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Labrador Retriever Dog Breed Facts and Puppy Information

Updated on May 11, 2011
lab puppy
lab puppy

A Brief History of the Lab

There's a misconception that Labrador Retrievers are from Great Britain, but truth be told Labrador Retrievers actually originated in Newfoundland, Canada back in the 1830's. It was there in Newfoundland that Labs were used by the fishermen to retrieve fishing nets; the fishermen referred to these canines as the "small water dog." Then a bit later in the 19'th century, the Labrador Retriever was brought over from Canada to England by a man named Earl of Malmesbury. Earl passed by some fishermen between Newfoundland and Poole, Dorset who had brought some Labrador Retrievers to work by their sides, whom Earl decided he had to have one of their dogs, so he ended up buying a Lab. Earl of Malmesbury brought his Labrador Retriever with him back home to England in the year of 1870, which it was there in Great Britain that the Labrador Retriever breed first began their history as true Gundogs.

Ever since the 1870's, Labrador Retrievers have been used widely as retrieving Gundogs. In more recent years though, Labs have been trained for other uses like show dogs, seeing-eye dogs, and a staple icon as the classic family pet. Now, Labrador Retrievers are by far in the Top 3 most popular purebred dog breeds in all of the United States and through countries all over the world. Labs are not only appealing dogs because they're highly intelligent, easy to train, obedient dogs, but Labrador Retrievers are also make one of the best companion pets out of all the dog breeds.

~ If you like Labrador Retrievers, then you'll really love this Spaniel breed of dog too.


the labrador retriever dog
the labrador retriever dog

The Labrador Retriever Appearance

Labs come in three coat color variations being of golden yellow, jet black, and occasionally chocolate brown; their coats are thick and double layered with a dense undercoat which is weather resistant. The Labrador Retriever's hair is noticeably thick, short, and straight. Overall Labs are fairly easy dogs to groom, other than they shed a lot during the late spring and early summer months. If you're a bit picky about your house being squeaky clean, then I recommend you should take out some time every 4 to 7 days to give your dog a quick good brushing outside, to take out any excess hair still hanging onto your Labs coat. Besides some shedding of little hairs during the later spring and early summer months, that being said Labs are still incredibly easy dogs to groom, especially when you compare these pups to medium and long haired dog breeds.

Labrador Retrievers are medium sized dogs to large sized dogs. Their bodies are relatively thick and muscular giving this dog breed a strong, sturdy built. Labradors have a body to leg ratio that is even and well proportioned, when comparing the length of their legs and bodies to one another. Labrador retrievers have flat, webbed paws with thick padded bottoms to them, which help to give Labs an upper hand with their swimming capabilities. These Retriever Gundogs also have moderately short tapering otter tails .

The Labrador Retriever has a beautifully broad head connected to a thick powerful neck. Labs carry medium sized kind brown eyes, which can sometimes come in hazels, greens, and blues too. This dog breed's snout is of regular length and subtly wide. Labrador Retrievers have jaws with gentle but firm bites which is often a required quality for many Gundog breeds. Their ears are fairly small, slightly triangular, and expressive.

black lab dog
black lab dog
the black labrador retriever
the black labrador retriever

Labrador Retriever Temperament and Dog Training

Labrador Retrievers make excellent family pets and are dogs that are good with children. If you want a dog breed that's easy to train, Labrador Retrievers could just be the dog for you, and unlike some dog breeds that are highly intelligent, Labradors also respond highly towards obedience training. These loving Gundogs make great canine companions for people of all ages; Labradors are loyal and trustworthy dogs towards their owners and most everyone that they come in contact with. These canines have approachable friendly personalities and temperaments that practically make you fall in love with this dog breed immediately. Labrador Retrievers have not only been sought out for their amazing abilities as Gundogs and popular show dogs, but Labradors have become such a popular pet because of their amazing characters and temperaments.

Overall, Labs are an easy breed of dog to care for, but they still have their requirements in which must be met for them to stay mentally healthy, emotionally healthy, and physically healthy canines. One of the main requirements being that labsneed quite a lot of exercise, although many pet owners mistakenly neglect their animals because they do not give their Labradors the proper exercise that they so desperately need. This is why you've more than likely noticed quite a number of obese and overweight Labs. Labrador Retrievers are Gundogs, and like 95% of Gundogs they have to have decent exercise levels for them to stay healthy. If you do not care for your Labrador properly they can develop depression and life threatening conditions and diseases like Canine Hip Dysplasia.

Some of the conditions, and diseases that Labrador Retrievers are prone to developing usually include Canine Hip Dysplasia (or CHD) and eye problems, just to name a few. As long as a Labrador is cared for adequately they're almost always a healthy happy dog breed in which lives to its fullest life expectancy.

