The Labrador Retriever (most commonly referred to as ‘Labrador’ or ‘Lab’) is one of the most popular breeds in New Zealand and the United States. This large size breed dog has a lifespan of 10-13 years and comes in one of three colours, being Chocolate (Brown), Golden (Yellow – Red) or Black. Males normally weigh between 27-36 kg’s and females between 25-32kg’s.
Bred as a hunting/gundog, the Labrador Retriever was originally bred and trained in Canada to jump overboard and haul fishermen’s nets through icy waters onto the shore, however the modern-day Labrador Retriever excels in drug detection, guide and service work.
You will always find the Labrador Retriever in the ‘top 10’ favourite breeds for New Zealand, Australia, UK and the USA, which is why this loyal, highly intelligent animal is a popular family pet. As well as being a loving family pet, the Labrador Retriever is a favourite in the showing ring as well as competing successfully in agility, field trials, tracking and obedience. The breed is also popular with game bird hunters.
The Labrador Retriever can be dated back to the 1800’s and was originally bred in Canada and was known as the “St John’s Dogs” and also the Black Water Dog. From humble beginnings as a fisherman’s’ dog, the modern-day ‘Lab’ is the result of breeding the original St John’s Dog with England’s local sporting breeds.
The Labrador Retriever with his kind, reliable and loving nature, is the perfect family pet. Boasting friendly manners and a generous persona, combined with his trainability, makes the Lab top choice for families with children. A highly intelligent yet good-natured animal, the Labrador Retriever enjoys playing and sleeping!
Upkeep & Health
With medium energy levels and high levels of intelligence, the Labrador Retriever does enjoy an active life and is considered a very sociable dog. Daily exercise in the form of a brisk walk combined with some swimming and ‘fetch’ play will help keep his mind and body fit! The Labrador Retriever is happy to be an ‘outside’ dog, but due to his love of family, he will be very happy to be an ‘inside’ dog when allowed!
The Labrador Retriever has a short, dense coat with a weather-resisting undercoat which only requires grooming once a week, however extra attention to be given to the dog’s undercoat.
As a large breed dog, the Labrador Retriever does have a hearty appetite and is best fed on a diet approved by your vet.
Labrador Retrievers can be prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, though not as much as some other breeds, however Hip scores are recommended from the breeder before you purchase a pup. Lab’s can also suffer from knee problems, such as a luxating patella, while eye problems such as PRA and cataracts can sometimes be experienced. Because Lab’s like to swim and have floppy ears, they are sometimes prone to ear infections, which can easily be treated.