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Labrador: impossible not to fall in love!


If you are still unfamiliar with this breed and plan to adopt a puppy, it is important to be familiar with many aspects that will then help you to better coexistence.

The Labrador Retriever is a medium-sized dog, and although it may not look like it to the eye, it is still regarded as such today.

They are dogs that have a height at withers of about 54-56 cm for females and 56-58 cm for males, so they are still very contained in height and their maximum weight more or less varies from 30 to 40 kg depending on the sex: clearly males are a bit bigger than females.

There are three colors of labradors: yellow in various shades, more or less charged, from white to fox-red labradors, black , and chocolate (liver-colored), which is very popular lately if it is selected dark.

By pairing these various colors, puppies will still be born unicolored: yellow, black or chocolate depending on the dominant or recessive phenotype of coat color.

Labrador color chocolate

Labradors belong to FCI Group 8 and are retrieving and searching dogs, so they are still hunting dogs with a working attitude. It is very important for them to maintain these characteristics as they are mostly used today as companion dogs or selected for beauty, but it should not be forgotten that Labradors have their origins in hunting activities behind them, and it is very important for them to maintain them.

This aptitude of theirs for fetching and searching is important to be maintained for proper balance: to have a healthy dog in mind, apart from their physicality, it is most important that they always have a certain aptitude anyway and maintain it over the generations.

Employment in labor and social work

There are two bloodlines that can be found (beauty and labor)

One mainly selects for beauty and through this one gets more massive dogs with even more powerful bone structures and a slightly higher weight. In Italy this type of Labrador is being selected a lot.

However, there are both English and American bloodlines to which more working activity is allocated. This leads to Labradors having lighter bone structures resulting in slimmer dogs.

Often and often, unfortunately, we see Labradors with a large dimorphism, extremely large, heavy and massive as opposed to others with much lighter bones.

All of this, however, does not go to affect beauty-it is just a choice to select bloodlines for better physicality according to the type of work.

For those who want to become owners of a labrador puppy must understand what kind of labrador they want and then only go to breeders who can meet these characteristics.

Labrador yellow color

This breed is used extensively for rescue dog activities, people search, pet-therapy, guide dog, drug dog.

Perhaps in Italy we are losing a bit of aptitude in hunting activities in favor of what is their use in social work. As companions to blind people they are exceptional dogs!

The Labrador today, not only in Italy but also in America and Anglo-Saxon countries, has become an excellent guide dog perfectly replacing what was once the German shepherd for these functions.

Often and often in our news reports we see the Labrador at airports as an aid to all the activities that the police do as a drug-sniffing dog because of its very powerful sense of smell.

In pet-therapy, the Labrador is used a great deal along with its "cousin" Golden Retriever, which is also part of the same Retriever group and with very similar characteristics.

The lack of the very long, woolly coat compared to the Golden makes it a little easier to do everything related to the Labrador's upkeep; in fact, the lack of fur makes it much easier to be able to keep it clean, wash it, and dry it.

Labradors also have a not inconsiderable undercoat, and at certain times of the year it is most important, with a good brush, to start brushing them well to remove that "lint" that can form especially in the spring and summer time.

The Labrador's disposition is extremely docile however at times they can be a little more hyperactive and lively than the Goldens.

Their structure, characteristics and coat quality make them excellent outdoor and indoor companion dogs, great with children, almost four-legged babysitters.

Their intelligence is put at the service of the family, and they can sense any stressful situation: we often and often talk to people who have young children, and everyone agrees that the Labrador is truly exceptional: they stay close to the bed or the baby carriage, they bark if the baby cries-they do almost unbelievable things!

They, too, like the Golden are practically dependent on their owners, passionate in an exaggerated way, and those who are lucky enough to have a puppy of this breed can confirm this: they will do anything to somehow grab attention and a few caresses.

Labrador pathologies

Diseases that can affect this breed, like many large breeds, are hip dysplasia (HD = canine hip dysplasia), elbow dysplasia (ED = canine elbow dysplasia) and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA = progressive retinal atrophy).

