Affable. Amiable. Intelligent. Labradors are the Mr. Popular of the dog kingdom and one of the most sought after canine breeds in the world. Loved by families, singles, older couples and anyone that enjoys the happy-go-lucky charm of the lovable Labrador.
If you are seeking an affectionate and outgoing pup that will become an additional member of the family, a Labrador might be the right dog for you.
Where I'm From
Labradors originate from native dogs found on the island of Newfoundland off the east coast of Canada. Originally called St. John's dogs, the breed may have been crossed with the Newfoundland dog and other local breeds. During the 1700s, fisherman and settlers across the region, including in the area of Labrador, put the breed to work retrieving fish and helping tow in fishing lines.
The dogs subsequently made their way to the United Kingdom in the nineteenth century where they were crossed with sturdy local breeds resulting in the dynamic Labrador Retriever we still see today.
The breed was officially recognised in 1903.
What I Look Like
Labradors are thick set, large dogs with a strong body and big head. They have a shorthaired coat that comes in three colours - yellow, brown or black. Some breeders claim to have Labs with a silver coat but this is not an official Labrador colour and thought to be the result of cross-breeding. With imploring dark eyes, floppy ears and a long tail, Labradors are endearing and attractive dogs.
How I Act
Labradors are loyal, loving and affectionate dogs that thrive in close family life. Good with children and other household pets, Labradors also love to socialise with other dogs and human friends. They are most suited to life as an inside dog that is an integral part of the family and their social life. Labradors are also renowned as smart seeing-eye dogs for the blind as well as savvy search and rescue dogs.
The Labrador's trainability along with their friendly, laid-back attitude make them excellent and attentive students. Though socialisation and training needs to begin from a young age to ensure a well-rounded and well-behaved pet. Labs also require a master with a strong sense of authority so they will behave and listen to commands.
Even though Labradors have an easygoing demeanour, they still require a decent amount of daily exercise of 30-40 minutes to stay in good shape physically and mentally. This is especially important given their propensity to overeat.
Labradors are also very intelligent and need to be challenged with games and playing fetch, which satisfies their excellent retrieval skills. They need active owners that will include them in family activities so that they don't become bored and/or destructive.
Looking After Me
Labradors are a robust dog breed with few major health issues. However, some things to look out for include elbow and hip dysplasia, other joint problems and eye diseases.
It is advisable to check the temperament and medical history of a puppy's parents and view veterinarian clearance certificates to ensure you get a healthy dog. Be very wary of uncertified backyard breeders.
Labradors are a little on the hefty side and can be greedy overeaters. Their diet needs to be tightly controlled and they need a decent amount of daily exercise to stay in shape. Just like their human friends, weight control issues can cause or exacerbate any underlying health problems.
Labradors generally have a life expectancy of 12-14 years.
They love their food, so care must be taken to limit their intake to two healthy meals per day of high quality dog food as per packaging instructions that are mixed with some vegetables and proteins. Leftover food should be removed until the next feeding time to reduce overeating. An occasional liver treat is also permitted.
Labradors are low-maintenance dogs with short coats that only require brushing a few times a week along with the occasional bath to stay in top condition.
Given their backgrounds, Labs love a good swim, so the occasional trip to the beach, lake or riverside banks could be a worthwhile journey. It is also important to provide your Lab with a range of toys that can be carried around in their mouth. Toys are a good way to keep household destruction or chewing personal items such as shoes and couches to a minimum.
Am I the pet for you?
Labradors are suited to many owners including families with kids, singles, seniors and anything in-between. They are not couch potato dogs and need inclusive owners with active lifestyles. Labs suit a home with a yard or an apartment if they get plenty of outdoor exercise.
- Labradors are sweet natured, playful and clever. They make good pets for a diverse range of owners including active families with children, singles, couples and older people. Like with all dogs, Labradors still need to be supervised when around children.
- Labradors have an easy care coat that doesn't need too much attention.
- Labradors are smart and easy to train given the right leadership.
- Labradors may just be “big-boned" but they also can become unhealthily overweight if their calorie intake is not carefully managed.
- Labradors can be disobedient and destructive if not given enough exercise and mental stimulation.
- Labradors can be clumsy, knocking into things without much awareness or care. So put away your breakables!
- Don't rely on a Labrador for any sort of protection as they make terrible guard dogs. They are more likely to greet an intruder with a happy tail wag rather than any sort of protective growl!
Hit & Run Concern For Cody A much loved Labrador is in trouble after a head-on collision with a car Cody, a young labrador, has suffered severe injuries after being run-over by a car. Car-tyre marks left on the pup's fur tell the story of his terrifying accident. Chris fears that Cody could have internal bleeding - which would be life-threatening.
Training Dogs With Inmates Dr Chris visits Kirkconnell Correctional Facility to check up on the assisstance labradors being trained there... Chris goes behind bars to check up on the progress of three assistance dogs, Yogy, Ziggy and Yoshi. The dogs are being trained by inmates who have earned the right for companionship through good behaviour. Chris checks up on the pups who are helping t...
Boris' Sudden Collapse Boris the Lab has suffered a sudden collapse. He has lost his sense of balance and Lisa fears the worst. 13 year old senior citizen Boris has been rushed into Sash after collapsing at home. The terrified Boris has lost all balance and his eyes are rolling in their sockets. Distressed owner Ann Maree thinks he's suffered a stroke but Lisa has another diagnosis.
Search for the New Bondi Vet Search Underway For New Bondi Vet A national search has been launched to find Australia’s next TV vet. TV production company WTFN Entertainment, the creators of Bondi Vet and The Living Room, has called for the public’s help to find the next star of Bondi Vet. WTFN’s Director of Content, Steve Oemcke, said the company is looking for an experienced ve...
Meet our TOP 50 VETS Final 50 revealed in search for Australia's new TV vet star! The final 50 candidates have been announced in the nation-wide search to unearth the New Bondi Vet. The list, which has been narrowed down from 400 individual vets and over 7,500 nominations, contains the largest amount coming from New South Wales with 16 vets followed closely by Queensland with 14, then West...
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2 weeks ago whilst we were in Fiji we rescued an abandoned puppy that we estimate is about 3 months old. She was starving, filthy, covered in ticks and could barely stand or walk. We fed her, washed her, removed all ticks and just gave her love. We called her Pretzel as she was so skinny when we found her that all her bones were sticking out and her hip bones looked like a big twisted pretzel and her long skinny legs looked like Pretzel sticks. Our intention was to find her a home in Fiji but after a week or so she had gained weight, but we noticed that her left hip bone was still protruding and that when she walked we noticed that her left back foot turned out slightly. Also, when she ran she would use both back legs together and hop like a bunny. We took her to an animal shelter in Fiji called Animals Fiji and they examined her and advised that they thought it might be dislocated. They X-rayed her and then sedated her to try and manipulate the bone back into the socket. This was unsuccessful. The vet advised that it appeared that the end of the bone where the ball should be round was malformed either from a trauma/injury when young or by birth. He advised that he does not have the equipment in Fiji to treat her properly and that she would need surgery to correct the bone and to tighten the ligaments to her support her leg. We are exporting her to Australia on the 7th of March and are trying to raise some funds to assist us. We are hoping that you can assistance to find a Vet in Melbourne that could assist with the operation at a reasonable price.