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Labrador Retriever puppyYellow, black or chocolate?

Whatever color you prefer, Labrador Retrievers remain one of the most popular dog breeds worldwide, especially in the US where the lovable lab has been voted the No.1 dog for more than two decades.

Among other various claims to fame, Labrador Retrievers (Buddy and Seamus) have also been White House family pets to President Bill Clinton.

Its winning personality was also on display in the 2008 Hollywood film "Marley & Me" -- confirming once again America's love affair with its favorite pooch when the film hit No. 1 at the box office soon after its release that year.

Labrador Retriever behavior & personality

labrador retrieverMuch like Golden Retrievers, Labs are boisterous as puppies and often will be found chewing on just about anything. As they grow (they are fully mature at about 3 years of age), early training is important for socialization.

However, their friendly natures and response to praise make them very amenable to training. Even so, vets usually recommend 'microchipping' Labs more than any other breed. This is due to the Labs' peculiar habit of running off and roaming the countryside at a moment's notice.

Labs naturally love retrieving toys, balls or frisbees in endless hours of exuberant fun, and have an inordinate love of splashing around in water. With their adoptive family they are calm, gentle, and generally patient around smaller children and other pets.

Their love of people do not make them the best of watchdogs, but when alarmed their ferocious bark can sometimes be enough to scare away any intruder.

Labrador Retriever care & health

Lots of play and exercise are very important to this breed. Labradors have equally active appetites (some say ravenous) so a commitment to keeping them on a proper diet is important for their overall health as they grow older.

Possible health concerns arising in Labs may include hip dysplasia and bowed legs caused by weakened knee joints. Other known conditions, especially in old age, include cataracts and related eye diseases.

Labrador Retriever fun facts - DID YOU KNOW?

black labrador retriever fetching a stick in the water

• Originally, Labrador Retrievers were bred in early fishing communities in Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada to help haul-in fishing nets.

• Today, Labs are often used on search-and-rescue missions, and can also be seen working closely with security forces to help sniff out contraband at major transportation hubs.

• Labrador Retrievers usually rate among the top ten most intelligent dogs.

• Yellow Labs are born with black noses that turn pink as they age.

• Labs are regularly recognized for their work as service dogs. One such Lab, Endal, became known as "the most highly decorated dog in the world."

More about Labrador Retrievers around the Web:

Labrador Retriever
- Find helpful tips for new or prospective owners including an extensive FAQ, guide to buying a Lab puppy, advice on their temperament & behavior, care & feeding, health conditions, related resources.

Just Labradors - Hook up with this online community for tips & advice on Lab care and feeding, puppy training tips, picture gallery, photo essays, feature articles, active forum.

Dog Owners Guide Profile: Labrador Retriever - Fact sheet including information on breed standards, general care, diseases & conditions, Lab rescue resources.

Labrador Retriever Dog Chat Boards - Join very active forums with member postings on training & care, health issues, rescue & adoption resources, related tips and advice.

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