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Labrador Retriever, the dog that is drawn to water

Updated on June 13, 2015

Several colors of Labrador Retrievers

Click thumbnail to view full-size
A yellow Labrador retriever dog with pink nose. Yellow and "fox red" Labrador Retriever. Two chocolate Labrador Retrievers Labrador Retriever, Rüde(blaues Halsband), Hündin(rotes Halsband), fotografiert in Deutschland, Thüringen
A yellow Labrador retriever dog with pink nose.
A yellow Labrador retriever dog with pink nose. | Source
Yellow and "fox red" Labrador Retriever.
Yellow and "fox red" Labrador Retriever. | Source
Two chocolate Labrador Retrievers
Two chocolate Labrador Retrievers | Source
Labrador Retriever, Rüde(blaues Halsband), Hündin(rotes Halsband), fotografiert in Deutschland, Thüringen
Labrador Retriever, Rüde(blaues Halsband), Hündin(rotes Halsband), fotografiert in Deutschland, Thüringen | Source

Basic Description:

The male can weigh an average of 65–80 lbs. (29 – 36 kg.) while it grows to a height of 22.5-24.5 in. (57-62 cm.). Compared to the male, the female usually weighs less at about 55-70 lbs. (25-32kg.) and is also a little shorter at about 21.5-23.5 in. (55-60 cm.).

Labrador Retrievers have a life which covers from between 12 to 14 years. After they have mated within that time, they can have from 5 puppies to 10 puppies at one time (or an average of 7.6).

Subtypes – various colors

  • Yellow – various shades, light to dark (ex. Cream, gold, butterscotch and even a sort of ‘fox red’)
  • Chocolate – light to dark
  • Black



Molly, Zoey, and Chance - all three Labrador colours. (
Molly, Zoey, and Chance - all three Labrador colours. ( | Source

Sometimes they are bred for certain reasons and there are guidelines to be met:

Coat -

  • First comes the coat which must be short, flowing and not curved, and thick but not wiry. It is of course impermeable to water That way in the winter season the dog will not become cold whenever it has to go into the water. The standard colors in the shows are black, yellow and chocolate.

Head -

  • The Labrador should have a broad head with somewhat distinct eyebrows. The eyes are best to be kind and passionate. The eyes should have their surrounding lining done in black color. The ears should hang with two familiarities – one is being close to the head and the second is that they should lie a little above the eyes.

Jaws -

  • The jaws should be tough and forceful. The mouth guard should be of medium length, and should not be too narrow for the dogs’ nose. The jaws should also hang, just a little, and pleasingly arch to the rear.

Body -

  • The body should have a strong and sturdy build.

The tail and coat are labeled as "distinctive features” of the Labrador by both the AKC and the Kennel Club. Another quote that the AKC adds is, “true Labrador Retriever temperament is as much a hallmark of the breed as the ‘otter’ tail”.

Patience with children

Labrador Retriever:

There are different types of retrievers but the one which I will explain here is the Labrador Retriever. Why? Because they are in the basic category of a hunting dog, that is why. Their breed is one that besides being most famous of certified ownership in five different countries, they are also athletic and playful. The famous countries are (alphabetically) Australia, Canada, New Zealand, U.K. and U.S.A. – this has been since 1991.

Divisions of what they can do:

Illness/handicap assistance dog -

They have patience and they are also very courteous when they are near young people and senior citizens. One reason that they mind their tempers is due to the fact that they are a favorite breed for handicap and illness assistance (blindness, therapy, autism, etc.) in our country and various others. This is something which they have been trained for in many instances.

I the these fields it is possible to often see Golden Retrievers also.

[See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assistance_dog or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Therapy_dog]


Law enforcement -

Another one of the Labradors performances is screening and detection for law enforcement or alternate official agencies. [See http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c6/Police_dog_team_trained_in_UK_collects_vital_evidence_to_help_prosecute_suspected_pirates_in_the_Seychelles_%286436830001%29.jpg] SourceBy English: Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Flickr) [OGL (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/1/)], via Wikimedia Commons:


Hunting and sport -

Two subjects that they are highly valued for is for being very sportive and how they are exceptional at waterfowl hunting (ducks, geese, etc.). [See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retriever]


St. John's Water Dog

 Manifestation of the St Johns Water Dog in Labrador Puppy (black labrador mom and blond labrador dad) 11 weeks old female 'labrador' puppy.
Manifestation of the St Johns Water Dog in Labrador Puppy (black labrador mom and blond labrador dad) 11 weeks old female 'labrador' puppy. | Source

St. John’s Water Dog

Medium-sized, strong and stocky – characteristic white patches on the chest, chin, feet and muzzle.

