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.

What To Do When Brining Your New Labrador Puppy Home

You need to have everything ready for your Labrador puppy before you bring him home for the first time. There are plenty of different items you can procure for him, but the following list includes the most important things:

Collar – Buy an adjustable collar that will fit securely around his neck without choking him.

Leash – Purchase a retractable leash so you can control the distance you give your Labrador when walking him. This leash is also good for training.

Food and water bowls – Your Labrador puppy needs two dishes, one for food the other for water. Stainless steel or ceramic dishes are best, as plastic tends to breed bacteria.

Dog bed or pillow and/or blanket – Your Labrador will need a place where he can relax and sleep. Either Purchase him an adult sized bed (24” x 36”) or pillow (45” to 55”). Blankets also add extra comfort.

Crate – Properly crate training your Labrador puppy will provide him with a comfortable space he can call his own. Crate training makes traveling easier, and provides your dog with the supreme relaxation at times when he needs to feel safe. The best sized crate is between 36” – 42”.

Food – Feed your Labrador puppy the same food he was being given by the breeder. This will help him adjust. You can switch his food later if you would like, but to start keep it simple and familiar.

Treats – Have treats handy to please your new Labrador puppy, and to make beginner training easier.

Toys – Labradors are natural born chewers and will eat through any entire wardrobe if given the opportunity. Provide your lab with plenty of chew toys, tennis balls, ropes, bones and durable plush toys to enjoy. Just make sure when you play with him you use these toys so he will know they are his and can enjoy them.

Name – Your Labrador will need a name before you bring him home. Choose a name together with your family, and make sure it is something you all like. Call him only by his new name when he first arrives so he will become used to it.

Now that you are familiar with the physical necessities your Lab will need, the following are other aspects about brining your puppy home that you need to take into careful consideration:

When should I bring my Labrador puppy home?

  • At the beginning of a weekend
  • During a vacation you took for the exclusive purpose of bringing the pup home.

You will want to make sure you will have a few days to spend with the dog before getting back into your regular work routine. Your dog needs to adjust properly so he won’t feel separation anxiety.

Is there any time I should not bring home my Labrador puppy?
Yes. You should not bring a puppy home during busy holidays when you will have plenty of visitors and your house will be out of sorts. It is imperative you make your new puppy feel safe, and that you provide him with a taste of what your regular everyday home life is like so he can adapt.

Make everyone apart of the welcome home party and include other pets
Get everyone involved in welcoming the new Lab home. Make sure they know how to handle the puppy. You should also introduce the other pets to the new puppy. Make sure when the pets interact that you are in the room so you can safe guard the new pup.

Bringing your Labrador puppy home is an experience you can both enjoy. Make the most of it, by making him the star. You should have no other distractions.