This article describes the highly energetic, agile and friendly dog – The Labrador Retriever.
It is also America’s favorite dog breed.
It is medium-sized and the puppies love getting attention.
Did you know one litter can give out all three colors of Labradors?
A. Quick Facts:
Average Weight: 63-80 pounds (male), 55-70 pounds (female)
Average Height: 22-24 inches (male), 21.5-23.5 inches (female)
Life Expectancy: 10- 13 years
Dog Group: Sporting group
Dog Ranking: 1/193 (America)
Colors: Yellow, Black, and Chocolate Brown.
B. At A Glance:
- Size (4/5)
Labs can be medium in size.
Puppies grow quickly and can be of double weight than their birth weight in a span of two weeks.
To become fully mature, the pups take around six to twelve months.
Male Labs when fully grown weight 63-80 pounds (male) and height ranging from 22 to 24 inches.
While female Labs weigh 55 to 70 pounds and the height varies between 21 to 23 inches.
- Affection Level (4/5)
Dogs raised inside a home perceive the family as a pack and get along with the whole family.
They love playing with the family members so if you have a kid then there will be a constant play buddy for the kid.
Toddlers should be kept under supervision with the labs as they are enthusiastic and can jump.
Growing up with a Labrador can be beneficial for human kids as they are extremely affectionate.
- Apartment-Friendly (1/5)
Labradors need space to play around and wouldn’t like to stay in an apartment because it will be confined to less space.
If you’re planning to keep a puppy in the apartment then you should puppy-proof your home.
Keep the human food harmful for puppies away from their sight.
A grown-up dog may need a larger place to stay.
- Cold Weather Tolerability (3/5)
They can sustain cold weather because of the thick coat they possess.
They can sustain in temperatures ranging from 0-30°C. Anything below 0° can be detrimental for the dog.
- Hot Weather Tolerability (3/5)
The dog has a lot of furs which makes it prone to heating so it would need to stay indoors during hot and humid weather.
Anything beyond 32°C can be harmful and the dog should be brought inside the house or kept in a cool environment.
- Barking Tendencies (2/5)
Labradors have high energy levels and can start chewing and barking if it hasn’t exercised for at least 30 minutes a day.
On a general note, the dog doesn’t bark as long as it is comfortable.
The breed is not very fond of barking.
Puppies may start to bark during their growth phase because they are getting to know new things and they are learning to communicate.
- Cat-Friendly (4/5)
Introducing pups to a cat while it is tied to a leash may prevent it from preying the feline.
Puppies getting in contact with older cats may get scared.
Generally, Labradors aren’t high preying animals but if the cats are too shy or try to run away, it may try to chase them.
Labradors are bigger in size than the cats which may scare away the cat even if the canine is trying to act friendly.
- Dog-Friendly (5/5)
If other dogs are introduced in the puppy training period then the pup may turn out to be friendly to other dogs in its adult life.
They like playing with other dogs because they are filled with enthusiasm.
The size of the other dog may be a factor of getting along with them or acting competitively.
- Exercise Needs (5/5)
Labradors have high energy levels and need to exercise regularly.
If the energy isn’t spent on exercise then the dog may try to vent out its energy on destructive activities like chewing or barking.
If you are a fitness enthusiast or have a child to play around in the house or outdoors, you may just have found your partner!
Labradors are eager to please and like to jump around in the house.
They would go on and on and wouldn’t know when to stop.
Checking their body temperature and breathing can help you understand if the dog needs to rest for a while.
Build a routine to play with your dog gradually.
Avoid breaking the routine as it may result in injuries (both for you and your dog).
- Grooming Needs: (5/5)
Labradors have a thick water-repellent coat which means there is going to be a lot of shedding.
You may have to keep a vacuum cleaner handy to maintain a clean home.
Care related to nails, teeth, eyes, and bathing should be kept in mind.
- Playfulness: (5/5)
They are very playful and need someone to play with all the time.
They seldom act like a couch potato.
They are eager to express themselves and would want someone to pay attention to them as well as play games with them.
Unless there’s a problem with the dog’s health, he/she will remain to be enthusiastic all day.
- Trainability (4/5)
They are easy to train because it is a sporty breed and quickly understands and follows the instructions once trained.
The training needs to be consistent and only then will it retain the instructions given.
- Intelligence (5/5)
The breed is highly intelligent compared to other breeds.
One of the reasons why it is easy to train is its intelligence.
It may want a reward (treat) in order to get trained and think of the benefits of completing the training.
It retains the information about places it has been and the people it has met.
This information retention also helps him to never forget its home and thus if it ever gets lost it can return back to its home safely using those memories.
- Mouthiness (5/5)
It was used as a fetching dog in the past.
Hence it is fond of chewing.
The breed has a high potential of chewing and play-biting (soft chews).
Keeping enough chew toys for the dog may stop him from scratching or biting off other things in the house.