A description of the St. John’s Water Dog is by Joseph Beete Jukes. He was a geologist who wrote a book about his journeys in Newfoundland. For his description (quote) “A thin, short -haired, black dog came off-shore to us to-day. The animal was of a breed very different from what we understand by the term Newfoundland dog in England. He had a thin, tapering snout, a long thin tail, and rather thin, but powerful legs, with a lank body, - the hair short and smooth.” Was written by him in his book - Excursions In and About Newfoundland During the Years 1839 and 1840.

Some heard news about how the Earl of Malmesbury had forthwith made preparations with traders to have some of the dogs traded abroad to England when he had seen a St. John’s Water Dog on the fishing vessels. The Earl became easily fascinated with the accomplishment and intelligence of the Labradors ancestors because after training they were able to reclaim anything on or off shore. He had a kennel which he then decided to apply exclusively to both working out and supporting the dogs.

Extinction –

There was a mixture of two elements which made the St. John’s dog become deceased in the dogs’ native land. Occurring during the 19th century, they had situated harsh regulations on dog ownership, plus taxes, trying to inspire the raising of sheep. They may have started in Canada’s country but they were destined for the UK. This overseas trip to the UK meant that all animals, particularly dogs (that was about 1885), had to go through a brutal long-range quarantine elimination of any chance of rabies.

The last St. John’s Water Dogs photographed were in the early 1980’s – both were males, bringing the species to an end.

A Canadian author, named Farley Mowat, tried to save them in the 70’s by cross-breeding them with a Labrador – named “Albert”. Four puppies arrived, two died and the other two were given away – to a Canadian Prime minister and a Soviet Premier.

Labradors in point A; St. John's Water Dog in point B

show route and directions
A markerNewfoundland -
Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
get directions

Country of origin for Labrador were Newfoundland, Labrador and St. John's Island, in Canada

B markerSt. John's, Canada -
St. John's, NL, Canada
get directions

Where they came from and their trip to England:

Approximately in 1820, the pioneer of the St. John’s dogs was said to have been brought to England; though their stature was supposed to have spread to that land long before that time. This was the name and country of their origin but a rabies quarantine (in England) brought them to their gradual extinction.

There are a few descriptions of the St. John’s Water Dog. One story, which was in the beginning, is given by W.E. Cormack, who was an explorer. I quote, “The dogs are admirably trained as retrievers in fowling, and are otherwise useful.…The smooth or short haired dog is preferred because in frosty weather the long haired kind become encumbered with ice on coming out of the water.”

Another story, which was also in the beginning, is by Colonel Hawker. He described the dog as (quote) “by far the best for any kind of shooting. He is generally black and no bigger than a Pointer, very fine in legs, with short, smooth hair and does not carry his tail so much curled as the other; is extremely quick, running, swimming and fighting….and their sense of smell is hardly to be credited….”

The dog’s ancestor’s country of origin was Canada. Above New Brunswick/Nova Scotia are the following. In the corner of Quebec, in the Atlantic Ocean, are Newfoundland and an island southeast of it by the name of Labrador. There was a smaller island just east off of Labrador by the name of St. John’s. These three areas are where the Labrador Retriever began its family history.

Labrador and pool towel

Photos to go with the table below.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
 4 month old diluted chocolate (silver) Labrador PuppyLabrador type "Dudley"A Labrador Retriever shown with his owner on a PWC Yellow Labrador with a pink nose.
 4 month old diluted chocolate (silver) Labrador Puppy
4 month old diluted chocolate (silver) Labrador Puppy | Source
Labrador type "Dudley"
Labrador type "Dudley" | Source
A Labrador Retriever shown with his owner on a PWC Yellow Labrador with a pink nose.
A Labrador Retriever shown with his owner on a PWC Yellow Labrador with a pink nose. | Source

Interesting Facts -

 
 
 
They have webbed toes
This makes them magnificent swimmers
The webs will also act as snowshoes
Yellow Labradors
They usually have black noses
Noses may turn pink with age
Occasionally silver Labradors turn up
They may or may not be purebred
 
A color known as “Dudley” is possible
It is yellow with liver/chocolate pigmentation
The AKC says the chocolate is only in certain areas on the dog
There are 1 or more photos on the above to go with this.

