This species of dog originated in the Canadian province of Newfoundland in the 1500s. During that time, small water dogs were made to breed with Newfoundlands for creating this breed known as St. John’s Water Dog or Lesser Newfoundland. The larger sizes of these dogs were called eponymous Newfoundland and the smaller ones as Labrador Retriever.
Back in that time, the Lesser Newfoundlands were owned mostly by the fishermen since they could jump into the icy water to get the fish that fell from the fishing hooks. These dogs were then imported to Poole, England in the 1800s. With time, the Earl and the Duke of Malmesbury started using them for shooting sports.
They also kept breeding these dogs which led to the formation of Labrador dogs. These Labradors then became an important part of people’s daily life and is since then. They are a member of many families because of their affectionate and friendly approach to humans.
Labrador Retriever health issues
Labrador Retrievers are usually classified as working dogs. They require very less care when compared to other dogs. But they still face common health issues.
- Joint problems: Labrador Retrievers suffer from various joint problems like Elbow or Hip dysplasia. This creates pain prohibiting them from normal movements. Also, this condition cannot be completely avoided. However, you can lessen its impact by maintaining a healthy diet consisting of lots of vitamins and nutrients. Also, a non-weight bearing exercise like swimming can be considered for relieving pain.
- Laryngeal Paralysis: It is a health issue where the dogs face a change in the muscle within or surrounding the Larynx. Laryngeal Paralysis leads to a restriction of airflow through the larynx. In such cases, your dog may bark in a different way like a honking car or increased respiratory sounds. Such a condition can be restricted by keeping your dog’s ear clean.
- Bloat and Obesity: Labradors are prone to obesity. This can be a result of over-eating. Keep a check on their eating habit to avoid such condition. Bloat can be a serious issue for labs. It refers to a twisted stomach. In such cases, you should allow your dog to overeat to lessen this condition.
When do Labrador Retrievers stop growing?
The Labrador Retriever is a matured breed and requires continuous training and exercise. These are the best family dogs you can have. They are obedient and energetic. However, when left alone they can become destructive like chewing, digging or barking to an excess. These dogs start growing from 6-12 months and can grow up to 2 years. But when do these Labrador retrievers stop growing? It is at around 18 months when the Labrador Retriever stops growing. At this age, your dog starts engaging itself in various strenuous physical activities.
It is also seen that some Labrador retrievers complete their growth before their first birthday. The growth of these dogs occurs rapidly during their first month. One thing which should be kept in mind is that every dog is unique in itself. The growth of every Labrador puppy is different.
In case the growth does not meet the average expectation, it can be a matter of great concern. Many dogs are neutered as a requirement of the adoption contract. But, it has been observed that neutering before the dog is 37 weeks old shoots up its growth, whereas neutering the dog after he is 37 weeks old, leads to a reduction in the growth.
Labrador retriever exercise
Labradors were bred in such a way that they can fulfil demanding jobs. This makes them highly energetic and best for families. But besides such activities, they require a few minutes of exercise every day. Being highly active dogs, Labradors crave physical activity and require a way to release their pent up energy. If not provided, your dog can find out ways of its own to release the energy. An average Labrador retriever should exercise for an hour every day. For more energetic labs, the time can be 1.5 hours while for less energetic labs, the time can be 45 minutes.
With proper exercise, the cardiovascular system of your Labrador stays healthy and efficient. It also helps in strengthening the muscles and bones of your dog so that it can protect itself from future injury and also increases its life span. By allowing them to retrieve, you can help them release energy. As the name “Labrador Retriever” suggests, retrieving can be one of the most effective ways to exercise. In case your lab is not allowed to exercise properly, he may find out destructive ways to do so. He may start digging up the grass or chewing it or even start barking restlessly.
Labrador retriever grooming
Grooming your Labrador Retriever not only keeps him healthy and maintains eye, ear and nose hygiene but also keeps a check on his skin so that anything unusual can be spotted easily. The Labradors have a wash-and-wear coat. Therefore it does not require regular grooming. You can groom them once a week to keep their coat at its best. But if you groom your dog regularly, you may strengthen your bond with him. The grooming process usually consists of some steps:
- Inspecting: You can start your grooming process by giving a head to toe massage to your dog. This will also help you find anything unusual like lumps or dry patches.
- Brushing: Brushing your dog once or twice will keep him healthy and his coat smooth.
- Bathing: Labradors don’t require a regular shower. Wash them only if they are dirty. Also, allow them to play outdoors. This will keep their skin moist.
- Cleaning the eyes: Use a cotton ball dipped in saline for clearing their eyes in case there is discharge or irritation.
- Clipping: Always keep your dog’s nails clipped. The long nails not only forces the nail pads but also makes it difficult for the dog to walk.
How long do Labrador retrievers live
The average lifespan for every Labrador Retriever is 12-12.5 years. In some cases, labs live more than 12 years whereas some don’t even make it to 10. However, if the lifestyle of these dogs is altered, they can have an extended lifespan. Recent reports suggest that the lifespan of these labs is increasing.
The longest Labrador to live was 19 years old. On the other hand, temperament is also a factor for the extension of lifespan. Some dogs are more enthusiastic about aggression, which leads to temperament. This is inherited into other favourable genes and also increases their lifespan. However, the breeding of Labradors reduces their lifespan. You can follow basic rules to make sure that your dog lives longer.
- Keep a check on his waistline. The life expectancy of the dog may reduce in case he is overweight.
- Keeping them well mannered so that they don’t die from traffic accidents or other behavioural disorders will increase their life expectancy.
- Look out for lumps and bumps. In case you find any, rush to your vet immediately.
- In case you have an unsprayed female dog, spraying them increase their life expectancy.
Labrador retriever Cost
The cost of a Labrador Retriever in India costs from Rs 4000-5000 to 1lac. The breeds which are sold at Rs 8000-10000 are usually mass breeders. These people have very less idea about breeding. On the other hand, the people who sell breeds at 30-50k are professional sellers.
They do not breed for money but also out of care and affection. These breeds are healthy and do not have any genetic disorders. They also provide you with information on how to breed your puppy. Besides the cost of buying your puppy, there are other additional costs you need like financial and emotional costs.
Living with Labrador Retriever
You can find a thousand reasons to reside with these cute Labrador retriever puppies. They are considered the most popular breed because of their intelligence and mad fetching skills. As a Labrador owner, there are few things you must keep in mind. Some of them are:
- They are the cutest pet you can own.
- These Labrador Retrievers were bred to retrieve. Therefore be very serious while throwing that stick at them because they will always bring it back to you.
- They are a ball of energy and it is super fun to play with them. Also, they are working dogs. Therefore, they need some activity to release their energy.
- They always require something for chewing. Try buying them something so that they don’t spoil your furniture.
- They are very friendly. They like going out with everyone, be it adults or kids. They adapt to everyone are very lovable animals.
- They are always ready for a swim since they are true water dogs. The webbed feet and their adventurous spirit make us take them to the water for a swim or for catching fish.
Even though Labrador retrievers are very popular among people, some Labradors lack the ability of what is going on around them. Several labs need adoption from a well-to-do family who will take good care of them. The fosters contribute highly to society by taking care of such dogs. In case you find such a dog in your locality, contact any local breed club or national breed club immediately.