A labrador retriever: the right dog for me?
They are some of the best known and most popular dogs in the world. And for good reason: talent for hunting, gentle, friendly, intelligent and great with children. It is therefore no surprise that the labrador retriever is the family dog par excellence. Yet they appear not to be suitable for everyone.
- Height at the withers: male 56-57 centimeters, bitch 54-56 centimeters
- Weight: male 30 kilograms, bitch 28 kilograms
- Coat care: easy, moulting
- Movement: demanding
- Nutrition: reasonable
- Character: gentle, honest and intelligent
The Earl of Malmesbury brought the Labrador Retriever to England in the 19th century from what is now the island of Newfoundland, Canada. They were used in hunting, on land and in the water. From England they found their way to the European mainland.
You will recognize the labrador retriever almost immediately. It is a sturdy dog with a short coat that feels rather wiry. It is completely water-repellent and dries quickly once it gets wet. Labrador retrievers have a black, yellow or chocolate coat, also called liver colored. The labrador retriever has a shoulder height of maximum 57 centimeters, which is not very high. He is quite solidly built. Another characteristic is the relatively short and densely hairy tail, also called ‘otter tail’.
Temperament and character
Just like the golden retriever, the labrador retriever is a smart all-rounder, which is often used as a guide dog for the blind. Labradors are also often used as drug dogs and used by the military to locate mines. Their calm nature is well suited for this. Retrieving game from the water is undoubtedly their best talent.
Because of his intelligence he is not difficult to educate. However, the Labrador retriever cannot tolerate harsh education. A consistent and friendly upbringing gives the best results.
The Labrador Retriever can adapt to any family, which makes it so popular as a family dog. He is kind and honest. The Labrador is usually great with children. He also gets along well with other animals and people with a disability.
A labrador retriever, like most dogs, is a social dog. That means that as an owner you have to spend a lot of time on it. Making the dog wait every workday until you come home exhausted will make the dog unhappy and lead to behavioral problems such as separation anxiety and destructiveness.
Labrador retrievers often eat more than is good for them. They hardly know when to stop. Many Labradors therefore suffer from obesity. The finger always points in the direction of the owner as the culprit for his dog’s overweight. Their weight must be closely monitored. For that reason, it is better to give measured quantities a number of times a day. Do not leave a filled food bowl. The dog will eat himself sick. It is important to measure the amount of food correctly based on the size and the amount of movement of the dog. Dog food with grains or rice (often referred to as vegetable by-products or residual products on the packaging) is absolutely not suitable for the Labrador retriever, and actually not for any dog. Prefer to choose quality food with a high percentage (minimum 70%) of pure meat. You will usually not find this in the supermarket but in pet stores or on the internet. It is more expensive, but it will keep your Labrador at the right weight and healthy. That in turn saves veterinary costs, but especially the lifespan and quality of life of your dog.
Labrador retrievers are hunting dogs, not companion dogs. That is very important to know. They need quite a bit of exercise and although he can feel perfectly at home in a city, his exercise should not be limited to 3 times a day for a walk. The Labrador Retriever is also not the breed that moves enough on its own, even with a large yard. He prefers to do this together with his boss. Besides nutrition, exercise is the only remedy for Labrador obesity. You can see it immediately on the dog if the owner fails. In addition, a dog that gets a lot of exercise is a happy dog.
The labrador retriever is an all-round hunting dog that has adapted in modern times to become a family dog par excellence. It is a social dog that likes to spend a lot of time with its owner. In addition, he needs a lot of exercise, which he does not do on his own. A well thought-out diet and the right diet are also essential for this breed. Furthermore, the Labrador is gentle, honest, intelligent and an excellent family dog.
Do you have enough free time to work with the dog on a daily basis and to give it a lot of exercise, through wind and weather? Are you consistent and friendly in your upbringing, but also consistent in feeding? Are you willing to spend money on proper nutrition and care for your dog? Can you cope with dirt and hair that the dog brings in? And do you have an active and warm family, small or large, that likes to see animals? Then the labrador retriever is definitely something for you!