Whether they are field types from gun dog breeders or show types from conformation enthusiasts, Labrador retrievers are easily the most popular breed in the United States.
Once the Labrador retriever earned the top spot as American Kennel Club's most popular dog breed, it has yet to relinquish the title ever since. Before taking home a Labrador retriever puppy, however, there are important issues that gun dog breeders want prospective owners to consider.
A Labrador retriever has an average lifespan of 10 to 15 years. This means that prospective owners should think whether they could remain committed to caring for a dog for that long.
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Caring for a Labrador retriever include giving it enough attention, involving the dog in family activities, and giving it the right amount of exercise it needs for its entire life. Since Labrador retrievers have very loveable personalities, such commitment may not be as tedious as it sounds.
Labrador retrievers are highly energetic and exuberant dogs, especially the field type bloodlines from gun dog breeders. They require at 30 to 45 minutes of exercise on a daily basis to expend their energy. It is important for Labrador retrievers to get their daily exercise as well as attention of its owners as neglected dogs often develop bad habits and tend to be destructive.
Prospective Labrador retriever owners should note that Labrador retrievers mature slowly, reaching full maturity after three long years. This essentially means that they are puppies until they are 3. During this stage, part of Labrador retriever puppy care also includes giving it vaccination shots, deworming, feeding it correctly (Labrador retrievers tend to eat too much), heartworm testing, and giving it basic obedience training, according to the breeders at Skyfire Labs
Perhaps the most important part of raising a Labrador retriever puppy is determining where to buy. Due to the popularity of the breed, indiscriminate breeding has been rampant and this resulted in poor-quality pups that inherit health conditions that adversely affect the dog's way of life.
When purchasing a Labrador retriever puppy, seek out only the most reputable gun dog breeders or conformation fanciers to ensure that you are getting a healthy Labrador retriever with a good temperament.
Reputable breeders ensure that their dogs are tested and certified free of health problems before selling them only to owners that can provide the dogs a good home. Stay away from pet stores, backyard breeders, and puppy mills.
The Labrador Retriever Club, Inc., the only national organization for the breed that's recognized by the AKC, has an online list of breeders, which is a good place to start.
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