should be well fed. This can prevent diseases related to the breed.
Labrador Retriever Care
The short and dense coat of the Labrador is water repellent and should shine beautifully. The condition of the coat can also give information about the quality of the feed. Dull coat and dandruff can be a sign of improper feeding.
The Labrador needs unlike other dogs, little grooming. If you want a Labrador, however, you should not be too sensitive. The Labrador is often and gladly in puddles, because water is his element. The Labrador is not a lap dog and needs such adventures to be satisfied.
So you should be able to put up with an occasional dirty dog. Once your Labrador has bathed in the mud more, you can clean him with wash off with clear water. Only in exceptional cases it should be washed off with shampoo. For this you should definitely use a special Dog shampoo use, as this is gentle on the hair coat. Human shampoo degreases, which damages the hair structure and can cause irritation of the skin.
The Labrador coat may occasionally be combed out with a brush. This facilitates the change of the undercoat and prevents it from falling out in the apartment. Like other dogs with thick coats, the Labrador sheds, especially in spring and fall. You should also take this into account if you are interested in keeping a Labrador.
For your Labrador you need a suitable collar and a sturdy leash. In the early stages, it may be better to keep your Labrador on the Tableware to get him used to walking at heel. This will prevent the dog from pulling on the collar and damaging his spine. When your Labrador learns to walk on the leash without pulling, he can also be led by the collar.
As a rule, a short, sturdy leash is sufficient to walk the dog. Many Labradors have a strong hunting instinct and can only run freely to a limited extent. If you can not always call your Labrador back, you should do this with a drag leash practice. The drag line should always be used with the strong Labrador only with Gloves should be used. This will prevent injuries if the dog runs off abruptly. With a lot of praise and motivation, most Labradors can quickly run free.
A useful accessory with the Labrador are Retrieval toysbecause he is predisposed to retrieve. These can be dummies or food bags, which the dogs usually bring back with pleasure and diligently and exercise with it. Try out different toys with your Labrador. You will quickly find out which games excite your dog the most. These games can also be used as motivation for other exercises.
Origin & History
The home of the Labrador is the Canadian east coast, where, however, he was St. John's dog was designated. The task of the animals was to support the work of fishermen. They retrieved nets that had drifted. To this day, this activity is reflected in the Labrador's love of water and diligence.
In the 19th century, the Labrador also became popular in England. There, mainly noble hunters used him and changed the dog through selective breeding. The original St. John's dog was probably crossed with the sporting pointer.
Although today the Labrador is very well known, it has had its name only since 1970. Thus, he is a relatively young dog breed. Its name is composed of its origin, the Labrador Island off Newfoundland, and the word "retrieve". The word describes the retrieval of killed animals during hunting. Like other retrievers, the Labrador was often sent to find killed animals and bring them to the hunter. The most important characteristic of the dogs was that they did not bite or even eat the prey.
The Labrador was especially often used in the Hunting on the water used. Thereby, his good swimming performance and his passion for the water was an advantage. Thus, the Labrador was often used in the Waterfowl hunting taken with him. Besides his Water love the Labrador could shine thereby also by its further characteristic. The patient dog can wait for hours next to his handler without getting out of the calm. Nevertheless, he is quick to motivate and enjoys working with his owner.
In recent decades, Labradors have become increasingly popular away from hunting. Different breeding lines were formed. The Field Trial line is a breeding line with smaller and lighter Labradors used in hunting. The Show line is larger and more massive. This line has also proven itself as a family dog.
Today, the Labrador is valued not only as a companion and playmate. The intelligent dog breed is used in many fields. Labradors are guide dogs, rescue dogs and sniffer dogs. Here, the self-confident dogs shine with their agility and composure.