Labrador Retriever

Average Lifespan

14 years

Energy Level

Moderate

Grooming Needs

Moderate

The Labrador Retriever needs no introduction, they are consistently ranked as the most popular breed in the USA, and many other countries, year after year. This fun-loving dog isn’t just entertaining, he’s loyal, friendly and incredibly affectionate. In fact he’s even likely to greet an intruder with a lick and a wag of his tail, but that all adds to his appeal. This outgoing breed can fit into many lifestyles, wherever you go he’s happy to be by your side, whether out for a hike or on the couch watching tv he’ll happily be your four-legged shadow. How much exercise he needs really depends on the individual dog.

Labradors are incredibly smart, his curious nature and active mind can get him into trouble if you don’t keep him busy. Anyone who’s owned a Labrador will be able to tell you that they don’t make the smartest choices sometimes, especially when it comes to eating things that they shouldn’t. But that said, he’s incredibly eager to please and very trainable, they excel when given a job and are frequently used as guide dogs and sniffer dogs due to their ability to learn. Labradors stay puppy like for a long time, they need stability and rules to keep them happy and safe. They are also a little clumsy, especially while growing into those big paws, so should be watched around small children. Other than not realizing how big they are they make fantastic family pets. If you want a dog that will stick by your side even in the most adverse conditions then the confident and loving Labrador will make a great addition to your family.

Personality Traits

Personality Trait 1

Personality Trait 2

Personality Trait 3

Cost

Average Cost $

Wellness

Average Cost $

Appearance

Size (S, M, L)

Average Height

Average Weight

Color Combinations

History of the Labrador Retriever

Though the breed was standardized in England their early ancestry can be traced back to the Newfoundland region of Canada. The Duke of Malmesbury visited the area during the early 1800’s and witnessed the now extinct St. John’s Water Dog being used to help fisherman. This retrieving dog breed was used to aid the fishermen to haul in nets and had a huge love of playing in the water. The Duke was so impressed with their retrieving skills that he imported a number of them to start his own breeding program in England. During that time there was a need for a hunting dog that could retrieve game without damaging it. As the population grew in England the St. John’s water dog was becoming extinct in Canada due to taxes on dog ownership and quarantine regulations limiting export to England. The English breeding program thrived, producing dogs that were loyal, intelligent and agile. Initially only black Labradors were wanted, but those early Labradors carried a recessive gene that meant they produced both yellow and chocolate puppies. These puppies were culled at birth but eventually breeders began to accept these color variations and even went on to breed specifically for yellow and chocolate dogs. The American kennel club accepts all three colors as standard.

Did you know?

Labs officially only come in three colors: Black, Yellow and
Chocolate. Any other color is believed to be due to cross breeding.

Labradors love water and have an otter like tail to help them swim.

Labrador's Common Health Conditions

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Foreign Object Ingestion

Some dogs just can’t help themselves; they like to eat things they shouldn’t especially when they are a puppy. If your dog isn’t good at making healthy eating choices they could be at risk for developing numerous complications from the indigestible object they consumed. Inedible items can often get stuck and cause blockages and tears in the intestinal tract. These are emergency situations that require urgent intervention to prevent your dog from becoming fatally ill. Symptoms of a foreign body causing problems are vomiting, loss of appetite, pain and dehydration. Suspected cases of foreign body ingestion should be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Bloat

Gastric Volvulus, also known as bloat, is a condition that affects even the healthiest of dogs. This condition is an emergency that requires rapid treatment, bloat has a mortality rate of almost fifty percent and time is vital to help increase the chances of your pet surviving. Bloat can refer to two conditions; gastric dilation and volvulus. Gastric dilation involves the stomach filling with fluid and gas, it can be complicated by volvulus where the stomach twists. Bloat leads to all kinds of complications and you should always seek medical advice for your pet in this situation. It most commonly occurs in deep-chested breeds who eat immediately before or after a period of heavy exercise, drank after a large meal, or eaten too quickly. Signs of bloat include a bloated stomach, retching, lethargy, and increased saliva production.

Exercise Induced Collapse

This condition causes a dog to suffer from debilitating muscle weakness and fatigue after exercising. Affected dogs are known to collapse unexpectedly after a period of intense exercise. The severity of the collapse can vary and can range from weakness of some limbs to full collapse. This genetic condition can be life threatening and dogs known to suffer from EIC should be kept to restricted exercise routines that involve only easy to intermediate level activity. Level of excitement, the dogs temperature and the type of exercise are all thought to contribute to inducing collapse. Symptoms include muscle weakness, lack of coordination, confusion, and finally collapse.

Arthritis

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint condition that is especially common in older dogs. Your dogs joints contain two layers of cartilage with a slippery, smooth coating that allows the joints to move freely and easily. It also prevents the bones of the joint from being damaged as the joints move. Aging, hereditary problems such as Hip and Elbow dysplasia, injuries, and obesity all put the joints much more at risk of developing arthritic problems. Arthritis becomes a problem when the smooth cartilage surfaces become too damaged to protect the joint and the bones suffer from wear and tear. Symptoms of arthritis include stiffness, limping, lameness, pain, reluctance to exercise.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is an inherited condition that affects a dog’s hip joints. The condition causes the hip joint to fail to develop correctly, meaning the ball of the femur does not sit securely in the socket of the pelvis. When a dog has hip dysplasia the ligaments and other soft tissues that hold the joint together are too loose, meaning that the joint doesn’t function correctly. The extra movement in the joint actually causes the bones to rub together, and over time the bones break down. The severity of dysplasia can vary greatly from minor to a very disabling. The symptoms of dysplasia in puppies include pain and limited mobility. In adults symptoms include stiffness, reluctance to exercise, lameness and pain. Hip dysplasia can lead to arthritis as the condition progresses.

Most Common Health Conditions:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Arthritis
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Osteochondrosis Dissecans
  • Cataracts
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Epilepsy
  • Tricuspid Valve Dysplasia
  • Gastric Dilataion-Volvulus
  • Myopathy
  • Acute Moist Dermatitis
  • Cold Tail
  • Ear Infections
  • Luxating Patella
  • Cancer
  • Bloat
  • Diabetes
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Cardio Myopathy
  • Portosystemic Shunts
  • Cruciate Disease
  • Hyperadrenocorticism
  • Foreign Object Ingestion
  • Exercise Induced Collapse

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