The Labrador Retriever is perhaps the most popular dog breed in India and the rest of the world. The breed is so popular because of its intelligence and loving people-pleasing personality. In this article, we want to cover everything you need to know about the Labrador Retriever so that you are prepared to bring home a Labrador puppy.
Labrador Breed Information
Labradors are work dogs built quite essentially for game shows where they were trained to retrieve ‘game’ meat. This is why Labradors retain most of their dog-like physique, that is, a large athletic body, a broad chest and muscular legs.
Another unique feature about Labradors is that they have a very unique soft jaw. This was special to their breed and the Golden Retrievers because hunters wanted them to retrieve dead animals without puncturing any holes in their fur.
A Brief History
Labradors were first bred in England as work dogs. They have a very gentle touch because they have been specifically bred to have soft jaws so that they can bring a dead hunted animal without puncturing through their coat.
Of course, Labradors were later recognised for their loving personality and were no longer bred to accompany hunters. They soon started taking the comfort of the indoors. In 1991, Labradors became the most popular AKC registered breed and soon enough they made their way to India. Now, they are the most popular breed in India as well.
Labradors are slightly shorter and weightier in India than in the west.
Weight – 24-36 Kg
Height – 30-32 Inches
They are also prone to ear infections hence you must check their ears at least once a week and clean the outer flap of their ear. Be careful not to let water enter their ears as the moistness can be a breeding ground for fungus and bacteria.
They don’t need to be bathed as often as you may think. A bath once in 2 months is good unless they get into something nasty. But they should be brushed and wiped daily to maintain their soft fur. Brushing and grooming at least once or twice a week reduces shedding.
Labradors are so popular because of their personality. They are mild-tempered, people-pleasing dogs who love the company of other adults, children and dogs alike. Since they are always eager to please and easy to train, they are the perfect dog for first-time pet owners.
All dogs need a positive environment to become the best version of themselves. But Labs are far more likely to stretch it and try to please their human even in the toughest situations. They don’t ask for a whole lot except for love.
Perhaps the only downside to having a Lab is that they can’t be apart from you for too long. Labs are prone to separation anxiety. They are mouthy dogs and are much more likely to shred your house to pieces if you keep them alone for too long.
Labs are also not the best guard dogs. If you have a burglar in the house they are far more likely to whine for attention and show them their belly.
Since most Labs are calm around other dogs and humans, many don’t give their dogs and training. But since they are big dogs, training is a must.
Apart from basic potty training, you must teach them how to ‘stay’ and ‘come’. A solid stay and come will protect them outside if there is a safety concern. They may want to pounce on others when they are excited which can hurt someone unintentionally. Hence stay and come are two very important to commands to teach.
But trust us, Labs are workaholics and they love to please. It doesn’t take them too long to learn a command and, when you start to see the success, you may be eager to teach them even more!
Owing to the increasing demand of the Labradors. These dogs are bred quite frequently leading to many genetic health conditions along the way.
The most common health problem Labradors face in India is obesity. These days it is very difficult to find a Labrador that is in the proper weight range. As they become obese with age, they become prone to many health problems – hip dysplasia being the most common ailment.
Having deep-chested droopy eared dogs, they are also prone to bloat and ear infections. Other health conditions include:
- Eye problems cataracts
- Osteochondrosis Dessacans (OCD) – This is a painful ortho condition that leads to improper growth of the joints and cartilage around the elbow and, sometimes, the shoulders leading to stiffness and discomfort.
- Rashes and hot spots
- Cold tail – The tail goes limp and often numb. It’s a benign condition that tends to go on its own but it does cause them a lot of discomforts.
Usually, the breeder’s certificate is put to test in their senior years. Their quality of life and the number of genetic conditions depend on the breeder’s vigilance and hard work. This is why it is very important to do your research and find a certified and ethical breeder who is willing to give you the healthiest Labrador puppies you can find.
Additionally, a healthy diet that is catered to large breed puppies and adults should give them all the joint support they need.
Additionally, many don’t anticipate the amount of hard work that goes into raising a Labrador. These dogs were bred to work and, as cute as they may be, they are not lap-dogs. If you don’t give them enough exercise, they may lash out and have severe behaviour problems.
It is because of this, many Labradors are abandoned every day. If you really want a Labrador, first do your research and understand the amount of hard work that goes into raising a Lab, secondly, consider adopting a Labrador and giving them the love they deserve.
We hope this article was helpful. Are you planning to get a Labrador? Or do you already have a Lab? Let us know what else a Lab owner should watch out for when they get their puppy.