What is your favorite color?

See results

Do you like Labrador Retrievers?

See results

© 2014 The Examiner-1

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    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Aw, Kevin, this is such a wonderful hub here! I love all Labradors and have had every color except that beautiful silver. You have provided a lot of interesting facts about Labs. Growing up a three-legged yellow lab adopted me and my three siblings. He was the best dor ever and i even wrote a poem about him. Then when my children were growing up we had two black labs and one yellow lab. They would all love to get in the baby pool with my kids lol. Now we have a chocolate lab puppy who is already as big as a horse. Thanks for the wonderful hub.Vote up ++++ and away

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      I can't stop smiling after seeing that baby video. What a great way to start the morning. I love Labs. Ours is black but I love all the colors they come in.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image
      Author

      The Examiner-1 2 years ago

      I knew that you would be the first one to be here Faith! No, I did not know that, LOL but I wrote it due to the question that you asked. Now I can understand why you asked about that - after being surrounded by so many Labs. You had three-legged one! Wow! Unless the poem is personal, then you should post it on here.

      Thank you for your (many) votes.

      Kevin

    • The Examiner-1 profile image
      Author

      The Examiner-1 2 years ago

      Hi Peg, I thought that video was adorable but it was to show their patience with children (and Sen. Cit.). Which is why they are used so much as assistance dogs.

      Kevin

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      This is very interesting Kevin. I especially like the chocolate lab. The video with the baby and ball was adorable. You put a lot of detail in this piece. Well done! Tweeted..

    • The Examiner-1 profile image
      Author

      The Examiner-1 2 years ago

      Thank you Ruby, (I like the chocolate too), I am glad that you liked it and I really appreciate your comments and votes.

      Kevin

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Hi Kevin, yes, I have had many since a small child ... and the three-legged one from my childhood. I figured you did write this one after my question, so thank you! I chose you as best answer. I already do have My Ode to Our Three-Legged Dog here lol. It was one of my first ones here but I have it highlighted. Blessings for a wonderful weekend.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image
      Author

      The Examiner-1 2 years ago

      You are welcome Faith. I should have said on the Hub that I wrote it for you, or I dedicated it to you. I know you that you did, I get a kick out of those ones when someone is chosen as the best answer and they are the only one there. I will have to go check out that poem today. I hope that you have a nice weekend too.

      Kevin

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

      Kevin, we had many dogs but no labs, I would like a black one. I have a video of a black lab playing in the water with an elephant. he used the elephant's trunk as a water slide.

      I loved your video of the baby with the lab.

      Voted up, UABI and shared.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

      Examiner, I had a yellow lab for ten years Cassie, and he was my best friend.. thanks for this informative hub :)

    • The Examiner-1 profile image
      Author

      The Examiner-1 2 years ago

      I would give you a black one if I had any Shyron but I only wrote about them. I might - I say might - have read the intro to elephant one bu it was not what I was looking for.

      Thank you for your comments and shares, I am glad that you liked it.

      Kevin

    • The Examiner-1 profile image
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      The Examiner-1 2 years ago

      I am sure that you chose it for another reason Frank, but Cassie also sounds like a perfect name for yellow Lab. :-) I am very pleased that this was informative for you.

      Kevin

    • bethperry profile image

      bethperry 2 years ago from Tennesee

      Kevin, Labs are one of my favorite breeds. Also, some friends who have epilepsy as I do, choose Yellow Labs for their ability to sense seizures coming on in patients. According to what I've heard, the dogs will come and stay by and guard the patient until the seizure has passed. Amazing!

    • The Examiner-1 profile image
      Author

      The Examiner-1 2 years ago

      I am happy that Labs are one of your choice breeds Beth. I offer my brief apologies for your condition. I take it that you looked at the link for that and I am glad that you liked my Hub.

