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Most Popular Family Dog Remains The Labrador Retriever

Updated on June 23, 2021
yuliss profile image

Yuliss has worked with sheltered dogs, training them to be adoptable to good homes. She has had her own dogs and now has 4 human children!

"Black Lab" Puppy.
"Black Lab" Puppy.

What Labrador Retrievers Bring to a Family

Labrador Retrievers are fun - loving, gentle, versatile dogs that are great with children and other family pets. They are ranked as the number one family dog among families in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. This is a very popular breed for families because the breed is very gentle, intelligent and easy to train. Labrador Retrievers are often used in highly respected public positions such as search and rescue teams, detection dogs, and therapy work.

"Lab" Stats

Labrador Retriever

Classification: Sporting Group

Weight: 55-80lbs (25-36kg)

Height: 21.5 -24.5 inches (55-62cm)

Lifespan: 10-12 years

Gentle Giants

The breed is known for it's gentle nature. The Labrador Retriever has a very soft mouth. These dogs are so gentle that they can hold an egg in their mouth and carry it safely without causing it to crack. The breed is appreciated for it's even temper and great ability to interact safely with children when supervised. Labrador Retrievers or "Labs" as they are often nick-named, love to work and are egar to participate in any "job" the family might encourage. These dogs excel at sports and games such as agility, Frisbee or flyball. They also are very good at and joy playing retrieving games. These dogs require moderate exercise.

"Yellow Lab" in the snow.
"Yellow Lab" in the snow.

They Strive to Please

Labs are overly friendly dogs that usually do not have any stranger anxiety and love to enthusiastically greet new people and animals. Because of this they do not make good guard dogs, but they will bark occasionally to sudden noises or sense of danger. Because of their popularity Labrador Retrievers are prone to being stolen and it is recommended that each dog be tattooed for micro-chipped to prevent dog-napping.

Protecting Your Dog: Tattooing Versus Micro-chipping

I suggest the inside of the groin (for tattoos) and the dog’s back (for microchips). Sometimes tattoos will be placed on the inside of the a dog’s ear, but I discourage this because some dog-nappers have been known to cut the dog’s ear off, to discard the tattoo and then claim that “their” dog always had a missing ear. This is a very unfortunate circumstance.

A Canadian Breed

The Labrador Retriever originated on the island of Newfoundland, Labrador, Canada in the 16th century. At this time they were known as the St. John’s Water Dog and thought to be a mix of English, Irish and Portuguese working dog breeds.

Hard Working Dogs With Jobs

The St. John’s Water Dog had an important roll on the fishing ships in Newfoundland. The dogs were used for retrieving and pulling the fishing nets from the water. They also carried ropes between boats for the fishermen, and even towed the small fishing boats when necessary. The fishermen admired the breeds loyalty and hard working behavior.

The Breeds Spreading Popularity

The Labrador Retriever originated in Newfoundland Canada in 1500. Small water dogs were bred with the Newfoundland to create the St John's Water Dog. These dogs would assist fisherman, by jumping into cold water of lakes and the Atlantic Ocean to retriever fish that fell of the fisherman's line or retrieve fishing nets.

Early Labrador Retriever Breeds Were Perfect Water Retrievers

The coat repelled the cold water and their paws were webbed between the toes, making them great swimmers. These coat and webbed paws are still traits of the Labrador Retriever today.

Earl of Malmesbury

Retrieved June 19, 2020 from Wikipedia
Retrieved June 19, 2020 from Wikipedia

St. John's Water Dog Is The Labrador Retriever

The St. John’s Dog gained popularity and made their way to England by1820. The breeds loyalty and eagerness to work and please their owners impressed many important political figures of the time. The St John's Water Dog lived in Newfoundland until the 1800's, when they were noticed by the Earl of Malmesbury. The Earl of Malmesbury had seen the St John's Water dogs in action in Canada and insisted they be brought to England immediately.

In England the breeds ability to work was maximized. The Earl and the Duke of Malmesbury began using the dogs as pointers in hunting and sport. The Duke of Malmesbury began breeding the dogs and called them "Labrador Dogs". To this day, the breed remains "Labrador Retriever". By 1900, the breed was very popular and continued to gain popularity throughout the United States. By 1903 Labrador Retrievers were accepted into the English Kennel Club.