When the puppies start developing teeth, they get involved with ‘teething’ and chew on objects which are placed nearby.
- Price group (4/5)
The money spent on a puppy Labrador in the first month would approximately be $3239.
The money spent during the initial years would be comparatively more than the adult years because of various vaccines and training to spend on.
Late adulthood would require medical check-ups if a medical ailment occurs.
C. About Labradors:
The Labrador retriever has a kind temperament and is the most popular breed all over the world.
It is medium-sized and can be yellow, black and chocolate.
It is a sporty breed and likes to play.
People participate in dog sport events with their Labradors.
They perform well because of the inbuilt talent of being from a sporty group of dogs.
Swimming and fetching are their favorite games.
It is used as a search and rescue dog, guide dog and service dog because of its set of smelling and swimming capabilities.
Puppy Labradors have a strong sense of chewing and are very active.
D. Where Labradors Came From:
The history of Lab goes back to the times when it obtained the position of a fisherman’s helper.
It helped the fisherman retrieve fish that had fallen off the hooks and pulled fishing lines off the shore.
Its origin trace back to Newfoundland (northern Canada), where it was used as a working animal.
Earlier, it could survive in chilly weather and used to help the fishermen to fetch things and that is the reason why it has developed a mouth where it can use to fetch things.
And is fond of soft chewing.
The breed is medium-sized.
The size also partly depends on the genes of the parent dog.
The weight of the dog may depend on food habits.
It is prone to obesity so treats should be given in control.
English Labs are heavier and built-in bone compared to the working dogs.
This breed is intelligent and grasps knowledge when trained.
Training is a must for these dogs as they have a lot of energy and that energy should be productively used.
Training also involves the puppy socialization where the puppy gets to know about its surroundings and can develop into a confident individual in its adult life.
Dog owners can also get to know how their pup reacts to people, locations and other animals and then work on things that scare them.
The nails have to be trimmed at regular intervals.
Frequently (twice or thrice a week) brush their teeth to avoid plaque, cavities and bad odor.
Labs are likely to roll up in the mud and play outdoors.
Make sure you give them a bath occasionally to avoid dirt.
A clean shiny coat adds to the beauty and cuteness of the dog.
H. Common Diseases and Health Conditions:
Some diseases that you should keep in mind for your puppy are Bordetella, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, and Parvovirus.
Labradors are also prone to Osteoarthritis and Hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and eye conditions, bloat.
It can also suffer from obesity if not monitored properly.
The diet should contain high-quality dry food.
2.5 to 3 cups of such food are recommended per day.
Size, age, build, metabolism determines how much food your dog consumes.
Some human foods are harmful to your canine friend.
Food such as Almonds, chocolates, Ice-cream, cinnamon, garlic, and macadamia nuts have proven to be very harmful to the health of this canine and hence should be never given for consumption.
Keeping away these food items can keep your dog safe from the hazards.
Milk products like cheese, yogurt, and milk should be avoided if the canine is lactose intolerant.
J. Vaccination and Care:
The vaccines that puppies require are boosters, rabies, and DHPP (distemper, adenovirus, parvovirus, parainfluenza) in that order from birth.
Regular check-ups related to the hip and elbow x-ray screenings and ophthalmologist evaluations should be kept in mind.
If the dog starts to show symptoms of lethargy there’s a possibility it may be experiencing pain.
K. Monthly Expense Estimation:
Buying a Labrador may range from $800 to $1200.
One-time expense is approximately $ 565 and monthly expenses can range from $57- $80.
Adopting one would need licensing fees and vaccination if not done already.
Regular expenses include food, veterinary expenses, grooming, and toys.
L. Behavior With:
The friendliness of the dog depends on how well it has been socialized in the puppy period.
If it was introduced to a number of places and people then it is likely to behave well and play with kids.
On a general note, Labs like to get along with kids as long as it isn’t harmful to them.
However, kids should be under supervision when playing with dogs.
Gets along with other dogs as far as it doesn’t harm their comfort zone.
Not all dogs are the same and the behavior can differ.
Puppies can get scared of huge dogs.
Familiarity in childhood plays an important role in the development of the adult dog.
Generally, doesn’t have preying tendencies but if the cat’s behavior is attacking then the dog may chase cats.
If puppies are introduced to cats in their socializing period then they are likely to stay friendly around each other.
The relative size of Dogs in comparison to the cats plays a key role in friendliness among both of them.
In conclusion, Labradors are friendly, active and outgoing dogs with a kind temperament.
It isn’t well suited in an apartment and would require a small-sized yard.
It needs to exercise to utilize its energy in a productive way.
It needs care with respect to grooming and food habits as it is prone to obesity.
They are eager to please and love to play in and around their surroundings.
N. Fun Fact:
Labradors Can Detect Cancer:
They have a powerful nose and can detect the disease by smelling the patient’s breathe blood or stool.
Scientists state that the Lab can smell volatile organic compound changes in the patient’s body and warn them against cancer.