Breed Information

History:

The Original Labradors were black dogs bred for water work. This included fetching fishing nets and pulling boats. These dogs originated in Newfoundland, Canada; not Labrador. They were known then as the St. John's Newfoundland. An English Earl saw these dogs while on holiday in Canada and imported some and perfected what we now know as the Labrador Retriever. His aim was to develop an all purpose gun dog. He certainly succeeded. In 1899 a yellow dog Ben Hyde was born from two black parents and every yellow Lab today is descended from him. The chocolate Lab is not an original color, but thought to be the result of various crosses with other breeds.

Appearance:

Dogs 56 - 57 cms (22-22.5 ins) at withers
Bitches 55 - 56 cms (21.5 - 22 ins) at withers

The Labrador Retriever is a strongly built, medium-sized, short-coupled, dog possessing a sound, athletic, well-balanced conformation that enables it to function as a retrieving gun dog; the substance and soundness to hunt waterfowl or upland game for long hours under difficult conditions; the character and quality to win in the show ring; and the temperament to be a family companion. Physical features and mental characteristics should denote a dog bred to perform as an efficient Retriever of game with a stable temperament suitable for a variety of pursuits beyond the hunting environment. The most distinguishing characteristics of the Labrador Retriever are its short, dense, weather resistant coat; an "otter" tail; a clean-cut head with broad back skull and moderate stop; powerful jaws; and its "kind" friendly eyes, expressing character, intelligence and good temperament. Above all, a Labrador Retriever must be well balanced, enabling it to move in the show ring or work in the field with little or no effort. The typical Labrador possesses style and quality without over refinement, and substance without lumber or cloddiness. The Labrador is bred primarily as a working gun dog; structure and soundness are of great importance.

Coat:

The Labrador Retriever coat colors are black, yellow and chocolate. The coat is short and dense, with a soft weather resistant undercoat.

Personality:

True Labrador Retriever temperament is as much a hallmark of the breed as the "otter" tail. The ideal disposition is one of a kindly, outgoing, tractable nature; eager to please and non-aggressive towards man or animal. The Labrador has much that appeals to people; his gentle ways, intelligence and adaptability make him an ideal dog. Aggressiveness towards humans or other animals, or any evidence of shyness in an adult should be severely penalized.

Care and Health Concerns:

Labradors do have several hereditary problems to be aware of including hip and elbow dysplasia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) and epilepsy. The OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) certifies a dog's hips and elbows only once the dog reaches the age of 24 months. CERF (Canine Eye Registration Foundation) recommends having all breeding stock cleared by a Canine Ophthalmologist (dog eye doctor) yearly. It is very important to buy a Labrador from a reputable breeder who screens for these problems with these agencies and has the certificates to prove such screenings.

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Contact Details

Ben & Robyn van Maanen
Greens Creek, VIC, Australia
Phone : 03 53573254
Email : [email protected]