Why We Love… Labradors

Labradors: we love them, you love them – everybody loves them. If you’re one of the few who’s still not convinced, we reckon we’ll get you on board with this…labs

Top Five Reasons Why You Should Own A Labrador:

  1. They’re eager to please and love making their owners happy, as well as being very receptive and responsive to kids, friends, and strangers.
  2. Labradors are easy to train as they are very quick learners. They respond best to clear guidelines and they’re naturally inclined to fetch most things on command.
  3. They love being with you. Labradors adore being by their owner’s side and will often want to snuggle up on the sofa or relax in their bed alongside their owner.
  4. Most Labradors love to be part of the action and are rarely shy. Whatever is going on they want to get involved.
  5. Labradors Retrievers have loads of energy. They love to run and don’t tire easily, so are a great choice for owners who like to take their pooch out on walks, jogs or have a family to keep entertained.

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Did You Know?

  • Labradors were originally bred to help fishermen land their nets and retrieve waterfowl, a task they were especially good at thanks to their water resistant coat and webbed paws.
  • A litter of Labrador puppies can have dogs of all three colours – black, yellow, and chocolate.
  • A Labrador can carry an egg in its mouth without breaking it, or an injured animal without causing any harm.

Celebrity Owners:

 Minnie Driver has a black lab called Bubba.

Reneé Zellweger has a yellow Labrador called Dylan.

Danielle and Gary Lineker have a yellow Labrador named Snoop (read our Me and My Pet Interview).

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Ask The Vet….

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Labradors are naturally happy, friendly dogs and are generally very healthy, active dogs but they can suffer from a number of important inherited diseases; before choosing a puppy you should check to make sure that the sire (dad) and dam (mum) have been examined for the following diseases:

  • Hip dysplasia – often termed HD, is a condition in which the puppy is born with the ball of the hip joint that does not fit the socket properly; this leads to the development of arthritis in the hips as the dog grows. The precise manner in which the condition is inherited is complex but choosing parents that have good hips helps reduce the risk of this condition being passed on to the puppies.

Make sure that both the parent have had their hips X-rayed and scored by the British Veterinary Association / Kennel Club Hip Dysplasia Scheme. The minimum age for hip scoring is one year, and each dog is only ever scored once under the scheme.

Each hip is given a score so that 0 is a good hip and 53 is the very worst hip joint. The average score for the Labrador breed (total score for both hips) is about 16. Make sure that the parents of the puppy you choose have hip scores well below this breed average.

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  • Elbow dysplasia – sometimes referred to as elbow osteochondrosis or OCD, is a condition in which the bones of the elbow joint do not develop properly and can break off into fragments; again, this condition leads to arthritis in the elbows in later life.

Again, make sure that both parents have had their elbows X-rayed and scored by the British Veterinary Association / Kennel Club Elbow Dysplasia Scheme. The minimum age for elbow scoring is one year, and each dog is only ever scored once under the scheme.

The degree of elbow dysplasia is graded on a scale of 0 to 3 (perfect: 0   most severe: 3) for each elbow. Make sure that the parents of the puppy you choose have elbow scores of 0.

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  • Eye conditions – Labradors can be affected by a number of important inherited eye diseases, including progressive retinal atrophy or PRA that can lead to blindness in later life. Make sure that both parents have had their eyes examined under the British Veterinary Association / Kennel Club / International Sheepdog Scheme. In general, the best age for eye testing is before one year old and thereafter on an annual basis. Make sure that the parents of the puppy you choose have no evidence of inherited eye disease.

Shop Labradors

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If you feel Labradors aren’t suitable for you why not read Top Ten Dogs for Kids

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