Labrador Training & Breed Information

Part of successful labrador training comes from understanding the breed, it’s temperament and characteristics. So let’s begin…

Labradors are a lively, carefree and attentive dog breed. They are very alert and playful and enjoy lavishing affection on their owner. Labs are extremely lovable and will work hard to please.

Labradors are highly intelligent which makes Labrador training easy. Furthermore, the breed excels as show dogs and at dog sporting events. In fact, Labradors are happy in the great outdoors and love to swim. This is because the breed was bred for hunting both on land and in water. A Labrador is very energetic and is the perfect compliment to an active family.

Labradors is another name for Labrador Retrievers and is, therefore, the same breed.

The History of Labradors

Contrary to popular belief, Labradors were developed in Newfoundland and not Labrador. In fact, the first prototype of the breed was created by crossing a Newfoundland with a small water dog, and was originally known as the St. John’s Water Dog.

The first time that Labs became known as Labradors was when they were called the name by the Duke of Malmesbury in the early 19th century. This was also the same time that Labs became popular with the British Royals who value the breed for their sporting characteristics, which proved useful for hunting.

The Labrador breed that we know today was developed in 1878, after interbreeding with other Retriever breeds took place. Luckily the interbreeding did not cause the Labrador to lose their most desirable qualities or their popularity.

Labradors were recognized in 1903 by the UK Kennel Club and in 1917 by the American Kennel Club. Currently, they are still one of the most popular breed of dog.

The Basics of Labradors

Labradors are a devoted breed that can be a wonderful asset to a family. Their friendly and lovable temperament makes them good with children, visitors and other family pets. They can also be extremely flexible with different environments, as long as they receive sufficient exercise and attention.

Labs have a strong build, plenty of energy, and high intelligence. They are natural hunters and are equipped with an exceptional sense of smell. These traits are what have made them ideal hunting dogs, police dogs, rescue dogs, and even seeing-eye dogs.

Even though Labradors are an impeccable breed, they aren’t for everyone. There are certain traits about these dogs that simply do not compliment the needs of some dog owners.

For instance, while Labs have a shorthaired coat, they still shed quite a bit. Furthermore, their strong build and medium size can make them hard to control if they are not properly trained, and even growing Lab puppies can easily knock down small children.

In addition, since Labradors are friendly dogs, they are by no means guard dogs. This isn’t to say that a Lab wouldn’t protect you if it sensed you were in danger, but they also won’t bare their teeth at an intruder either. Therefore, if you are thinking about getting a Labrador to protect you, think again.

All in all, Labradors are remarkable dogs that make excellent pets, friends and family members. Give them a little love, and they’ll return it back ten fold.

Labrador Dog Information

A Labrador dog is a wonderful breed that has many great qualities. You need to know all information regarding the Labrador breed before you decide to make a commitment.

Here are the important facts you need to know:

Size – Labradors have a medium build and grow up to 22 ½” at the shoulders. They weigh between 55 – 75 pounds.

Temperament – The Labrador dog is friendly, lovable, loyal, and independent. They are not aggressive or shy. That being said, some Labs, particularly in their first few years, can have high strung qualities if not properly exercised or trained.

Life Span – the average lifespan of a Labrador is 12 – 14 years.

Health – Labradors are a relatively healthy breed, but they are prone to some hereditary problems such as hip and elbow dysplasia. They are also at risk of eye problems like cataracts.

Grooming – Labradors have a short coat that is water resistant, and is thick and dense. They do a good job at keeping themselves clean, but should be brushed every two weeks, and more often during shedding season. Labs shed quite a bit, especially twice a year when growing and shedding their coat.

Social Skills – Labradors are incredibly social and get along with everyone. They adore children and adults equally. Labs are even friendly with visitors. This makes them a poor guard dog.

Home life – The Labrador dog can thrive both in the country and city. However, if living in the city, they should be in a house that has a decent sized backyard.

Exercise – Labs require plenty of exercise. They should be taken on 20 – 30 minute walks at least twice, daily. Furthermore, you need to provide them with plenty of playtime. In addition, keep in mind that this breed loves to swim, which is also great exercise.

Training – Labradors are easy to train because they are quick learners. You should enroll them in obedience training if you want them to develop as a credit to their breed.

 

Dog Group – The Labrador is recognized in the Gundog/Sporting group. These dog breeds are known for their tracking skills and hunting abilities. They have impeccable smell, and are exceptionally skilled at retrieving.

Other Pets – Labs are friendly and accepting of other family pets.

First Time Dog Owner – Labradors are a fine choice for first time dog owners. Just make sure you do plenty of research and are ready to make the commitment. A good idea is to talk to other Lab owners to find out what you are getting into.

