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Lovable Labrador

Origin:

The breed originated on the island of Newfoundland, off the northeastern Atlantic coast of Canada. Originally called the St. John’s dog, after the capital city of Newfoundland, they were bred to help the local fishermen–hauling nets, fetching ropes, and retrieving fish that had escaped the nets–as well as to be a family dog.

 

Vital Stats:

Group– Sporting

Height– 21 to 24inch at shoulder (male: 22.5 to 24.5 inches, Females 21.5 to 23.5 inches)

Weight– 55 to 80 pound ie 25 to 35 kg

Life span – 10 to 12 years

Speciality:

  1. The two-layer coat protects them from the cold and wet, which helps them in their role as a retriever for hunters. The coat comes in three colors: chocolate, black, and yellow
  2. The webbed toesof the Labrador make them excellent swimmers and help them tolerate walking on snow better than other breeds.
  3. Otter like tail helps them direct in water while swimming
  4. Labradors can have precise power or bite force distribution to the things they carry in their mouth. For example: well trained lab can carry an egg in the mouth without cracking the shell. This trait is called as “Soft Mouth”.
  5. Intelligence: They learn things easily and sense the mood of the owner easily and behave accordingly. They exhibit all the humanly emotions.

 

Nature & adaptability:

Labradors are very friendly and highly adaptable with children and old age people alike. They should however be trained to control their energy which may unknowingly harm the humans around.

The Lab’s sweet nature makes them an excellent therapy dog, visiting elderly and hospitals, and their intelligence makes them ideal assistance dog for people with disabilities. They also excel as a search and rescue dogs.

Labradors are not good watchdogs. A cute Labrador is likely to greet an intruder and happily show them all inside the house.

Standard breed Characteristics:

There is a great deal of variety among Labradors. The following characteristics are considered to be standards according to AKC

  1. Size: Medium to large. They should be as long from the withers to the base of the tail as they are from the floor to the withers.

Ideal weight for males of 29–36 kg (65–80 lb) and for females as 25–32 kg (55–70 lb). Height vary between 22.5 to                 24.5 inch for males and 21.5 to 23.5 inch for females.

  1. Coat: The Labrador coat should be short and dense, but not wiry. The coat is water-resistant, so the dog does not get cold when taking to water in the winter. That means that the dog naturally has a slightly dry, oily coat. Common colours are black & yellow, and rare one is chocolate.
  2. Head: The head should be broad with slightly pronounced eyebrows. The eyes should be kind and expressive. Common eye colours are brown and hazel but may vary slightly. The lining around the eyes should be black. The ears should hang close to the head and set slightly above the eyes giving somewhat an inverted triangular look.
  3. Jaws: The jaws should be strong and powerful. The muzzle should be of medium length and should not be too tapered. The jaws should hang slightly and curve backwards.
  4. Body: The body should have a powerful and muscular build.

Feeding:

Why are Labradors always hungry?

A 2016 study at the University of Cambridge found that Labradors‘ insatiable appetite might be due to changes in a specific gene, called the POMC gene. When the POMC gene is changed, the chemical messages which tell a Lab when he’s full don’t work properly.

So it is the responsibility of the pet parents to take care of the diet of their lovely & ever hungry fur ball. The pet parents should also learn to say NO to hungry eyes and cute head tilts.

Your pet’s diet depends upon many factors like: size, age, metabolic requirements, build quality, activity level, pregnancy or any other specific physiological or health condition. The quality of dog food you buy also makes a difference–the better the dog food, better are the chances of optimum growth and development of all the vital organs and hence a better and longer life expectancy. Also investing in a better quality food will also reduce your dog’s susceptibility to diseases and hence reduced vet visits.  Pet parents should remember that an active dog is a happy dog. Get in touch with your vet for the best diet plan for your pooch.

 

Grooming:

  1. Hair: Labradors tends to shed hair twice annually which is physiological or regularly throughout the year in temperate climates. Individual variations are seen the amount of hairs shed.  Labrador hair is usually short and straight, and the tail is quite broad and strong. The coat is easy to take care of and has two layers: a short, thick, straight topcoat, and a soft, weather-resistant undercoat. The two-layer coat protects them from the cold and wet. This also helps them in swimming well and drying off quick. Pet parents should avoid shaving all the hair of the dog in hot weather as this will take a toll on their thermoregulation and lead to various skin issues. Regular brushing your dog coat is also important.
  2. Teeth: Like all the dog breeds, the teeth are sharp in the puppy hood ie the milk teeth and the adult or permanent teeth are a bit blunt and strong and stay throughout the life. Your should introduce brushing teeth to your Labrador in puppy stage so that they do not resist it later. It should always be associated with positive experiences and treating your pet is a good idea. Brush your Lab’s teeth at least two times a week to remove tartar buildup and the bacteria that lurk inside it. Daily brushing is even better. Do not use human toothpaste to brush your pet’s teeth as fluoride is detrimental for their health and human pastes do contain it.
  3. Nails: Nails getting sharper is normal but if your play with your mate in some rough surface like cement floor, the nails will naturally get filed. If you are not confident on the nail clipping stuff, get to a professional groomer or your vet to help you out. If you can hear nails clicking on the floor, they’re too long. Proper nail hygiene and length is also important for your pet’s healthy leg.
  4. Ears: Check your pet’s ears weekly for redness or a bad odor, which mostly indicates an infection. Wipe your dog’s ear gently while checking them and if needed and prescribed, add an appropriate ear cleaning solution to it. Don’t insert anything into the ear canal; just clean the outer ear. It is also advisable to clean out the ears after bathing, swimming, or any time your dog gets wet.

Health conditions:

  1. Somewhat prone to hip and elbow dysplasia if the Labradors are overweight though not as much as some other breeds. Hip scores are recommended before breeding and often joint supplements are recommended. Choose your breeder and the breed with an expert guidance.
  2. Eye problems are sometimes seen in Labradors, particularly progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, corneal dystrophy and retinal dysplasia. These problems can be inherited by the next generation and hence should be eliminated before breeding.
  3. Hereditary myopathy, a disorder that causes a deficiency in type II muscle fiber is very rarely seen.
  4. Labradors often suffer from exercise induced collapse, a syndrome that causes hyperthermia, weakness, collapse, and disorientation after short bouts of exercise.
  5. Out of all dog breeds it is the Labrador that is most likely to become obese. This obesity has been attributed to a specific gene mutation.

See our video on obesity on our You Tube channel.

 

Vaccinations and deworming should be done according to standards on your vet’s advice.

 

KEEP LOVING… KEEP LIVING… KEEP PETTING…

 

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