Monday, December 5, 2016

Farm Dog Breeds - Labrador Retriever

Warning: Before you watch this video - Grab a box of tissues. You'll need it for the 5:00 to 6:00 minute segment.  It had me tearing up. If you've ever formed an attachment to your current or past furry friends, you can relate to this.




Farm Dog Breeds - Labrador Retriever

When it comes to farm dog breeds, the Labrador retriever is the cream of the crop!
They are big, friendly and full of life. 

Labrador Retriever Origins

The Labrador Retriever originally come from Newfoundland. The fisherman there set out to breed  a smaller version of the Newfoundland dog. They wanted  a dog that would retrieve their fishnets and any fish that would escape off the hooks. The end-result was a dog who loves to swim, has great stamina and strong haunches allowing them to make dramatic leaps into the water. The record stands at 27 feet!  The dogs were imported to Europe in approximately the 1830's. They were then bred to be gun dogs and waterfowl dogs.

Labrador Retriever Traits                                                                                                        

Labrador Retriever picture compliments of Wikipedia

Weight:            Males 65–80 lb        Female 55–70 lb  
Height:           Males 22–22 in      Females 21.3–22 in    
Lifespan: 12-13 years       
Liter Size:  5–10 puppies 

More Labrador Retriever Traits

  • The lab has webbed paws. A natural "flipper" making them the strongest swimmer around.
  • They can swim 3 miles-an-hour....not impressed? That's twice the speed of a duck!
  • Their "otter-like" tail acts like a rutter in the water. Beware of any  knick-knacks you have laying on a coffee table. Their tails will clear them off with just one "swish".
  • Did you know they can carry an egg in their mouth and not even break the shell. Our dog Dutchess was always making a trip out to the nest box in our chicken coop.
  • They have a high-activity level and require room to run. They can hits speeds of 12 mph in 3 seconds flat.
  • Temperament: Friendly, loyal, low risk of bites. Protective of family members and farm critters.

Employment

These dogs have an excellent work ethic. They are very smart and have an intense desire to please. They are trained to work in a variety of jobs. Listed below are a few of the jobs they are known to have.
  • On our homestead, they assist us in our garden by chasing away deer.
  • They make excellent guard dogs - They protect our poultry by eliminating/chasing away raccoons and opossums.
  • Service/Guide dogs for those with disabilities.
  • Therapy Dogs
  • Water rescue and life saving.
  • Bomb-sniffing for law enforcement.
  • Waterfowl retrievers

They Come In 3 Colors

  1. Black - The most common
  2. Yellow - The most popular
  3.  Chocolate - The rarest
Did you know that any of the 3 above colors can show up on a single liter regardless of the color of their parents. They have a layered oily coat that keeps them warm, helps them to float and allows them to drip-dry. Their fur is short. They shed twice a year. Dutchess shed a lot! Still waiting to see how much shedding Spike will have. He's still a puppy and haven't seen what his shedding will be like.


Health


Over-all they are pretty healthy. They are prone to a few ailments that include:
  1. Hip Dysplasia: Eventually results in a loss of cartilage and later pain.
  2. Cancer: Our dog Dutchess was only 7-years-old when she died of cancer. 
  3. Elbow/Joint problems
  4. Retinal Dysplasia: Can cause blind spots.

Overview

  • They love cold weather but can thrive in any environment.
  • They get high marks in health but are prone to hip, elbow and joint problems.
  • Easy to groom.
  • Easy to train.
  • These loyal dogs make wonderful pets.
  • Would be a great addition to your homestead/farm.                                                                                                            
Resources for this article:
Myself: We currently have a Labrador Retriever
The above youtube video
Petmd.com
 Wikipedia
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