The American Kennel Club officially accepted the breed in 1917. Ever since, this breed has become a loving family dog.

Labrador Retrievers LOVE Water!
Labrador Retrievers LOVE Water!

Potential Health Issues For Aging Labradors

After many years Labrador Retrievers may be prone to health issues as they age. Some of the health issues to anticipate may be:

Hip Dysplasia - May need surgery and supportive measures to control pain and maintain mobility. May need medications to manage pain

Larygeal paralysis - Muscles change in or around the larynx, causing the dog to get breathing difficulties, or changed bark, often owners describe a "honking" sounds.The dog may cough, or have exercise intolerance. This condition may be life threatening, and may require surgical repair.

Arthritis - pain in the joints, requires pain management and potentially therapy such as aqua therapy to maintain range of motion and flexibility in the joints and surrounding muscles.

Hypothyroidism - The thyroid gland, located near the throat, stops producing enough T3 or T4 hormone. This is known as a endocrine disorder. The dog may gain weight, loss hair, and get very lethargic. Treatment is life long perscriped medication to replace the T3 and T4 levels in the body.

Elbow Dysplasia - The treatment depends on the amount of cartilage and joint damage. Conservative management may be adequate for less severe cases, with a regular strengthening and flexibility fitness regime. Or surgery in moe severe cases.

Seizure - Seizure precautions to protect the dog's safety when they do seize at the family home. Medication to prevent seizures needs to be taken daily.

Cancer - Can be controlled with radiation or chemo therapy and medication to manage pain and nausea. Not all cancers are curable and will become terminal.

Thinking About The Health of Your Labrador Retriever

Most "labs" will be healthy as puppies, but it is not unusual to experience some common breed illnesses as your dog ages. Not every Labrador Retriever will develop all these problems, this is just a general idea of what are most common breed medical issues. Are you prepared to care for your dog if they get sick? Do you have a reliable veterinarian that you trust to have difficult discussions with? Have you considered how much you would "put up with" regarding your dog's quality of life?

Fitbark Device and Free App
Fitbark Device and Free App | Source

FitBark: Comfortable, Discreet Technology That Gives You Answers

Some dog owners enjoy using the FitBark to monitor their Labrador’s health and fitness. The FitBark device is light-weight, discreet, comfortable, wearable technology for your dog. Data syncs easily with your smart phone, watch and other devices for breed specific health and activity monitoring. You can even set up the app to combine both – your statistics and that of your dog so you can stay healthy together!

Fitbark continuously monitors your dog’s activity, sleep and nutrition in real-time and gives you the measurable results! You may find it helpful to have daily results to discuss at veterinary follow ups and to plan breed specific health and fitness goals. Fitbark is consistently rated as the number 1 dog monitor in consumer reviews and 4.5/5 stars by various platforms, and “liked” by many veterinarians! Designed by veterinarians and animal researchers this innovative technology is the first the analyze dog kinetics and behavior for measurable results. Fitbark uses intuitive technology to track steps and is the only health monitor that realizes the value of sleep quality in holistic health!

So whether your lab is aging and you want to monitor activity and sleep to guide pain management, or you are in the early phases of getting to know your new Labrador puppy – Fitbark gives you answers your dogs wishes they could tell you! Take the guess work out of raising your dog, with the most comfortable (for your dog to wear – technology) and most valuable insight for you to manage their health and fitness.

Labrador Retrievers Remain The Most Popular Because...

Today you learned that Labrador Retrievers are popular dog's all over the world! Including countries such as United States, United Kingdom and Canada. Labradors are gentle dogs that are easy to train and love adventures! This makes them ideal for families with young children or adolescents. "Labs" love water and are specially bred to excel at water sport, but they are enjoy recreational swimming.The bred originated in Canada but caught on to the rest of the world quickly because of their docile character, motivation to "work", and easy trainability. "Labs" have their share of common health issues, but with planning and a healthy lifestyle and diet, these dogs should thrive for many happy years in a a loving family home.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Yuliss


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