Important Labrador Information
Knowing what to look out for when buying or adopting a Labrador
This is a medium dog breed
They are known to be a friendly dog, along with being very outgoing and active too.
These dogs have a high energy level
These dogs are known to come in three colours – brown, yellow and black
The breed Labrador was recognized by the AKC (American Kennel Club) in 1917.
The American Kennel Club is a non-profit organization and it is the biggest dog registry in the world.
They support pure breed dogs as well as mixed breeds, though their main core focus is pure breeds
The AKC is known to have over 20000 events every year – these involve dog shows too!
The AKC was founded in 1884 and they believe in the well-being of your dogs
According to the American Kennel Club, these dogs are the top dog breed in popularity
The Labrador has a strong build and they are known to be very athletic animals.
With this strong build the dogs are amazing companions for hunting
These Labradors are also great for shows too, winning first place easily!
And because these dogs have an amazing nature, they make beautiful family pets
The Labrador has a short dense – weather resistant coat with very strong jaws and an expressive face showing their loving eyes along with their wonderful character
Their coat helps the dog be more resistant to the cold, to water and to any forms of ground cover.
Each Labrador will have individual food needs.
You would have to give your dog the right amount of food based on their size, and their activity levels.
If your dog is less active, they won’t need as much food. If your dog is overweight, they would have to be put on a strict diet to help them improve their health.
If you leave your dog and let them eat as much as they want to, this will cause obesity and this can lead to several health problems.
Your vet will advise as to what kind of food is best for your specific dog, as well as the amounts.
You can choose any food at your local grocery store, but of course you will want what is best for your pup, so it is best to consult with your local vet to ensure that your dog gets the best
Please remember to always make sure there is clean water available at all times.
Grooming and Coat Needs
For these short haired dogs, they only need occasional grooming
What this means is that you will still need to bath your dog occasionally to make sure they always looking their best
They say that grooming your dog can also be a great bonding experience for the two of you as well.
Any time spent with your pup is time well spent.
These dogs have fast growing nails, so this means you should invest in getting yourself some clippers for the house so that you can save yourself a trip to the vet.
If you don’t clip your dog’s nails often enough it can cause breakage and overgrowth
You also need to make sure there is no wax build up in their ears. If too much wax builds up it can cause an infection – and we definitely don’t want that.
And finally, make sure you brush your dog’s teeth regularly. If you don’t do this plaque will grow on your dog’s teeth and this could lead to some serious problems later on.
These dogs are extremely friendly, this means that they get along well with both other dogs and humans.
These dogs have a very relaxed and chilled out personality. And often because of this people think these dogs are lazy and don’t have much energy. This isn’t true.
Because of their high energy levels, it is essential to have a big backyard for your dog to run around and play in. These dogs need a minimum of 30 minutes of walking a day
And the coolest part is, these dogs love to swim as well.
So if you have kids, and your Labrador – they can spend endless hours in the garden swimming and running around.
It is because of these high energy levels that people love to use these dogs as hunting and fishing dogs.
These dogs are known to get hip and elbow dysplasia, eye disease and exercise exhaustion
If you make sure you go to your checkups at your local vet your dog should be fine.
Most Labrador pups are healthy
Also, if you are buying your dog from a breeder. Ensure that the breeder is genuine and not some back-door breeder.
If your dog has been interbred in any way this can cause more health issues
Hip/Elbow dysplasia –
The hip is made up of a ball and a socket. Dysplasia is commonly caused by genetics and the environment your dog grows up in. The hip joints are known to deteriorate which leads to loss of function
Sadly, this is a common disease found in dogs. There are certain breeds which are more prone to getting hip dysplasia, but the sex of the dog doesn’t seem to play any part.
It tends to happen more commonly in bigger dogs, but there are smaller dog breeds which are affected. The smaller dogs don’t tend to show the symptoms like the bigger dogs do.
Dysplasia often starts at a young age (normally around 4 months old)
They say that it can also be caused by osteoarthritis (which is a deterioration of the cartilage in the joints)
If your dog starts to:
- be less active
- starts to struggle to get up
- doesn’t want to run or jump as much as they normally do
- any hind leg lameness
- pain in the joints
- if you hear any grating noises when your dog moves their joints
- loss of muscle mass
- bigger muscle growth in the front legs – showing that the front of the body is taking more strain
Reasons for Hip Dysplasia
- Gaining weight quickly and Obesity
Ways to help your dog
Your local vet will run a few tests on your dog.
This will involve the following:
- Blood tests – showing blood counts as well (this can show if the inflammation is due to joint disease)
- Electrolyte counts
- Your vet will also ask for your dog’s genetic history.
- Your vet will also need to know any previous sickness and injuries which may have led up to this point.
It may seem silly, but it will do both you and your dog good if you give them an at home eye exam once in a while.
