Most of the time when you hear about the Labrador Retriever, it’s praise. He is a multi-talent, a good mood dog, a sunshine. Are you wondering if all of this can be true? Find out everything about the dog breed Labrador Retriever in this profile.
Labrador Retrievers are among the most popular pedigree dogs among dog lovers. Here you will find the most important information about Labrador Retrievers.
Size: 54 to 57 cm at the withers
Weight: dog 34 kg, bitch 25 kg
Coat length: short
Coat colors: black, yellow, brown
Country of origin: Great Britain/Canada
It is not without reason that the Labrador is high on the list of the most popular dog breeds among dog lovers. Read here why this is the case and everything you need to know about the Labrador.
10 reasons to choose a Labrador
- True Sunshine: A Labrador is always cheerful, playful, and friendly.
100% family dog: A Labrador is very people-oriented and will put up with (almost) everything when dealing with children.
- Cuddly toy: A Labrador is incredibly cuddly and can’t get enough of being petted and cuddled.
- Calm fellow: A Labrador is a calm dog. He only barks a little and doesn’t tend to bark.
- Loyal companion: A Labrador loves to be by its human’s side – even during all outdoor activities.
- Mastermind: A Labrador is very intelligent and learns quickly. He always wants to please and makes a special effort to do so.
- Bullshit: A Labrador is a real clown. With his funny nature, he makes his people laugh.
- Everybody’s Darling: A Labrador is also very tolerant of other dogs. He is happy about every meeting with conspecifics.
- Time Saver: A Labrador requires little grooming. Regular stroking by hand is sufficient.
- Tail wag champion: A Labrador will often happily wag its tail. With his friendly expression, even anxious people without dog experience quickly take him to the heart.
Origin of the Labrador Retriever
A look back at the history of the breed shows that the Labrador Retriever scored with the qualities that still characterize it today. His career began as a companion to fishermen off the coast of Canada, and his drive, zeal and loyalty soon became legendary. He always wanted to be there and help catch the fish that escaped the nets or retrieve shot waterfowl. Named for the cold Labrador Current that flows off the coast of North America, our Labrador’s ancestors were used to bathing in freezing temperatures.
The appearance of the Labrador Retriever
The typical Labrador is a medium-sized, compact, and very powerful dog with a broad head and rounded paws. A strongly arched, “barrel-shaped” rib cage is characteristic. This impression must not be achieved through excessive weight.
The tail is also characteristic of the Labrador Retriever: Very thick at the base, gradually tapering towards the tip of the tail, medium length, covered all around with short, thick and dense fur and therefore in appearance “round”. This is described as “otter tail”. It can be cheerful, but should not be carried bent over the back.
According to the breed standard, there is only one Labrador. In fact, there are two breeding lines here:
- the stronger and larger “Showdog” and
- the smaller type referred to as the “working dog”.
The differences are not only evident in the finer limbs, but also in the weight of the adult animals.
Coat and colors of the Labrador Retriever
The Labrador Retriever has a stock-haired coat with a dense, weather-resistant undercoat that can come in a variety of colors. The following colors are recognized:
- solid black
- solid yellow (yellow ranges from light cream to fox-red)
- solid liver/ chocolate brown
A small white patch on the chest is allowed. The new colors “Silver” and “Charcoal” (anthracite) are not yet recognized by the German associations. There can also be yellow Labrador puppies in any black litter.
Temperament and training of the Labrador Retriever
The following characteristics are attributed to the Labrador Retriever:
- always happy
Always striving to please his family, enthusiastically participates in every activity
With its friendly and resilient nature, its willingness to cooperate and its almost self-sacrificing enthusiasm for children, the Labrador Retriever is the perfect family dog.
Another advantage of this breed: Labradors are not barkers. Even if they like to romp outside, they are extremely quiet people within their own four walls. However, the Labrador has one weak point: This dog is always hungry and therefore tends to be overweight.
When it comes to training, the Labrador Retriever is very intelligent and willing to learn. As a rule, he does not like dominant behavior, on the contrary, he is downright keen on pleasing his owner. This dog is always listening to how you respond to his behavior, so the best training results come from positive reinforcement of desired behavior. The Labrador’s great play instinct and enthusiasm for treats also make training easier.
Keeping and caring for the Labrador Retriever
A Labrador is the ideal companion for sporty people because it needs several kilometers of exercise every day. As he gets older, he may be content to walk slowly alongside you, but the pup definitely wants to run properly!
Alternatively, you can also offer the Labrador a body of water: he will be enthusiastic and swim around in it for hours. Labradors are also suitable for all dog sports or for training as a rescue or guide dog. In any case, one should make sure that the intelligent animal is not only challenged physically, but also mentally.
The maintenance effort for a Labrador Retriever is comparatively low. Regular brushing is enough to care for his coat. Regular thinning of the undercoat should not be neglected, especially in summer.
Typical illnesses in Labrador Retrievers
As a puppy and young dog, the Labrador should not have to climb as many stairs, otherwise, there is a risk of hip problems. The tendency to be overweight should also be kept under control to avoid illness.
The following two diseases are known to be typical of the breed, but fortunately also very rare diseases in Labradors:
- Fibrinoid leukodystrophy (severe disease of the spinal cord that develops within the first year of life and causes movement disorders and paralysis)
- axonopathy (expressed by excessive movements and falling over.
Both diseases are not curable.