The Labrador: A History in Loyalty

Labrador retrievers are one of the most popular breeds people look for when seeking dogs for sale. The history of the breed establishes the reputation of it being a strong, adaptable and friendly choice for keeping pet dogs.

Origin
According to the American Kennel Club, Labradors are descendants of a breed known as St. John’s Water Dog from Newfoundland, making them excellent companions for hunting and fishing. The ownership of dogs dwindled in Newfoundland after a heavy dog tax and quarantine law went into effect, however. Labrador qualities proved dominant. The dogs imported from Newfoundland to Britain began developing into the Labrador. Today’s Labrador is documented back to 1878 and recognized as their own breed by the English Kennel Club in 1903 and the American Kennel Club by 1917.
Though originally bred for hunting, Labradors have played various roles alongside their human counterparts. Areas of service include search and rescue, bomb and drug detection, assisting the blind and physically disabled and providing comfort as a therapy animal at children’s hospitals.

Phisical Characteristics
The Labrador tends to have a short, double-layered coat. The top layer is thick, coarse and repels water, while the fur below that is softer and designed to protect the animal from cold temperatures and uncomfortable surfaces. This second coat accomodates the dog when swimming in a variety of weather conditions by keeping it warm.
Black Labs dominated the breed initially in the 1880s. Yellow Labs, which range in color from almost white to a deep butterscotch, did not become prominant until 1899. Chocolate Labs waited until the 1930s ebfore making a strong appearance.
Labradors are considered a larger breed of dog with males ranging from 65 to 80 pounds and females 55 to 70 pounds. Height measured at the withers typically reaches 21 to 24 inches, depending on the dog’s gender and genetic background. Since the breed was designed primarily to hunt and fish, they tend to be extremely muscular with minimal fat on their bodies when in optimal health.

Behavior and Temperament
One of the most appealing qualities in a Labrador is the breed’s temperament. The independent, intelligent, outgoing nature of this dog makes it an ideal candidate for anyone wanting an active pet. Labradors need to be busy and social, or they become bored and restless. Their playful and energetic personalities promote curiosity, watchfulness and a cheerful disposition. When a Labrador is left alone often or not physically and mentally stimulated regularly, the dog may exhibit destructive behaviors in order to use up excess energy reserves. An engaged and occupied Lab results in a well-balanced, affectionate pet.

Health and Life Expectancy
Labradors live for about 10 to 12 years on average. Ideally, Labrador puppies will be born to healthy, fit parents, giving them the best chance at a long, healthy life. Physical activity, a good diet and an appropriate weight also factor in when determining a dog’s quality of life.
Labradors are a robust breed, but a veterinarian should monitor the dog’s health regularly. Common health issues include hip dysplasia, arthritis and other disorders. Labradors tend to be healthy animals, however, so a strong genetic make-up and good care should ensure a problem-free existence for the most part.

Dogs for Sale
When finding puppies for sale, a reputable breeder is important. Classified advertisements can be checked for puppies for sale, or an ad can be placed requesting potential breeders to contact the interested party if puppies are available. The Sri Lanka website www.dogslanka.com also provides useful recommendations and information for dog owners.
Breeders should be able to provide documentation on the animals or at least be able to present the parents. The puppy’s predicted health and appearance can be gauged fairly accurately by the way the parents look. The dogs for sale should have clear eyes, clean ears and a thick, healthy coat. Runny eyes, dirty, foul-smelling ears and balding or patchy coats can indicate potential health concerns for the animal.

Looking After Dogs
Looking after dogs is a full-time job, particularly with this breed. Labradors prefer to be around people, so they may need trained to accept being alone at times. When working with a puppy, short training sessions prove more effective than long ones since puppies have short attention spans. Frequent play sessions develop a trusting relationship between owner and pet.
Adult dogs require daily exercise and should be placed on a lead during walks to prevent the animal from being injured or harming someone else. Labradors respond well to routine and will quickly anticipate regular occurrences, such as when they can expect to eat or go for a walk. At the same time, this breed is known for its adaptability and can settle into most situations easily.
Maintaining good health is critical for a happy dog, including regular grooming. Labradors can be prone to ear infections because of the moist, warm environments their floppy ears create. A dog’s sense of hearing is vital to its survival and security, so special attention should be paid to ear care.
Frequent brushing will be necessary to keep the coat from shedding an excessive amount of fur. Some shedding is inevitable,however. Good dental hygiene protects the dog’s teeth from plaque and keeps them a healthy white. Some bones and dog toys can help keep teeth strong as well.
Nails should be trimmed on a regular basis to prevent cracking or breaking. trimming can be done by a grooming service, or a trimmer or file can be purchased to manage nail care from home.

In regards to keeping pet dogs, Labradors provide a warm, loyal addition to the household. Their strong desire to be with people makes them ideal for anyone wanting constant companionship. Their versatility allows them to adapt to a variety of lifestyles and participate in a number of activities, such as hunting, running, swimming and vigorous playing. Their easygoing temperament impacts the whole household for the better.