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Here at Akuna Pets we think Labradors are just so much fun. They are always up for food, fun & adventure (in that order) & then a big snooze afterwards. We call them the party animals of the dog world due to their unbridled enthusiasm for any adventure. So it is not surprising that they love everything we offer. From bush walks to Water Fun Park swims and let’s not even get started with how much fun they have with the huge basket of dog toys in our big grass play yards. The only problem that poses to our Labrador guests is which toy to play with. So whether they are cream, brown or black we love all our Labrador guests.



  • Nicknames Lab
  • Lifespan 12 to 13 years
  • Country of Origin Canada
  • Weight Male 27 to 40kg (60 to 88lb)
  • Weight Female 27 to 35kg (60 to 77lb)
  • Height Male 56 to 63cm (22 to 25in)
  • Height Female 54 to 60cm (21 to 24in)
  • Coat Smooth, short, dense & close
  • Litter Size 5 to 10
  • Colour Black, Chocolate and Yellow

Famous people who own Labradors past & present

Greg Norman – owns four Labs

Prince William – Widgeon

Gwyneth Paltrow – Holden (rip)

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton – Buddy and Seamus (Sadly Buddy’s life as a famous “first pet” was cut short due to a car accident that ended his life).

Russian President, Vladimir Putin – Koni

Websites with fun information & stories & Organisations that help Labradors –

http://www.justlabradors.com

http://www.loveyourdog.com/labs.html

Fun Facts & Various Bits and Pieces

They are considered the world’s most popular breed of dog & are the 1st choice of breed used as assistance dogs by police and other official bodies.

A Labrador Retriever’s tail looks a lot like the tail of an Otter! Maybe to swim better?

A healthy Labrador Retriever has two coats. Underneath the beautiful coat that you can see, is a soft, thick undercoat that helps to keep them warm and dry.

Labradors are an intelligent breed with a good work ethic. Due to these traits and their even temperament they are well suited to working in roles such as disabled assistance & therapy work.

Approximately 60–70% of all guide dogs in Canada are Labradors.

Hunting, tracking, drug detection and search & rescue are also situations where Labradors excel as they have an amazing sense of smell which helps to make them the ideal breed for these jobs.

Labradors are powerful and indefatigable swimmers noted for their ability to tolerate the coldest of water for extended periods of time. Their ability to work quietly alongside hunters while watching for birds to fall from the sky, marking where they land, and then using their outstanding nose to find and retrieve dead or wounded birds has made them the king of waterfowl retrievers.

Those careers and talents are all amazing but here at Akuna Pets we reckon the Labradors best talents are being a loving family member, a great listener (particularly when you have had a bad day) & a bit of a clown at times too!

Labradors originated in the Newfoundland area of Canada. They were originally known as St Johns water dogs or the Lesser New Foundland as there was already a larger breed dog called the Newfoundlander (also referred to as the Greater Newfoundland). The St’Johns area of Newfoundland was settled mainly by the English and Irish. These local fishermen originally used the St. John’s dog to assist in carrying ropes between boats, towing dories, and helping to retrieve fishnets in the water. The Labrador’s loyalty and hard working behaviour were valuable assets for fishermen.

A number of St John’s Dogs were brought back to England in the 1820’s and were renamed Labradors (after a specific Geographic area in England) so as not to be confused with the larger Newfoundland breed. They quickly became prized by royalty & dukes as sporting and waterfowl hunting dogs. A few kennels breeding these dogs grew up in England and at the same time a combination of a few factors led to the demise of the breed in their country of origin.

The first written reference to the breed was in 1814, the first painting in 1823 and the first photograph in 1856.

By 1870 the name “Labrador retriever” became common in England & it is interesting to note that at this point almost all Labradors were black in colour with the yellow and chocolate pups only occasionally appearing.

The first yellow Labrador on record was born in 1899 and the breed was recognised in 1903. The chocolate Labrador emerged in the 1930s. Here at Akuna Pets the colour we see most is the golden colour with black being the second most popular colour and finally the brown colour, though we have noticed lots more chocolate Labs over the last few years.

Whatever the colour there is no disputing that the Labrador is the world’s most popular breed of dog and here at Akuna Care this fact doesn’t surprise us at all.

Nature

The Labrador’s temperament is kind, gentle, outgoing and eager to please. They have a reputation as a very even-tempered breed and as such are an excellent family dog. This includes a good reputation with children of all ages and other animals. They are fun-loving & boisterous. They are easygoing and trusting with strangers and therefore are not usually suitable as guard dogs. It is interesting and not surprising to note that breed statistics show that 92.3% of Labradors tested passed the American Temperament Test.

This steady temperament and their ability to learn make them not only a great family dog but also an ideal breed for search and rescue, detection, and therapy work.

