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Breed Profiles
Dog Breeds

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Labrador Retriever

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Labrador Retriever

General
OtherNames Labrador, Lab
Dog Group Kennel Club Gundog
Breed Classification Labradors belong to the gundog group and are used as companions, in field trials, assistance dogs (hearing and sight), gundogs and seen in the show-ring.
Cost of Ownership
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Average Food Cost
£4-7.50
Feeding Requirements
Labradors are not fussy eaters and, as such, need not be expensive to feed. They are greedy dogs and therefore care must be taken to ensure they do not get the chance to raid the rubbish bin! Careful watch over their diet is a must as they are prone to obesity.
Other Expenses
Puppies will cost around £400 and upwards. This is a relatively healthy breed therefore there should not be excessive veterinary bills.
Average Puppy Price
£300-500
Lifespan
9 - 15 years
Average Litter Size
8
General Physical Description
Labs are very active, strongly built dogs with good bone and substance. Their heads are broad with soft, intelligent eyes. They have a double coat: the undercoat being weather-resistant and the outer coat being short and dense with no feathering. Their tails are totally unique being 'otter' like and their movement is straight and true both front and back, covering the ground freely.
Height Min Max
Bitch 54cm 56cm
Dog 56cm 57cm
Weight Min Max
Bitch 28kg 0kg
Dog 30kg 0kg
Size Category Medium
Weight Height Range Bitches measure 54 to 56cms at the withers, dogs between 56 to 57cms. Bitches weigh around 28kgs and dogs around 30kgs.
Ailments The problems the Lab has to contend with are largely due to overbreeding so care should be taken when purchasing a puppy to ensure the breeder has screened for these hereditary problems: hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy and epilepsy. If this is done the likelihood of your puppy being susceptible to these diseases is greatly reduced.
Common Ailments
Susceptibility To Illness
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History The breed originated not in Labrador, but on the coast of Newfoundland in the 17th century. They were trained to bring in the fishing-nets through the icy waters for the fishermen and, in the early 19th century, were brought to Poole Harbour in Great Britain. These dogs were short-limbed, sturdy swimmers with short dense coats and an otter-like tail. They were so attractive that the fishermen had umpteen offers from Englishmen to buy them. The breed was instantly successful as a gundog. The Earl of Malmesbury was fascinated by these dogs, known at that time as Saint John's breed of water dogs and he started breeding them, calling them Labrador dogs. A heavy dog tax in Canada and the new quarantine laws in Great Britain caused a great reduction in the breed, limiting further breeding to be done without any more imports. Thankfully the ones already in Britain were of excellent quality and in the hands of serious breeders. The Kennel Club of Great Britain first recognised the breed in 190
Intelligence Intelligent dogs, Labradors are easily trained, making them ideal for use in field sports, obedience competitions, as search dogs, as guide dogs and as hearing dogs. These dogs take a great pleasure in any of these activities.
Show Characteristics The skull should be wide with a defined stop with powerful jaws and a wide nose. The teeth should also be strong with a complete scissor bite. Medium-sized eyes should express intelligence and good temper in either brown or hazel colouration. The ears should not be heavy or large and hang close to the head. The neck should be clean, strong and powerful set into well-placed, long and sloping shoulders. The chest should be a good width and depth with a level topline. The forelegs should be well-boned and straight and the hindquarters well-developed. The feet should be round and compact with well developed pads and well-arched toes. The tail is the distinctive feature, being very thick towards the base, amply covered in short and dense coat with no feathering.
Country Of Origin England
Famous Examples
Records Held
Characteristics
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Energy High
Overall Exercise > 2 hours
Distress Caused if Left Alone Medium
Personal Protection Low
Suitability As Guard Dog Low
Risk of Sheep Worrying Medium
Tendency to Bark Medium
Ease of Transportation High
Level of Aggression Low
Compatibility With Other Animals High
Suitable For Children
High
General Character And Temperament This breed is definitely in the top three when it comes to choosing a family pet! They are friendly, good-natured dogs who are affectionate with everyone. They are adaptable dogs and are naturally social animals. They bond well with children, being patient and forgiving. Other household animals are not at risk. They are extremely loyal and love to be included in all aspects of family life. They will bark to draw your attention to strangers but will welcome them with open arms.
Grooming
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Coat Length Short/Medium
Grooming Requirement Once a week
Trimming None
Requires Professional Groomer
Grooming Their coats are easy to maintain. The coat is thick and dense with a weather-resistant undercoat. Brush them once a week with more attention during moulting.
Colour Labs come in solid black, yellow and chocolate brown/liver.
Shedding Moderate
Suffers From Allergies
Tendency to Cause Allergies

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