LABRADOR RETRIEVER DOG

From the three colors in the breed, cream is the most popular for company specimens. The black Labrador Retrievers rule in work tests, and the chocolate, the most recent color, is the least known. 
 
A sports dog with undisputable activity and substance, the Labrador Retriever is strong and compactly built, with a chest with a good depth and width. The coat, tail and feet leave this collector well equipped for water work. The coat is closed and thick with an impermeable and stripe less undercoat. Its “otter” tail is noticeably round looking and covered in thick hair, narrowing at the tip. The feet, compact, round and well arched fingers. The skull should be wide with a slight stop; the head, clean cut, unloaded cheekbones; wide truffle and medium sized eyes, color according to the coat. The coat can be black straight, yellow from fox reddish to light cream, or chocolate from chestnut to dark chocolate: white spots are admitted in the chest. The color of the nose should be dark, although it is admitted if it clears towards a pink; the nose without pigmentation disqualifies. The males stand between 57 to 62 cm, the female 2.5 cm less; the males weigh between 30 and 37 kg, the females 2.5 kg less. The forelegs are straight and firm; the elbows, not sticking out or in, allowing free and effortless movement. As in every working/sports dog, cow like and open hocks should be avoided.
 
WHO IS IT RIGHT FOR             
Finding a Labrador Retriever puppy can be as difficult as ordering a pizza; seeking a healthy puppy from guaranteed parent’s demands more effort than most of the anxious and hungry buyers want. Usually a well bred puppy is cheaper (always in the long run). 
 
A dog full of energy, pleasing and affectionate with its people, the Labrador Retriever is number one as a family dog. It is adaptable and obedient, it needs regular exercise, and is a naturally sociable animal. Due to the breed’s tremendous popularity, it is very important to purchase a well bred and genetically clean puppy. As a versatile work dog and in working competitions, hunting and obedience, it has no equal. Demands as for exercise and training are very high in the Labrador, and some specialists recommend walking up to  10 km per day to satisfy the energetic demand in this high energy breed. The Labrador bonds with children immediately, and they become inseparable, sharing a bed, ball and breakfast. An adult Labrador Retriever is a good option if you want to adopt a dog.
 
DEVELOPMENT             
Don’t be discouraged by the breeder’s “twenty questions”. He is not selling a used car, he is seeking an adequate home for the life he has created. If the breeder is evasive and does not answer your questions, look for another one. 
After seven or eight weeks, the Labrador should weigh between 4.5 and 6 kg, being 5 kg a good average. The buyer should be very familiar with the breed standard to be able to choose a good puppy. Seek a well balanced specimen, strong built, with a good bone structure and wide head. (It is said that the puppy should have the appearance of an adult Labrador in miniature). Avoid skinny specimens, long limbed, with a pointy head, as well as too large specimens – a 50 kg adult Labrador is not a specimen typical of the breed -. Likewise the character should be checked, and avoid shyness and aggressiveness. The tremendous popularity of the breed has led to the existence of many non responsible characters, for which the buyer is recommended to select very carefully – there can be a waiting list for a quality litter -. Adolescence is marked by plenty of vitality and requires due socialization and obedience training. The Labrador changes very little when becoming an adult, and develops gradually until reaching maturity, around the second year. The soft puppy hair turns into a true double coat, impermeable, when becoming adult. It also becomes more “appeased” in maturity.
 
HEALTH
Around 210,000 Labrador Retriever puppies are born every year in the US and find new homes – sign of our fast times. 
The tremendously popular Labrador, with its natural vigor and charming temperament, suffers some problems that have emerged due to excess breeding. The larges concerns for the breeder are hip and elbow dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy and epilepsy. Cataracts and retinal dysplasia are other eye problems that affect the Labrador, as well as hemophilia B, osteodistrophia, hypoglycemia, hypothyroidism, incomplete mouths, dwarfism, metabolic hepatic defect, osteosarcoma and diabetes, all of it well documented. The healthy Labrador is actually an easy dog to care for. Hair care is minimal, and a daily brushing helps prevent claps and other skin rashes. A healthy and well bred Labrador can live from 11 to 15 years.
Without a doubt the Labrador Retriever is active and extroverted, and needs human contact and attention.