Labradors and Golden Retrievers are the popular relations known for their affable nature, energetic character and friendly disposition.
Originally kept as fishermen’s helpers this canine companion’s water proof coat and otter like tail means he is as comfortable in the water as on dry land. In more recent history they have accompanied hunting parties and retrieved catches for their masters. Currently they are often used as guide dogs, service dogs or to help with drug detection thanks to their extraordinary sense of smell.
They are exceptionally loyal and often viewed as the more child-friendly dog companion, due to their trustworthy nature (Although this also makes them a rather useless guard-dog given their indiscriminate trust would probably find him showing the keys to a burglar!)
Labs are incredibly active and need plenty of exercise a day. They are probably more suited to a provincial lifestyle giving them space to roam and explore. They also take a while to mature meaning for the first few years a lab is prone to being extremely boisterous, lively and stubborn. Care should be taken to ensure they are appropriately trained and that children are shown how to behave in their company.
Labradors and Goldens are prone to overeating and highly susceptible to obesity. It is extremely easy to overfeed them, especially given their love of food and ability for “puppy-dog eyes”. Therefore, it is important that you monitor their weight and ensure you give them an appropriate amount of nutritious food without high fat snacks. Feeding them wholegrain products, protein and fibrous food should help maintain a healthy weight.Overweight labradors and Goldens have a heightened risk of developing illnesses such as diabetes and lipomas (fatty masses under the skin). Obesity will also exacerbate any degenerative joint disease or hip and elbow dysplasia the dog is prone to. Hip and elbow dysplasia are genetic conditions caused by a hip socket being too shallow or the elbow joint not aligning properly. As the dog grows this can lead to immense pain and lameness. Responsible breeders should test their dogs for this condition so ensure you ask for test results of the mother and father of the puppy you plan to buy. Additionally, if a lab or Golden Retriever puppy grows too fast (due to overfeeding), has a poor diet with the incorrect ration of calcium to phosphorus, or is over-exercised while bones and joints are developing, this can aggravate or cause further disease. Using supplements to maintain healthy joints, watching their calorie intake and giving them the appropriate amount of exercise should ensure your retriever remains happy and healthy.
Both breeds are incredibly active and excitable dogs. They love interaction with humans and have an innately high-spirited nature. To ensure they do not become overly boisterous care should be taken to ensure they are trained from an early age. Their desire to please and love of treats should mean they are responsive to training. To ensure the lab or Golden doesn’t gain weight they should be allowed an active lifestyle.
It is important to remember that these breeds are sporting, athletic dogs and without vigorous exercise can become hyperactive and restless. Both breeds ares are also strong swimmers and allowing them access to water will further enhance their wellbeing. Labradors and Golden Retrievers are highly orally fixated and have a tendency towards chewing on anything they can get their hands on. Ensure you dog proof your house and have a spare chew toy at the ready just in case.
- Royal Canin Educ Training Reward Treats
This low-calorie snack is a perfect accompaniment when training your dog and reinforcing good behaviour. Whilst they cater to your dog's culinary desires, they are only three calories a piece. This will ensure you can train and manage the behaviour of your dog whilst maintaining a healthy weight.
- Halti Harness Medium
This innovative lead could change the way you walk your pet. Its unique design allows complete control over a dog's shoulders and so allows you to control and direct the movements. This means you can easily calm overly excited labs and prevent excessive pulling.
- Kong Toy
The Kong toy is a wonderful way to keep your lab entertained. It is resilient, durable and should be impervious to even the most enthusiastic of labs. It also has an irregular bouncing feature that should stimulate a lab’s hunting instincts. For added value you can stuff the toy with pet treats ensuring your lab is kept amused.
- Danish Designs Hunter Tweed Snuggle Bed
This comfortable bed is designed to maximise pup comfort. Its deep filled shoulders and supersoft polyester fibre will ensure your lab feels comfortable and protected whilst the drop down front allows for easy access. The bed is also completely washable and features a non-slip base. Created for the comfort of a pet and ease of the owner, this bed is functional, stylish and a wonderful additional to the life of any lab.
Labs are a double coated dog, with a secondary water resistant coat. They shed their undercoat twice annually, and specifically during this period, they often moult excessively. The Golden Retriever's coat is thick and wavy, with feathering on the legs and tail. For both breeds, indulging them in a regular combing (around twice a week) will help control their shedding, although it is advisable to do this outside, in old clothes or you will find yourself moulting throughout the house.
Unless your dog has a particularly bad smell it is best to avoid washing them excessively, perhaps 3-4 times a year, as this breaks down the natural oils in their coat. Supplying them with plenty of products rich in amino acids and omega oils will help to safeguard their fur. Many Labradors and Goldens may never need their toenails trimming as natural wear will help maintain a healthy shape. However, it is important to monitor nail length as if it grows too long it can cause discomfort, and could break and bleed. If you are unsure as to the best method of cutting your pet’s nails it is best to refer to your vet or a grooming professional.
- FURminator deShedding Tool Short Hair Dog
The FURminator is an easy to use, handy tool created especially by dog groomers to help decrease the level of shedding in your house by up to 90%. Its innovate design reaches beneath your lab’s overcoat and gently removes excess hair from the undercoat. This model is perfect for the short, thick hair of a Labrador.
- Coatex Aloe & Oatmeal Shampoo
This mild shampoo works to ensure that the natural oils in a lab's fur are preserved and protected. It contains extracts of Aloe Vera as well as oatmeal ensuring a thorough clean whilst soothing dry skin and adding essential moisture. The shampoo also helps to detangle the hair of your lab.
- Animology Stink Bomb Refreshing Spray
The special formula in this spray helps prevent your dog from having an unpleasant odour. It ensures your lab smells fresh and remains clean between washes, whilst preserving the essential oils in its coat. The spray contains built in conditioners and pro-vitamin B5 that help improve the health, condition and strength of the coat.
- Ancol Large Nail Clippers
These large, stainless steel clippers allow you to trim your lab's nails with ease and precision. They have a comfortable anti-slip base allowing you to have maximum control when grooming your pet. The clippers are made from tempered steel providing additional support in the trimming of your dog's nails.