At Akuna Pets we have designed our pet accommodation so that each guest has its own big comfortable indoor room. An attached large grass garden yard section allows social guests to go outside anytime they like during the day to say hello to their dog neighbours, which is great for dog friendly dogs like Labradors.

Their happy, trusting disposition also means that guests who are new to staying at our Pet Resort are quick to settle in and super enthusiastic to bond with our loving pet carers. They give out liver treats too, just to make sure your Labrador knows they have come to the right place for a holiday.

As for being fun loving – Well we have the most fun Pet Resort ever with bush walks, swims in our doggy water park & big grass yards for playtimes. Add in huge baskets of every toy imaginable and you’ve got Labrador heaven!!!

Training

Labradors are fun-loving & boisterous so require training and firm handling when they are puppies, as an uncontrolled adult can be quite problematic. It is said that Labradors mature at around three years of age, so before this time they can have a significant degree of puppy-like energy, often mislabelled as being hyperactive and destructive.

Because of this enthusiasm level, leash-training early on is strongly suggested so as to prevent pulling when full-grown. It might also help to wear you Labrador out a bit before a training session by playing some fun games like tennis ball retrieving, tug games & frisbee.

At Akuna Pets we don’t offer specific training programs but we do understand how important dog manners are and as such follow basic rules of training such as making dogs sit before their dinner and for treats, making sure we go through gates and doors first. We also deter jumping and biting by saying no firmly and rewarding good behaviour with liver treats.

Behavioural issues

Labradors don’t grow out of their puppy like behaviour till around three years of age, so before this time they are prone to getting into all sorts of mischief. To address this potential problem you really you just need to appreciate in advance that your Labrador is going to need daily exercise to burn of excess energy. Off leash areas to run are great for this and long power walks are good too.

Labradors instinctively enjoy holding objects in their mouths, which they can do with great gentleness (a Labrador can carry an egg in its mouth without breaking it – unless they eat it LOL!). As a result of this trait they are prone to chewing objects they are not meant to (ie shoes, furniture, watering systems, sunglasses, dentures etc). As most owners of a Labrador puppy will tell you, they do eventually grow out of this unfavourable habit. It is a very good idea to make sure a puppy or teenage Labrador has easy access to the right sort of things to chew, such as rawhide treats & tough toys.

High energy dogs can definitely be destructive with toys and bedding etc if they don’t have a positive outlet for their exuberance. Here at Akuna Pets we don’t get much destructive behaviour due to the fact that our guests have plenty of space in their hotel room and can romp around their own grass backyard anytime they like throughout the day or say a nose hello to their dog neighbours. Our play times and bushwalks are also a good energy busting activities. So you can rest assured that your Labrador (on a suitable “Care package”) will come home in the same happy, normal state they were in when they arrived for their holiday. Instead of a dog that’s bouncing of the walls due to lack of exercise and stimulation.

At Akuna Pets we are definitely up to the challenge of wearing your Labrador out but don’t worry if you have an elderly Labrador because our more senior guests still enjoy a playtime, it is just spent getting loving cuddles and belly rubs rather than chasing a ball. Our senior Lab guests also enjoy a stroll around our property as there are so many interesting scents to enjoy.

At Akuna Pets we have lots and lots of toys for your dog to play with when they have play time out in one of our big grass play yards. We have spent some years finding the best toys possible, that are fun but durable. You know what though – The most favourite toy is still the good old fashioned tennis ball! If you would like your Labrador to have its own favourite toy in its hotel room then just send it along.

So the good news is that behavioural problems due to pent up energy levels or lack of stimulus or company is not going to be a problem for your Labrador when it comes for a holiday at Akuna Pet Resort.

Energy Level

Labradors are both high & low energy level dogs as anyone who has owned one for its whole life will tell you. For the first few years it is like an explosion of energy & enthusiasm but as time goes by and your Labrador hits middle age they are inclined to settle into couch potato mode, which is ok as long as a bit of daily aerobic activity such as a good brisk walk is in place. This is quite important as Labradors are prone to weight gain so need to maintain a reasonable level of activity throughout their whole lives.

“Energy Busting” is what we do best at Akuna Pets with the option of bush walks, play yard fun, loving cuddle times and swims in our unique water Play Park. In addition your dog has its own grass yard that they have access to from 7am to 7pm every day. They can romp around in this space as much as they like. If your Labrador is a senior citizen it will not have the same high exercise needs but will still love having one to one cuddles and loving belly rubs during play time, or a bush walk stroll through our beautiful 10 acre country property. The daily amount of fun activity time is linked to the “care package” you choose for your Labrador. If you are not sure what “care package” would suit your Labrador best simply give our office a call as we are happy to discuss your pets needs anytime.

So whether it is for energy busting or loving company, your Labradors activity needs are well catered for at Akuna Pet Resort.

