Breed Spotlight: The Labrador Retriever!

Labrador Retrievers are the most popular breed in California!

They were also the number one breed in the United States for 31 years until 2023, when the French Bulldog surpassed them!

In our daycare environment, you will likely see Labrador Retrievers wrestling with friends, chasing a ball, getting lots of pets, and even digging in the water bowls (they are water dogs, after all)!  Labrador Retrievers are intelligent, hard-working, silly, and love to learn!

These dogs generally weigh between 55 - 80 pounds and have an average life expectancy of 11 - 13 years!  They have a dense coat that comes in variations of three colors: yellow, black, and chocolate.

History labrador retriever

Contrary to what you might think, Labrador Retrievers originated in Newfoundland, not Labrador!

The breed is traced back to a now-extinct breed called St. John’s Dog.  These dogs were a mix of Irish, Portuguese, and English working breeds that European fishermen most commonly brought over.  These dogs possessed excellent swimming abilities and a strong work ethic, making them the perfect assistant for retrieving fishing nets and assisting with hauling the day’s catch.

In the early 19th century, these St. John’s dogs caught the attention of British sportspeople and nobility visiting Newfoundland.  Visitors saw the potential in these hard-working, water-loving dogs and brought them back to England, where they were further refined and developed into what we now know as the Labrador Retriever.

Today, Labs are known for their good nature, loyalty, intelligence, and versatility in various roles such as therapy work and are popular service dogs.

Temperamentlabrador retriever

Labrador Retrievers are known for their fantastic personality.  They are known to be loyal, friendly, playful, and intelligent!

They are known for their warm nature.  Labs are often described as social butterflies, enthusiastically greeting familiar faces and strangers.  Their friendly disposition makes them an excellent choice for a family dog.

Because Labrador Retrievers have such bubbly personalities and an energetic spirit, they make excellent companions for an active person or family.  These dogs tend to form strong bonds with their human families, are great with children, and are known for their loyalty.  They are affectionate and often seek lots of pets and cuddles!

Labs have a high drive for training and are often highly food-motivated.  Their desire to please their owners makes them versatile and capable of excelling in various roles, from obedience competitions to service and therapy work.  Labradors thrive with positive reinforcement training!  They often excel in Rally Obedience and Sport Dog training.

Care labrador retriever

Labrador Retrievers are a generally healthy breed but can be susceptible to hip/elbow dysplasia and heart disorders.

These dogs have a thick double coat, which makes them great for water sports!  This coat requires occasional baths and brushing.  They are a shedding breed, so be prepared to vacuum often!

While Labradors love affection and cuddles, they are also a sporting breed that needs exercise and mental stimulation.  Swimming tends to be the favorite form of exercise for this breed!  Doing a dog sport like dock diving would keep your Lab happy and healthy.

Labs love a training session or a puzzle toy filled with treats for mental stimulation!  Using a Fun Feeder during mealtime is another excellent way to enrich your dog’s day.

The Lab’s friendly and trainable nature and loyalty make them excellent companions for many people!

Meet Remy!labrador retriever

Remy is a spitfire, 7-month-old Black Labrador Retriever puppy!

Her doggie mom, Jean, has been coming to Wags & Wiggles for over a decade!  When her previous dog, who we all adored so much, passed away, we knew another Black Lab puppy would come into her life soon.

Jean and Remy started taking our Puppy Classes as soon as she could!  Getting mental stimulation and puppy socialization is vital for a social breed like Labs.

After aging out of puppy classes, the duo graduated into Obedience!  Remy will soon be a graduate of our Level 3 Obedience class!

Since Labs have so much energy, especially as puppies, Jean knew daycare would be necessary!  Remy has a regular daycare schedule with us, where she gets to romp and play.  She also does a 30-minute, one-on-one Day School Lesson with one of our trainers daily to keep her obedience skills refreshed!

We can’t wait to watch Remy grow into the perfect Black Labrador Retriever!

labrador retriever

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