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Labrador Retriever

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Labs   
Just querying the height of 22 to 22.5 for dogs and 21.5 to 22 for bitches. I have always thought this was correct but was told by breeders recently that the max height had been increased.

Can anyone confirm this.

The breed standard has not changed so the heights are still as above.

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Labs   
The "type" and size of Labradors depends on the origins and what the breeder is looking for. My black Lab is from English origins, so his head is bigger and squarer, he is slightly shorter than the "typical' lab you see around these days but he is more broader in body size and his temperament is a little quieter, he still goes a little nuts but as much as your "typical' lab you see walking down the street. The American and Australian Labradors are more refined, smaller head and slender bodies. From what I have heard the American labradors are more excitable than their English and Australian counterparts.

We in Australia breed by the UK Standard so there should not be any difference. I have quite a few dogs from UK parents etc and there is no difference to my Australian and New Zealand bred dogs.

It is absolutely not true that Australian Labradors are in anyway are more refined, have smaller heads nor more slender bodies - except that too many people have their Labradors way too fat.

In all countries there are some difference with showing and working stock which is very disappointing. I think we are one breed and should all try to breed to the breed standard.

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alanglen   

There does appear to be a huge difference in acceptable weight and "stockiness" between those bred for show vs those bred for retrieving/tracking/agility/obedience etc.

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espinay2   

Mary Roslin Williams discusses the 'Hailstone' Labrador in her chapter on colour in "Reaching for the Stars: Formerly Advanced Labrador Breeding". To your knowledge has this colour appeared in recent years at all or is it now simply a long gone 'point of interest'?

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5. What is the general temperament/personality?

wonderful dogs if the correct ground work is undertaken

7. Is it a breed that a first time dog owner could easily cope with?

Probably not, they can be an extremely destructive puppy

10. Is it too boisterous for very small children or for infirm people (unless the dog is well trained)?

Yes as a puppy but are a wonderful pet once older

I 100% agree.

But why is it then that time and time again we have the labrador being touted in the media as the perfect family pet (no effort required and fine for the novice) and time and time again I come across labs that are either grossly overweight or bad mannered because the owners seem to believe that no training is required and just because their large dog isn't aggressive bad manners is okay.

Where is this myth coming from? I completely understand why labs are popular they are great dogs but surely lab breeders must be dismayed by the fact that they fall into the hands of people who are unable or unwilling to give them the lives they deserve.

I like labs, I like the breed description of labs, I love to see labs working be it as gundogs, seeing eye dogs or drug detector dogs, but there are too many members of joe public out there who own labs who shouldn't, or don't understand that they can sometimes be a large boisterous dog that needs correct training and upbringing.

ETA: clarification.

Edited by Quickasyoucan

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5. What is the general temperament/personality?

wonderful dogs if the correct ground work is undertaken

7. Is it a breed that a first time dog owner could easily cope with?

Probably not, they can be an extremely destructive puppy

10. Is it too boisterous for very small children or for infirm people (unless the dog is well trained)?

Yes as a puppy but are a wonderful pet once older

I 100% agree.

But why is it then that time and time again we have the labrador being touted in the media as the perfect family pet (no effort required and fine for the novice) and time and time again I come across labs that are either grossly overweight or bad mannered because the owners seem to believe that no training is required and just because their large dog isn't aggressive bad manners is okay.

Where is this myth coming from? I completely understand why labs are popular they are great dogs but surely lab breeders must be dismayed by the fact that they fall into the hands of people who are unable or unwilling to give them the lives they deserve.

I like labs, I like the breed description of labs, I love to see labs working be it as gundogs, seeing eye dogs or drug detector dogs, but there are too many members of joe public out there who own labs who shouldn't, or don't understand that they can sometimes be a large boisterous dog that needs correct training and upbringing.

ETA: clarification.

I agree only 50%. Some Lab puppies are terrors, but many are quite good . . . not destructive, not rambunctious, reasonably placid from day 8 x 7 = 56 on. Many of the Labs I get in boarding kennels have had no formal training -- nor did the Labs I was brought up with -- and most are great with children, older people, and complex social situation (apart from being notorious beggars). I expect and enforce good behaviour from my dogs, but many of my dogs get no formal training. I have never had a Lab take laundry off the line, destroy a retic system, or ruin furniture (ok they get it dirty, but that's because I allow them to get up on it and don't have a way to ensure they are clean before they get on the sofa) . . . they dig holes, but I've got ACRES of sand, so that's fine. The pups do jump up on people, but if consistently discouraged they pretty much stop doing so before well before they reach 12 months. All my dogs are calm. The only area where I have needed to do serious training is recall under strong distraction (which is inadequately treated in most beginning obedience or puppy training classes). The only 'training' -related complaint I've gotten from puppy buyers comes from people who let young children play with the pup without restriction, and end up with a pup the treats small children as littermates (chase, scream, and bite). I now warn puppy buyers about need to discipline their children when playing with the puppy.

