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» Labrador Retriever
The Labrador Retriever is the most popular dog breed in the world according to ownership statistics although its use isnít just that of a domestic pet. The breed is commonly used as an assistance dog while authorities such as the police often use it in detection exercises. The ďRetrieverĒ part of the name seems to come from one of its earlier uses. Having originated in Canada, the breed was first used to jump and retrieve fishermanís nets from the icy waters. Over time the breed was found in more and more countries and the fact that there are twice as many Labrador Retrievers as the next most popular breed speaks volumes about its popularity.
In terms of appearance, this can vary depending on the type of Labrador. There are actually two types of the breed; an English version and an American one. In general itís the size that varies, with English Labradorís being a little heavier compared to the taller and thinner Americanís. However, both are still powerful dogs and the rest of their features remain similar. Their coat is short but hard, and can come in a select few colors such as black, chocolate and yellow. The head is quite thick with the wide muzzle being a prominent feature. If one were to describe this breed in simple terms, it would be to just declare it as powerful with the whole body oozing athleticism and strength.
One of the things that has made this breed so popular is its loving temperament. If an owner requires the perfect family dog, then the Labrador falls right into this category. It gets along superbly with children and other dogs and while training is required at an early age, itís well worth it in the end. The breed will develop into a loyal, loving, affectionate dog and will fit perfectly into any family environment. This means that the owners must be prepared to spend plenty of time with them, as they thrive on companionship. While some use this breed as a watchdog, this is something which is becoming increasingly uncommon these days and most households just have the Labrador Retriever as a family pet.
Just like a lot of breeds, the main health problems that a Labrador Retriever could have are hip dysplasia and eye problems. Diabetes and heart problems are also known to affect this breed although if an owner can help it lead a healthy lifestyle with plenty of exercise, thereís no reason why it canít live beyond its average life expectancy of 10-12 years.
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