It is difficult to find an area where the joyful life of a Labrador retriever would not work. However, all its advantages will be revealed only under the watchful eye of an active and consistent owner. The most important feature of this dog’s character is gentleness towards people, which is why it won’t work as a guardian.
Labrador retriever is a dog with a cheerful disposition, friendly, balanced and joyful life. Sensitive and attached to his family, he tolerates loneliness – he cannot be isolated or left alone. He is a great friend of children, patient and understanding. His contacts with several-year-olds need to be supervised, however, because he is not very attentive and may accidentally fall over them. In contrast, older children will find it a great companion to play with.
The most important feature of this dog’s character is gentleness towards people, which is why he will not work as a guardian – both the guest and the intruder will be equally enthusiastic. Representatives of this breed tend to dominate (especially males) – but it does not show aggression.
Labradors are characterized by spontaneity and high temperament. Puppies and young dogs are mobile and absorbing. With age, they become more stable, but even then they need a lot of movement. They won’t be satisfied with a short stroll on the leash – you need to provide them with a 1-2-hour active walk every day.
The dog of this breed is not a marathon runner – he was bred for quiet, methodical work. Therefore, retrieving and playing searching for items will be much better than running on a bicycle. The real element of Labrador is water – it will use any occasion for bathing, even in a puddle. A run labrador retriever who has been allowed to work is calm and does not destroy things in the surroundings. However, if it does not discharge excess energy, living with it under one roof can be tedious.
Friendly to small animals, Labradors will easily accept a cat, canary or hamster. In relation to dogs encountered on walks, they are usually tolerant and invite them to play. Aggression is rare and its causes should usually be sought in unstable psyche and educational errors.
The labrador did not bring any shots until the shooting was completed. So he had to be distinguished not only by strength, excellent smell and enthusiasm to work both in icy water and in thick brushwood, but also by great memory. It was also used as a mountain hound (for hunting the paint) and a fluffer (for hunting animals).
Currently, most Labradors are family dogs, but their intelligence, perfect nose and precision in carrying out commands are used in many areas of life. They detect drugs, explosives, flammable substances or gas leaks. In Scandinavia, they were even used to find mold in wooden structures, and in the British Isles – moisture in walls.
They work in water rescue, as hunting, avalanche and rubble dogs. They are dog therapists, blind guides, assistance dogs, and can warn epilepsy and narcolepsy patients about an impending attack. You can do some sports with them – obedience, flyball, agility, dog trekking or tracking.
Labradors are subjected to work tests (they are voluntary), during which their innate inclinations to take a natural in-kind contribution from water and from land and bring it to the owner are checked. To obtain the title of International Beauty Champion – CIB (former interchampion) or the right to exhibit a labrador in working class, you must have a diploma in retriever or hunting dog competitions.
Training and education
Labradors are one of the fastest learning breeds. They were bred to work closely with humans, which is why they are happiest when they can do something. Highly intelligent, but at the same time quite stubborn, they require consistent but gentle treatment. The commands are willingly and accurately carried out, and the favorite delicacy and praise of the owner are the best motivation for them to learn. The training should be varied, because monotonous exercises can get boring. They do not tolerate physical coercion, they can then refuse to cooperate.
Labrador retriever puppies require a strong upbringing, but they should not be lead too hard. Clear rules must be set from the beginning that must be followed consistently. Labrador – despite the inherent gentleness – has a strong character and quickly exploits all the mistakes of the owner. Socialization is very important – take your toddler to new places, allow him to contact people and other dogs. It is best to start learning obedience at the dog kindergarten.
You should not scold a puppy for carrying objects in its mouth, because then it may have a problem with retrieving. It is best to exchange them for a tasty morsel or to limit your pet’s access to household items completely. Labradors have a strong instinct of ownership, so they need to be taught that the toys belong to the owner – the dog gets them at a certain time, and then they are hidden.
Puppies during the fastest growth period should not be allowed crazy races with their compatriots, jumping and going down the stairs. Walks (gradually extended) should take place on a leash. Swimming and olfactory exercises are recommended. During the exchange of teeth, do not play with the pet in dragging, so as not to lead to deformation of the bite.
Who is this race for?
Labrador retriever has all the benefits of a family dog, and yet it is not suitable for everyone. You have to devote not only a lot of time to it, but also to find a meaningful occupation.
Advantages and disadvantages
Labrador retriever – what is it like? Learn its pros and cons!
has a tendency to collect waste
bored and out of work can be a nuisance
devoted to the family
friendly and gentle towards people
an excellent companion for children
extremely intelligent, learns quickly and willingly
you can do dog sports with him
tolerant to dogs and other animals
easy to care for
This strong and resistant dog is susceptible to some diseases. Representatives of the breed tend to have dysplasia of the hip joints (compulsory x-rays have been required in farm animals since 2006 – the acceptable result is A, B or C) and – more rarely – elbows.
Occasionally enostosis (juvenile osteitis) and osteochondrosis (OCD) occur. Labradors also suffer from eye diseases – cataracts, glaucoma, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and retinal dysplasia. Dogs undergoing intensive training, as well as older or heavily overweight, can break the knee ligaments.
After bathing in too cold water (in winter or early spring), Labradors may develop tail complaints – it becomes inert, then probably due to irritation of the nerve endings at its root. Usually, this ailment disappears spontaneously after a few days. Sometimes there are also ear diseases and allergies of various causes. Like most large dogs, representatives of this breed may have a tendency to expand and twist the stomach.
