The Labrador Retrievers history can be trace back to Newfoundland coast in Canada, where fishermen were seen to use a dog of similar appearance to retrieve fish. Their history dates back to 1700s and originally they were known as St Johns Water Dogs.
Labs were originally bred for hunt. They started out as skilled duck and waterflow retrievers and when they were importet to england in 1800s they were also used to retrieve game on land. They were also used for flushing and pointing. When hunting, Labs are very hard working and tireless.
Today, Labradors are not only used for hunting. Thanks to their high trainability, great working ethic, eagerness to please and especially versatility, Labs are used for many many purposes. That includes tracking, search and rescue, bomb and drug detection, therapy and assistant work. Actually most of the guide dogs for in the world, are Labrador Retrievers.
4) Almost extinct
It is hard to believe that this amazing breed was once on the verge of extinction but it is true in their homeland – the Newfoundland. The government of newfoundland taxed families for owning more than one dog, which caused that many newborn pups were killed, because people can not simply afford to have them. In the 1880s, the breed was nearly wiped out in this region. Luckily, they were already favourite dogs in England and other parts of the world, so they did not extinct completely.
5) Long puppyhood
Labs are extremely playful dogs that love all kind of plays and outdoor time with a lot of exploring. And they mature quite slowly, some of them have this playful puppylike personality for many many years, even, when they are physically completely adult. This is definitely a good thing, because you will never be bored with the Lab, but you must entertain their body and mind on daily basis.
6) Soft mouth
All the retriever dogs love chewing and just putting things into their mouths. When the Labs are young, they can be bite, nip and chew pretty hard, it really can hurt, but they grow out of this stage pretty quickly and in their adulthood they are extremely gentle with their mouth. They were trained to be this gentle, so they can pick up game birds shot by their owners without damaging them.
7) American vs English
This is strongly built and athletic dog breed with broad and deep chest and ribs, strong over loins and hindquaters. There is a slight difference between the field and conformation dogs. The Field, sometimes also called American Labs are more athletic, leaner, taller, with slightly less broad faces and a slightly longer nose. On the other hand the Conformation Lab, also known as the English Lab is shorter and stockier with fuller faces and a slightly calmer nature.
This is medium to large sized dog breed with average height between 54-57 cm which is 21-22 inch and weight is typically between 25-36 kg, which is 55-80 pounds. The females are naturally little bit smaller than males.
The Labrador Retriever is a perfect companion dog for everyone who is capable of giving them at least few daily walks and provide them with some mental stimulation. It does not matter if you are single or big family, if you just graduated or if you are retired, the Labrador is extremely adaptable and loving and they are just perfect for everyone. Labs are known for being totally friendly, playful, gentle, outgoing, eager to please, intelligent and highly trainable.
10) Novice owners
Most of the dog breeds, that are recommended for novice dog owners are small breeds. But if you are novice who is looking for medium to large sized dog breed, than the Labrador Retriever is a perfect choice. It is especially thanks to their eagerness to please. You can also check out the Labrador Retrievers relative, the Golden Retriever, their personalities are extremely similar.
11) Famous Labs
There was and still is many famous Labrador Retrievers around the world. Some of them are famous as assistance dogs, like Endal, who is known as the most decorated dog in the world. Some of them are known for being companions of the most powerful people in the world, including Vladimir Putin, Bill Clinton or Prince William. Others are known for their police and military work, like Jake, who was helping to find people after the September 11 attacks and later he was helping with search and rescue after the hurricane Katrina. If you would like to find out more about the famous Labrador Retrievers, i am giving you link to another Rocadog video in description, which is just about this topic.
12) Water lovers
Labrador Retrievers are just made for swimming. They have webbed toes, rudder like tail and most importantly, they have practically waterproof coat, which is protecting them even from very cold waters.
Speaking of the coat, you can find this breed in three different colors. The popular black and yellow and the rare chocolate. Black was the favorite color among early breeders, but over the years, yellow and chocolate Labs have become popular as well. There are also so called silver Labs, but those are not recognized by any kennel club yet.
If there is one disadvantage of owning a Labrador, than it is definitely the constant shedding. You should be prepared for it, Labs truly shed quite a lot and because of that, you should brush their coat regularly to minimize the shedding. Other than that, the maintenance is quite easy and they do not need any additional grooming. Just like with all dogs you should regularly check their eyes, ears, teeth and nails and clip them or clean them if needed.
15) Dog sports
Labs are not only showing their versatility as working dogs, they also excell at various dog sports. They have the best results in dock diving and hunting trials, but they can also compete in rally, obedience or even in agility.
Labs need daily proper physical and mental exercise. They were bred to work for long hours and they just need some kind of a job in their live. Daily longer walks are must, especially with younger dogs. They will love almost all interactive playtime and food puzzle toys. Just like all the retrievers, most of them just love playing fetch. And they even enjoy longer training sessions, if they are rewarded with treats. If you will not provide them with enough exercise, they can be bored and can develop some unwanted behaviour, like destruction.
Today, the Labrador is the most popular dog breed in the world and you can find them on every continent and in most of the countries around the world. They are the number one dogs in many european countries, USA, Canada and Australia.
Labrador Retriever name is very descriptive. They are named retriever, because they were originally bred for retrieving. And Labrador is a geographic and cultural region within the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador which is the place of origin of Labrador Retriever. Actually, they first appear in the Newfoundland, but this name was already taken, thus they were named as Labrador Retriever.
Labs just love to eat and they would probably eat until they die. But because they dont know when to stop, they can easily become overfed and obese, which is definitel bad for their health. It is highly recommended to not feed Labs with human food, even though, its hard to resist their begging eyes. You should properly meassure the ammount of food you are giving your Lab and of course, exercise them regularly, so they can stay healthy and fit.
Labradors are generally healthy and they have great average lifespan between 11-14 years. The biggest health concern is hip dysplasia and other joint and bones problems. Because of their deep chest they can also suffer from bloating. Epilepsy is another healh issue associated with this breed. Other health issues, that dont occur that often are progressive retinal atrophy, otitis externa and hereditary myopathy.