The Labrador Retriever
The Labrador Retriever, (also Labrador or Lab for short), is one of several kinds of retriever, a type of gun dog. The Labrador is widely considered the most popular breed of dog (by ownership) in the world.
Labrador Retriever Puppies for Sale in South Africa
Zoetje Aucamp has been breeding Labrador Retrievers for 17 years. She also breeds Golden Retrievers.
"It started when my son was a baby. While we were visiting he was bitten by a strange dog. After undergoing 3 operations our vet said that only a Labrador would help to cure him of being terrified of animals. Our first Labrador Dam was a chocolate female - Petrabridge Chicory."
Zoetje says "I love my Labradors, and health, happiness and temperament is of the utmost importance. For me they are like my children, and that is what I wish for his or her new owner."
I have chocolate, golden, cream and black Labradors.
Labradors are exceptionally affable, gentle, intelligent, energetic and good natured, making them both excellent companions and working dogs. Although somewhat boisterous if untrained, Labrador Retrievers respond well to praise and positive attention, and are considerably "food and fun" oriented. With training, the Lab is one of the most dependable, obedient and multi-talented breeds in the world.
Labradors are relatively large with males typically weighing 30 to 36 kg and females 25 to 32 kg, but some labs do become overweight and may weigh significantly more. Their coats are short and smooth, and they possess a straight, powerful tail often likened to that of an otter. The majority of the characteristics of this breed, with the exception of colour, are the result of breeding to produce a working retriever.
The breed tends to shed hair twice annually, or regularly throughout the year in temperate climates. Some labs shed a lot, although individuals vary. Lab hair is usually fairly short and straight, and the tail quite broad and strong. The otter-like tail and webbed toes of the Labrador Retriever make them excellent swimmers. Their interwoven coat is also relatively waterproof, providing more assistance for swimming. The tail acts as a rudder for changing direction.
There are three recognized colors for Labs: black (a solid black color), yellow (anything from light cream to gold to "fox-red"), and chocolate (medium to dark brown). Puppies of all colors can potentially occur in the same litter. Chocolate and black Labs' noses will match the coat color.
Labs are known to be good-tempered and very agile. They have an excellent nose, soft mouth and a keen love of water. They are adaptable, devoted companions; intelligent, keen and biddable, with a strong will to please. They have a kindly nature, with no trace of aggression or undue shyness."
Labradors are a well-balanced and versatile breed, adaptable to a wide range of functions as well as making very good pets. As the name suggests, they are excellent retrievers. As an extension of this, they instinctively enjoy holding objects and even hands or arms in their mouths, which they can do with great gentleness (a Labrador can carry an egg in its mouth without breaking it. They are prone to chewing objects (though they can be trained out of this behavior).
Labradors have a reputation as a very mellow breed and an excellent family dog (including a good reputation with children of all ages and other animals). Their fun-loving boisterousness and lack of fear may require training and firm handling at times to ensure it does not get out of hand - an uncontrolled adult can be quite problematic.
Females may be slightly more independent than males. Labradors mature at around three years of age; before this time they can have a significant degree of puppyish energy, often mislabeled as being hyperactive. Because of their enthusiasm, leash-training early on is suggested to prevent pulling when full-grown. Labs often enjoy retrieving a ball endlessly and other forms of activity. They are considerably "food and fun" oriented, very trainable, and open-minded to new things, and thrive on human attention, affection and interaction, of which they find it difficult to get enough. Reflecting their retrieving bloodlines, almost every Lab loves playing in water or swimming.
Although they will sometimes bark at noise, especially a degree of "alarm barking" when there is noise from unseen sources, Labs are not on the whole noisy or territorial, and are often very easygoing and trusting with strangers, and therefore are not very often used as guard dogs.
Labradors have a well-known reputation for appetite, and some individuals may be highly indiscriminate, eating digestible and non-food objects alike. They are persuasive and persistent in requesting food. For this reason, the Lab owner must carefully control his/her dog's food intake to avoid obesity and its associated health problems.
Labs tend to want a lot of attention from their owners. If the owner has another dog in the house the lab usually gets jealous and will strive for attention by moving the other dog out of the way so the owner can pet him. These dogs also love the water. They tend to play in the water if there are humans around playing in it. They love to be around humans and are usually very good with small children.
Health and Well-being
Labrador pups should not be bought before they are 7 to 10 weeks old. Their life expectancy is generally 12 to 13 years or a few years longer with good medical care and it is a healthy breed with relatively few major problems.