The labrador retriever
Retriever pet care guide
The Labrador retriever is a very lovable affectionate dog; it has a short coat in colours which can be chocolate, solid black and a creamy yellow with the coat being double layered and easy to take care of.
The Labrador as a pet
The Labrador is a lively and good tempered dog who has a very playful nature and loves to play especially in water as they are excellent swimmers. Labradors are very easy to train as they are very willing to learn and always eager to please their master, training should begin at an early age especially for obedience as the dog when fully grown has a powerful neck which could become a problem should your pet decide to take you for a walk instead of you taking it.
However they do have a very reliable temperament overall and make an excellent pet for the family with children. The Labrador makes a great companion dog but needs to be surrounded by family otherwise they can become destructive; they also need plenty of exercise.
Caring for your Labrador retriever
Due to its smooth, short hair the Labrador is very easy to groom, a short haired bristle brush is recommended for the double coat, which you should comb and brush on a regular basis. You do however need to pay particular attention to the undercoat of the dog; you should only fully bathe your Labrador when it is absolutely necessary or use a dry shampoo.
Like other retrievers the breed is prone to hip and elbow dysplasia as well as eye disorders so it is wise to buy your puppy from a reputable breeder who specialises in the breed. The average lifespan of the Labrador is around 10 to 12 years and the dog when fully grown reaches a height of around 24″ while the bitch will reach around 23″, the bitch will weight approximately 60lbs and the dog can reach 75lb with some dogs growing up to 100lb or more.
The dog has a solidly built body which is muscular so early obedience training is a must, luckily due to the dogs temperament and intelligence they are easier to train than most breeds.
The Labrador can be more dominant and independent than other retriever breeds and it does make a good watch dog particularly being protective of family and should be taught to socialise with other people when they are young puppies, however they are not generally classed as guard dogs.
Dogs which are bred for show will generally be more easier going than are those bred for the field with field lines being very energetic and sometimes they can be highly strung.