Health issues

Overall the Labrador is a healthy robust dog but they do have a few health issues to be aware of.

Labradors are somewhat prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, especially the larger males. Given there is a proneness to this problem it is highly recommended that you buy your puppy Labrador from a reputable breeder who has made sure her breeding dogs and your puppy are hip scored. This is a process to identify if there are any dysplasia problems. You can also add joint supplement medications to your dog’s daily diet such as fish oil, glucosamine, sashas blend etc.

Given the above information it is also VERY important to make sure your Labrador maintains a healthy weight by regular exercise and a healthy diet. This is so important as an overweight Lab is much more likely to have joint & hip problems. Keep in mind that a Labrador in good condition should nip in at the waist giving it a slight hourglass figure and be fit and light, rather than fat & heavy-set. Keeping your Lab in good health will add two to three extra years to his or her life. That’s means more years of fun and love for you and your furry one to enjoy!

Labradors are also a little bit prone to a luxating patella, a problem in knees where the knee cap dislocates and moves out of place. Sometimes it will pop back in by itself and some dogs work out what movement pops it back into place themselves or you (the owner) can manually adjust it back into place. It can at times turn into a regular and painful problem at which point surgery is available.

Another occasional problem for Labradors particularly in summer time when fun water games are high on a Lab’s to do list are “hot spots”. Put simply a hot spot is any area of skin that is red, warm to touch, moist & irritated and often seeping pus. Note that the term “hot spot” is just a general description and not a specific diagnosis.

Treatment is in four steps:

1) clean the area thoroughly

2) shave the spot to allow air in,

3) medicate the area,

4) keep the spot dry.

A head bucket helps to stop licking or scratching the area. There are a number of vet recommended products that can help reduce the itchy uncomfortable nature of a hot spot.

At Akuna Pets we do daily health checks so as to quickly pick up on any health issues that might arise such as skin rashes, ear infections etc. Hot spots can also be a problem, particularly in summer when humidity is high, but with any skin problem the trick is to catch it early and treat appropriately. The golden rule is “The sooner you catch a health problem the faster it can be treated and resolved”.

Our hip & elbow dysplasia guest’s benefit greatly from the design of our Pet Resort facility as it has been built to have NO STEPS. We intentionally designed our complex this way so that pet guests with mobility problems would be able to easily move around without putting stress on their hips, back and legs.

In addition we tailor a pet guest’s “fun schedule” to their particular needs. So if your Labrador in not allowed to jump around or stop quickly during a ball game etc we make sure all of our pet carers are aware of this health situation and go about your Labradors play/walk/love time with these issues in mind.

We even had a puppy in once that had its front leg in plaster. It was a pink plaster with pretty navy paw prints. So Cute! We were required to change dressing around the plasters edge and to make sure it stayed clean and dry and that it wasn’t rubbing or causing any irritation. Good news is that it all healed up really well for that lovely little puppy.

We use a fantastic local vet practise called “Cessnock Vet” www.cessnockvet.com.au They specialise in many areas of canine health care so if vet care is required for your loved Labrador whilst they are holidaying with us you can be sure he or she will be in the very best of hands & receive the best care available.

Weight Issues

Labradors are well-known for their appetite. They are persistent and persuasive in requesting food.

For this reason, you must carefully control his/her food intake to avoid obesity and the associated health problems. Labradors gain weight VERY easily so pay attention to the recommended food guidelines on the dry or wet food that you feed and make sure you do not overfeed. Sometimes the guidelines are even a bit too much and need to be reduced a little so do some experimenting and remember that treats count as food. This means that if you are using quite a few treats for training or just because you love your Lab don’t forget to reduce the amount he or she is getting for breakfast or dinner.

At Akuna Pets we are aware of the Labradors fondness for food and their inclination to easily put on weight so we pay close attention to this. Firstly we feed a premium graded vet recommended dry food called “Royal Canin” (which our guests love!). We match the amount we feed to your pets age, breed & weight. We weigh your pet upon arrival to establish how much they should be fed and then weigh weekly throughout their holiday stay to make sure a healthy weight is maintained. In addition we keep records on how much food your pet is eating and what if any is left on a daily basis. So if your pet is gaining or losing weight we know whether to increase or decrease their portion of food. If you would prefer your dog too lose a little bit of weight we can even help with that, so just let us know when you book your dog’s holiday stay.

Grooming

Labradors are easy care dogs due to their short coat. So all that is really required is an occasional brush to get rid of any shedding coat & to make sure that ears are clean & nails trimmed when needed. Too easy! Another reason why they are such a great family pet!

Even though Labradors do not really need much brushing, you can still request as many dog brushings as you like as it can be a really nice one to one loving time with a carer. We even have dogs that fall asleep during a brush – like they are having the best day spa experience ever. Have you ever heard a Labrador snore? ZZZZZZZZZZ.