Labrador se ubraja u pse srednje veličine, jake građe i čvrstih kostiju. Širok nos i lobanja čija je stopa jasno izražena, jaka vilica i ne mnogo velike uši koje vise pored glave, malo zabačene unazad, predstavljaju glavna obeležja izgleda glave labradora. Ipak, najveći utisak ostavljaju nežne i inteligentne, smeđe ili boje lešnika oči srednje veličine koje će saosećati sa svakim ljudskim raspoloženjem i konstantno podsećati vlasnika na iskreno prijateljstvo i bezgraničnu odanost. Vrat je jak, grudni koš labradora je širok i dubok. U zavisnosti od podvrste konstitucija labradora varira. Engleski labrador je krupnije konstitucije i kraćih nogu, dok se američka podvrsta odlikuje atletskom građom, viša je i vitkija. Dlaka labradora je uvek jednobojna, crna, braon (boja čokolade) ili žuta, koja može varirati od krem do žuto riđe nijanse. Bez obzira na boju roditelja, u jednom leglu mogu se pojaviti štenci različitih boja budući da, kao i kod boje kose kod ljudi na samu pigmentaciju utiču dva gena. Kratka, oštra i ravna, gusta dlaka i meka podlaka ne upijaju vodu i ne otežavaju psa prilikom plivanja, istovremeno pružajući dobru toplotnu izolaciju i stvarajući otpornost na niske temperature. Šape labradora poseduju plovne kožice, što ovom psu dodatno obezbeđuje sposobnost brzog plivanja. Rep je takođe koncipiran tako da poboljšava plivačke performanse. Kao kod vidre, zaobljen je, deblji u osnovi i stanjuje se ka vrhu. Prosečna visina labradora iznosi 56 do 61cm kada su u pitanju mužjaci, i 54 do 59cm kada se radi o ženkama. Uobičajena težina je 27 do 34kg za mužjake i 25 do 32kg za ženke.
Vratimo se na početak. Tačna istorija nastanka i razvitka ove rase i danas je predmet rasprave. Ono što je jasno i što niko ne osporava jeste da su ovi psi početkom 19. veka sa kanadskog ostrva Njufaundlend uvezeni u Englesku. Pre "napada" na Britaniju bili su pod pokroviteljstvom ribolovaca koji su želeli dobrog, svestranog i vernog ribolovačkog psa. Njufaundlend je važio za veoma hladno područje, ali su evropski ribari, među kojima je najviše bilo Portugalaca i Baska, brzo otkrili da je ostrvo bogato ribom. Veruje se da je dug period koji je proveo na tom surovo hladnom ostrvu za retrivera bio od velike koristi. Učinio ga je izuzetno otpornim na hladnoću, a njuh i plivačke sposobnosti razvijeni su mu do besprekornosti. Naviknut na vodu, "zarađivao" je pomažući ribarima - izvlačeći mreže iz ledene vode i donoseći ribe koje su iz mreže pobegle. Takođe, čuvao je skladišta u kojima se usoljavala riba, mahom bakalar. Zanimljivo, u to vreme labrador retriver se zvao pas Svetog Džona, po glavnom gradu Njufaundlenda. Prema jednoj šašavoj legendi, labrador je nastao iz ljubavi između vidre i psa, a kao dokaz se iznosi to što današnje labradore krasi rep kao u vidre.
The modern Labrador's ancestors originated on the island of Newfoundland,[16] now part of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. The founding breed of the Labrador was the St. John's water dog, a breed that emerged through ad-hoc breedings by early settlers of the island in the 16th century. The forebears of the St. John's Dog are not known, but were likely a random-bred mix of English, Irish, and Portuguese working breeds. The Newfoundland (known then as the Greater Newfoundland) is likely a result of the St. John's Dog breeding with mastiffs brought to the island by the generations of Portuguese fishermen who had been fishing offshore since the 16th century. The smaller short-coated St. John's Dog (also known then as the Lesser Newfoundland) was used for retrieval and pulling in nets from the water. These smaller dogs were the forebears of the Labrador Retriever. The white chest, feet, chin, and muzzle – known as tuxedo markings – characteristic of the St. John's Dog often appear in modern Lab mixes, and will occasionally manifest in Labradors as a small white spot on the chest (known as a medallion) or stray white hairs on the feet or muzzle.
Being gentle with children, sturdy enough to handle the heavy-handed pets and hugs they can dish out, and having a blasé attitude toward running, screaming children are all traits that make a kid-friendly dog. You may be surprised by who's on that list: Fierce-looking Boxers are considered good with children, as are American Staffordshire Terriers (aka pit bulls). Small, delicate, and potentially snappy dogs such as Chihuahuas aren't so family-friendly.
A cozy pair of slippers makes an excellent dog gift for dog moms who have plenty of cold floors throughout their house. Keep their toes toasty with a pair of cute pooch slippers like the Fuzzy Nation Dog Breed Slippers from GreaterGood's Animal Rescue Site. These slippers feature a warm faux fur lining, corduroy exterior and stuffed doggy head embellishments. Your dog mama will also enjoy knowing that her slippers helped feed shelter animals.
It’s OK that your dog sleeps in bed with you every night, and it’s OK that you don’t sleep as well without the little guy snuggling at your feet. This pup-sized sleeping bag zips into just about whatever human-sized model you own and lets you bring the closeness into the wilderness. You each get your own space, with plenty of cuddle room in there too.
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A vigorous dog may or may not be high-energy, but everything he does, he does with vigor: he strains on the leash (until you train him not to), tries to plow through obstacles, and even eats and drinks with great big gulps. These dynamos need lots of training to learn good manners, and may not be the best fit for a home with young kids or someone who's elderly or frail. A low-vigor dog, on the other hand, has a more subdued approach to life.
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