Labrador is considered to be one of the most popular breeds in the USA. It is because of their super excellent nature which is a combination of loyalty, affection, intelligence, and purity. It’s only the strangers that make them reserve, otherwise Labradors are very social and willing to make friends.
Mental and physical exercise is a requisite for Labradors. It should be well noted that you cannot keep one if you are unable to invest time in training them because leadership is what they look for in their owners. With appropriate training and time, Labradors prove to be the most reliable and patient dogs.
Labradors are most commonly known as Labrador retrievers. In the early 1800s, Labradors gained utmost popularity when they were first spotted by the English nobles who were visiting Canada.
In the beginning of their breed, it was believed that Labradors were traditionally waterdogs of Newfoundland and were also considered a fisherman’s mate. When the nobles and lords of England spotted the Labradors, they took many Labrador dogs with them to boost their royal status. It was somewhere between 19th century that British breeders worked to refine and standardize this breed.
It was also believed that Labradors came into being from a breed known as St John’s Water Dog which is now extinct. This known companion of fishermen looked slightly like a cross between a Border Collie and the modern Labrador we adore.
You must be wondering why Labradors are known as a fisher’s companion? It is because the history goes back to the time when Labradors worked shoulder to shoulder with fishermen to catch fishes. Labradors were highly trained to jump into the freezing water without an iota of fear to help pull in the nets.
Labradors are useful in many aspects. They excellently excel in hunting, tracking, retrieving, and much more. Labradors are the best watchdogs, they can be used in police work, sledding, carting, drugs detection, and search and rescue. This dog breed is not limited in its ability to perform various tasks. On top of their versatility, they can also be used as a guide for the blind and as a service dog for the disabled. Consequentially, Labradors can be used as personal protectors as well as physical assisters.
Black Lab Temperament:
Black labs have a very loyal and friendly demeanor. They are considered to be the most even tempered dog breed with their family-friendly nature. They are gentle, kind, loving, agile, and intelligent. With their outgoing nature, Black Labradors keep winning the hearts of people. It tells us quite enough about their popularity all around the world.
Labradors are energetic and athletic which makes them engage with whatever is around them. Because of their social nature, they can be easily trained too. If given good training, obedience becomes to be another best quality of Labradors.
Moreover, Labradors are not merely family-friendly but are also dog-friendly. They can also become friendly to strangers who give these labs a hint of trust and assurance.
Black Labrador characteristic:
Although there is little evidence available, but it is believed among breeders and Labrador owners that Labradors behave differently according to the color of their coat. So it is insisted that Black Labradors have a distinct way of behaving that is different from other Labs with different colors.
Black Labradors have a good reputation in befriending children of all ages. They also get along excellently with other dogs and household pets. Black labs do not show aggression toward other pets and dogs.
Mental and physical stimulation is a plus point for Black labs. In order to stay healthy and sane, mental and physical exercise go a long way for them.
Black Labs are infamous for their high-energy so they invest their time in playing around and chewing things. Their high energy is one of the reasons for them to mature slowly. They keep hold of their childlike nature for a long time. But if you make them invest their time in constructive activities like exercises and daily walks, they will restrain from getting bored.
To prevent this, training and socialization from an early age is best to raise an obedient and well behaved Black lab. Few of Black lab’s characteristics are as followed:
- The weight of an average Black Lab can be up to 80lbs and can be 24.5 inches tall.
- The lifespan of a Black Lab is 12 years. This average lifespan of Black Labs can also be increased if they are given the right diet and appropriate exercise.
- The Black Labs have a double coat which makes it incredibly warm in and outside of the water. It explains their ability to jump in water to pull nets and catch fishes.
- They have excellent webbed paws.
- The Black Labs have a thick and absolutely straight tail which is described to have an otter-like appearance.
- Their tails are almost of one single color without any other markings.
What is the difference between show line and field line black lab breeds?
The Black Labradors come in two strains/types. American Black Labrador and English Black Labrador are two types of Black Labrador depending on their area of expertise. These strains are also known as show line and field line Black lab breeds.
American Black Labs were bred for field. They were bred to be expert in retrieving and hunting. This why they are known as field line Black Labradors. While English Black Labs were bred for show ring. The owners who are interested in rings tend to like English Black Labs. They are also preferred by pet homes. English Black labs are more playful and slow to mature and they belong to the show line lab breed. But American Black labs are less playful and they have a drive to compete and hunt.
