What kind of Labrador Retriever should you get?

The Labrador retriever is the single most popular dog in the United States and much of the rest of the world. The

Cute chocolate labrador puppy

Cute chocolate labrador puppy

popularity of the book “Marley and Me” (which featured a mischievous yellow Labrador) raised the breed’s profile, as did President Bill Clinton’s chocolate Labrador, Buddy, during the ’90s. It’s no wonder; these good-natured dogs are great with kids, make happy outdoor companions and in general make great additions to an active family.

Are you thinking about what kind of dog to get? Are you wondering which breed of Labrador you should choose? Well, remember that Labradors love to hunt and to swim. This is one dog that won’t be happy cooped up in an apartment!
Labradors come in many colors, but yellow, chocolate and black are the standards, with black being the most common. Is a yellow Labrador more likely to have health problems? is a black Labrador generally more friendly? Is a chocolate Lab easier to train?

The answers are no, no and no. Some dog owners and breeders will swear to you that the different colors of Labrador come with unique characteristics, but the truth is they don’t.

So which breed of Labrador you choose should not be decided by the color of their coat, but rather by how well you trust the breeder. A Labrador breeder who has experience and who doesn’t breed dogs with known diseases is the only way to go. Local Labrador clubs (which you can find online) should be helpful in finding breeders who can match you with the right dog.

Now, a little about the history of Labradors. The Labrador breed originated in Canada, where fishermen used them to help with the daily catch. The dogs were bred with hunting dogs such as Irish Setters and Spaniels and became the “retrievers” we know today.

Even if you don’t hunt, those breed characteristics make a yellow Labrador (as well as the brown, red, black, and other colors) popular pets. But they will require lots of love and attention; without constant engagement, these intelligent and active dogs can get into lots of trouble. That’s why Labradors do best in a family setting with plenty to keep them busy.

As for potential health problems, Lab owners are more likely to see canine hip dysplasia, a skeletal abnormality that

gastric torsion in labrador

gastric torsion in labrador

results in pain in the rear legs and severe arthritis. Gastric torsion is another common Labrador medical condition. Caused by a twisted stomach that results in swelling of the abdomen, it is most common in large-cheated breeds. Eye diseases, heart diseases and cancer are also issues that responsible Lab owners should keep an eye out for when choosing their future pet.

So, a little research will go a long way in ensuring that you find the right Labrador (be it yellow, chocolate or black) for your family.

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