Labrador Retriever

Fast Facts

Country of Origin:Canada
AKC Group:Sporting Group
UKC Group:Gun Dog
Use today:Obedience, field trials (retriever, water retrieving)
Life Span:12 to 14 years
Color:Black, chocolate, and yellow.
Coat:Short, straight, dense outercoat with soft, weather-resistant undercoat.
Grooming:Brush weekly.
Size:Medium Dog Breed
Height:21.5 to 24.5 inches at the shoulder
Weight:55 to 75 pounds

This dog has a retrieving jones. Lead a Lab to a body of water and it will retrieve all day: balls, sticks, and even children who might happen to go for a swim. Descended from dogs found in Newfoundland by explorers, fishermen and settlers, the Labrador Retriever evolved by natural selection. An excellent retriever of fish and game, these dogs have been known by several names, among them the Black Water Dog, the Lesser Newfoundland and the St. John's Dog. In the early 1800s the breed was introduced to Britain, where it was eventually crossed with other sporting breeds. The final product was the strong, sturdy Labrador Retriever, which has now become America's most popular dog, thanks to its outgoing, eager to please temperament. Males measure 22.5 to 24.5 inches at the shoulder, females 1 inch less. Weight for males is from 60 to 75 pounds, with females averaging 5 pounds less. The coat is short, dense and hard in colors of black, yellow or chocolate. A good brushing three times a week will remove dead hair and keep the coat shiny. A distinctive feature of the breed is the medium-long tail. Thick and round at the root and gradually tapering to the tip, it is described as an otter tail. The Labrador is easy to train and excels as a field dog and in obedience trials. Labs enjoy outdoor exercise and are especially fond of swimming. This medium-sized, high-energy dog is best suited to a suburban or country home with a yard and a family that can provide it with the activity it loves.

(Editor's Note: According to the American Kennel Club breed standard, a coat of any color other than black, yellow and chocolate will be disqualified from the AKC show ring.)

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