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Many families with children think about getting pets, but may put the idea on the back burner trying to think about which type of pet would be safe and fun for children in play. Here's a true story that may help you make your choice. Once known as the "St John's Dogs," the Labrador Retriever is one of the most popular breeds in the United States. Originally from Newfoundland, Canada the Labrador was trained to jump overboard into the icy waters to haul fisherman's nets to shore. Specimens were brought to England in the 1800's by English ships coming from Labrador, where the dog's fine retrieving instincts were honed and developed. One of the best family dogs and canine companions because of their gentle, loving disposition, the highly trainable Labrador also excels in drug detection, as a guide for the blind, and service dog for the disabled.

The breed is also an outstanding obedience and field trial competitor. one of several kinds of retriever, and is the most popular breed of dog (by registered ownership) in both the United States and the United Kingdom. The breed is exceptionally friendly, intelligent, energetic and good natured, making them excellent companions and working dogs. Labrador Retrievers are known to be one of the fastest-learning breeds of dog and respond well to praise and positive attention. Most Labs love the water as historically, they have been selectively bred for retrieving in water environments as 'gun dogs'; acting as fantastic companions in duck hunting.

adaptable to a wide range of functions as well as making very good pets As a rule they are not excessively prone to territorialism, pining, insecurity, aggression, destructiveness, hypersensitivity, or other difficult traits w The American bred Lab comes from American bred stock and is tall and lanky. The Labrador Retriever is a solid, muscular dog, slightly longer than tall, with a short, hard, easy-care, water-resistant double coat that does not have any waves and comes in solid black, yellow, or chocolate. There is also said to be a rare silver or gray color that is referred to by the AKC as a shade of chocolate. Its muzzle is fairly wide and its neck is powerful. The eyes are chestnut or hazel with an intelligent expression. The medium-sized ears are pendant. The otter tail is strong, thick near the body then tapering, and completely covered with hair. Its limbs have good bone structure. The webbed feet aid in swimming. Temperament The Labrador Retriever is a loving, affectionate, lovable, patient dog.

Highly intelligent, loyal, willing, and high-spirited. Lively and good-natured, they love to play, especially in water - for they love to swim. They have an excellent, reliable, temperament and are friendly, superb with children and equable with other dogs. They crave human attention and need to feel as though they are part of the family. Labs are easily trained. Some may be reserved with strangers unless very well socialized as puppies. These dogs are watchdogs, not guard dogs, although some have been known to guard. They can become destructive if left too much to their own devices. Train Labradors early not to pull on the leash, as they have very strong necks. Labs are a bit more dominant and independent than the Golden Retriever.

Some of their talents include: hunting, tracking, retrieving, watchdogging, police work, narcotics detection, guide for the blind, service dog for the disabled, search and rescue, sledding, carting, agility, and competitive obedience. Height: Dogs 22-24 inches (56-61cm.) Bitches 21-23 inches (53-58cm.) Weight: Dogs 60-75 pounds (27-34kg.) Bitches 55-70 pounds (25-32kg.) Some males can grow to 100 pounds (45kg) or more. Labrador Retrievers will do okay in an apartment if sufficiently exercised. They are moderately active indoors and will do best with at least an average-sized yard. Exercise Labrador Retrievers are energetic dogs, delighted to work and play hard. They need a lot of exercise.

Labs are big eaters and need regular exercise and moderate rations to avoid a tendency to become overweight. Life Expectancy About 10-12 years The smooth, short-haired, double coat is easy to groom. Comb and brush regularly with a firm, bristle brush, paying attention to the undercoat. Bathe or dry shampoo only when necessary. These dogs are average shedders.


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