Choosing Good Labrador Breeders

Due to the fact that Labradors are such a popular dog choice, there is a high demand for Labrador breeders. Thus, there are plenty of breeders that you will likely be able to choose from.

That being said, not all Labrador breeders are interested in providing you with a healthy, quality Lab puppy. Some breeders are only in it to make money. These breeders are typically known as “backyard breeders” and should be avoided at all costs.

To help you distinguish the good from the bad, the best place to look for a list of Labrador breeders is:

  • Online at your national kennel club
  • Online a the Labrador Retriever club of your nation

The following is what you need to find out about Labrador breeders, despite where you locate them:

  • Check if the Labrador breeder is registered with the national kennel club or Labrador Retriever club. If they are not registered what is there reason? Cost is a poor answer and is a good indication that the breeder is only interested in making a buck and doesn’t care about the breed.
  • Ask to see the parents of the liter if they are there
  • Find out the size of the liter. If there is less than the original liter present, where are the others? Have they been sold or did they die?
  • Find out how long the people have been Labrador breeders
  • Find out how many Labrador liters they have every year
  • Check for a guarantee. If you can not register your Labrador, or if it becomes seriously ill within a year can you return it, receive a refund or rebate?
  • Find out the liter’s medical history. All puppies should have been checked by the Vet and have health certificates.
  • Request the pedigree. Find out the background of the Labrador litter. Check for hereditary health defects including hip and elbow dysplasia.
  • Find out if the Labrador will come with a complete and signed Breeders Certificate that includes a pedigree and 3 – 4 generations.

Other facts you need to take into account when dealing with a Labrador breeder include:

  • Is the breeder answering questions to your satisfaction? Do the Labrador dogs appear happy?
  • Do the Labrador puppies seem healthy?
  • Is the premise and are the Labrador’s clean?
  • Do the Labs parents look like the breed standard?
  • Do the breeders only breed Labradors? If not, why not?
  • Is the breeder asking you questions about your dog experience, your lifestyle, and the reason you are interested in Labradors?

You need to feel comfortable with the breeder you choose. There is no point in saving money by buying a puppy from Labrador breeders that don’t have the breed’s best interest in mind. You need to buy a dog that is healthy and happy. Don’t settle for anything less.

Labrador Puppies – Look For The Standard

When looking at Labrador puppies, there is more to consider than simply choosing the color you like best, or finding the cutest one out of the bunch. Every dog has a certain standard that explains the characteristics that distinguishes it as a breed.

To ensure the Labrador puppies you are interested in, are healthy happy Labradors, here is a brief outline of the Lab standard to give you an idea of what to look for:

Head – Large head with broad skull and a defined stop.

Ears – A Labs ears rest close to the head, but far from the face. They are not heavy or large and are the perfect compliment to their features. Labrador puppies with healthy ears have light pink skin on the inside and there should be no foul odor, scabbing, etc.

Eyes – Labs have large round, dark or hazel eyes. The eyes have black rims, and have an alert, friendly and intelligent look. A Lab puppy’s eyes should be clear and not tearing.

Nose – A Labrador has a black, wide nose with distinguished nostrils. Nostrils should be free of mucus.

Mouth – Labrador’s have strong jaws that are equipped with two rows of white teeth that form a perfect scissor bite. The upper teeth slightly overlap the bottom.

Body – A Labrador is endowed with a strong chest that is well developed. His ribs are well sprung and his back is level. They are well proportioned and balanced.

Tail – A Lab has a medium sized tail that gradually tapers at the tip and is thick at the base. The tail looks smooth and is coated in fur. There should be no feathering. The tail is either carried in line with the back or slightly up. It should never hang down, or curl over the back..

Legs – Labrador have strong boned forelegs and well developed back legs with turned stifles. Both sets of legs are strong and straight. They do not turn out or in.

Feet – Labrador puppies have round and compact feet. Their pads are well developed and toes arches. Their feet are straight and do not turn in or out.

Gait – The Labrador should have a balanced and carefree walk. Puppies will naturally be awkward. However, you should still take the time to observe how Labrador puppies you are interested in move. You may notice that they favor one leg or paw. This could be a sign of defect.

Coat – A Labrador’s coat is his most distinctive feature. A Lab has two coats: the undercoat, which is unseen and water resistant, and the topcoat, which is dense, short and straight. The coat has not wave or curl and should feel rough when touched. When buying a puppy, make sure they have no bald patches.

Color – Labrador Puppies are available in three different, solid colors: Yellow, Chocolate and Black.

Skin – A Labrador should have smooth skin this is without blemishes, scabs or bumps. The skin may be pale pink, brown or spotted.

Since the Labrador puppies you are seeing may yet to show signs of the breed standard, make sure you take a look at their parents so you get an idea of what they will look like when they are older.