Weimaraners are another breed of dog that have very similar personalities and temperaments to Labs too, if you like Labrador Retrievers then you'll love my other blog on the absolutely stunning dog breed Weimaraners.


Labrador Retriever Life Span:

These Retriever Gundogs have an average life expectancy of between 12 to 13 years, but this breed of dog can live longer depending on their overall livelihood and health.

a labrador retriever puppy
a labrador retriever puppy
chocolate labrador retriever puppy
chocolate labrador retriever puppy

How to Pick out a Labrador Retriever Puppy from a Trustworthy Breeder

Buying a Labrador Retriever Puppies from good Labrador Retriever Breeders

Labrador Retriever puppies have to be some of the cutest of all the puppy breeds. I mean, who can deny such an adorable puppy face!? Well, I know that I can't at least; that's for sure. Although, you may want to buy the first Labrador Retriever puppy that you see in front of you, from either a pet store or a puppy from one of your friend's Labrador litters, there's quite a few things you need to know beforehand about purchasing the right Lab puppies.

First off, I highly recommend that you don't buy a Labrador Retriever puppy from a pet store. Pet stores 85% of the time buy their puppies from bad conditioned puppy mills or lousy breeders. Let me just say, puppy mills are the last place your "ever" want to buy your puppy from. You know what, scratch that, you just shouldn't purchase from puppy mills period. Even though more times than not your lab puppy will look healthy from a pet store, that means close to nothing. A high percentage of pet store puppies and Labrador Retriever puppies come from parents who are more likely to have been neglected and/or are prone to health disorders, but are still bred anyway.

How choose a Labrador Retriever Breeder

It's important that you buy a nice healthy puppy that has recent papers from a health examination and has his or her necessary shots and vaccines. The Labrador retriever breeders should also always supply the right papers on your puppy, proving that he or she is a purebred Labrador Retriever puppy. If the breeder you are considering does not even have papers for both parents proving that they're purebred dogs, don't buy your little baby canine from them. If a so called dog breeder can't even supply simple proper documentation on their dogs, then that could mean that they don't even care or actually take dog breeding seriously, and this means that the dog breeder could be unreliable. Don't get me wrong though, if you know a friend that you can trust, whom just had a litter of Lab puppies, they could perhaps make a good choice too.

Choosing a Labrador Retriever Puppy from the Litter

Picking out a good reliable Labrador Retriever breeder is one of the most vital steps in the process of picking out your future Labrador Retriever dog, but there are still other things you need to know before purchasing your new, cute, lovable Labrador Retriever puppy. For example, just because one of the puppies looks like the runt and or lowest on the totem pole don't go with puppy because you feel bad for it. Yes, the dog probably looks so cute and vulnerable, but they often do not make good pets and family pets.

Bringing home the runt from the bunch will bring up many future issues with your Lab puppy. The same goes for sick looking dogs, and the alpha dogs. Alpha dogs are incredibly hard to train because of their stubborn, dominating temperaments and are more prone to aggression. How you tell what position a dog is in the "pack" is by watching how the puppies interact with one another. Your best picks will be the Labrador Retriever puppies in which are close to a middle like temperament in their pack.

sleepy lab puppy
sleepy lab puppy

Male Labrador Retriever Puppy or Female Labrador Retriever Puppy

When first time dog owners ask me if they should get a male Labrador Retriever puppy or female Labrador Retriever puppy, I tend to tell them female puppies are the smarter choice, in particularly female Labrador Retriever puppies. Female Labrador Retriever puppies are first off easier to train than male Labrador puppies, more so when it comes to obedience training and potty training. If you're a first time dog owner, female Labrador Retriever puppies are one of the best choices out of all dog breeds that you can make. When it comes to seeing-eye dogs, female Labrador Retrievers are the top pick and preference for assisting the visually impaired.

More times than not female puppies are the easier choice, but there are still cons a few cons to choosing a female Labrador Retriever puppy too. Like for example, female puppies have a tendency to be more expensive than male Labrador Retriever puppies; sometimes females can even cost more by 50% higher than the male puppies. Now, all this being said male labs are still wonderful, wonderful choices as a new pet. I mean, labs make great dogs period! Yes, I see that it might come across that I'm bashing the boys a bit over here, but you still got to love those little baby boy puppies too! Anyway, male dogs often make better hunting dogs anyway, so that can be a plus for many of those picking out their Lab puppy. All in all though, it's about the puppy you're wanting first, gender comes second.

If you liked my blog on Labs, then I also recommend you read, 

English Springer Spaniels ~

Field Spaniels ~


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