Labrador Retrievers - a loyal dog full of energy

Labrador Retrievers - a loyal dog full of energy

History and Origin: 

The Labrador Retriever, often simply called a "Lab", originates from the Canadian island of Newfoundland, not Labrador as the name suggests. The breed was initially known as the St. John’s dog or Lesser Newfoundland. These dogs were used by fishermen to help retrieve fishing nets and catch escaping fish.

In the 19th century, these dogs were brought to England where they were crossed with other breeds to develop what we now recognise as the Labrador Retriever. Their friendly nature, intelligence, and work ethic made them ideal companions for hunting and later as guide dogs, therapy dogs, and search and rescue dogs. 

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What makes a Labrador?

Labs are medium to large-sized dogs, known for their friendly and balanced nature. They possess a short, dense, water-resistant outer coat with a soft undercoat. Their coat colours are typically black, yellow, or chocolate.

Labs have an expressive face, often showing a "puppy-like" demeanour well into adulthood. They are incredibly social, reliable, and well-behaved, which makes them one of the most popular breeds worldwide. 

How to take care of your Labrador:

The Lab's double coat does shed, so regular brushing (at least once a week) is beneficial to manage loose hair and reduce shedding. Bathing can be done as needed, but it's essential not to over-bathe to preserve the coat's natural oils. Regular ear checks and cleanings are essential to prevent infections, and their nails should be trimmed regularly. 

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Activities with your Labrador:

Labs are active and fun-loving animals; they require a lot of exercise. Daily walks, play sessions, and mental stimulation are crucial. They particularly enjoy activities that involve water. Without adequate exercise, Labs can become bored and may exhibit destructive behaviours. 

Common Health Conditions: 

Joint Issues: 

  • Hip and Elbow Dysplasia: Common in many larger breeds, these conditions involve the malformation of the respective joint, leading to pain or arthritis. 
  • Cranial Cruciate Rupture: A tear or rupture of one of the knee ligaments, which can lead to lameness and requires surgical intervention in many cases. 

Eye Conditions: 

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): A group of diseases that cause the gradual deterioration of the retina, potentially leading to blindness. 
  • Cataracts: A clouding of the lens of the eye, which can reduce vision and may require surgical correction. 

Other Conditions: 

  • Obesity: Labs have a hearty appetite and can become overweight if their diet and exercise aren't monitored closely. 
  • Laryngeal Paralysis: A condition where the larynx doesn't function correctly, causing breathing difficulties and a change in bark tone. It's more common in older Labs. 
  • Heart Conditions: Like tricuspid valve dysplasia, a condition where the heart valve doesn't function properly. 
  • Certain Tumours: Labs can be predisposed to various tumours, including benign growths like lipomas (fatty tumours) and malignant ones such as mast cell tumours. 

Labrador Retrievers are known for their love and dedication to their families. Their health and well-being are of utmost importance, and as such, regular check-ups and a keen awareness of their specific needs will ensure they lead a fulfilling life. With proper care, Labs make loyal and loving companions for families, singles, and seniors alike. 

We offer a wide range of products to help your dog stay happy and healthy. Here are the medicine we provide specific to your Labrador: