You’ve heard or read advertising that begins with an interest and ends with the words “for fun and profit”. We aren’t going to tell you in this article how to launch a full-fledged business of breeding Labradors for profit. We won’t touch on the bottom line figures. We would like to look at a few basics, though, about breeding Labrador retrievers.
The goal of breeding Labradors is to produce puppies that are healthy and exhibit the best characteristics of the breed, including a good temperament.
Within that goal is a goal of breeding to show or field. Breeding Labradors for field requires more training to produce potential gun dogs. Show breeding requires more attention to beauty and conformation to standards.
Breeding Labradors for either field or show requires that you know and protect the breed standard. According to the AKC, the following characteristics must be present.
- Size – The dog’s height at the withers must be between 22 1/2 to 24 1/2 inches. He should weigh 65 to 80 pounds. The bitch’s height must be between 21 1/2 to 23 1/2 inches, and she should weigh 55 to 70 pounds.
- Proportion – Labs must be short-coupled, with a length from the shoulder’s point to the rump’s point equal to or slightly longer than the Lab’s height. Its body must be long enough to have a straight, free stride. Labs should not look low and long, or tall and leggy.
- Substance – The substance and bone must be in proportion to the overall dog. Breeding Labradors must not be light and weedy, or heavy and cloddy.
- Color – When breeding Labradors, it is important to keep the breed pure. There are only 3 colors in the breed: black, chocolate, and yellow. The only white permitted is a tiny spot on the chest. If you are breeding Labradors, you should be careful to avoid black and white dogs, silver, and other colors.
- Coat – The Lab’s coat is distinctive. It must be short, straight, and dense. There should be a soft, weather-resistant undercoat to offer protection from cold, water, and ground cover. If you are breeding Labradors, you will want to be sure you do not breed those with coats that are woolly, soft and silky, or sparse and slick.
When breeding Labradors, you will need to breed dogs and bitches that have the true Lab temperament. True Labrador Retriever temperament is kindly, outgoing, obedient, and well-mannered. It is one of being eager to please. It is not aggressive toward anyone, man or beast.
Why Breeding Labradors Appeals to Many
Labrador Retrievers have a lot going for them. They are gentle, intelligent, and very adaptable. Those involved in breeding Labradors consider them ideal.