TOP TEN DOG BREEDS IN SOUTH AFRICA: Labrador Retriever

TOP TEN DOG BREEDS IN SOUTH AFRICA: Labrador Retriever

We were all in tears when we watched the movie Marley & Me, but it was very clear from the very beginning why Labrador Retrievers are one of the best dog breeds in existence. In this article, we take you through all of the reasons why Labradors are just the best.

Labrador Retrievers, or Labs as they are affectionately known, are originally from Canada. In the 16th century, small water dogs were bred with Newfoundland dogs to create a breed that at the time was called the St. John’s Water Dog or Lesser Newfoundland. During the 19th century, they were spotted by visiting British nobility, who would eventually take some of these dogs home and begin breeding them. It was these same sporting lords that gave the dog the name “Labrador dogs”, and the name just stuck. Even after all this time, the connection between these native Newfoundland dogs and Labrador (the place) is still unclear.

To this day, Labs are still one of many breeds of the retriever hunting type. While they still serve the purpose that they were originally bred for, which is to retrieve small downed duck and waterfowl, they are also highly trainable making them ideal for other jobs. These include being guide dogs, rescue dogs and other services for the police and military.

Labs are the perfect combination of friendly and boisterous, which is why they are such an awesome addition to a family of any size. They are extremely loyal, obedient and kind-natured, and are really good with children so if you want to get your toddler a pup, consider a Lab.

Labs can grow to be quite large, muscular and athletic, even weighing up to 36kgs! Their double-coat is short, dense and flat. Although they are most commonly found in black, brown or chocolate, and yellow, Labs have also been bred in other colours. Some of the more rare variations include arctic white, red and even silver; however these might simply be from the original three colours.

It is also easy to see why some may confuse yellow Labs with Golden Retrievers. They both make for great family pets, however it is important to note that these are two very different breed

A trait that Labs have kept from their ancestry is their tails. Labrador tails are thick and tapered which gives them characteristics similar to those of otter tails. In the water, their tails act as a rudder, which helps them swim more efficiently. However, on land, those excited tail wags could easily swipe everything off of the coffee table!

Grooming needs:                             Low maintenance

Standard:                                        Purebred; KUSA Registered

Size:                                                 Large: 54 – 57cm in height; 25 – 36kg in weight

Life expectancy:                               10 – 12 years

Temperament:                                 Alert, Cheerful, Energetic, Friendly, Gentle, Intelligent, Loving, Loyal, Out-Going, Playful, Responsive, Social

Suggested Tests:                             Elbow, eyes and Hip

Litter Size:                                       3 – 10 puppies, but an average of 6 puppies

With such a rich history, it’s no wonder that Labrador Retrievers are so beloved across the globe! Know a Lab parent? Share this article with them, or share with us why YOU love Labs in the comments below!

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