This time, the Jaded Dog Trainer discusses the Labrador Retriever breed. Unlike some of The Jaded Dog Trainer’s most recent posts about Rottweilers and Dobermans, he doesn’t have a problem with the way today’s Labs are bred and raised! Let’s dig in to learn more about America's most popular dog breed.
What Is a Labrador Retriever?
The American Kennel Club describes Labrador Retrievers as “friendly, outgoing, and high-spirited companions who have more than enough affection to go around for a family looking for a medium-to-large dog.”
Depending on the sex, Labs range in size from about 21 to 24 inches tall and weigh anywhere from 55 to 80 pounds. But regardless of your Lab’s size, you can expect your dog to have boundless energy.
Labradors were originally bred to be hunting dogs and fishermen’s companions in Newfoundland. Labs are ready and willing to retrieve all types of waterfowl. In fact, they’ll willingly jump into ice-cold water and swim around for hours if they’re able to.
Labs have a thick, water-repellent double coat for warmth during those frigid Canadian winters and a tapered “otter tail” that acts as the dog’s rudder while swimming.
If you’re not a hunter or fisherman, no worries. But be warned, Labs need plenty of exercise to stay physically and mentally healthy. When they don’t get their daily dose of running and playing, they’ll eat your shoes, chew on furniture, and generally just tear up your house.
Thankfully, we carry all of the dog toys you need to keep your Lab entertained and fit for hours and hours. Be sure to consider the Ruff Dawg Big Dawg Retrieving Toy. Even though your Lab’s jaws might not be strong enough to tear through one of our bite suits, they do have a tough bite that can rip through lower-quality toys.
The Jaded Dog Trainer’s Opinion On Labradors
Unlike some other AKC descriptions (like the Rottweiler and Doberman we mentioned above), The Jaded Dog Trainer finds the AKC’s description to be spot-on. He loves Labs and loves Labrador breeders for continuing to breed them as hunting and adventure dogs.
The Jaded Dog Trainer’s best piece of advice on Labs is that you shouldn’t buy one if you’re looking for a protection dog. He says the best a Labrador will do if you have an intruder in your house is bark and maybe nibble at the intruder’s thigh, hoping the bad guy will go away soon.
Labradors are friendly dogs (even if they bark or nip at a neighbor), but they’re bred to be helpers, not protectors.
You can train your Lab to do a variety of tasks. From nosework to search and rescue missions and even service dog work, Labradors are fantastic working dogs. In fact, The Jaded Dog Trainer begs you to put your Lab to work. Otherwise, the breed could go the way of the Rottweiler and Doberman and just become a lazy couch potato.
If you're taking your Lab out for any reason, just be sure to buy the proper leash. You can learn all about your leash options by reading Ray Allen's Ultimate Guide to Leashes, Leads and Lines.
Shop Ray Allen for All of Your Labrador’s Gear
The Jaded Dog Trainer’s final piece of advice is to purchase all of your Labrador’s toys, harnesses, leashes, collars, treats, and training equipment from RayAllen.com. After all, we’re where badass working dogs and their handlers get all of their badass gear!