Labrador Retriever Dogs Full Guide (Food, Behavior etc)

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Whether you are a dog owner/enthusiast or not, you most definitely have heard of labrador retrievers. Often called simply labs or labradors, they are the most popular breed of dogs in the world. Affectionate, caring, fun-loving, and energetic labradors bring joy and peace to their owners’ life. Having a dog is often regarded as the best cure for depression and mental illness. By 2023, there will be around 23 million pet dogs in India, with labradors occupying 70% of them.

Many famous people have at least one labrador retriever in their house. Cristiano Ronaldo, Bill Clinton, Steve Martin, Gwyneth Paltrow, Anne Hathaway, Hulk Hogan, Prince Charles, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Anushka Sharma-the list goes on.

Looking for a dog to adopt in India? You can safely go with a labrador.

Here are a few pieces of information and frequently asked questions (FAQs) you may want to know about labradors.

LABRADOR RETRIEVER FULL GUIDE
LABRADOR RETRIEVER FULL GUIDE

Are Different colored labradors different?

People often speculate that black Labradors are the best hunters, and yellow labs are the laziest of the breed, but none of these claims is supported by experts. Just like humans, each dog is different and is often bred and developed according to the demands of skills in the field, while others are concerned more with the breed standard. However, none of these differences directly depend on the dog’s color.

Labrador Dog Food Guide

Here is a complete list of food for labradors of different age groups.

  • 0-1.5 months old puppy

When the puppy is less than 3 months old, it should get only the mother’s milk. If it’s not possible, you can feed him/her dog milk available on the market. Be sure not to feed them cow milk or human baby foods like cerelac etc. as that will result in loose motion as well as stunted growth. At this tender age, you need to feed your labrador pup via a feeding bottle like you would feed a human baby of age 2 months.

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Till 1.5 months, don’t feed anything else than dog milk and water.

Check out these dog milk products available online in India.

  • 1.5-3 months old puppy

Now you have two options. Either you can continue feeding them milk and water, or you can start feeding them starter foods. Labrador puppies of age 1.5 – 3 months should be given around 200g-300g(total) of feed divided into separate meals for a whole day. You should be following this diet of starter food till 3 months age at least. Also, make sure you are vaccinating as well as deworming your pup at the right intervals.

Most people feed kibbles to their labrador puppy. Kibbles are coarsely ground meal or grain typically used as animal feed especially: small, dry pellets of processed food for pets. The kibble for starter food is small and most probably, your puppy will be able to chew it. In case he/she is not, consider adding the dry food into a blender with lukewarm water and make a mix that should be dilute enough to be administered by a feeding bottle. Certain dry food can be extremely hard to chew, so depending on the toughness of the kibble you might have to break i.e – blend the food yourself as your puppy might not develop strong teeth at this age.

Check out these starter foods for your puppy less than 3 months old.

  • 3-15 months old puppy

Puppies of age 3-6+ months should be given around 300g-450g of dry food per day.

In this period, your labrador puppy will grow the most, requiring the most nutrition. You can feed them homemade boiled chicken, with some fish oil added. Or, you may go for ready-made dog foods and supplements available on the market.

  • Adult Labrador Retriever Dog Food

After 15 months, your dog is considered an adult. Generally, it won’t grow any further. Still, a good diet is required for bones and muscle development and a long lifespan. The key is not to overfeed them. They will require regular exercise for weight.

Also, at this age, your dog will lose appetite, will not want to eat dry foods, and have other issues. Try to blend in some homemade tasty foods, and wet foods available online.

  • Senior Labrador Retriever Dog Food

The nutritional requirements of a senior Labrador are not the same as for a puppy, or even a younger adult.

As a general guideline, 7.5 to 10 years of age is the accepted age a Labrador becomes senior.

A senior dog has a slower metabolic rate than a pup or young adult. Simply put, this means that the dog’s body expends less energy when it’s resting.

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A senior labrador’s diet should be lower in calories and higher in fiber than younger dogs. Their food should have adequate protein. Chicken, poultry, fish, or beef should be the primary source of protein. Salmons are also good to keep their skin and coat healthy.

Caution: Too much protein can cause kidney diseases in aged dogs.

For arthritis and joint problems, which are very common in senior dogs, some additives are available. Glucosamine and chondroitin are commonly used to combat arthritis and joint problems and are frequently added to senior foods.

(Always on the advice of a vet; never give dog supplements or medications without professional consultation)

Omega-6 fatty acids and antioxidants are also very much necessary for dogs, just like you.

Antioxidants will also assist your dog’s immune system, which we’ve already said may not work as well as it once did.

Include vitamins A, C, E, Zinc, Beta-carotene, and lycopene in senior dog food. Foods with rich, dark colors are often a source of antioxidants; apples, berries, carrots, and broccoli are good examples.

Labrador retriever temperament

Labradors are very friendly in nature. They make great company and bond with the whole family, and they socialize easily with neighborhood dogs and humans.

Main health issues of labradors

Some of the general health conditions that afflict Labradors are patellar luxation, canine hip dysplasia (CHD), and osteochondritis dissecans (OCD), which is canine elbow and shoulder dysplasia. (Source-Petmd)

How do you discipline a Labrador retriever?

Just as you discipline your kid, reward and punishment strategy. Labradors are no different. Reward them with gifts or toys, and when necessary, withdraw them.

Check out some cool gifts and toys for your dog here.

FAQs

Which Colour Labrador is the most intelligent?

People often associate a labrador’s IQ with their color by claiming that black labradors are the smartest. But, maybe the reason is black labs are simply more in number. It is also rumored that chocolate labs are less intelligent because they are bred in the wrong ways by the breeders, just for sake of more money.

Which color Labrador is the calmest?

Yellow Labs are probably the sweetest and kindest, while black Labradors are the calmest and most patient, and chocolate Labs are the most boisterous and wild.

What Color Labrador is the rarest?

Chocolate-colored labs are the rarest and costliest. Black labradors are the cheapest and most available.

What Color Labradors sheds least?

Many dog lovers believe that yellow Labradors shed the most. That leaves black and chocolate labs as the least shedders.
That may be the reason why more people would look for black and chocolate-colored Labs. Unfortunately, that isn’t really the case. Shedding can differ from dog to dog, regardless of their color. Yellow labradors don’t necessarily shed more than black labs, but light-colored fur contrasts more than black hair on non-white surfaces.

Are black Labradors aggressive?

There is no proof that the dog’s aggressiveness is associated with their skin color. Perhaps, more people may have been bitten by a black labrador simply because they are highest in numbers.

How long can Labradors be left alone?

A labrador should not be left alone for more than 7-8 hours. It should not be a routine to leave them alone. If you don’t have other family members to look after your dog while you have a daily 7-8 hours job, perhaps you should not adopt one.

Do Labradors bark a lot?

No, labs generally don’t tend to bark always. They are very calm and composed when they are grown-up.

At what age do labs calm down?

Just like human kids, labradors pups are also hyperactive when they are young. Knocking children over, barging into old ladies, and jumping up at visitors are common crimes. Usually, it takes 2 years for them to calm down and behave maturely.

How often should a labrador be walked?

A normally healthy adult Labrador Retriever will need 1 hour of exercise every day. The more relaxed Labs just 45 minutes per day, the more energetic 1.5 hours+.

Will a Labrador protect its owner?

Any dog will instinctively try to protect its owner, labradors too will. But, don’t expect them to be like guard dogs.

Which color of labradors are the most/least common?

The black labradors are the most common while the chocolate ones are the rare


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