The Labrador Retriever is currently one of the most popular dog breeds. This is not surprising: with its friendly character and its docility, the affectionate bundle of temperaments is an exemplary companion. Because of their versatility, Labrador Retrievers are valued as guide dogs, rescue workers, and professional sleuths. Let yourself be enchanted by the good-natured and active fur nose!
From ship dog to family favorite
A direct ancestor of the Labrador Retriever is the Newfoundland Water-Dog. This breed was particularly popular with British fishermen fishing off Newfoundland some 500 years ago. Not afraid of water, their dogs jumped into the sea to fetch fishing nets and lines or fish that had fallen out of the nets. They also showed great talent in retrieving dead waterfowl. In the middle of the 19th century, the Newfoundland all-rounders also became known in England. British hunters began to take an interest in the new breed and started breeding with it – but the breed almost became extinct around 1870. In 1903 the Labrador Retriever was finally officially recognized.
Nature of the Labrador Retriever
The intelligent Labrador Retriever is a good-natured, happy-go-lucky dog with great attachment to his people. He has an excellent connection with children in particular. The nature of the Labrador Retriever is sensitive and peaceful. He has a strong urge to please his people and is happy about every compliment. The Labrador Retriever is versatile and resilient, and he is not lacking in courage. On the other hand, the Labrador Retriever is not suitable as a guard dog or even a protection dog, as it is just as friendly to strangers as it is to its own people and shows little mistrust. Endurance, speed, and an excellent nose are further characteristics of a friendly pedigree dog. In addition, the Labrador Retriever loves water.
Training and keeping the Labrador Retriever
The Labrador Retriever is a very docile dog that you will find easy to train – even if you don’t have that much experience with dogs. With a good upbringing, the Labrador Retriever can’t be fooled when it comes to sociability and friendliness. He is an ideal dog for active owners and sporty families. With too little exercise and demand, he can – like any dog - develop behavioral problems. He wants to let off steam alongside his people and is balanced when he gets a lot of exercise and stimulation. In the spirit of his ancestors, he is a fan of extensive fetch and search games. With dog sport, the opportunity to track work and Mantrailing is a good way to keep your Labrador Retriever busy. If he often gets the opportunity to play in the water, you have a happy and well-balanced dog at your side.
Grooming the Labrador Retriever
Since the Labrador Retriever sheds year-round, it needs to be brushed daily. Pay attention to your dog’s diet: Labrador Retrievers do not hate food and easily put on extra pounds, which can then put a strain on the joints. As with many large dogs, there is a predisposition to elbow and hip dysplasia. Regardless of swimming preference, avoid bathing your Labrador Retriever if possible. Care products containing soap destroys the breed-typical natural protective film on the skin.