I think the word biddable is key. Because Labs have become a very popular family dog, much recommended as such, it is good if breeders who sell to a lot of pet homes select for traits that make them fit the bill and will easily comply with people's reasonable expectations without a lot of formal training . . . and if they choose to run more energetic (maniacal) and high strung bloodlines, they should be careful to advise puppy buyers that they are likely to have an energetic animal that requires considerable discipline, particularly in the first year.

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Hey guys ,

just a quick question , my Lab is 10 weeks old tomorrow. But she is still going through the phase of when she keeps biting myself and partner im guessing this is due to the teething process it isnt anything to bad at the moment but i was just wondering how long does this process go on for ? and any ideas on how i can stop it in the mean time ? When she is going for say like my hand or something i try to place a toy in front of my hand for her to get first ....

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Ellie1   
Hey guys ,

just a quick question , my Lab is 10 weeks old tomorrow. But she is still going through the phase of when she keeps biting myself and partner im guessing this is due to the teething process it isnt anything to bad at the moment but i was just wondering how long does this process go on for ? and any ideas on how i can stop it in the mean time ? When she is going for say like my hand or something i try to place a toy in front of my hand for her to get first ....

My puppy stopped it after about 4 weeks after we got him but started again when he started teething, he is 19 weeks old and still tries to mouth us.

Edited by candivw

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mickyt   
Hey guys ,

just a quick question , my Lab is 10 weeks old tomorrow. But she is still going through the phase of when she keeps biting myself and partner im guessing this is due to the teething process it isnt anything to bad at the moment but i was just wondering how long does this process go on for ? and any ideas on how i can stop it in the mean time ? When she is going for say like my hand or something i try to place a toy in front of my hand for her to get first ....

haha my 7 week old lab is doing the same.

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Are Labradors known for being good at agility?

I'm not a Lab person but I'll answer this one from the point of view of an agility person. Most Labradors are too heavily built to excel at agility. Lighter working style Labs would have an easier time of it but Labradors are not a common agility breed and not one I'd recommend if someone really wanted to get into agility. You could do it but you'd have to be realistic about your prospects in the sport and you'd want your dog to be very lean.

You do see the odd Labrador participating but not many. Their size requires them to jump a fair height and they are competing against many lighter framed dogs.

One Lab that trained at our club never managed to conquer the dog walk - he was just too wide to do it confidentally. Another Lab reached Masters (the top) level but was retired due to unsoundness which may or may not have been exacerbated by the sport.

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Are Labradors known for being good at agility?

I'm not a Lab person but I'll answer this one from the point of view of an agility person. Most Labradors are too heavily built to excel at agility. Lighter working style Labs would have an easier time of it but Labradors are not a common agility breed and not one I'd recommend if someone really wanted to get into agility. You could do it but you'd have to be realistic about your prospects in the sport and you'd want your dog to be very lean.

You do see the odd Labrador participating but not many. Their size requires them to jump a fair height and they are competing against many lighter framed dogs.

One Lab that trained at our club never managed to conquer the dog walk - he was just too wide to do it confidentally. Another Lab reached Masters (the top) level but was retired due to unsoundness which may or may not have been exacerbated by the sport.

:thumbsup: poodlefan

Edited by Baby Dragon

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Apologies - havent been back into this thread for awhile.

As for the agility question - I have a lab at home that absolutely loves the excitement of doing agility training. I could go further with it but I dont think we'd be competitive against the border collies etc.

So they can do it. :thumbsup:

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Apologies - havent been back into this thread for awhile.

As for the agility question - I have a lab at home that absolutely loves the excitement of doing agility training. I could go further with it but I dont think we'd be competitive against the border collies etc.

So they can do it. :thumbsup:

Yes, they can. I said as much. Perhaps the more important question is whether they should. It's a big ask on them to jump top height and not a recipe for longevity in some cases.

