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Tip of the Month

12/23/2009 Breed Spotlight - The Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever

Labrador retriever - breed spotlight

According to the AKC Registration Statistics, the Labrador Retriever continues to be the most popular breed in the United States. He is commonly and affectionately referred to as a “Lab”, and is known for his energy, loyalty, patience, and friendly disposition. Due to his outgoing and good-natured attitude, he is the ideal dog for an active family.


Labrador Retrievers originated from Newfoundland, and were bred in order to retrieve game. Initially, he acted as an assistant to fishermen, and was trained to help pull in the fishing nets. He is well-known for his water-loving antics, and is always up for a swim. Energetic and eager to please, Labs are active participants in a variety of activities that go beyond just hunting. He also serves as an excellent guide dog for disabled people, a search and rescue dog, a police dog, and as a participant in agility training.


Labrador Retrievers have short coats that are stiff to the touch, and relatively easy to maintain. He sheds seasonally, so he should be groomed regularly with a stiff-bristled dog brush, and bathed periodically. His coat is water-resistant, and beneath his top coat of fur is a soft undercoat, which protects him from harsh weather conditions. The most common colors for the Lab are black, yellow, and brown; however, combination's of these colors are infrequent in his breed.

Dog Training Tips

The Labrador Retriever is described as highly trainable, as both a family dog, and a sporting dog. It is important to train him in his youth, as he will become incredibly strong in adulthood and is resistant to being obedient if his leader is not 100 in charge. Teaching him dog obedience is vital to the success and happiness of a Lab. He should also be socialized at an early age, as he can become reserved or wary around strangers if he is not accustomed to their presence. His breed needs a strong pack leader, and he can become destructive or restless if he is not regularly exercised, so it is important to provide him with mental and physical activities in order to keep him happy and well-occupied. In order to effectively manage and train your Lab, consult your local dog trainer.

Labrador Retrievers As Pets

If you are looking for a family oriented, easily trained dog, the Labrador Retriever is the breed for you. He is capable of adjusting to apartment life, as long as his owner has a comprehensive grasp of animal behavior, and enough free time to frequently exercise him. The Lab is a well-known and widely loved breed who will serve as a loyal companion to anyone who adopts him.


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