American Black labs are bred to work. They have a slimmer physique. They possess less excitable natures and are inclined to work tirelessly.
The prominent differences between the two strains of Black Labs that make you distinguish them are mentioned below.
The American Black Labrador:
There are a few distinctive physical traits of an American black lab that make it different from English black lab.
American black Lab is usually taller with an approximate height of 21.5 to 24.5 inches. As mentioned above, they have a slim and lean body which makes them more athletic. American labs have an agile look with excellent bone structure.
When you look at them carefully to find the differences, you will see a narrow head with a long muzzle and thin neck. Along with their thin and long necks, they have a thinner coat with a thinner ‘otter like’ tail. They are also likely to have longer legs. Their overall physique is perfect and ideal for field work and hunting.
The English Black Labrador:
Unlike American black lab, English black Labrador which is also known as the show line breed has a short body. English labs’ legs are between 21.5 and 22.5 inches. They possess a sturdy, thick, and heavy built with a firm bone structure.
They have a more thick and straight tail with bulky and full face. English black labs can be distinguished through their thick fur, thick neck, and a shorter muzzle. They are known to have a barrel chest with a wider head. Their firm and grand appearance is the reason that they are a show line breed.
Black lab inheritance of Labrador retriever coat colors:
The most wanted color coat in labs is the black coat. Black labs are well known all around the world. But most of the times people forget that in 1890s, the first Labrador that was the most famous was the chocolate Labrador. It was after the mid-90s that Black Labradors came in popularity.
People were so much obsessed with the Black color in Labradors, it is known that for many generations Labradors that had chocolate or yellow coats were euthanized to keep the Black Labradors breed pure and intact.
Despite the history of euthanasia, the Labradors with different coat colors survived and lived on. This is why in the contemporary times, we get to see labs with all coat colors. Despite of all the attempts to erase this part of Labradors, it persisted. However, ‘Black’ is still considered to be the most dominant gene in Labradors.
It is the inheritance of Labradors that determines the coat color of a lab. If a pigment called eumelanin is more prominent in the genes of a lab puppy then the lab gets to have a black coat color. While if this gene is transmitted in a less amount, then a lab with a chocolate color coat is born. According to science, genes come in pairs. One with a capital letter and one with the small letter with their particular effects. For instance, ‘B’ gene indicates the more amount of eumelanin which results in a black Labrador. While ‘b’ gene gives way to lesser amount of eumelanin that produces a chocolate color Labrador.
Keeping in mind what is mentioned above, it is known that BB genes or Bb genes help in a black lab. While two bb genes result in a brown or chocolate lab pup. It depends on the genes of the Labrador parents which determine the color coat of a lab puppy. The transmission of these genes is the reason why brown labs are produced by black Labrador parents.
While we are delving into the inheritance and genes of Labradors, it is necessary to note that despite of B and b genes, there is an E gene too. E gene is considered to be an overpowering gene which can set aside the B gene. Yellow Labradors are born with E gene even if one Labrador parent gave a B gene. These genes keep on interacting with each other that results in different coat colors Labradors.
Genes have their own way of working, this is why it is interesting to know that a D gene is also available in Labradors which lightens the tone of Black and in the result charcoal color coat is produced.
Owners who are interested in hunting dogs, they are more inclined to get a black Labrador. While breeders tend to have interest in yellow and brown labs and can also pay a higher price for these labs.
Although black is a dominant color that is desired by people, yellow and brown also have its place in a group of people.
From where we can adopt Labrador black puppies?
In the canine market, Black labs have the highest popularity because of all that we learnt about them previously. Because of the higher demand of Black Labradors, it is not difficult to look for a Black Labrador puppy.
Even if you plan to adopt a Black Labrador puppy, it is vital to check all the required things. A random adoption can prove to be a disappointment for you in the long run. Make sure that you do your research when adopting any new puppy. The health and temperament of your puppy relies on taking responsibility and doing research on the puppy you are going to adopt and from what place.
American Kennel Club is the best source to get Labrador black puppies. But keep in mind that even if you are adopting one, there will be a fees of around $50 to 100$.
How we can train and exercise a black lab?
Before we get to the training and exercise guide for a Black lab, it is important to recall that Black labs are thoroughly intelligent and very quick learners. So if you give enough time to your lab, they can become well trained and well behaved.
