Labrador Retrievers are America’s most popular breed, so it is no surprise that you see them everywhere. Originally called the St. John’s dog, they originate from Newfoundland, Canada, where they were once used as fishing dogs. Their past as fishing dogs makes them more agile, obedient and better at retrieving than their canine counterparts. While many Labs spend their days as pampered pets, some still serve as working dogs. Are you wondering if a Lab is the right fit for you? Check out these fast facts to learn more.
Labs are known for their sweet demeanor. Their outgoing nature and eager-to-please temperament with humans and other animals make them easy to get along with. Labs are also very intelligent, exhibiting a lot of energy and willingness to learn. They get along great with kids when properly trained and would make a great family pet.
They are generally healthy dogs and typically live for 10-14 years, when well-taken care of. Males tend to stand 22.5 to 24.5 inches and weigh 65 to 80 pounds, while females stand 21.5 to 23.5 inches and weigh 55 to 70 pounds when fully grown. Shedding is a fact of life with a Lab, and while they regularly shed some hair throughout the year, it is especially evident during two short periods as the seasons change. Like all dogs, Labs are prone to certain health conditions including hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, cataracts, epilepsy and more. Being aware of these conditions and taking care of your pet can minimize some of these risks.
Just like all dogs, Labs need some training if you want them to be well-behaved. Luckily, they take well to training and are known to excel in obedience competitions. They are intelligent canines and do well with positive training methods. Crate training is also recommended, as Labs like to chew, especially as puppies.
Labradors are a high-energy breed as a result of their initial breeding to assist with demanding work. Exercise is important for Labs in order to avoid pent-up energy that can result in destructive behaviors, such as chewing. Labs tend to require 1-2 hours of exercise a day, which can be in the form of walking, running or playing with their owner.
Labs are high-energy dogs who need a lot of love and attention, but they are also faithful companions with positive temperaments and a willingness to learn. Whether you are getting your first pet or tenth, it is important to keep these things in mind when selecting a breed. All dogs are great, but some are better fits than others based on your schedule and family dynamic. If you have the time and energy to train a dog and are ready to add a joyful addition to your family, a Labrador Retriever might just be the dog for you.