Interesting Facts About Labrador Retrievers – Dog Breed
Labrador Retrievers make extraordinarily popular pets! These guys are among the most intelligent breeds in the world, easily trainable, great family dogs, and a lot of fun to play with! Labs are great with retrieving games, and tend to love playing in the water.
A Bit of Labrador Retriever History
Settled by English fishermen back in the late 1500’s/ early 1600’s, Newfoundland is thought to be the birthplace of the Labrador Retriever, although it went by a different name then. History largely agrees this ‘St. John’s Water Dog’ evolved along with Newfoundland’s early fishing occupation. Though the breed existed long before, it wasn’t officially recognized as the Labrador Retriever by the American or European Kennel clubs until the early 1900’s.
As Newfoundland’s fishing industry grew and flourished, so did the St’ John’s Dog. Bred to withstand the Frigid temperatures off the coast of Newfoundland (right of Canada), with an unstoppable endurance to match, these guys would often work past their physical limits helping their fellow fisherman. You would be hard pressed to find a Lab that doesn’t absolutely love the water!
So why are they called Labrador Retrievers today? Well, originally purposed as a hunting/working dog, they enjoyed retrieving tasks, first used to assist fisherman (back in the days of the St. John’s Dog). These first dogs were bred Off the coast of Newfoundland, a province east of Canada- which also happens to be named Labrador.
Ideal Food for the Labrador Retriever
A better question would be- what is the ideal food to feed a large breed of dog. Many brands exist, some of much higher quality than others. Before we get into that, realize the physiology of dogs is actually pretty close to the physiology of humans; our nutritional requirements are pretty close.
When you decide what to buy- ask yourself- how active is my dog? How much do they weigh? How old? Most dog foods will have a recommended age and weight right on the package!
If you look at the nutritional label on the back of any bag of dog food (this may differ based on laws in your country) it should show a percentage of crude protein, crude fat, crude fiber (fiber is actually a complex carbohydrate- comparable to sugar), percentage of moisture, and a bunch of other nutrients.
Some Dog Foods Aren’t Always as Good as They Would Have You Believe
As far as particular brands go, some will use a type of corn as their main ingredient- corn being nothing more than a filler, a cheap resort to make their food seem like more than what it is. I won’t name particular brands, but I will give a hint- look at the list of ingredients on the back of your dog food container.
If any type of corn is listed among the top ingredients, it is a safe bet that you are purchasing a cheap brand of dog food.
As far as this goes- often you get what you pay for. A couple higher quality brands (and more expensive) include Blue Buffalo and Taste of the Wild. You can either visit Dog Food Advisor for a full list of 5 star rated dog food brands, or compare nutritional information to the two I listed above.
Remember- as far as advertising goes, there is no law against cheap, low quality brands saying they are the best, the most healthy- and I guarantee they do this often. In fact- I see the cheaper, lower quality brands advertise far more often than the truly great dog food producers; their foods are frequently as poor as they come- they can afford this. Don’t base your decisions on television advertisements.
Medical Conditions More Frequently Associated with the Labrador Retriever
Just like all breeds, these furry fellas are hereditary prone to certain health conditions over others. My first piece of advice- when purchasing a pet, try to know the history and background of where they came from, the health of their parents (many disorders are passed on from mother to offspring).
That being said, the most common concern for these dogs is obesity. I’m not going to bother giving you an avg. weight because it will vary, but you can in most cases tell if your pet is overweight by simply looking. If you are still wondering, any veterinarian can answer weight related questions with a simple visual inspection.
It is so very important to keep a healthy weight for your pet because a whole string of health problems can arise from obesity. Overweight labs run the risk of diabetes, which can lead to death (just like in humans) if your pet’s diet isn’t corrected.
Hip dysplacia in Labs
Hip dysplacia is a hereditary disease commonly affecting larger dog breeds, but is a particular problem with Labrador Retrievers. Hip dysplacia is the failure of the hip joints to develop normally, causing painful wear and tear for the dog. Because it is often hereditary, both dogs with healthy weights and overweight animals can contract it, but it would be much worse/harder on an overweight dog.
In the end- maintaining an active, healthy lifestyle, on top of good nutrition, is the best thing you can do for your pet. For more information on body language and interaction, you can visit www.gooddogstory.com under ‘Body Language’.