Labrador Retriever Breed Information

One of the most popular breeds in the USA, the Labrador Retriever is a wonderful combination of a loyal, friendly, gentle, and intelligent companion.  Let's take a closer look at the information and facts you need to know about this breed. 
While today there are two types of Labrador Retrievers [the English and the American Labrador], all Labrador Retrievers originate from Newfoundland where it was once known as “St. John’s Dog”.  Initially bred to be working dogs to aid fishermen to haul in nets and catch loose fish, the Labrador Retriever was introduced in England in the 18th century where it was crossed with Setters, Spaniels, and other Retrievers to improve its hunting instincts.  By 1903 its popularity exploded in England where the breed not only became more athletic and energetic, but developed a reputation for being well-mannered, intelligent, and loyal.  Labrador Retrievers were recognized by the AKC in 1917 and continue to be one of the three most popular breeds in the world.
A mid-size dog, it should be noted that there is a slight difference in size between the English Labrador and the American Labrador.  English bred dogs tend to be stockier and thicker dogs while American stock Labs are taller and lankier than their English cousins.  On average, these pups can range from 21-24 inches tall and weigh in at 55-75 pounds.
Grooming Needs
A Lab has a double coated, short-haired, and low-maintenance coat of hair that sheds an average amount.  A firm bristle brush will work best on Labs, as it can pick up dead hairs and clean out any loose dirt.  Ideally, you should rush a Labrador Retriever once a week.  Baths and shampoos should only be used when necessary as the Labrador’s coat has evolved to be water and soil resistant.  Check eyes and ears every two weeks and brush teeth regularly to avoid any dental issues. 
It doesn’t take long for owners to discover that the Labrador Retriever is above all else a loyal and friendly dog. These pus are lively and happy go lucky. One novel using them as characters referred to them as loveable idiots. If you've had a bad day, no do is better to come home to than a Lab. 
Taking its friendliness and intelligence into consideration, the Labrador Retriever is a great family dog.  This is a social dog, so it needs to be around other people and dogs if possible.  These pups have a strong hunting instinct and love to roam as well and enjoy activities like swimming and retrieving.  
These dogs thrive under calm human leadership and need to feel as though they are “part of the family”.  If an owner cannot display leadership or pack leader mentality, or provide enough mental and physical activity, a Labrador Retriever can become destructive, high-strung and will mature into an unhealthy and distant dog.  The best way to foster a Labrador’s natural affection to blossom is by engaging in both regular exercise, playtime, and praise.
Training Needs
The best way to train a Labrador Retriever is to be a calm authority – giving clear commands and praising the dog when it understands and completes a task.  Labradors are smart enough to pick up training quickly, but lessons often have to be short. This pup is so happy go lucky that it has problems concentrating for long periods of time. Still, the dog will follow commands with great discipline once it learns them.  
Activity Level
Labrador Retrievers have an above average energy level for a mid-size dog. They need exercise and can become obese if they don't get it. Resist rewarding your dog constantly with treats to foster affection and instead intersperse treats with playtime with yourself and your Labrador.   On average, they will require at least one daily brisk walk or run, as well as playtime outdoors at least once a day.  Labradors can adapt to apartment life, but only if they still have access to daily outdoor exercise and activity.   These dogs are happiest when they have something to do.
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