The most common breed in India is the Labrador retriever, lovingly called Labrador or Lab. These adorable creatures with their friendly temperament are considered among the most popular family dogs. It is one of several types of retriever breeds found across the world. They are known for their absolute loyalty towards their owner and for their adorable behavior. For this reason Labradors are particularly common as family dogs and well loved as pets even though they were originally they were bred as gun dogs. They are known to be extremely talented and of a gentle and stable temperament. They are among the breeds that are not prone to mood swings or volatile disposition. This is why they are one of the most popular breeds of pet dogs in most countries.
Gun dogs were required by huntsmen to spot and retrieve prey, before and after the hunt respectively. They are sharp, intelligent and fairly intuitive, qualities that are sought for this purpose. They are also known for their ability to follow commands. They have an effective sense of direction, which enables them to be good guides. They also have the rare need to please others, which urges them to listen to your every requirement. It is in their nature to be loyal and faithful and loving towards their owner, i.e., they cannot be swayed easily into betrayal when in the field during hunting events. Their playful attitude and natural affinity towards water is the main reason why they were chosen for waterfowl hunting events.
Labradors are also favored for assistance purposes to the disabled and elderly. One can often see them as guide dogs, in company of the blind, helping them to navigate through crowded streets, footpaths and even while crossing roads with heavy traffic. People with mental disabilities, such as autism, also benefit greatly from Labradors when they are used as therapy dogs in such cases. Some hospitals employ Labradors for the sole purpose of petting which has been proven to be an effective source of comfort amongst patients. The shear love and joy that radiates from their calm demeanor is one of the reasons why patients appreciate their company. Not only do Labradors have that, but their keen sense of smell and detection skills prove to be especially helpful for bomb squads and to help the narcotics department to seize illegal substances.
This breed originates from Canada and is known to live a healthy and happy life for about 12-14 years. A female Labrador can have a litter of 5-10 puppies. They can range from 55-62cm in height and 25-36kg is considered the ideal weight. Although they are generally active in their prime youth, with time they tend to become lethargic if proper care is not taken. They need to be given access to regular physical exercise so that they remain healthy even as they age. They have smooth, short hair. Their straight and dense coat is not as prone to loss of hair as in case of golden retrievers. But at the same time they too need constant and careful grooming to ensure that a healthy, shiny coat persists.
The breed was first known to exist only in yellow and its several shades. From butterscotch to golden, there were several shades in the yellow spectrum seen since the 20th century. Labradors are equally adorable when in shades of brown and black. The brown is almost chocolate-like in texture that gives them an almost exotic appearance and also rare. Golden being the most commonly seen color, it is closely followed by black. Black Labradors look especially regal and elegant. Not only that, but several believers in lucky charms, consider black Labradors the most effective source of good luck for the owner.
Due to their probable sedentary lifestyle, the breed is fairly prone to related diseases. Obesity is the most common which is aided by their persistent and persuasive affliction for food. Deafness, cancer, hip and elbow dysplasia, muscle trouble and cataracts are some other diseases seen in Labradors. They are supposed to be fun loving, even boisterous to an extent which makes a scheduled and strict training almost a necessity. Their curious and exploratory nature makes them susceptible to getting lost, separating or even stolen. If attracted by people or certain scents for food, activity or the novelty factor, they would even jump fences.
They are extremely trusting, friendly and gullible towards known and unknown humans and other animals alike. This makes them a poor choice as guard dogs. But for the same reason, they are extremely popular as family dogs, especially in households with children and/or elderly, because of their easygoing personality. They are rarely territorial and are not prone to barking for no valid reason.
They are particularly fast and athletic when young, a quality that makes them prone to adorable antics or even accidents. Their agility and other activities are displayed with their almost incessant enthusiasm towards retrieving balls and Frisbees. They can be trained to have undivided single minded focus towards the task at hand, which make dog shows become especially popular when Labradors are being judged. Their adorable personalities and talents are widely loved and appreciated amongst all.