Sometimes there is larynx paralysis, which manifests itself with a loud, heavy breath and a changed bark. This happens as a result of collapsing above the trachea, which impedes the flow of air (surgery is necessary). Representatives of this breed rarely show pain, so you need to carefully watch them.
Labradors tolerate low temperatures well, but should be protected from drafts (especially when wet). They are not disturbed by heat if we provide them with access to water. Black individuals are characterized by greater general body resistance – biscuits and chocolate are more sensitive.
Labrador loves to eat, so you need to control the amount of food administered. He should not get treats between meals (the exception is rewards while learning), because not only does he quickly gain excess weight, but despite his excellent appetite, he can become picky. It’s best to use ready-made high-class food for large breeds. You can also use the BARF diet (natural raw food).
Labrador retriever must have a slightly rounded, massive figure. Especially puppies during development should be well fed. Additionally, joint protection preparations should be given to them. The daily portion for an adult dog is best divided into two meals and allow the pet to rest after eating.
The short Labrador robe does not require any special care. The representative of this breed intensely molts twice a year. The coat is hard and although it is full in all corners of the house, it does not stick to the ground and it is quite easy to clean it. However, keep in mind that dogs kept in heated rooms constantly lose small amounts of it.
When replacing your pet’s coat, you need to comb 2-3 times a week (at other times, you only have to do it once a week). A rubber glove or a rubber scraper is best suited for this. After combing, you can wipe your pet with a chamois or a cotton towel, thanks to which we will remove the remains of dead hair, and the coat will look healthy.
We bathe Labrador in shampoo for short-haired dogs. You can also use cosmetics designed for a specific color. Despite the passion for water, Labrador retriever may not like bathing in a tub, which is why you need to get used to them. After thoroughly wiping the dog with a towel, we dry it with a dryer set to an average temperature or – if it is warm – let it dry on its own.
You should also regularly check your eyes (especially in older individuals), check your ears, remove tartar if necessary, clean the perianal glands and shorten claws that are too long.
Labrador does not require special preparation for the exhibition. All you need is a bath and a slight correction of the coat at the end of the tail, which is given a rounded shape. Before getting on the ring, chocolate and black quadrupeds can be given a coat polishing agent.
Labrador issues with a so-called freehand, i.e. without touching it. He stands freely in front of the handler (at a distance of about half a meter), keeping eye contact with him (you can use treats or toys). Ringówka – preferably in the color of the coat – should fall loosely on the chest.
We take Labrador in comfortable guard straps. Alternatively in a semi-clamp leather collar or with tape and on an ordinary leash. We do not use metal chains above all sponge cakes, because they can stain the fur. The best things to do are plush mascots, big balls, cotton cords, water retriever toys and natural teethers.
A puppy can be accustomed to a metal cage that will keep him safe during our absence and speed up learning to clean (part of the cage is lined up with newspapers, we put a bowl with water, dry food, bedding and toys in the middle).
Labrador retriever belongs to the group of hunting dogs. He was bred to retrieve small game and bird shots. The name of the breed refers to his way of working – the English verb “to retrieve” means to retrieve or bring.
Labrador’s ancestors probably come from Newfoundland dogs called St. John’s. When the English arrived on the island in the 16th century, they found two types of quadrupeds there. Larger, heavier, with longer hair (derived from Newfoundland ) was used to pull the boat ashore and haul heavy loads ashore. Smaller, with a shorter but very dense coat – considered Labrador’s ancestors – they retrieved the ropes and caught fish that slipped out of the net.
At the beginning of the 19th century, English sailors brought the first dogs of this type to Great Britain. They quickly became favorites of the English and Scottish aristocracy, who readily used their help during hunting for wild birds. The four-legged newcomers were not only distinguished by their delicious smell, but also by their highly valued delicate grip.
The breeding of the breed in the British Isles was initiated in 1820 by Lord Malmesbury, who also gave it its current name. Contribution to the development of the breed also had, among others Lord George Scott and Lord Knutsford. One of the most distinguished breeders was Duchess Lorna Howe (Banchory kennel). Her dog Bolo in 1932-1933 won the Best in Show title at the Crufts Show in Birmingham twice. Labrador was recognized in England as an independent breed in 1916. A club was then established that developed the first pattern. Numerous selections and perhaps the admixture of pointer’s blood led to type refinement.
Initially, only black Labrador Retrievers were considered purebred (this was their original color) and although yellow and chocolate puppies were born, no one wanted to breed them. Only with time did the other colors get interested.
Labrador retriever – group VIII FCI, section 1, reference number 122
Country of origin: Great Britain
Character: gentle, intelligent, obedient and energetic
Size: at the withers of dogs 56-57 cm, bitches 54-56 cm
Weight : dogs 29-36 kg, bitches 25-32 kg
Coat: short hair, without waves and fringes, hard to the touch; the undercoat is dense and resistant to adverse weather effects
Ointment: black, biscuit (from light cream to red) and chocolate (liver); a small white spot on the chest is acceptable
Lifespan: 11-13 years
Weather resistance: high
Labradors have been winning the most popular dog breeds in the United States for over 20 years. The ranking is prepared annually by the American Kennel Club.