Because of their high energy, training and exercise is an essential to keep them occupied and keep them at bay from their naughty excursions. Moreover training and exercise help in making you black lab fit for both house and outdoor activities.
It is believed that Black Labs are slightly different from other Labradors and they come from a working background. In case you adopted a Black American lab, then you must give him the opportunities to do a lot of retrieving. American labs are more driven to work and retrieve. While English Black labs are more playful and fun loving. But despite of their American and English strains, a good workout routine is a must for them.
The moment you start giving them opportunities to run and retrieve, they will be more relaxed at home. A traditional walk with their owner is the best start for a Black Labrador training and exercise routine. While for their successful training, you must keep in mind that Black labs do well with positive reinforcement. Encourage them and cheer for them to make them more confident and love what they are doing.
After normalizing a walk for your Black lab puppy, you can familiarize your puppy with running, and playing games like ‘fetch’. Retrieving games are an excellent exercise for your lab puppy. Through this game, they will get to run to the distance without you traveling with that far, which will serve to be a great workout for your Black lab puppy and a plus point for you. Swimming, jogging, hiking are also helpful exercises for you Black Labrador. It will help them channel their energy and their activities at home will be more balanced and relaxed.
With all the plus points of a Labrador comes another excellent feature of Labrador breed. Because of the coat that they are born with, no excessive are is required for Labradors. Their coats are specifically designed in such a way to groom them without any additional effort from the owner’s part. So no special grooming is required for a Labrador retriever.
But when they shed a lot, it will be better for you as an owner to brush them twice on daily basis. Other than brushing them twice daily, Labs have an incredible coat that requires only occasional bathing.
With brushing, their coat will keep getting soft and more refined. And as for the general grooming, their nails need to be trimmed. Also, it will good for their health if you brush their teeth regularly to keep them safe and sound.
It is not easy to determine the diet of a Labrador since a similar diet plan cannot be given to all the Labradors. The diet plan varies from one Labrador to another. What’s common in their diet is that it should have more fat and protein while lesser carbohydrates.
The amount of feed for a Lab depends on his age and his size. For instance, the Eukanuba Adult Breed Lamb and Rice food have suggested these serving sizes for Labs with different sizes. According to them, a 40 to 45 pound Lab should be given 205-230 grams per day. The amount of feed will keep on increasing with the increasing size of your Lab.
240-265 grams should be given to a 50-55 pound lab. 300-335 grams is required for a 60-65 pound lab. As the size gets bigger, the feed of your lab is also increased. For instance, for a 90-95 pound lab, 355 to 395 grams are required per day.
Moreover, dry kibble and raw feed (BARF diet) are two ways of feeding your lab. Most owners believe in giving dry kibble to their labs which is easily available in markets and stores. While few owners believe that their labs thrive on BARF diet or raw feed. Raw feed can be raw meat and bones while dry kibble is dried pellets of dog foods. Both of them have their pros and cons, so it depends on which way of feed more suits your lab.
Is Labrador good for family as a pet?
Labradors are famous for their gentle, outgoing, and friendly nature. They like socializing a lot which makes them a best pick as a family pet.
Their kind and jolly nature help them in befriending everyone they meet. Labradors are also very gentle with kids of all ages. They like to live among a family that will love them and care for them.
With early training, they can also be raised as very obedient pets which serve as a power point for them as a family pet. However, careful attitude is required on the owner’s part if toddlers are present in the house. Overall, labs are the best first choice for a family with careful management.
Inherited disorders in Labrador:
Along with their agile bodies come inherited disorders. No matter what color of coat they have, these disorders are present in all the labs. Inherited disorders are genetically transmitted. It happens because of the recessive gene. Mother lab and father lab give separate genes and since we know these genes come in pairs, so one of the gene becomes dominant while the other becomes recessive.
Hip and elbow dysplasia is one of the most common inherited disorder in Labradors. There can be abnormal formations of hips and dysplasia after these disorders. There are many other inherited disorders that can be present in your Labrador. For instance, retinal dysplasia in Labradors is common too. Hereditary myopathy as well as epilepsy can be detected in your Lab. Moreover, Labradors can also come face to face with circulatory system issues, pulmonic stenosis, tricuspid valve dysplasia, and endocrine diseases.
Although, these diseases are inherited disorders that they get from their parents’ genes, it is necessary to go for an early age checkup of your Labrador to keep him safe from all the health complications. Getting early health checkups can prove to be vital for your lab’s life where you can plan a healthy life for your lab.