Dogs 101 - LABRADOR RETRIEVER
Welcome to Brooklyn’s Corner. Today we’re going to give you some awesome facts about a breed that’s near and dear to my heart because well, if you can’t tell from my profile pick, I’m a chocolate lab!
Labrador Retriever, or just Labrador, is the most popular breed in the US and many other countries. You would be interested to know, though, that the breed is not originally from Labrador, the province in Canada. Nor did it develop there. The earliest description of a variety of dogs that resembled the modern Labrador is from Newfoundland, Canada.
Time for some Ruff Trivia:
- Who was the last president to have a Labrador Retriever in the Whitehouse.
o A: Bill Clinton
o B: King of the Terriers
o C: Rascal Terriers
What do you think, give it your best guess in the comments below before we get to the answer! Hang on tight and we’ll get back to this Ruff Trivia Question toward the end of the video.
This was a variety of working dog called the St John’s water dog, very common in the early 1800s, when some specimens were imported into England by dog breeding buffs there. The St John’s water dog was a medium-sized black dog with close hair, used mainly by the fishermen to retrieve fish, pull boats through icy water and for other tasks that involved swimming.
The English found that the dog also served as an excellent retriever when used in hunting for birds. By 1870, the name Labrador Retriever seems to have become common in England – the name stuck because these dogs had been seen being used in the Labrador Sea. Across the Atlantic in Canada, the water dog gradually became extinct because of a high dog tax to protect sheep and strict quarantine policies in England, which prevented further import. But, the core that had been brought to England originally had been allowed to breed, and through further cross breeding with other retrievers, the modern Labrador breed was established by the 1880s. Thankfully, this interbreeding was stopped by law before some of the key features of the original breed could be lost. Originally, only black Labradors were considered acceptable, and yellow or chocolate ones were culled. This changed gradually, and by the early 1900s, non-black varieties had become popular too. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1917.
The height of an adult Labrador Retriever is generally between 22 and 24 inches. The male’s weight is between 65 and 80 pounds, and the female’s weight between 55 and 70 pounds. It has a muscular body, covered with a short dense coat. The colors seen generally are black, chocolate and various shades of yellow. The coat also has a slightly oily texture and is water-resistant. Another set of features that make it good for water-related tasks are the webbed toes. Its head has a powerful jaw, a medium-length muzzle and slightly pronounced eyebrows.
Grooming: A Labrador is fairly easy to care for. A weekly brush and an occasional bath should keep it clean and tidy. Shedding is generally twice a year, but it can vary across individuals. Its nails tend to grow fast, so regular trimming using clippers to prevent outgrowth or splitting is important. The ears need to be checked regularly or wax deposit and teeth should be brushed regularly.
Environment: The Labrador is a very friendly and outgoing breed, excellent for families – the main reason for its popularity as a pet. It gets along well with other animals, children and even strangers, making it a little unsuitable as a guard dog. It loves to explore, and, because of its trusting nature, is known to get lost easily if allowed to move alone in an unfenced area.
Training: The Labrador is a very intelligent dog, widely used in hunting, tracking, therapy, detection and disabled assistance. Its affinity for water also makes it a very good lifeguard. The dog likes to be active, and can get bored easily if not getting its daily dose of physical and mental exertion. Daily exercise is also important because Labradors tend to be indiscriminate eaters and are prone to obesity. Early leash training is advised to prevent its active nature turning into a chain pulling habit in later years.
Health: The breed’s life expectancy is 10 to 12 years. It is a generally healthy breed with some inherited disorders that can be avoided through checks before bringing a pup home. Some of these are: hip and elbow dysplasia, knee problems, eye problems, myopathy, autoimmune problems and deafness. As mentioned earlier, obesity can be an issue with some Labradors.
An ideal family dog, a Labrador Retriever can easily double up as a companion for the outdoors. Good-natured, intelligent, trusting and active, and easy to care for – there is no reason to doubt why the breed is so widely loved by dog owners across the world.
Music by Kevin McLeod - Royalty Free