Quick Lab Facts
Labrador retrievers never fail to amaze many people around the world who had or is having the opportunity of spending a part of their lives with this loyal canine breed. Here are some little known facts about this all-time favorite dog breed—
• Labrador Retrievers are powerful swimmers. They have webbed toes and an otter-like tail that helps make them good swimmers. The tail also serves as rudder to help steer into the right direction.
• A Labrador Retriever’s webbed toes also serve as snowshoes to keep snow from accumulating between their toes.
• Labrador Retrievers are waterproof. Their hair coat is a distinctive feature. They have a double coat—the soft undercoat is weather-resistant and acts as an insulating layer that protects the dog from extreme cold, from getting wet, or from any type of terrain or ground cover while the dense straight outer coat is coarse reinforces the hair coat’s waterproof quality. The soft undercoat also allows the body’s natural oils to repel moisture.
• Labrador retrievers also shed their coat. Although they don’t shed as much as German Shepherds or Alaskan Malamutes, they shed their hair coat twice a year in a process which has been called “blowing” their coat.
• Labrador Retrievers are non-territorial thus they don’t make excellent guard dogs. They are over-friendly even with strangers.
• The Labrador Retriever had always dominated the American Retriever field trials in terms of obedience, speed, and efficiency.
• There are two recognized lines of Labrador Retrievers—the short and stocky English Labs and the American labs
• Labs are known for their voracious appetites. They will never turn down food that you put in front of them except when they’re not feeling well. One of the most common negative behaviors that need to be curtailed is begging at the dinner table. When you give in to their long faces and pleading eyes and give them much more food than they need each day, you can easily have one obese Labrador retriever in your home. Obesity in this dog breed has been associated with important disease conditions such as hip dysplasia and diabetes mellitus. A Lab’s voracious appetite should also be an important reason to engage in regular exercise and activity.
• Labrador Retrievers love to use their mouth—not to bite people but to hold objects. One distinct feature of their mouths is the ultimate control they have over their jaw muscles. In fact, they have been known to carry an egg in their mouth without breaking it.
• A Labrador Retriever is known for experiencing “separation anxiety”. They have been bred to spend their day with people and they have developed the emotional need to constantly interact with the other members of the “pack”. Although they are known for their unrivaled loyalty and affection, they can develop vices and destructive behavior when they are left alone for a considerable period of time.
• A Labrador Retriever has a high tolerance for pain—a trait which makes them ideal for extreme conditions during rescue and retrieval operations, police work and even while hunting.
• There are only three colors which are officially recognized in Labrador retrievers—black, yellow, and chocolate.
• Many believed that black Labs are smarter than their yellow and chocolate counterparts.
• The average litter size of Labs is 8 puppies. However, regardless of the coat colors of the parents, a litter can include different colors of Labrador puppies.
• Female Labs can grow to 55-70 lbs. while males could reach up to 80-100 lbs. Females can reach a height of 21-23 inches while male Labs can grow up to 24 inches.
• Male Labs have thicker and coarser coats than females and thus they require more grooming.
• The life expectancy of Labrador retrievers is between 10-12 years old.
• Labrador retrievers are prone to suffer from Hip and Elbow Dysplasia, PRA and eye disorders.
• Compared to other dog breeds, Labs mature slowly. They usually reach the age of four years before they are considered mature. Even if your Lab has already reached its adult size, it will still behave like a puppy for a longer time.
• Labrador Retrievers are the happiest dogs on earth.