January is a special month for the Labrador Retriever. This very good boy celebrates his own special day on the 8th. Cute, friendly, and loyal, the Lab is one of the most popular dogs in the world. They make great family pets with their exuberant personalities, playful antics, intelligence, and loyalty, and also usually get along well with other animals. Read on as a local Conway, SC vet celebrates the Lab.
Basics Of The Labrador Retriever Breed
The Labrador Retriever is a medium-sized dog that usually stands between 21 and 24 inches tall and weighs between 55 and 80 pounds. Labradors typically live between 10 and 12 years.
Labradors are known for having lovable personalities, which contributes to their reputation as wonderful family dogs. These dogs are not only super cute, but have excellent temperaments. They are known for being highly sociable, affectionate, and loving. This breed is known for their desire to befriend anyone and everyone they come across. (Have we mentioned the fact that they are adorable?)
It’s worth mentioning that Labrador Retrievers are very active dogs. They have an extended period of puppy-like behavior, and can be frisky and rambunctious long after officially reaching maturity. It’s essential to have plenty of toys available for Fido, who has a notorious love of chewing. (You may notice that your furry friend enjoys carrying around his playthings, which is always adorable.)
What Are Labrador Retrievers Good At?
Swimming comes naturally to many Labs. Those slightly webbed toes come in handy when Fido wants to jump off a dock after his favorite ball! The Lab tends to do very well at dock diving, and is also great at flyball, agility, freestyle, and Frisbee.
Because of their good nature, intelligence, and trainability, Labradors are excellent working dogs. They can be found working in a number of fields, including search-and-rescue and drug and bomb detection. They make excellent therapy dogs as well.
What Health Issues Do Labrador Retrievers Have?
A healthy diet, an appropriate exercise plan, and proper veterinary care should keep your pooch happy and healthy. However, the National Breed Club recommends getting some specific health tests.
These screenings include:
- Hip and Elbow Evaluations
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- Centronuclear Myopathy
- Eye Evaluation
Bloat, which tends to affect dogs with deep chests, is another common problem. Talk to your Conway, SC vet about your pup’s feeding habits and watch for these symptoms:
- Retching without vomiting (dry heaving)
- Signs of Pain/Discomfort
- Swollen Belly
Bloat can be life-threatening, so you should contact your Conway, SC veterinarian immediately if you see any of these things.
How Should A Labrador Retriever Be Groomed?
The Labrador Retriever actually has two coats: a coarse top coat and a soft undercoat. These guys don’t shed too too much, but they do need to be brushed a few times a week.
Speaking of coats, Labs can be yellow, brown, or black. However, sometimes Fido is referred to as a White or Red Labrador. These are technically yellow pups that are just wearing different shades of yellow. There are also Silver Labs. These guys are adorable, loyal, and a bit controversial. The AKC does not officially accept them, and many breeders claim they are not purebreds (We’ll leave that debate to others).
How Did The Labrador Retriever Get So Cute?
Fido is officially recognized as a British retriever gun dog. This breed’s ancestry dates back to the 1500s in Newfoundland. They were created by locals who started crossbreeding local water dogs with larger Newfoundland dogs. This resulted in a new type of canine, which was called the St. John’s Water Dog or Lesser Newfoundland.
Fido’s dense, water-resistant fur and webbed toes help make him an exceptional swimmer. These loyal canines were skilled at retrieving nets and fish from the icy waters of the North Atlantic. They also assisted with other important tasks, such as towing dories and moving ropes between boats.
The modern Labrador’s history starts in the 1830s, when three prominent figures – the 10th Earl of Home and his nephews, the 5th Duke of Buccleuch and Lord John Scott – brought some of the water dogs from Newfoundland to Europe. The pups, who most likely arrived on trade ships traveling between Canada and Poole, were then crossed with British hunting dogs. Later on, in the 1880s, the 2nd Earl of Malmesbury noticed Fido’s exceptional ability for retrieving waterfowl. He proceeded to mate his own pups with descendants of the imported dogs, resulting in one of the most adorable and well-loved breeds ever.
The Labrador Retriever was becoming very popular by the early 1900’s. He was accepted into the American Kennel Club in 1917, and was formally accepted into the English Kennel Club in 1903.
What Makes The Labrador Retriever So Popular?
The Lab has many wonderful qualities: charm, cuteness, loyalty, affection, fun, and intelligence, to name a few. It’s no surprise that these dogs are one of the most popular breeds. In fact, Fido was America’s number-one pup for 30 years. Last year, he lost his place to the stout and plucky French Bulldog, but we wouldn’t be surprised if he takes his trophy back.
Pros and Cons Of Having A Labrador Retriever
There aren’t many downsides to having a Lab. You just need to do some research to ensure that you are picking the right pup for your household.
We’ve already listed some of Fido’s many charms. The Lab is that happy-go-lucky, cheerful dog who loves life and wants to befriend everyone he meets. He never loses his enthusiasm for his favorite things, which include swimming, playing Fetch, and accompanying his humans wherever they go. In many ways, you just couldn’t ask for a better (or cuter) dog.
However, that doesn’t mean the Lab is perfect.
In addition to being sweet, friendly, and super lovable, these dogs can also be stubborn. They can also be prone to shenanigans, such as rolling around in puddles or chasing every squirrel they see. They are also incredibly high in energy and require ample playtime and exercise. They must be properly trained and given lots of exercise to burn off those zoomies.
Another thing to consider is the fact that Fido is on the bigger side. This can be an issue for those who rent and/or live in apartments.
Before adopting any dog, it’s important to do a lot of research and a lot of thinking. You need to be sure that you’ve picked the pooch that is right for your household!
What Labrador Retrievers Are Famous?
Several of these cute and charming dogs have become famous. There’s Clifford The Big Red Dog, Brian Griffen from Family Guy, and Luath from The Incredible Journey. Little Boo, a therapy dog assigned to Big Boo in Orange Is the New Black, is a Labrador. There is also Spike, who played Old Yeller. There are also lots of Labs who have gone viral on social media for their charming antics. Just do a video search on the word ‘cute Lab’ or ‘Adorable Lab’. We suspect you won’t be disappointed!
Do you have questions about Labrador Retriever care? Contact us here at Waccamaw Regional Veterinary Center, your local Conway, SC pet hospital, today!