Country of Origin: Great Britain
Height: Males 21.5–24.5 inches
Weight: Males 55–80 pounds
Coat: Double coat with short, straight, dense outercoat and soft, weather-resistant undercoat
Colors: Black, yellow, chocolate
Registries (With Group): AKC (Sporting); UKC (Gun Dog)
ORIGIN AND HISTORY
In the 1800s, ships traveling from Newfoundland to England carried with them Canadian working dogs used by fisherman and hunters. The English marveled at their retrieving abilities, and the second Earl of Marlesbury founded the first actual kennel for Labradors. By the late 1800s, a heavy dog tax caused a reduction in what was then becoming known as the Labrador Retriever in Canada, and in England, a quarantine law was established that effectively cut off importations. Without further contributions from Canada, the English used the dogs they had for developing both the Flat-Coated Retriever (which was popular in the 19th century) and what is now uniformly known as the Labrador Retriever. Although his rise to popularity came later than that of the Flat-Coat, it has been amazingly consistent. Today, there are two types of Labrador Retrievers: the field type and the show type. The field type is considered more energetic and is leaner than the show type, which is shorter and stockier.
The Labrador Retriever is sensible, even-tempered, affectionate, intelligent, and willing to please. Labradors love to play with people of all ages and seem to understand that children need to handled appropriately. They are enthusiastic retrievers and swimmers and can be kept happy for hours with a tennis ball tossed repeatedly. They are fairly large and athletic dogs who are mouth-oriented and like to chew.
- Exercise: The high-spirited Labrador Retriever must have plenty of exercise for his body and mind. He loves to swim, and a long walk that takes him to a body of water where he can retrieve and play in the water (seemingly tirelessly) is his ideal outing.
- Grooming: Labs are moderate to heavy shedders and should be brushed frequently so that the hair is removed by a brush rather than being left on furniture or clothes.
- Life Span: 10 to 14 years.
- Training: The Labrador Retriever is one of the most trainable of breeds. He lives to please his people and is attentive and responsive during training.
Excerpted from World Atlas of Dog Breeds, 6th Edition. © 2009 T.F.H. Publications, Inc. Used by Permission.