Meet The Labrador Retriever

Yellow Labrador

Luther the Yellow Labrador

The Labrador Retriever has long been known as the most popular breed of dog in the world as far as family pet dogs go, and I am not one of those guys who plans to argue with this theory, because I am one of those guys who believes it to be true! I have been fortunate to be around Labs for a good portion of my life, and even more fortunate too, for the last ten years, have a Labrador Retriever looking out for my best interest as far as my mobility goes. Luther, featured in the pic on the left when he was a young pup, was my eyes for seven years starting back on January tenth, 2001, and he served me very, very well over the years. I retired the big guy in the summer of 2008 and not long after, Lars, a little black fire cracker entered my life and took over the job of insuring I get around without killing myself.

Now that you know how I feel about Labrador Retrievers, let me tell you a little about the actual breed. There are two distinct types of Labradors; the English Labrador and the American Labrador. Although it maybe difficult to tell, Luther, (on the left) is an English lad, belonging to the group that is generally heavier built, stocky and a more blocky appearance. Lars as it happens, is an American bred Labrador as he is much leaner, he has a smaller head and he is lanky. It is said that English Labs are primarily the lazier of the two types of Labs, and this, in my case is bang on! Luther was a lazy Lab for sure and although he had his moments, he preferred to saunter through life at his own leisurely pace, which was just fine by me!,

Luther, or Lu as I called him, was a big yellow guy and as far as Labs go, he was the biggest suck in the world, very, very loyal and very much a daddy’s boy. Lars on the other hand, is a little more independent than his predecessor, and is not as inclined to snuggle up with me on the couch.

So what makes the Labrador such a popular choice? There is so much that goes into making this breed as great as they are, and I’ll talk about a few factors that stand out to me.

Trainability: When it comes to dog training Labrador Retrievers are one of the easiest breeds to train. They are good natured, loving, loyal and love to please and it is all of these character traits that contribute to their ability to learn very quickly. Labs, however should be trained at an early age so that they live with good manners. Like any breed, not training them at an early age can result in behavior problems, so procrastinating is not recommended.

Fun: The Labrador retriever loves to have fun. They love to play, they love to cuddle, they love to relax on their beds, they love to scurry around the yard barking at birds and squirrels. No matter what they are doing, they have fun doing it.

The need to be with people: This may sound selfish to some, but I love a pooch that likes being around people. Some would prefer to do their own thang more often than not, but the Labrador is determined to be a part of what you are doing. They are very social animals and thrive on inclusion, even if they have to go out of their way to make you notice them.

Labrador play: There is not much that I can think of off the top of my head that makes me feel better than watching Labradors frolicking together. When Luther was alive, he and Lars would play together regularly, and I would simply sit back and take it all in. They would play tug of war with a rope, they would chase each other around outside, and they would even sometimes actually play this silly game where Lars would taunt Lu and then run away, only to come back and taunt him some more until the big grump had enough and growled at him.

Have I sold you on the Labrador retriever yet? This breed is the most popular for a reason and will continue to be the top choice for people looking for a pooch to bring into their homes because of just a few of the reasons I have listed above.

Labs come in three different colours. You can have a Yellow Lab, a Black Lab or a Chocolate Lab. When it comes to temperament, all three are similar in that they are all bouncy, goofy, and very, very affectionate. The temperament of the Labrador makes them perfect candidates for service dog work, thus they are the most widely used dog breed for an array of working roles ranging from helping blind people, to assisting people in wheelchairs.

As far as dog health is concerned, these guys are a pretty healthy breed of dog which is another reason why they make such popular pets. Adult Labradors generally grow to a height between 20 and 24 inches at the shoulders, and can weigh anywhere from 60 to 80 pounds. Luther was generally in the upper seventy’s and Lars is of a similar weight. These dogs are very loyal and loving creatures, and are also very patient and durable. They, like any pet dog do require exercise on a daily basis, and the more you can give them the better.

When it comes to dog grooming Labrador Retrievers are heavy shedders so it is important to groom them regularly because of their double coat. Bathing should only be done when necessary.

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