How to Select the Right Labrador Retriever for Sale for Your Family
If you are looking for a happy-go-lucky friendly but smart family dog, it is hard to look past the Labrador retriever. Animal shelters, seasoned dog owners, and experts seem to all agree the Lab is a good companion for families with children and other pets. You may face a dilemma only in whether to acquire a puppy or go through a Labrador retriever rescue.
A Brief Overview of the Labrador
Every good Labrador retriever for sale reflects a careful cultivation of generations of a specific type of companion animal. The English imported and developed water dogs who descended from the St Johns Water Dog in the 1830s. These dogs were already proficient at retrieving fish from icy water in Newfoundland and would transform into waterfowl specialists. The Lab, once only the size of a small pointer, is 21.5 to 24.5 inches tall at the shoulders and weighs 55 to 80 pounds. Despite a medium-large size, the typical Labrador retriever is kind and gentle, exhibiting no aggression towards people or other pets. You will see in a champion adult Labrador Retriever for sale a well-balanced, solid dog with a broad head, floppy ears, a dense double coat, and a wide tapered otter tail. Labrador retriever puppies for sale will illustrate the possible adult colors of black, yellow, or chocolate. Unusual colors are modifications of the standard colors by an altering gene. Interestingly, yellow and liver or chocolate did not appear in the Labrador until the late 1800s.
Genetic Health Problems to Look for in the Labrador Retriever
A Labrador retriever puppy for sale can later express hereditary problems such as hip and elbow dysplasia and eye problems. Dysplasia is a growth abnormality of the joint. When joints do not align properly, they become painful through cartilage injury. Eye problems in the Lab usually involve deformities or progressive degeneration of the retina. Labrador retriever puppies can experience panosteitis, a painful condition that affects all of the growing long bones and is possibly exacerbated by over nutrition. Bloat is a life-threatening condition particularly of large deep-chested dogs whereby the stomach accumulates gas or liquid, distends many times its normal size, and can flip around its axis. Finally, exercise-induced collapse, or EIC, is a genetic disorder that causes a Labrador to weaken and fall after just 5 to 20 minutes of activity. A dog must carry two copies of the gene to express symptoms. Labrador retriever puppies can inherit the disease from normal parents if both the mother and father have one copy of the EIC gene. A DNA test for the gene is available.
How to Choose Lab Puppies for Sale
There are many criteria you should use to pick out a dog from Labrador puppies for sale. When you are looking at a litter of Labrador retriever puppies, do not let their adorable faces sway you. Ideally, you will visit a Labrador puppy in person before you make your final decision. You can assess a pup’s future personality through interaction with his littermates. Although some people always go for the individual cowering in a corner, for a robust family you should pick a Labrador retriever puppy who displays the classic traits of the breed. Therefore, pick a puppy who is outgoing, sweet-natured, and vibrant. You may also want to avoid a Labrador retriever puppy who is an obvious bully. A reputable breeder can help you pick a Labrador retriever puppy for sale with a temperament that will match your household. The American Kennel Club requires a clear ophthalmic evaluation and hip and elbow certification before anyone can register their Lab as a breeding individual of their H.E.A.R.T Program. It also requires a DNA screening for EIC. H.E.A.R.T stands for health, education, accountability, responsibility, and tradition. Anyone searching for a Labrador retriever puppy for sale can look on that list. Pedigree, certification, and background are often much harder to obtain for a dog you acquire through a Labrador Retriever Rescue. The tradeoff is providing a loving dog a fair second chance home.
Different Types of Labrador Retriever for Sale
As you shop for a Labrador retriever puppy or adult, you will find two distinct types. The English Labrador Retriever is about two inches shorter than the American Lab. Moreover, an English Labrador Retriever, or British Lab, is broader, has a deeper and wider chest, and has a more pronounced stop between the forehead and muzzle as opposed to her American counterpart. American labs are lanky with a longer muzzle and more agility than their English cousins. Another decision that faces you is whether to buy a field or working Lab or a dog with show lines. Labrador Retrievers for sale who have champion show parents will more closely resemble British Labs in appearance and will require less exercise. Many breeders and behaviorists consider these better pets for families.
Does Color Make a Difference?
Often you may hear people remark on the differences in temperament between a yellow and black Labrador retriever. However, there is no scientific evidence that the color of your Lab will affect its disposition. The AKC recognizes black, yellow, and chocolate as standard colors for the Labrador. Two copies of a dilution gene result in a charcoal, champagne, or silver Labrador retriever, respectively.
Diluted black and chocolate Labs also have lighter-colored eyes. Sometimes you can get a silver Labrador retriever who has striking blue eyes. You might be familiar with silver in other breeds under
the terms lilac or Isabella. Usually, breeders who have Labrador retriever puppies for sale focus on specific colors that appeal to a large group of potential dog owners. Some actively breed dilute colors to produce a champagne or silver Labrador retriever. Others know that their customers prefer a black Labrador retriever.
How to Care for Your Labrador
You asked, “Where is a Labrador Retriever for sale near me?” and you finally found one. Once that Labrador arrives home with you, what is next? Retrievers have the basic needs of attention, love, food, training, and exercise. Labrador Retrievers are affectionate companions and working gun dogs. Your Lab will not do well for long periods alone. A neglected Lab will develop bad habits such as chewing, digging, barking, and howling. When you are with your Labrador, you also need to designate high-quality time where you engage with your dog in play, toys, pats, and massages. Your Labrador puppy should eat three to five times every 24 hours depending upon age. An adult Lab should eat three to five cups of high-quality dog food daily. Base the amount you feed on weight and activity level. Active field trial Labs or other working dogs may require even more than five cups of food in a day. Split your dog’s feeding into two or three meals to help prevent bloat. At last, your Labrador retriever needs an hour of exercise daily for an adult. You should break the exercise into a couple of sessions. You should also incorporate training and vigorous activities into your dog’s routine. For your Labrador retriever puppy, you need to focus on not overstraining its young bones and tendons. A good rule of thumb is to exercise your pup for five minutes for each month of age a few times daily. You will also put a lot of focus during exercise sessions on training and socialization.