      Kevin

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker suzettetaos 2 years ago from Taos, NM

      I love Labrador retrievers and your photos of them are wonderful. I have heard they are good with children and good to have around them. They have always come across to me as intelligent, too. I don't have a dog but if I did I think I would have a Labrador retriever. I never knew they came from Canada-Newfoundland. Thanks to sharing this with us!

    • The Examiner-1 profile image
      Author

      The Examiner-1 2 years ago

      I am happy that you love the Labs Suzette. I am also glad that you enjoyed the Hub so much and I thank you for reading it. I was also surprised to find where they started from. It was my pleasure to share it. :-)

      Kevin

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I have known a few of these in my time. Their temperament is perfect and they will be friends with everyone that they meet. An enjoyable and entertaining dog that will even attempt to get wet in a small puddle after a short rain.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image
      Author

      The Examiner-1 2 years ago

      Good for you Deb - have you ever had one? Wow, if they love puddles then they must really like the rain as well. Thanks for stopping by.

      Kevin

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      We had a yellow one growing up and he was such a good dog! His name was Mac and I don't remember ever seeing that dog growl or get mad. He minded so well. Great article! ^+

    • The Examiner-1 profile image
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      The Examiner-1 2 years ago

      Come to think of it, I do not think I read about any of them barking or growling either Jackie, and I do not remember seeing any teeth in any of the photos that I searched through. Good point.

      Thank you for your votes!

      Kevin

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 2 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      I have had quite a few labs and bred them for a bit. Mine were mostly white with black dots. I thought they may have mixed with Dalmatians, but the vet tested them and said they were a rare throwback and that both parents had to have the gene for them to show those colors. Both parents were black. Two out of three of their pups were white with spots though. The vet's test showed that they were labs, not mixes.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image
      Author

      The Examiner-1 2 years ago

      It sounds like you have had experience with quite a few Labs, Becky. At least the vet verified for you that they were originals. I guess you had to get rid of them when you moved.

      I thank you for reading the site.

      Kevin

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 2 years ago from Chicago Area

      I have a rescue that we think is a golden/Lab mix. He has all the colorations and head of a Lab, but with slightly curly, silky hair. One of the best dogs I've ever had! Voted up and beautiful!

    • The Examiner-1 profile image
      Author

      The Examiner-1 2 years ago

      Well Heidi the Labs do come in that golden color and I mentioned in the Hub that the hair should be straight and not wiry, but that was for shows. Their hair is usually short and straight, that does not mean it is kept that way all of the time. I am sure that it was your best!

      I appreciate your votes.

      Kevin

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Thank you so much, Kevin, for voting for my answer to one of your questions as best answer. I tried to comment back on the question, but could not as it had already been shut down.

      Blessings,

    • The Examiner-1 profile image
      Author

      The Examiner-1 2 years ago

      You are welcome Faith. I so often forget about my questions and they pile up not chosen and unanswered. So when I chose the best answer I shut it down.

      Kevin

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      I love labs. For the most part they are very friendly and frisky, but they can be good watch dogs as well. Great hub!

    • The Examiner-1 profile image
      Author

      The Examiner-1 2 years ago

      Perhaps mail carriers should have one to sniff mailboxes before the carriers open them! :-)

      Thank you for the friendly comment! I am glad that you liked this Hub.

      Kevin

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 2 years ago from Wales

      I love all animals but dogs are most definitely my favourite and this hub was brilliant Kevin. Voted up, across and shared. Here's wishing you a wonderful day.

      Eddy.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image
      Author

      The Examiner-1 2 years ago

      Hi Eiddwen, thank you very much. I am happy that you liked it and I appreciate the votes and shares!

      I am working on a Hub about another bird.

      Kevin

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 2 years ago from Wales

      Great Kevin; will look forward to it.

      Eddy.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image
      Author

      The Examiner-1 2 years ago

      Okee-dokee (lol)

      Kevin

    • alkanarula profile image

      Alka Narula 2 years ago from INDIA

      I have a Lab too, very handsome and intelligent dog ...Interesting post Kevin , I get drawn towards animals and in particula dogs.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image
      Author

      The Examiner-1 2 years ago

      I am glad that you liked it and that you have a Labrador.

      Kevin

    • profile image

      Melly 2 years ago

      God, I feel like I sholud be takin notes! Great work

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