The Labrador Retriever, best known simply as the Labrador, is a very famous breed and perhaps even the most recognisable by those who are not really dog experts. This beautiful furry friend stands out because of his hazel eyes and docile and playful nature, making him the most trusty friend that a person can have by their side!
As the name suggests, the Labrador comes from the Canadian region of the same name. It is a breed of dog with ancient origins and came from America to Europe. It was, in fact, in Great Britain that, in the early 20th century, it was recognized as a breed in its own right.
Labrador: Physical characteristics
The Labrador has a large and muscular body and can weigh up to 40 kg. It has a wide, pointed head, strong jaws and a snout that ends with a big nose – or rhinarium in technical terms – black with well-developed nostrils (unsurprisingly, it is an exceptional sniffer dog). The eyes are very distinctive – gentle and deep, usually brown or hazel; the ears also have a precise shape and are, in fact, drooping and slightly triangular but rounded and very soft.
The Labrador’s coat can be black, chocolate brown or honey-coloured and the fur is glossy and short. Being a dog born to spend a great deal of time outdoors, he also has a thick, waterproof undercoat.
Another distinctive feature of this breed of dog is the tail, which resembles that of an otter and it helps him to swim well.
Labrador: Character and behaviour
The Labrador is a versatile dog. He is a perfect baby sitter and is great with children; he is an excellent guide dog for the blind and a service dog for disabled people. He is also very good at being a search and rescue dog. There are numerous pet therapy programmes that involve Labradors of all ages.
The Labrador is sweet and intelligent and you only have to watch one for five minutes to realise this. Dogs of this breed stand out because of their always cheerful and jovial character and they tend to show their love by giving you countless little licks!
The Labrador is a bit like “everyone’s friend”, so if you are looking for a guard dog, don’t be too reliant upon him, but if you need a furry friend who will keep you company and go for long walks with you, you are in good hands!
The Labrador has an excellent sense of smell and a passion for water. Despite his sporty attitude, however, he often suffers with osteoarthritis and obesity, so he needs to do a lot of exercise. Don’t be fooled by the dreamy look in his eyes and try not to give him too many snacks between meals!
He is often referred to as a “pop” dog because he achieved worldwide fame thanks to various TV commercials and advertising campaigns: the most famous is the toilet paper advert, starring those tender honey-coloured puppies. Do you remember it?