Labrador: A Family's Best Friend
Labrador: a family’s best friend
Today I wanted to set aside some time to talk about hobbies and leisure a little, specifically animals and pets. I’ve had pets for as long as I can remember and have spent most of my life around people with a similar passion for animals who have also kept pets. My real passion though has to be dogs. I’ve had dogs around me all my life except for the last few months and I’m fortunate enough now to be at the stage of life where I’m looking at getting myself a true family dog: the one and only Labrador.
My wife and I agreed last year to start a family and as we’re currently trying for a baby it seemed only natural to look at getting a dog. We’ve also recently re-located and moved to a house with a lot of mountainous land so the idea of starting a family and getting a dog seemed so fitting it couldn’t be ignored. All this free open space among the trees and grass and mountain trails to me, is the perfect place for a dog, especially a family dog. Especially a Labrador!
Why a Labrador?
Labradors are big dogs with a big appetite and heaps of energy that has them seeking out lots of open space to leap about in and remain as active as possible.
I’ve never owned a Labrador, I’ve always had smaller dogs, yappy terrier types that always serve well in an indoor family environment. But I’ve also never had the need for a bigger dog who can also serve to guard and protect its family. Obviously there are many other breeds that excel in guarding and protecting but for an all round package that is essentially a family dog, the Labrador is the breed of choice.
The History of Labradors
It’s not easy to come across someone who isn’t familiar with a Labrador. Even non-dog lovers can recognize a Labrador when they see one. The Lab, believe it or not, is one of the most popular dog breeds in the UK and across the United States. Also known as a Labrador retriever, there were originally used for hauling nets, fetching ropes and retrieving fish that had escaped the nets. Like the breed it most closely resembles, the Golden Retriever, the Labrador was originally from Newfoundland and was later named after the Labrador region when they were first brought over to England, a time when they were retrieving fish out of the Labrador Sea.
With such a lineage and background, it is said that they are exceptional at running, swimming (did you know that Labradors actually have ‘webbed feet’?!), retrieving and fighting. Their vision, hearing and sense of smell is truly first class. They were also favoured greatly over other dogs back in the day because they were notably intelligent. Around 1840, the famous geologist Joseph Jukes described what was known then as the ‘St John’s Water Dog’: “These are the most abundant dogs in the country...They are no means handsome, but are generally more intelligent and useful than the others...I observed he once or twice put his foot in the water and paddled it about. This foot was white, and Harvey said he did it to "toil" or entice the fish. The whole proceeding struck me as remarkable, more especially as they said he had never been taught anything of the kind."
As well as their popularity, they are known for their medium size and high energy, as well as being highly active, friendly and outgoing. They need a good healthy diet from a puppy right through to their adult life. They generally live a good healthy active life but require grooming often, due to their double-coated water resistant coat that sheds seasonally.
Most Labs skip the hard labor of old and spend most of the time these days being pampered and loved by their owners and families. However, some Labs still serve as indispensable working dogs. Their kind and loving nature make them an excellent therapy dog, visiting homes for the elderly and hospitals, and their intelligence makes them ideal assistance dogs for the handicapped. They also excel in more active roles such as search and rescue or as they were originally used for: retrieving for hunters.
You can find other amazing Labrador facts here.
The Next Step?
So with all that in mind, I’m on the hunt for a Labrador pup, possibly two. I can’t get them where I live locally so I’m going to have to rely on online sources. I’ve had a good look around already and have found a great site that offers all kinds of things dog related, so I’ll be fine for getting all the accessories I need from there too. For more information, click on Labrador pups http://www.used.forsale/dog-labrador. The only decision now is whether or not to go for a golden, chocolate or black. Maybe I’ll leave that one up to the wife. I actually haven’t told her yet. She’s out buying a sandwich toaster at the moment, but when she gets back I’ll have to break the news to her. After I’ve had my sandwich of course!