Black Labrador is one of the most popular breeds in America. They are very intelligent dogs with good temperaments. They have great loyalty and love their family members. These dogs are extremely loyal to their owners and will not leave them alone even if they were to die or get injured.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes five different colors of black labradors: chocolate, cream, red, white and blue. There are two other types of black labs which are the purebred and crossbreed.
Pure bred black labradors come from only one litter each year. The parents must both be female and produce at least three litters before being eligible to breed again. The offspring of these females are known as “pure” black labradors. Each litter produces between four and six pups.
There are several variations of the black labrador including the bloodlines from sable, tabby, tortie and calico lines. Some of these lines include:
Sable – A line developed by crossing a standard sable with a crossbreed such as a tabby or tortie. These dogs have heavier coats than the sable and can also come in a range of browns.
Tabby – These dogs are similar to the standard black labrador but with a coat pattern of distinct stripes on a lighter base.
Torties and calicos – These lines are sometimes referred to as “calibrees”, they have patches of orange, black and cream coats.
Crossbreed – Known as the “heinz 57” or “plain” type and are not eligible for showing or breeding although some may be used as gundogs or pets.
Black Lab History
The original black labrador was bred from the Atlantic coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. It is thought that these dogs were bred from the native water-resistant dogs that lived in the area. These dogs were used by fishermen on boats to do a number of tasks such as pulling in nets and retrieving fish that had escaped.
Black labs were first brought to England in the 1880s and became very popular with the upper class. At this time they were referred to as the “Holy Dogs of Newfoundland” and were so popular that Queen Victoria had a few of them as pets. They soon became popular in the United States and are now one of the most popular breeds in the country.
Due to their popularity, they are one of the most researched dog breeds and there is extensive documentation on their history. Many books have been written about the black labrador and a few movies have also been made about them.
Size and Appearance
These dogs typically weigh between 55 and 80 pounds when fully grown. They have a lean body shape with strong muscles and tall ears that stand upright. Their eyes are oval in shape and are either a hazel, brown or blue color. Their teeth are strong and meet in a level bite.
The black labrador’s short coat is very water resistant which makes it easy for them to swim. The short fur is thick and can be oily to waterproof it. These dogs come in a wide variety of colors including:
Black and tan
Blue and tan
Blue and silver
There are also several different coat patterns which include the standard black, silver and yellow labs.
These dogs have a short coat that is easy to care for. It is recommended that it is brushed once or twice a week to keep it free of tangles and dirt. They are average shedders and will shed more in the spring and fall.
They are not a smelly dog breed and are infrequent barkers so they are not as prone to allergies as some other dog breeds. A weekly brush and regular trips to the groomers are all that is needed to keep their coats looking good.
Black labs will typically grow to be between 21 and 23 inches tall and weigh between 55 and 80 pounds. These dogs have compact bodies with sturdy frames, males are larger than females on average but there is not a large variation in size between genders. The females have litters of puppies with ease and are less likely to have hip dysplasia than other dog breeds.
Character and Temperament
They are an intelligent dog breed that is easy to train. They are generally well behaved and have excellent listening skills. However, as with most dogs they will only obey commands if they perceive the owner to be a leader. These dogs thrive on structure and routine and will behave better when they know what is expected of them.
The black labrador is not only easy to train but it is eager to please. They are usually not aggressive dogs but they do have strong instincts so it is important to train them properly when they are young. These dogs are affectionate and crave human company. They are typically good around children and get along well with other pets as long as they are socialized with them at an early age.
The black labrador’s behavior can sometimes be unpredictable and they can show signs of separation anxiety if they become anxious or nervous. These dogs have deep thoughts sometimes and can become bored or depressed if they do not receive enough mental stimulation. They are easily trained but only if the trainer shows a strong leadership skills and is consistent with their training methods.
The black lab is a good guard dog, it will let you know if there is an intruder in your home but it is not likely to be aggressive unless the owner trains it to attack on sight. These dogs are usually friendly to strangers especially children and it has a tendency to be shy with people it does not know. It can also be timid around loud noises and prone to panic if left alone for long periods of time.
This is an excellent family dog as it is patient and kind with children. It does not typically play rough and could easily knock a child over without meaning too. It is important that when being raised with children that you always teach it to be gentle when playing. It can also be good around other pets as long as it is socialized with them at an early age and trained not to go overboard when playing.
The black lab is a highly intelligent dog breed but this also means that they need something to keep them occupied or they will find their own ways to amuse themselves. You can train this dog easily if you establish yourself as leader from the beginning. They are very eager to please and will obey commands if they believe that it will make their owner happy.
These dogs thrive on routine and structure so it is important that you maintain a regular training schedule from the beginning. Remember, consistency is the key when training this dog. They cannot handle excessive amounts of freedom or they become bored and start to create problems.
The black lab can easily be trained as a hunting dog, guide dog, search and rescue dog, police dog, or even a family pet. It is important to start training them at an early age as this will make the process easier and strengthen the bond between owner and dog.
The black lab is a generally healthy dog breed but they may develop some hereditary health issues. Some of these issues can include hip dysplasia, eye problems, skin infections, heart defects, and ear infections.
The labrador retriever will live on average between 10 to 11 years but some of them have lived up to the ripe old age of 15 years. It is important to get your dog properly diagnosed by a veterinarian at least once a year or when ever you notice any sudden changes in behavior.
The average annual cost of owning a black lab is around $1000. This price includes basic necessities such as food, medical checkups, license, training classes, and toys. Some of the more expensive costs for a lab include grooming, different toys that can be damaged easily, and medical treatment of injuries that occur during hunting or swimming.
If you like the black labrador but would prefer a different breed, you may want to look into one of these:
Sources & references used in this article:
Labrador Retrievers for Dummies by J Walton, E Adamson – 2011 – books.google.com
Everything you need to know to feel go (o) d by CB Pert – 2007 – books.google.com
Your Labrador Retriever Puppy Month by Month: Everything You Need to Know at Each Stage of Development by T Albert, D Eldredge, D Ironside, B Ironside – 2016 – books.google.com