Labrador Retriever

Other names/Nicknames:
  • St. John’s Newfoundland
  • Lesser Newfoundland
  • Lab
Country/Date of origin:
  • Canada
  • 1800′s
  • Females:  21 to 22 inches
  • Males:  23 to 24 inches
  • Females:  55 to 70 pounds
  • Males:  65 to 85 pounds
  • Non-aggressive towards people.
  • This breed is fond of everyone.
  • Hard to say anything bad about this breed.
  • It is so outstanding in every way that its popularity is well deserved.
  • Loves the rough and tumble of juvenile games and is a superb ballplayer.
  • Slightly more serious and a little less outgoing than the Golden Retriever.
  • Labs have a very long puppy phase (often behaving like a puppy until 2 or 2-1/2 years of age) and can be terrible chewers during this time.

In spite of the name, this breed was developed in Newfoundland as a fisherman’s helper, retrieving game from the sea, hauling boats, and pulling in nets.  The breed retains its love for the water.  The original dogs were black; the yellow color was the result of recessive genes at the E locus (a genetic phenomenon seen in many breeds, including golden retrievers) and called a “sport.”  The chocolate coat is a recessive color to black.  This resulted in the chocolate coat being very uncommon.  The breed earned its popularity in England from the Earl of Malmesbury who gave it the name Labrador and worked it on his estate.

Body Type:
  • A stocky, short-coupled, solid gun dog of the retriever type.
  • Tail that resembles an otter’s.  It is not altered.
  • Short ears hang close to the head and are not altered.
  • Smooth, harsh, double coat.
  • Water repellent.
  • Black, chocolate or yellow colors permitted.
  • Minimal grooming.
Health and Wellness:
  • Obesity if not given enough exercise.
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Autoimmune thyroid disease
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Gastric dilatation and volvulus syndrome (GDV, also commonly called bloat)
  • Osteochondritis dissecans (OCD)
  • Metabolic bone disease
  • Tricuspid dysplasia
  • von Willebrand’s disease
  • Idiopathic epilepsy
  • Chronic hepatitis
  • Atopy
  • Food allergy
  • Mast cell tumor
  • Addison’s disease
  • laryngeal paralysis
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Acral lick dermatitis
  • Cushing’s syndrome (PDH and AT)
  • Melanoma
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Squamous cell carcinoma (digit, black Labs)
  • Oral fibrosarcoma.
  • Oral melanoma.
What you should know:
  • The most popular dog in America.
  • There are more than two million working gun dogs, “search and rescue” dogs, and countless pets, guide dogs, and police dogs.
  • In England, a Labrador Retriever Show Champion that earns a working ability certificate is upgraded to a Champion.  They can achieve the Champion title without passing any working test.
  • Black and yellow are both popular colors and chocolate is a distant third.
  • Labs require a lot of exercise or they become destructive.
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