Breed Focus: Labrador Retriever

By: Andrew Munford

There are so many reasons why the Labrador Retriever was just named the most popular breed in the United States by the American Kennel Club.

They’re loyal, full of energy and personality, easily trained, and are great as family dogs as well as personal companions.

labrador.jpgThe breed originated in Newfoundland and was originally named St. John’s dogs. They were trained to catch fish that had escaped fisherman’s lines in the Atlantic Ocean. states that they are believed to have been a cross of Newfoundlands and smaller breeds that were skilled swimmers. This explains their absolute love for the water and their ability to swim circles around some of their owners.

Due to their history as a working breed, they are very easily trained and are widely used as hunting dogs. They also take great pride and pleasure in serving as emotional support, guide and guard dogs. They truly are a breed that will do anything for the owners lucky enough to have them.

Due to their short hair and soft coat, they are very easily groomed and great to use as a pillow if you get one to sit still long enough for a nap.

I know some of you lab owners read the last line and thought, “Easily groomed!? Have you tried putting one in a tub?”

Yes. Yes, I have. I will tell all the readers out there that their coats are easy to maintain. That doesn’t mean they like the process. More than likely you’ve gone through the pain of begging your lab to let you bathe them. This has probably included treats, forced angry voices at their adorable faces, literally dragging them as close as you can to the water, or just giving up and turning the hose on them in the backyard.

I’ll say that experience proves the hose method is always going to be the most successful in getting them wet, but they’ll just pay you back by rolling in the dirt. That’s the price you pay for having a pup with the personality of a child. A very large, strong, and deceptively fast child.

unnamedThe lab is a dog that loves the outdoors but doesn’t do well as a backyard-only breed. They need to be around their family and will beg for attention without hesitation. Many new Lab owners will mistake mischievous behaviors like chewing belongings/furniture as the sign of an angry dog. The reality is they have so much nervous energy that they’ll find the easiest way to get it out. If the only attention you’re giving them is after they’ve done something bad you will end up with a disaster area in your home.

The best way to get them to release their energy is to take them on daily walks and to engage them with toys. You should also establish a zoomie zone so that your prized possessions don’t become a victim of a very happy moment for your pup. If you’ve never seen a fully grown lab get a case of the zoomies inside of a house, you’re missing one of the most adorable/potentially disastrous things you’ll ever see.\

Vital Stats:
Dog Breed Group: Sporting Dogs
Height: 1’9-2’ tall at the shoulder
Weight: 55-80 pounds
Life Span: 10-12 years

5 Tips For Grooming Your Lab

This section comes to you by proud Lab owner Valorie Johnson

  1. Find someone to help you hold them down
  2.  Let them play in the water
  3. Wear a bathing suit
  4. Brush with love
  5. Cuddle with clean pup

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