Easy to train, great with children, and low maintenance, the Labrador Retriever makes the perfect family pet.
- Sociable and keen to please, Labradors are the UK’s most popular pet
- They love to eat and can become overweight very quickly if their diet isn’t managed
- Originally bred as working dogs, Labs need plenty of exercise and stimulation to stay healthy and happy
Labrador Retriever Personality
Bouncing with energy and very independent, Labrador Retrievers have a friendly temperament that makes them such a good-natured family pet. Their easy-going, obedient personality results in them being easy to train and eager to please – ideal for first-time dog owners.
They love to be active, with a strong hunting instinct, and their thick coat makes them great swimmers. Webbed feet mean they are the perfect outdoorsy companion for long country walks.
Regular exercise is essential, as a Labrador Retriever can quickly become overweight. Burn off their boundless energy with:
- Regular walking – Labs love the outdoors and will enjoy long walks.
- Plenty of toys – playing with chew toys can help to keep their mind stimulated.
- Exercise in the garden – encouraging your pet to be active in the garden helps them get extra exercise.
It’s important to socialise your Labrador puppy with other dogs early on in their life to make sure they grow in to a confident dog. Between the ages of eight and 12 weeks old, puppies will widely accept other dogs and people, helping them to learn not to be afraid of new experiences.
Labrador retriever health facts
- Size: Large
- Life Span: 10-12 years
- Coat: Short and smooth
- Exercise: Two hours per day, including playing and walks
Labradors can generally live a long and healthy life when they follow a healthy, managed diet and are taken for regular walks. However, they may develop some health problems to be aware of.
Obesity and appetite
Labradors can very quickly suffer from obesity, as they love to eat and have quite a large frame. It’s also thought that some Labs have certain genes that affect their appetite. This can lead to weight gain and problems with joints, as well as breathing difficulties.
That’s why it’s so important to monitor their diet and make sure they get enough exercise each day.
Hip and elbow dysplasia
Hip and elbow dysplasia in Labradors happens when the bones that form the joint develop abnormalities.
This can vary in severity, but it’s important to keep an eye out for signs. Symptoms can range from a reluctance to head out for a walk to moving awkwardly when they do exercise.
Lipomas and lumps
Lipomas are benign, non-cancerous fat tumours that can develop in Labradors, as well as most other breeds. These types of lumps are generally not painful and are most commonly found on the torso, neck, upper legs and armpits, but they can occur almost anywhere.
They vary in shape and size, but most take the form of one slow growing lump. It’s essential to check your dog regularly and go to the vets with any new lumps to get them checked out.
Labradors can suffer from allergies that lead to dermatitis, which may cause skin inflammation. Allergies can be caused by many different things, including:
- Substance they’ve inhaled – such as pollen when running outside or dust mites that may be living in your house
- Food they’ve eaten – for instance, wheat or an unfamiliar food that you’ve introduced into their diet
- Chemical they’ve encountered – for example, washing powders, or bites from fleas and ticks
Another skin problem, pyoderma, meaning ‘infection of the skin’, is usually caused by bacteria, fungi, or ringworm. Skin disorders can be managed using various treatments, which means your dog can get on with enjoying life.
Labrador Retriever pet insurance
Pet insurance is there to make sure that when it comes to looking after your pup, whatever health problems crop up, you don’t have to worry about money.
At LV=, we have a range of difference policies and types of cover for your Labrador, each one considering the following:
- Pre-existing health conditions
For further information on insuring your family’s pride and joy, check out our dog insurance packages from LV= or take a look at the different policies we have available. Choose from lifetime cover or a tailored 12-month plan, depending on which is best for your pet.
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