Who Wants a Yellow Lab?
There are two main kinds of labrador retreivers - yellow and black and another smaller group of chocolate lab. This article focuses on the yellow lab.
Can We Get One?
As a mom or dad you may have heard the kids ask "Can we get one?" in relation to a yellow labrador retriever. That does not surprise me because, according to several sources including Wikipedia, the Labrador Retriever is the most popular breed of dog! As a parent it will pull on your heart strings when your child asks this question, but it is up to you to be the responsible decision-maker. You will need to consider the age and maturity of all your children, the size of your yard, the size of your budget (they eat, in some cases as much as a kid) and several other questions too. You might need to decide where the best place is to acquire your dog, and what you plan to use it for or how you want to enjoy it. If you want a dog to show or compete or to retrieve the birds you hunt, or just a dog to make the family happy (in other words pet quality). Does it need to be registered?
I decided to write about Yellow Labs because I personally am considering acquiring one after my 20 year old cat passes. For now I won't stress out Kisser, my cat, at this fragile age. But perhaps my next pet will be a yellow lab, even though I don't hunt. So I've been doing my research and will share what I learn with you here.
Did you ever see the movie Marlie and Me? That dog star was a yellow lab.
Obtaining Your First Lab
My first suggestion is to attend as many dog shows as you can and ask lots of questions. This is also a great place to meet dog breeders. Watch and learn some things like how the handler works with his or her dogs. For example, how does the handler teach their dog to pose for the judges? Also reading the AKC standard is important. Will the family be at work during the day and leave the dog alone? If so, think about getting two dogs to keep each other company. Pet owners love to be asked questions and often have wonderful cautions or suggestions. So don’t be afraid to be curious.
Do you need a dog that is already housebroken? Choose the best age of the dog you want. Often if you wait for an older dog you can eliminate mistakes, especially if you plan to breed the dog. If you simply want a pet for the family, why not adopt a dog from a shelter? I love it when people open their hearts to a homeless animal.
Please spay or neuter your dog when the time is right. But be sure you know the rules, if you are entering your dog in competitions, because this could eliminate your chances of entering them. We don’t want any unwanted accidents or more homeless dogs.
One survey done by the American Veterinary Medical Association discovered that 60% of all American households owned pets. I strongly believe that having an animals is good for children. One study in Europe found that children raised with pets displayed higher levels of helpful behaviors towards others.
Yellow or White Lab
Poll - What Quality of Dog Do You Prefer?
You can save money if you are willing to get a dog that is just pet quality.
Historical Origin and Development of the Labrador Breed
The origin of the Labrador breed is slightly hazy, but they did originate in the country of Newfoundland. There was a woman in Newfoundland named Lady Barlow who started a Labrador Club there. The early history of the pedigree is a little vague, but becomes clearer later on in England. They did not understand genetics very well and had not realized that although the first cross from a purebred Lab would come back Black with a short coat, the second generation would often show some of the traits of their grandparents. At that time the color was noted but the coding system in England did not include the registration numbers of the ancestors in their stud books. In contrast, the American Kennel Club has always listed registration numbers of the parents as well as the off-spring. In 1931 in the US the Labrador was first listed as a separate breed from simply retrievers.
One of the earliest kennels in America was the Rupert Kennels which was owned by Dorothy Howe from Vermont. But before that there were breeders in England. The Arden Kennels brought a bitch the US named Peggy of Shipton. In 1931 the first competition of the American Labrador Club was held. If your dog goes back genetically to Peggy of Shipton, you have some great stock! There were and are other great breeders here in the U.S. Next a split developed between those dogs bred for show versus the ones which were bred for field trials.
This is intended as an overall view of the genetics involved, but if you intend to become a breeder you will need to do a lot more research.
In Case of Poisoning - Not Everyone Loves Dogs
Be Prepared for Anything
- Keep the phone number of the local poison control center on the fridge or by the phone.
Have your veterinarian's emergency phone number in the same place.
When you call describe the symptoms of your dog because they may be able to tell you an antidote immediately.
Know the symptoms of poisoning - such as:
Yellow Lab Service Dog
Yellow Labs make exceptional guide dogs for the blind. The labrador is easy to train and thrives on helping and being of assistance. Thus they make excellent service dogs.
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