Labrador Retriever – Characteristics Temperament Health and Training


labrador retriever

History

A close up of a dog looking at the camera

The Labrador Retriever originated in Newfoundland in the 1700s and was originally a large dog breed used to hunt animals such as seals and waterfowl. In the mid-1800s, a smaller version of the Labrador Retriever began being bred specifically for hunting in the marshes along Newfoundland’s coast. The smaller Labradors were more adept at swimming and bringing down birds that had been shot down but not killed yet. Eventually, these dogs caught the attention of hunters from England, who wanted to add this small, determined breed to their stocky retrievers. As a result of multiple breeds being crossed into early Labrador Retrievers when they were exported from Canada to England, modern Labradors are classified into two categories: English Labs and American Labs.

Temperament

A dog sitting in the grass

Labrador Retrievers are kind and good-natured dogs that love to be around people. They are a powerful breed that requires a lot of exercise and attention. Labs need an outlet for their energy and smarts if they’re going to be happy in a home environment. Without proper outlets for their needs, Labrador Retrievers can become destructive or neurotic. In addition, Labradors have a deep loyalty to their owners as well as an overwhelming desire to please them. Labrador Retrievers also have a natural affinity towards water due to the fact that many of them worked on boats closely with fishermen who would be forced to jump into the water to save their dogs when they were in trouble. Labrador Retrievers are not naturally aggressive, though they can be if purposely trained to behave this way. Instead, Labs tend towards being very affectionate. Labs get along well with children and will protect them from anyone or anything that threatens them.

Labrador Retriever Health

In the past 20 years, there have been a lot of advances made in Labrador health care. As a result, more and more Labrador Retrievers are living longer and healthier lives. They also have fewer genetic health problems than dogs of other breeds. However, there are still some conditions that may affect the Labrador Retriever breed as a whole. The most common Labrador ailments include hip and elbow dysplasia, heart disease, cancer, eye diseases such as cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), obesity, digestive system issues, and thyroid disease.

Training Tips

Labrador Retrievers need firm training that establishes dominance over them from the start. It’s important to be very consistent when training Labs because these dogs are prone to becoming stubborn if allowed to do whatever they want. Labrador Retrievers are intelligent enough that they can pick up on small inconsistencies in their owner’s tone, making it important for Labrador owners to stick with the same exact words and commands every single time they give them.

Labrador Retrievers are known for their intelligence and loyalty. Labrador Retrievers have a deep desire to please their owners, which can make them easily trained if they’re consistently given the same commands every time by the person with whom they live. If you’re looking for a loyal companion who will be your best friend in any situation, consider adding an English or American Labrador Retriever to your family!

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