Life is meant to enjoy and my 2 furry boys are having a ball! Shadow and Trigger are a very important part of our daily life. Our dogs are our family.
The Labrador Retriever (also Labrador, or Lab for short) is one of several kinds of retriever. This breed characteristic is webbed paws for swimming, which is the breed’s original purpose of retrieving fishing nets.
What is the most popular breed of dog? It is the Labrador. That includes Canada, the United States and the UK. The Lab is one of the most popular assistance dog breeds as well as being used by police for their detection and working abilities. Typically Labradors love to play catch, swim and retrieving games. Labs are good as a family pet as they work well with young children, elderly and for protection.
Shadow was a rescue from The Humane Society of Sedona . A specialist at the shelter told me that Shadow was a Flat-Coated Retriever but they were not at liberty to tell me for sure as his papers stated LAB/MIX. After much research and being with Shadow everyday, I agree.
The Flat-Coated Retriever is a gundog breed originating from the UK. It was developed as a retriever both on land and in the water. Flat-Coated Retrievers have strong muscular jaws and a relatively long muzzle to allow for the carrying of birds and upland game. Their head is unique to the breed and is described as being “of one piece” with a minimal stop and a backskull of approximately the same length as the muzzle. They have almond shaped dark brown eyes that have an intelligent, friendly expression. The ears are pendant, relatively small and lie close to the head. The occiput (the bone at the back of the skull) is not to be accentuated (as it is in setters, for example) with the head flowing smoothly into a well-arched neck. The topline is strong and straight with a well feathered tail of moderate length held straight off the back. Flat-coats should be well angulated front and rear, allowing for open, effortless movement. They are lighter, racier and more elegant in appearance than the other retriever breeds.
These retrievers do best with plenty of exercise and engagement to help channel their natural sporting energy. Including them in one’s daily routines whether for a walk, jog, or car ride are great ways to indulge their innate desire to be with people. While flat-coats will protect their owners and property with an assertive bark, they are unlikely to back up such noise with actual aggression. Because of their excellent sense of smell, combined with their boundless energy and eagerness to please their master, they are sometimes used as drug sniffing dogs.
Eager and quick to learn, Flat-Coats are best trained in short intervals as they may bore with repetition. This breed retains its youthful, puppy-like outlook and demeanor well into old age. Paddy Petch, author of The Complete Flat-Coated Retriever, refers to these dogs as the “Peter Pan” of the retriever breeds, given they never quite grow up.
After its introduction into the U.S., the Flat-coat began to quickly gain in popularity as a gundog, and from 1873 when the breed became a “stable type” according to the American Kennel Club until 1915 when it was officially recognised as a breed, the number of Flat-coats grew rapidly.
However, soon after, the popularity of the Flat-coat began to decrease, eclipsed by the Golden Retriever, which was actually bred in part from the Flat-coat, along with other breeds. By the end of WWII, there were so few Flat-coats that the breed’s survival was uncertain. Beginning in the 1960s, careful breeding brought the population back and the breed gained in popularity again as a companion pet. Today, the Flat-coat enjoys a modest popularity and is moving ahead as a breed through attentive breeding for the conformation, health, multi-purpose talent and exceptional temperament that are its hallmarks. It has yet to return in substantial numbers.
Flat-coats have a higher risk of cancer than most dogs. According to studies sponsored by the Flat Coated Retriever Society of America (FCRSA), the average lifespan of the Flat-coated Retriever is only about 8 years, with a high percentage of deaths due to cancer.