With its balanced, friendly nature, the Labrador is an ideal family dog and a reliable partner for all kinds of assignments and work.
The breed got its name after its area of origin, the Labrador Peninsula on the east coast of Canada.
Landseer dogs and Newfoundland dogs, which have been clearly differentiated from the “real Labrador” since 1814, also come from the same area. Since Canada was a British crown colony at the time, British compatriots took the first ancestors of the later Labradors to the island, where they began to breed in the course of the 19th century.
The name Labrador Retriever came up around 1870 because this dog, with its fine sense of smell and soft muzzle, was particularly suitable for retrieving the hunted game unscathed. With his fondness for water, the intelligent hunting helper liked to fetch shot ducks to his master or work for fishermen to haul in the nets or expelled fish. The English verb to retrieve means “to bring back, to recover” and similarly in French retrouver “to find again”. Labradors provide valuable services to human society as a companion dog for the disabled, drug detection dog, search dog in disaster areas or as therapy dog. In addition, it promotes domestic harmony in millions of families.
According to tradition, “Avon”, born in 1885, is the forefather of all Labradors. His black coat color was the sole breeding standard until the first yellow Labrador “Ben of Hyde” was born in another breed in 1899 and was also recognized due to the recessive inheritance of the coat color: The genetic predispositions for black fur are superimposed on the yellow and brown, which, however, emerge under certain conditions. On July 7th, 1903 the Kennel Club categorized the Labrador as an independent breed, whereby further development resulted in two types with different physiques. The so-called work line is agile and slim, the show line is characterized by a rather compact stature. And finally, in 1964, “Cookridge Tango” was the first brown Labrador to be officially recognized as the breed standard.
The head is well modeled, relatively broad and has a distinct stop. The drooping, close-fitting ears sit high and far back. The body is muscular, strongly built and has a voluminous rib cage, which is followed by a short, strong loin area. A typical feature of all Labradors is the long, densely hairy otter tail, which is so called because of its pointed shape. It can be carried happily, but it should not bend forward over the back. The coat, made up of short, hard hair, has a thick, weatherproof undercoat. The coat should not have any feathering and should not be wavy.
Labradors usually show neither shyness nor aggression towards humans or other dogs, provided they are socialized. Physical and mental occupation is very important, otherwise you can develop unwanted habits if you are under-challenged. The good-natured dogs are among the most popular family dogs today, perhaps their calm and patient nature stems from their affinity for hunting. The innate hunting instinct should be lived out with dummy training, agility and long walks, if possible by the water.
Labradors are at risk of painful changes to the hip bones (HD) and elbows (ED) due to their size and weight. Whether and to what extent the skeletal diseases occur in old age is due to genetic predispositions and poor nutrition. In addition, the eyes can be inherited from cataracts (HC) and retinal death (PRA). Labradors in particular are affected by ectopic ureters. This also congenital disease is a malformation of the ureter that causes incontinence and ascending bacterial infections. However, these typical diseases will hardly occur in Labrador dogs with proof of parentage or puppies from responsible breeding. Healthy animals live to be around 10 years old; this life span is far higher than that of other races of the same size and weight.
The Labrador at a glance
Origin: Canada / Great Britain FCI Breed Standard 122, Group 8, Section 1: Retriever Dogs, Rooking Dogs, Water Dogs Size: medium-sizedWeight at the withers: male 56 – 62 cm, female 54 – 60 cm, weight male: 27 – 40 kg, female: 27 – 35 kg, coat color: light cream to fox red, plain liver / chocolate brown, yellow, black Use: guide dog, hunting dog, drug tracking dog, rescue dog, therapy dog Character: calm, patient, family-friendly Health risks: Arthritis of the hip joints (HD) and elbow (ED), cataract (HC) Life expectancy: approx. 10 years
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