Look out for any tearing of the eye, any cloudiness or any inflammation
Just how your optometrist shines a light to see your eyes clearly, you would need to do this do your dog. This would show you whether there are any tears or issues in the dogs’ eye.
You need to also check the lower lid as well. You can gently move it down a bit with your finger. This lower lid should be pink, not red or white.
If your dog has any of the following get them checked by your local vet:
- Red/White eye lids
- Tearing (tear stained fur)
- Closed eyes
- Unequal pupil size
- Third eyelid
- Change in eye colour
Keep your dog’s eyes clean by wiping away any gunk with some warm water and cotton wool. Make sure you don’t scratch your dog’s eye though. You can cause permanent damage if you scratch the eye ball
Along with this, make sure that with breeds that have longer hair: that you trim their hair so that it doesn’t go into your dog’s eyes
If your dog loves to go with for car rides, make sure that your pup doesn’t get anything stuck in their eye from the wind in their face
Also an easy thing to watch for is if your pup continuously rubs their eyes.
Here are a few eye diseases to watch out for:
- Conjunctivitis – red and swollen eyes with discharge
- Dry eye – can cause discharge, squinting and inflammation
- Cherry eye – Big tear gland on the side of the eye
- Epiphora – excess tears
- Glaucoma – cloudy cornea, increased pressure on the eye, enlarged eyes
- Ectropion – upper eyelid turns outwards causing the lower lid to sag
- Entropion – eyelid rolls in causing discharge and tearing
- Cataracts – Blurry vision and possible blindness
- Retinal Atrophy – degeneration of retinal tissue.
Buying from a Breeder
What do look out for:
- A good breeder should ask you questions about yourself
- They should always get the parents checked regularly by a vet and there should be record of this on request
- A dog shouldn’t be kept for the sole purpose of breeding only, they should be loved as part of the family as well
- Good breeders will only have a few litters a year, and not go overboard
- Good breeders don’t sell their dogs to pet shops
- Be sure that the breeder isn’t breeding several dogs with different habits and interests
- Make sure you meet both the mother and the father of the puppy you want to buy
- The puppies should be living in a clean environment
- There should be enough space, warmth and light for the dogs
- The breeders should be willing to meet you at their home
- Puppies should have soft toys and somewhere warm and comfortable to sleep
- Puppies should be a healthy weight, not to fat or to thin
- Be sure that the mother dog knows her name – this may sound silly but if she doesn’t know her name. Something is wrong
- Breeders should be willing to share their vets’ details
- The breeder should keep the puppy for at least 8 weeks. Any earlier than this and the puppy isn’t actually ready to leave their mom yet
- If the dog is registered they should be prepared to provide papers (this just ensures who the dogs ancestors are not how healthy they are)
- The breeder should know all the information necessary about the dogs they are breeding
- The breeder should be fine with providing references to previous buyers
- The puppies shouldn’t be nervous of strangers
- Dogs shouldn’t be shy or aggressive
- Puppies shouldn’t be sold on first come first serve basis. A good breeder will get to know their buyers
- You should be shown where the puppies sleep and where they spend time in the day
- Breeding shouldn’t be the only thing the breeder does, he should have another job too
- Dogs should be getting good quality dog food
- Puppies should be socialized
- A good breed should offer after care – and should stay in touch with you
Best Dog Treats for Labrador dogs
We love our dogs, that’s a fact. And we often want to give them a treat just to show them that we love them.
Some people use dog treats to train their dogs, and others use treats for a tasty snack here and there
Knowing what treat to give your Labrador is one thing. But you need to also know how often to give them treats and how much as well
Remember that this breed LOVE to eat, so if you keep feeding them – they WILL keep eating. This can be a very quick road to obesity. So that is something you need to watch.
You can treat your dog with raw meats and vegetables – especially if you need to watch their weight
Then, you can get several natural dog treats at your local vet. These aren’t the cheapest but they are a great treat for your pup
Then if you want to use treats to train your dog, you can buy special treats which come in pre small packs inside. This makes your life much easier as well.
Remember that if you are giving treats to a puppy, puppies have different nutritional needs. This means you need to look out for specific puppy treats.
And did you know, there is dog food specially made for Labradors!
The Male Labrador grows to roughly 57–62 cm, while the Female Labrador grows to roughly 55–60 cm in height
The Male Labrador generally weighs between 29–36 kg and the Female Labrador weighs between 25–32 kg
These dogs are said to live anywhere between 10 – 12 years of age
Where did the Labrador come from?
This breed originally came from an island in Newfoundland. This is in Canada. This dog wasn’t always called the Labrador; the breed was originally called the St. John’s dog. He was named after the capital city of Newfoundland
A tip I can give you, these dogs are great companions and more often than not people don’t train their pups due to their wonderful nature as is. Your dog can only be better if you take them for obedience training. Sign them up the minute you bring them home.
AND remember to LOVE your dog <3
Here is a beautiful video for you