The Labrador Retriever is the most popular breed of dog in the United States. There are three major colors for Labradors: the Golden or Yellow Lab, the Black Lab, and the Chocolate Lab (Brown). There are varying shades of these types of Labrador, but all Labs are usually categorized into one of these three types of dogs.
How big do they get?
The Labrador Retriever is a pretty big dog. Male Labradors typically weigh 60 to 80 pounds while females weigh between 45 to 70 pounds. Labrador Retrievers are known for their smooth, short, waterproof coats. They are also known for being great swimmers. Their webbed paws and wide tail help them swim.
Are Labrador Retrievers Good Pets?
Labradors are known for their good nature. They are also very smart and train fairly easily. This laid back personality has made the Labrador Retriever a popular family dog, however, they are not always the best guard dogs as they are often friendly to strangers are not territorial. Labs are athletic and fast dogs that enjoy playing and love attention. They can make great pets, but need attention and training so their exuberance does not get out of hand.
Labradors are great dogs, but they do have some drawbacks as pet dogs that should be considered before getting one as your pet. They can be mouthy and chew things up, especially when puppies. Labs do shed and some can shed quite a bit. Some Labs can suffer from separation anxiety if they don't get enough attention. Labs need lots and lots of exercise and activity. If you get one of these dogs be sure to plan to run and play with them for a good amount of time every day. It helps if you have a big yard for them to explore and run around in as well.
Labrador Retriever Puppies Author: Solazar, PD, via Wikimedia Commons
Labs are working dogs
These dogs were originally bred in Canada for hunting as gun dogs or duck hunting dogs. Since they are easy to train, eager to please, sturdy dogs, and good swimmers, Labradors are often used as working dogs around water and are great retrievers (hence the name).
Taking Care of a Labrador Retriever
A typical Lab will live for 12 to 13 years. In general Labradors are fairly healthy dogs, but are prone to hip dysplasia. Labs also really like to eat and can become overweight if they are fed too much and not given enough exercise. Watching your dog's diet and making sure that your dog gets enough exercise is key to keeping your Labrador healthy.
President Bill Clinton had two Labrador dogs called Seamus and Buddy. Some other famous Labradors include Vincent (the dog on the TV show Lost) and Zeke (the mascot for Michigan State University).