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Although the Labrador Retriever as it is
known today was developed in Britain, originated
from dogs found along the East coast of
Canada. These dogs had been known variously
as the Black Water Dog, the Lesser Newfoundland,
or the St John's Dog; they were descendants
of dogs taken there by explorers, settlers
and fishing crews. The dogs, found to have
excellent hunting and fishing abilities,
were brought to England early in the 1800's
where their "modern" development
carried on. Crossed with other local sporting
breeds, the strong and sturdy Labrador Retriever
became, and continues to be, England's most
popular gundog. The Labrador Retriever or
simply Lab for short excels in obedience
and field trials, needs plenty of outdoor
exercise and especially enjoys swimming.
The height of a Labrador Retriever
is 22.5 - 24.5" (57.2 - 57.2cm) for
dogs, 21.5 - 23.5" (54.6 - 54.6cm)
weight for a Labrador Retriever is 60 -
75 lbs (26.8 - 26.8 kg) for dogs, 55 - 70
lbs (24.6 - 24.6 kg) for bitches.
The Labrador Retriever's dense
coat should be smooth and feel hard. The
solid body color varies from black, to chocolate,
to yellow (light cream color to fox red).
The coat is easily cared for with regular
brushing with a slicker type brush.
The Labrador Retriever's easy-going and
friendly manner make him an excellent addition
to families with children. The Labrador
Retriever is easy to train and, by nature,
is a true sporting dog. Labs love swimming
and will play fetch in the water for as
long as you will!
Labrador Retrievers are susceptible
to hip dysplasia and all breeding stock
should be x-rayed and certified clear. They
are also at risk for several eye problems
including progressive retinal atrophy (PRA),
cataracts and retinal dysplasia, therefore
all breeding stock should be examined annually.
Other problems are: skin allergies and problems
such as Acral Lick Dermatitis (lick granuloma),
thyroid, and epilepsy, the latter being
highly suspected to have a genetic component.
On the whole though Labrador Retrievers
are generally very healthy dogs.
Besides being the most popular
gundog in Britain, the Labrador is the most
popular dog in the USA and in Canada, topping
registration charts in both countries. The
Labrador has gained world-wide recognition
as a good police and war dog, and also makes
an excellent seeing-eye dog for the blind;
in fact, one Labrador Retriever in Tel Aviv
worked as a guide dog for over 14 and a
AKC: Group 1 - Sporting Dogs
ANKC: Group 3 - Gundogs
CKC: Group 1 - Sporting Dogs
FCI: Group 8 Section 1 Retrievers
KC: Sporting - Gundog Group
UKC: Gun Dog