Genetic disorders of the Labrador Retriever that can be diagnosed by genetic testing are:

  • DM / Degenerative myelopathy (SOD1 gene)
  • EIC / Exercise-induced collapse (DNM1 gene)
  • HNPK / Hereditary nasal parachatosis (geneSUV39H2)
  • prcd-PRA / Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRCD gene)
  • OSD / Retinal Dysplasia
  • CNM / Hereditary myopathy (PTPLA gene)
  • SD2 / Dwarfism-Skeletal Dysplasia 2 (COL11A2 gene)
  • Cystinuria (SLC3A1 gene)
  • PK / Pyruvate kinase deficiency (PK-LR gene)
  • SLC-HUU / Hyperuricosuria (SLC2A9 gene)
  • Alexander disease (GFAP gene)
  • STGD-PRA / Stargardt's disease (ABCA4 gene)
  • XL-MTM / X chromosome-related myopathy (MTM1 gene)
  • NARC / Narcolepsy (hcrtr2 gene)
  • Obesity (POMC gene)

It is most important around one year of age (not earlier) to check with a specialist examination (x-rays under total sedation) that there may be adequate bone situation and a fully functioning eye, even in case you do not want to reproduce the subject.

Dysplasia is a multifactorial disease in which a small genetic factor certainly comes into play, but also the mismanagement of the puppy during the first year.

Regarding dysplasia, nutrition and movement play a key role: a low-quality diet with industrial feeds, poor in true carnivore nutrients (meat, cartilage, offal, vegetables) combined with too much exercise (jumping, stairs, slippery floors) can greatly influence (70-80%) the development of joint disease (osteoarthritis and dysplasia).

That is why we always recommend from puppyhood to use a type of natural food without corn, gluten and dubious grain flours.

They, like the Golden, are also extremely prolific dogs and can give birth to very large litters, so before venturing into this beautiful but challenging experience, it is important to be well acquainted with all aspects of this breed and to know that you can find them the right home with people who have the time to look after them.

Fatal attraction!

Labradors love water: those who have these dogs and live in the city know perfectly well that fountains in summer are a pleasure for them but also at the same time a big management problem to avoid their urge to dive in , and they are capable of swimming for hours.

This passion for water makes him very suitable for rescue activities: this is why they are widely used as real lifeguards in sea rescue.

There are laws (unfortunately) that prohibit dogs from entering beaches, however, Labradors and all dogs with these characteristics can access training courses organized by specific associations (Dog Rescue School) that then issue a "license".

Black Labrador

These courses then allow us to enter the beach because we have a socially useful dog: any incident that might require the action of a lifeguard who may not be present can be replaced by a rescue-trained Labrador.

However, to be on the safe side, we should always check the current laws that change quickly and are always evolving, but this beautiful possibility for our Labrador exists.

The Labrador then, as with the Golden, is recommended for all those people who have the desire to have a dog to share their lives with at all times because they never leave you.

In many other breeds, man's selection over the centuries has shown how his own intervention has heavily altered morphological aspects with matings not always dictated by cynophilic and kinetic culture: an example is the very nice Lagotto Romagnolo, which also risked extinction.

Unlike these breeds, the Labrador, on the other hand, has incredibly maintained this dog-like structure... since forever, whether it can still be a purebred dog has its own importance however, this extremely natural look of his has made him very famous.

The Labrador is an extremely elegant and quite sophisticated dog, it is a dog that appears in so many advertisements, especially Labrador puppies that look so good, kind, so affectionate and lively that it is impossible not to fall in love.

They are very kind dogs, they have a great willingness to be close to the person, to do something for us and to please.

The Labrador is not a dog for everyone!

This makes it so that, as with other breeds, there may be from all quarters of the media a sometimes exaggerated interest in that breed: dogs are sometimes perhaps victims of these advertisements that make them out to be "dogs for everyone."

Fortunately, the Labrador is a dog that defends itself very well because in any case despite having a great popularity in Italy it still maintains extremely healthy and correct characteristics.

Returning to the colors of the Labrador, we can finally say that the chocolate (chocolate) color is a truly gorgeous coat, deep brown (dark brown) but sometimes it can be even lighter always accepted by the standard.

In conclusion, I want to mention that the price of a Labrador puppy should not be related to color as is unfortunately increasingly the case due to increased demand in the market.