The best time to seek information on Labradors is before you make a decision to purchase one — before you take a puppy into your home.
But what do most of us do?
Free to Good Home – Dogs!
We see the ad in the paper, respond, and see wriggling little puppies. Free to good home! We can hardly believe it. In no time, we have a new puppy, and desperately need information on Labradors.
Information on Labradors from the American Kennel Club (AKC) lists this dog as the most popular in the U.S. for the past 15 years (2007). It shows no intention of giving up the title, either.
The Labrador Retriever’s temperament seems to be the main reason for its popularity. Most are outgoing and caring, eager to please, and friendly to humans and animals alike. The best sources of information on Labradors agree that they are gentle, intelligent, and adaptable.
Those who fail to get adequate information on Labradors are surprised to learn that the dogs are not always black.
- Black Labs are all black. In purebred Labs, a small white spot on the chest is permissible, but not desirable. So look for a puppy that shows no color other than pure black.
- Chocolate Labs vary in shade from light to dark chocolate. They have no white or tan markings. There are no streaks, speckles, or spots.
- Yellow Labs range from fox-red to light cream in color. They usually have variations in shading on the ears, back, and under parts.
You will learn as you research information on Labradors, that this is a medium-sized dog. When full-grown, Labradors will be 21.5 to 24.5 inches at the withers (the space between shoulder blades) and weigh 65 and 80 pounds.
Although they love to play, Labs are bred for work. The AKC information on Labradors states that the dogs were bred as retrieving gun dogs that can hunt waterfowl or upland game for many hours at a time.
Labrador Retrievers enjoy other types of work, too. They make great family companions, do guide work for the blind, and excel at assistance work for other handicapped people. Law enforcement personnel use them for substance detection or search-and-rescue dogs.
Don’t Be Fooled
If you do get your Labrador Retriever free, it probably will not be purebred. Look for these signs.
- Be sure the coloring is as described above. If it is not, tell the seller you have read information on Labradors that warns about spots, speckles, brindle markings, and such. Some breeders claim white labs as purebred, but the AKC does not. Some web sites even picture black-and-white spotted “Labradors”, but this flies in the face of all valid information about Labradors.
- Be sure its coat is short, straight, and dense. If it is an adult, a slight wave down the back of its coat is fine, but wooly coats, silky coats, and sparse slick coats indicate the dog is not purebred.
Free to Good Home – Only the Beginning
Finally, any good information on Labradors must include a word about costs. A puppy that begins as “free” does not stay that way. It will need health care, and lots of food. It will need a collar and leash, water bowl. food bowl, and toys. It will need a place to sleep. Can you really afford a dog?
Take time to get plenty of information on Labradors before you take one home.