The Labrador retriever also known as Lab or Labrador is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. The breed was first introduced in a place called Newfoundland, Canada during the 1500s. Fishermen of that place used this water baby to jump into icy water to bring fish that fell off from their hooks.
Until the 1830s labs kept living in Newfoundland and then the Earl of Malmesbury saw the Labrador and brought him to England. Over time they gained popularity not only in England but also in the whole world.
There are many movies in which Labradors stole the show, possibly the most distinguished movie of all, is 2008’s Marley & Me. The protagonist of the movie was portrayed by different Labs from various age stages.
Physical traits of Labrador
- Labrador retriever is a healthy sturdy dog with a high energy level.
- Even though they tend to shed moderately, they are relatively easy to maintain dogs.
- They have a softer undercoats and thicker overcoats. This helps them to survive in the coldest climates.
- A lab’s tail is often called an ‘otter tail’ that acts as a rudder when they swim.
|Type of dog||Medium-Large gun dog|
|Colour variants||Black, chocolate, yellow|
|Height||Male 57-62cm, Female 55-60cm|
|Weight||Male 29-36kg, female 25-32 kg|
|Temperament||Outgoing, kind, agile, trusting, gentle, water-loving|
- Labradors are happy cheerful dogs; they tend to be naughty when they are bored. Supervise her always.
- They have fluffy coats, brush her twice a week.
- Labs generally have strong and healthy teeth. In normal cases, daily brushing is not necessary. Twice a week brushing is adequate.
- They have an obsession for water; do not let her swim in unclean water.
- Clean their ear once in a while
- Always walk them on a leash; they tend to run off after people and interesting fragrances.
- Labradors are generally healthy dogs; they don’t need many fancy daily routines.
- Do activities with them, exercise them daily.
- It will be advisable to brush their coat daily if possible.
- Basic maintenance like trimming the nails and cleaning the ear wax is more than enough for a healthy Labrador.
What to Eat
The amount of food required for a lab is varies depending on the age and size of the dog. However, try to stick to high-quality dry dog food and do not feed them leftover kitchen food. Try not to feed them raw meat and do not let them drink dirty/chlorinated water. Cow milk is also not recommended for puppies instead try Cerelac or Beaphar Lactol.
It will be worthwhile to keep their food for 10 minutes and take it off. If the puppy is really hungry they will finish it off in less than 10 minutes. This way we can detect that if the puppy is hungry or not. Also, there is nothing wrong with making them hungry a bit so that they will be enthusiastic for the next meal.
Recommended food products for Labradors
|Labrador food products||Age Group|
|Royal Canin||Up to 3 months|
|Arden Grange||Weaning puppy|
|N&D Farmina||Starter puppy (up to 3 months)|
|Royal Canin Maxi Junior||Adults|
|Drools Large Adult||Adults|
|Pedigree starter mother & pup||puppies|
Most of the health concerns of a dog are genetic which means those are related to the breed of the dog. But if you have a general idea of the common diseases, it would be easier for you to understand what to watch for and how to identify the condition.
- Dental disease is the most common disease seen in most dogs. Labradors are more prone to dental problems. The Problem could start with the amalgamation of the tartar and widen up to infection of the gums and roots of the teeth.
- The Labradors are vulnerable to bacterial and viral infections such as rabies, parvo and distemper.
- Obesity is another major concern of Labrador dogs. It can worsen their metabolism, joint problems, digestive disorders, back pain, and heart diseases.
- Since they are water babies, they tend to get infected with parasites and worms. Do not let them play in dirty water.
- Hookworms, roundworms, heartworms, and whipworms are some of the worms that can get into their system and cause infection.
- Neurological conditions such as wobbler disease/wobbler syndrome, causes a wobbly, drunken way of walking in the diseased pet. This inaction of the brain system causes the pet to be unable to feel his feet.
A puppy should be getting the vaccination when the puppy is 6-8 weeks old. The initial dose of the 5-in-1 vaccine which prevents Distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, parainfluenza, bordetella should be given when the puppy is 6-7 weeks old.
It would be advisable to provide them with DHPP, Bordetella, and Leptospirosis when the puppy is 9-10 weeks old. Rabies, Canine influenza, Lyme disease vaccines should be taken when the puppy is 15-17 weeks old. Annual vaccination of Rabies shots should be enough to keep your puppy healthy.
How to raise a Labrador
- Labradors are easy to train dogs, generally calm and isn’t prone to aggressiveness.
- They tend to be more comfortable inside the house than outside.
- More than 60% of the guide dogs in the world are Labradors due to their work ethics. Indulge them in interesting games and activities.
- They are considered as one of the calmest breeds so they generally seem to be comfortable with other pets in the house.
- They tend to chew a lot, and they are very enthusiastic about people and smell.
Living in a Home/Apartment
Labradors are relatively easy breeds to take care of. They are more indoor-friendly and they love to spend time with their humans. They need to actively participate in your day to day activities. Keep the doors closed and block rooms off if necessary. They tend to run around and chew whatever they get, so keep their chewable things handy.
They tend to shed at a moderate level so keep your pet brushed and use a vacuum cleaner to clean the floor and furniture. Since they are active gentle dogs, they are the best for families. They easily mingle with other pets in the family. They rarely tend to be aggressive so they can be a sweet partner even for your toddler.
These playful companions can handle anything from a one-bedroom apartment to a ranch, all these makes them a perfect companion dog.
Labradors and travel
- Make sure to pre-book the pet-friendly stay
- You can use a crate if your puppy is small and comfortable
- Make them wear the seat belt or try to use a harness that attaches to the seat belt buckle.
- Do not forget to tag or microchip them
- Long rides are difficult for high energy puppies like Labrador, so do not forget to take a break once in a while when you are travelling in a car.
- Give them something chewable to sit entertained
- All Airlines need a health certificate, it is suggested to consult with your doctor before the travel
- Do not feed them just before they travel, feed them priory.
- Hydrate them well during the travel.
Adopt your pet, do not buy
A pet is a part of your family. They deserve all the love and care in the world. There are thousands of animals’ gets abandoned in the streets of our country and we have the responsibility to help them to get their homes back. Adoption is a way to easily process than you think. Imagine having a companion to cheer you up and make you happy when you are back from your job, Isn’t it cute!
Things to remember before bringing the pet home
- Decide on which breed of dog you want, consider the basic amenities to the financial capacity.
- Make sure your home/apartment is puppy proof and the boundary of your garden is secured and puppy-proof
- Do not encourage unauthorised pet shops and brokers.
- Do not separate the puppy from her mother if she is 4-6 weeks old.
- You can also register your puppy in the Kennel Club of India (KCI). This will ensure the certification and breeding quality of the dog which will help in breeding and selling the puppies in the future.
Kennel Club of India (Registration Link) – https://www.inkc.in/single-dog-registration/
The process of adoption in India
- Search for the nearby shelter/rescue homes
- Visit them several times and talk to them about your needs and concerns
- Ask the authorities about the history and medical records of the dog
- Follow the official adoption process
- Take your companion home