Labrador Retriever - Breed Profile
by Stephanie Bayliss
BREED FOCUS - Labrador Retriever
Labradors originated from the coast of Newfoundland in the 17 th Century. They were trained by fishermen, to collect the nets from the icy waters and for this reason, were bought to Poole Harbour in the UK in the 19 th Century.
With such an attractive dog, the fishermen were often offered money for them and they very soon were found to be extremely effective as gun dogs.
The Earl of Malmesbury was a huge fan and began breeding these dogs, and named them " Labradors"
Labradors are extremely attractive dogs, with kind faces and gentle eyes. They are strongly built and broad through their chest and rib cage.
According to the Kennel Club, Labradors should stand at approximately 55-56 cm tall for females and 56-57 cm tall for males.
Labradors have a short, dense coat which has a waterproof undercoat. They come in 3 solid colours; yellow, black and chocolate. Yellow Labradors can range in colour from a light cream to red fox.
Labradors make one of the best family pets, being friendly, kind patient and very forgiving. They will bond with children and s alike and just love to be a part of the family. They are not a good guard dog, and will welcome strangers like old family friends. They like other dogs and are good with other animals too.
With their short coats, they will only require a minimal amount of time spent on grooming.
Labradors love to be outside; they appreciate long walks where they can run off lead. But do beware; because of their love for water, it is likely that they will become oblivious to your shouts of "NO", as they head for the nearest muddy water hole, to wallow like a hippo! Care should be taken around large expanses of water, as they will swim and swim!
When you purchase a Labrador puppy, you must check that the breeder screens for hereditary problems, especially Hip and Elbow dysplasia. You should also be aware that progressive retinal atrophy and epilepsy are also hereditary problems.
Henry is a 7 year old typical Labrador who lives with Kim and Leon, and their 4 year old son, Max. Henry is extremely patient with Max, who has been known to use Henry as a step up to the settee and often follows Henry around, grabbing him and stroking him and generally giving him no time to himself!! Henry sometimes sneaks into Max's bedroom at night and falls asleep in there - maybe he wants to keep an eye on his buddy.
Henry loves his walks with a passion, but will head straight for any patch of water or muddy hole, and will lie down in it so that his perfect, pale yellow coat turns muddy brown - whatever the weather!!