Labrador Retrievers

Labradors are technically called Labrador Retrievers. Labradors are a fairly old breed going back for well over a century. The origins are a little hazy but, one thing is common in all cases, they were black often with a white flash on their chests. They seem to have been used in a similar way to Newfoundlands, for bringing the ropes and lines into shore when docking a boat. The white flash being helpful in lamp light for seeing them coming. Though this has been the subject of debate. With breeding there where occasional ‘golden’ produce from these early dogs. These ‘golden’ dogs were separated out of the main lines and became their own breed, Golden Retrievers.

Labradors can be in the following colours black, yellow (not golden) and chocolate. We have black and yellow Labradors. We do not have chocolate, although we have on occasions produced the colour from our stock.

Black Labradors should have a gorgeous shine to them with preferably no livery undertones, similar to matt black in sunshine. If a black Labrador is malting then the old dead coat will be lifting and appear livery, but not livery otherwise.

Yellow Labradors can vary a great deal. From palest paper white through to darkest deepest fox red. Ideally yellows should have good dark pigmentation, if they don’t then that is usually a sign that that animal carries a chocolate gene, so could produce chocolate if bred with another chocolate gene carrier.

Chocolate are a submissive gene in Labradors. Many people say that chocolates are not good for their mental ability. The main reason for this is that they are bred for the colour, not for anything else as the gene is submissive. Colour is only one part of any dog. There are a lot more factors to consider when breeding a litter than just colour.

Our Labradors are quite like our Shepherds in that they are an old fashioned type and style. They are again a strong solid middle-of-the-road type, not too heavy but not whippets. They have good strong bone and square style head. A deep thick neck and chest, followed by a level back and a solid broad bottom that is in proportion to the rest of the dog. The Labradors, like the shepherds are always short coupled.

Our Labradors are a medium type, not the tiny ‘whippet’ type often associated with Field Trialling nor the excessively large ‘St Bernard’ sort you sometimes see in the Show ring. They are again shorter rather than longer proportions with broad heads, shoulders and rumps. They have deep chests and short ‘otter’ tails whenever possible. Their back legs are sturdy and not ruler straight verticals, they have a healthy stifle to their hind legs (that is the knees not hocks which are effectively the ankles).

Their character is most associated with the location of food, though they do love all the family attention and affection given them, which they more than happily return. They are quite capable of working in the field, as assistance dogs and have done very well in the Shows abroad. Historically, many of our Labradors have been Police sniffer dogs.

A Message From Jan at ‘DOGS FOR AUTISM’

Dogs for Autism provide bespoke assistance dogs who, through a variety of support strategies, enrich and transform the lives of the autistic individuals they are partnered with, and help to mitigate some of the impact autism can have on families. It takes between 1-2 years to train each of our dogs and during that time we need to raise enough money every month to cover their ongoing training, food, health needs and playtime.

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