The Labrador retriever is a favorite dog breed of many families and it's easy to see why as this intelligent and loyal dog makes a great family pet. Originally from Newfoundland this dog's initial job was to jump into the icy waters to help pull in the fishing nets. Today they are used for many other things including seeing eye dogs, working with the disabled and sniffing out drugs.
Part of the American Kennel Club sporting group, the Labrador Retriever was admitted into the AKC in 1917. According to the breed standards this dog should be between 21 and 24 inches tall and weigh between 55 and 75 pounds. With proper care, the dog's life span can be 10 to 12 years.
There are actually two types of Labrador Retrievers, the English and the American. The American breed is taller and leaner than its English counterpart but both have solid muscular bodies with a short water resistant double coat. This dog is characterized by a broad head and wide muzzle and has a very powerful neck. The Otter shaped tail and webbed feet help the dog be the excellent swimmer that it is. The Labrador retriever comes in three colors solid black, yellow or chocolate.
This lovable and patient dog often gets bad marks because it can be destructive if left alone. He needs to be part of the family and if you include him in your daily family activities and don't let him get lonely then you will have a fine pet. These dogs are very smart, very loyal and can also be high spirited. They have a gentle temperament and are great with other dogs as well as children. Since they are intelligent, they can very easily be trained.
This breed has very few health issues that can be prone to hip dysplasia in the eye disorders.
Even though the Labrador Retriever is a very active dog they can adjust to apartment living as long as they are given sufficient exercise. It is better, though, if you have an average sized yard that the dog can run around in. Regardless, you'll need to take him for walks and if you can find a place for him to play in the water even better.
The short coat is easy to groom and merely needs to be brushed regularly using a firm bristled brush. The dog should only be bathed with either wet or dry shampoo when it is absolutely necessary.
It's easy to see why the Labrador Retriever with its intelligent and gentle disposition and easy to groom coat is a favorite family pet. If you are considering adopting one into your family, just be sure that you will have the time to spend with it as this dog does need a lot of human interaction. Also, be willing to commit to give them the proper veterinary care that these wonderful pets deserve.
Lee Dobbins writes for Dog Breeds 123 where you can learn more about your favorite breeds and see pictures of the Labrador Retreiver .