If you don't care about competiveness and you are prepared to keep your dog way leaner than most Labs are (one lean chocolate Lab owner at our club was told his agility dog was a GSP) then its doable. But I'd not consider them a particularly suitable breed.

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My girl only stands at 20" tall - is small for a lab - and quick. I wouldnt want her to do the top height thats for sure.

She's quite happy to just plug along at her own pace.

There were others with labs also doing training and they can jump - but the key is exactly that - keep them lean and fit !!! NO fatties.

I've also seen afghans and great danes and all sorts of breeds doing agility and the top dog at our obedience club for agility was a cavalier king charles.

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On the agility question . . . as a Lab breeder, I think it's more a reflection on agility than on Labs.

No . . . Labs were not bred for jumping and the are, according to the standard, powerful dogs. They are agile at the things they are bred for, and many of them love the sorts of things that are done in formal agility competitions. But the Labs who do well in competitive agility work are likely to be lighter and lankier than those who win conformation contests.

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blackdog   

Any breed standard it is always open to different interpretations by different people.

But if one reads the Labrador Retriever breed standard one word keeps cropping up - BROAD.

Nowhere does the standard say anything about fine, snipey, tall, sloppy topline, exposed ribcage etc.

It would be a worthwhile exercise for all to read the breed extension (you can find it on the ANKC website).

The extension was written to assist judges and breed enthusiasts to better understand the breed standard.

It does this by "interpreting" some of the terminology and putting words and descriptions into laymans terms.

The Labrador RETRIEVER was never intended to race around madly, crashing thru undergrowth, leaping fences and swimming expanses of water the width of Sydney harbour. Most Labs in the UK (for 100 years) have been used to simply pick up at a shoot.

Picking up is very different to the work that other gundogs are expected to do.

Some breeds flush game, others point game, some will spring game - all are expected (and can) mark and retrieve game.

But somewhere along the line trial enthusiasts began trying to get their Labs to be great all rounders.

Labs are not built like a GSP or a Weimaraner or a Viszla.

The desire to breed a faster, leaner more enthusiastic Labrador began in England in the 1960's.

One retrieving kennel in particular began winning all of the trials with labs that resembled Black Kelpies.

Sure they were fast and tenacious - their retrieving instinct was incredible.

But very few readers would realise that the owner/breeder of these particular dogs had 12ft high fencing at his kennels.

The dogs were mad - almost impossible for others to control - but boy could they compete at field trials.

In my opinion that is not the type of labrador as described in the breed standard!!!!!

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Thank you BLackdog for your informative post. YOur many years of experience and therefore expertise in this breed more than qualifies you to comment on these issues.

I have just sat and typed a lengthy reply to your post and decided that I would not post it after all and deleted it.

All I will say is that we strive to breed the best we can, we consult other breeders - whose lines are complementary to ours - before we make a decision for matings. WE place high priority on meeting the breed standards but we are also determined to breed companionable animals of sound temperament. OUr dogs are all rounders - we exhibit them all, we shoot over two of them and I trial the youngest in obedience. But our Labs are well mannered, not fat overweight slobs or skinny ribby kelpy lookalikes. They do what they were bred to do and we dont expect anything else of them.

IF I want a dog for flyball or agility then I will get a thinner, leaner, more agile breed that is designed for jumping and running and twisting.

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Garloch   

Hi all,

The normal thing - ask a breeder a question about a different breed! One of the young girls here at work bought a cross from a petshop (yes I know, I'm SO right there with you!) and has asked me for some help as her little girls is small, runt of the litter. I breed small terriers so have no idea how much a black lab retriever is supposed to weigh at 10 weeks. Can anyone enlighten me so I can possibly help this silly young girl?

Many thanks in advance, Garloch.

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Hi all,

The normal thing - ask a breeder a question about a different breed! One of the young girls here at work bought a cross from a petshop (yes I know, I'm SO right there with you!) and has asked me for some help as her little girls is small, runt of the litter. I breed small terriers so have no idea how much a black lab retriever is supposed to weigh at 10 weeks. Can anyone enlighten me so I can possibly help this silly young girl?

Many thanks in advance, Garloch.

Firstly, it's a cross so nobody can give an estimate on what it should weight - it depends what it's crossed with. If it's crossed with a great dane then it's gonna be much bigger than if it's crossed with a JRT.

Secondly - black ones don't weigh any different to any other colour purebred lab. :confused: A lab would be about 5kg at that age but this dog needs to be assessed on the correct weight for its structure.

Edited by Pointeeblab

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