Labradors are one of the world’s most popular breeds of dogs – and for very good reason! They’re a happy dog, always playful, and very affectionate. Here’s all you need to know about Labradors and why they’re such a great pet for your family.
Jessica, a team member from Dogdayz Warrandyte, owns Rosie, and says “Labs are my favourite because they have that perfect mix of crazy and sweet – they can go from gently snuggling up to you on the couch then the next minute they’re off galloping around barking like crazy because they have to protect you from a bird in the yard!”
History of Labradors
The modern Labrador dates back to the 1800s in England, when ancestors of dogs used in Newfoundland for fishing were bred with a dog named ‘Buccleuch Ned’, creating what was known as the ‘Buccleuch Labrador’. While the dogs originally came from the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador (which often get lumped together), the new breed took on the name of ‘Labrador Retriever’, which is regularly shortened to just ‘Labrador’.
Physical characteristics of Labradors
Labradors usually have a medium to large build and weigh between 25 and 36 kilos, with a height of around 55 to 62 centimetres. They usually have a coat colour of a yellowish white, chocolate (more like dark than milk), and black. As they were originally used for sport and hunting, Labradors have excellent strength and athleticism. Labradors reach adult height in around six to 12 months, and if well cared for, they can live to 12 or 14 years of age.
Temperament of Labradors
Labradors are known for their lovely nature (although puppies can be pretty cheeky!) so they are great pets for families. They do definitely prefer lots of exercise so they would be best suited to individuals, couples or families who love exploring their neighbourhoods; if they don’t get enough activity or become bored, they can resort to destructive behaviours like chewing, digging or barking.
Labradors therefore benefit greatly from being trained, and of course the flow-on effect of this is that they are then better behaved as pets in your family, and will be less likely to get bored so easily – but walking them will still be very important anyway.
Eleri, a Silvan Dogdayz team member, owns Mia and Scout – “I love Labs because they’re always so goofy and loving!”
A Labrador’s coat is short, thick and waterproof, which is why they were so well suited to hunting and fishing. However, they do shed a lot of hair which requires them to be brushed at least once a week to remove any dry mud, sand or dust (Labs generally love rolling in mud). Different people will have different rules regarding when to bathe their Labradors, as some may do it weekly, whereas others will only bathe them if they get smelly or are particularly dirty, so it’s up to you regarding when is best for a bath.
Intelligence of Labrador
Due to their temperament and intelligence, Labradors are often used as working dogs, although you won’t usually see them standing on the backs of utes or shepherding sheep. Instead, Labradors are regularly employed as assistance dogs for the blind or as therapy dogs for people with autism.
Due to their above-average sense of smell (thanks to a long nose which is packed with smell receptors), Labradors are also used for search-and-rescue purposes, and recent research has also shown that they can be excellent at detecting health issues in humans, such as tumours, low blood sugar, and even oncoming seizures.
Dogdayz loves Labradors, because they’re such wonderful and happy dogs to be around. We offer dog boarding for Labradors all over Melbourne. Your Labrador will enjoy exercise daily and will be pampered with lots of pats and cuddles!