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What You Need To Know About The Labrador Breed Standard

Jun 12, 2008
There are many reasons for a dog lover to be familiar with the Labrador Retriever breed standard. As the most popular dog in North America and one of the most popular breeds in Europe, you can't avoid them. They are also popular for hybrid and designer dog breeds, but you can't get a good hybrid without good parent breed stock. You also might want to compare the dog you rescued to the Lab standard in order to know how best to raise your new dog.

Labradors are generally blocky dogs with floppy ears, a friendly face and a short coat. Their tails are thick, straight and never docked. Although there are a few official colors (black, chocolate, yellow and silver), purebred Labs have been known to come in white, brindle and black and tan. They are disqualified from the ring, but can still make wonderful pets.

A Labrador is a study, happy dog with a personality almost as large as their appetites. They have about the most adoring expression on their faces, as if they worship every human being they look upon. Labs come in four recognized colors - yellow, silver, black and chocolate (a dark brown). Labs come in a variety of sizes, but show animals must be twenty one to twenty five inches at their withers (highest point of their shoulders).

The nose is to be black, or (in the case of chocolate Labs) chocolate. Pink noses are disqualified from showing. But there are many purebred Labs with pink noses. The ears are floppy, but do not hang past the jaw and do not hug the head. They tend to bounce about. The eyes are shades of brown. Having yellow or black eyes is common in purebred Labs, but they are discouraged in the breed standard. The tongue is always pink. The teeth should meet in a scissors-like bite.

The purebred Labrador has webbing between the toes in order to help them swim. Their limbs are just as sturdy as the rest of their bodies, except for their eyes and ears. Their eyes have a loving, friendly expression usually described as soft, with eye colors in various shades of brown.

There is some variation Between American Labradors and English Labradors, however. The English version is a usually chunkier and shorter than the American. Their facial expression and temperament are exactly alike. It's hard to find another breed that is so reliably friendly and intelligent.

Common faults seen in a lot of pet Labs only mean that they do not meet the breed standard, but they can still be purebred Labs. These faults include being too small, too big, too heavy, having a limp, having a body like a Doberman or Boxer in shape, eye rims that lack color, splayed feet, knock-knees, wooly coats, coats that are thin like a Greyhound's, walking like a Hackney horse and showing aggression. Being a friendly, easily trainable breed is paramount to this breed standard, fortunately.
About the Author
About the author: Brooke Sunderland is a passionate lover of the Labrador and owns a popular website that can show you how to have a happy, healthy and well behaved Labrador. Among other topics there, you will find out more about Labrador Types plus a whole lot more.
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