Black Lab Dog Facts

By Kate Daniels

The black Labrador retriever is a loyal, spirited and gentle family dog, and one of the most popular breeds, according to the American Kennel Club's 2009 registration statistics. This breed adapts well to city or country life as long as his exercise needs are met. The black Lab loves to be with his owner and generally accepts other household pets as part of his family.

History

Native to Newfoundland, the black Lab was originally used to help fishermen with their nets, pulling in any fish that escaped. Through time they were bred with Spaniels, setters and other retrievers and named the Labrador retriever. Today the breed demonstrates excellent skills in retrieving small game, but functions primarily as a beloved family pet. The black Lab gained recognition in the American Kennel Club's sporting group in 1917.

Appearance

The coat of the black Lab is short, dense and weather-resistant. Some coats display a slight wavy texture. Thick at its base, the tail of the black Lab tapers to a point with a hook at the end. Ears hang close to the head. The eyes of the black Lab feature a soft, warm expressiveness. Normal weight for this medium-size breed ranges from 55 to 70 lbs. for females and 65 to 80 lbs. for males.

Characteristics

The black Lab is a gentle, loyal, dedicated family dog. A highly intelligent breed with an instinct to please, the black Lab considers himself a prominent part of his family and adores the children in his family. Generally, the black Lab is a calm, easygoing breed.

Health

Black labs are prone to hip dysplasia and some eye problems. This breed also seems susceptible to cancers. Malignant melanomas and mast cell tumors frequently strike black Labs. According to Animal Health Trust, black-coated breeds are prone to developing cutaneous melanoma, and Labrador retrievers are susceptible to oral melanomas, possibly as the result of inherited gene mutations. The life span of the black Lab is about 12 years.

Needs

There are few needs associated with the black Lab. This breed is quite easy to maintain with a daily brushing to remove loose hair. Your black Lab enjoys exercise. A daily walk and games of chase and fetch please him. The breed loves water, so excursions to a lake, pond or swimming pool will make you his hero. The black Lab loves to wander about in the brush. Check his coat for ticks after time spent in any wooded areas.