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Need to know Labrador

Labradors are fantastic companions and family dogs for those who can meet all their needs – this means they require a home, and owner, willing and able to accommodate them and spare enough time for initial training and regular exercise.

TEMPERAMENT: Kind, intelligent, good-natured and generally obedient and responsive. Relatively easy to train, Labradors are very affectionate and widely considered as the perfect family pet.

APPEARANCE: A medium sized breed with a short easy-care coat that is prone to shedding.

AVERAGE HEIGHT: 54-56cm (21.5-22 inches).

AVERAGE WEIGHT: 28-30kg (62-66lbs).

OUR TOP TIP: Labradors are infamous foodies and prone to obesity so care must be taken to ensure a strict diet. They also benefit from a weather-resistant undercoat and love to swim!

Popularly thought to have originated on the coast of Newfoundland, where fishermen were seen to use a dog of similar appearance. Originally called the St. John's dog, after the capital city of Newfoundland – a number of this breed were imported to the Dorset area of England in the early 19th century.

EARLY REFERENCES: The dogs were spotted after their arrival by English aristocrats, including the Earl of Malmesbury and their fame propelled from there!

RECOGNITION: The Labrador is not a very old breed and was only recognised by The Kennel Club in 1916 with the Yellow Labrador Club following in 1925 - a spring chicken by some standards.

BREED SUBTYPES: Labradors are either solid black, yellow or chocolate in colour.

A relatively healthy breed but some problems have occurred as a result of over-breeding so care should be taken when purchasing a puppy.

INHERITED CONDITIONS: Like many larger breeds, Labradors are prone to hip dysplasia which causes painful arthritis – this can however be treated by your vet. If your dog is overweight this can worsen the effects.

LIFESPAN: 10-12 years.

EXERCISE RECOMMENDATIONS: Labradors belong to the Gundog Breed Group and as such they need plenty of exercise and the chance to run freely. Two hours per day should be allocated to exercising a Labrador to ensure optimum health and best behaviour.

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