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Northern Ohio
Labrador Retriever Club, Inc.

Founded 1981                                    An AKC Licensed Club


Introducing.... the Labrador Retriever

Black, yellow, chocolate... These wonderful dogs come in three coat
colors. There is no such thing as a "golden Lab"! There are Labrador
Retrievers who happen to be yellow or there are Golden Retrievers, a
totally different breed of dog, who happen to be, well, golden! Labs
are a medium-sized dog with a delightful, loving temperament. Properly
bred Labs ADORE people and their goal in life is to please them. And
lest I forget, their second goal in life is to eat and following closely
behind that, their third goal in life is to be petted, petted, petted.
A Lab separated from its people is one unhappy dog. That's not to say they
can't be left alone at home while you are at work, although young dogs who
have not yet learned "house manners" should be confined to a crate when no
one is home. You do like your carpet on the floor and your drywall on the wall,
after all - right? Labs are sweet natured but oftentimes ornery with a capital O;
smart, strong and energetic. Now think about it for a minute - a Lab who
doesn't have some type of daily exercise and mental stimulation WILL
provide it's own entertainment - again, think chewed up carpet and
drywall - and oh yeah, eyeglasses, remote controls, couches, chairs,
beds, the leg to your antique table, etc., etc., etc...

These dogs take two to three years to "mentally" mature although they
are physically mature at about one year of age. So, it is a very good
idea to train your Lab at an early age so that you do not have a
70 or 80 pound adolescent bouncing off the walls and dragging you down
the street when you try to go for a walk! You surely do want both of
your arms to remain the same length, don't you? We highly recommend
attending puppy and/or beginner obedience classes with your young dog
so that by the time your Lab weighs 70 or 80 pounds, you are not pulling
your hair out and trying to find someone to "please take this dog" or end
up taking the dog to a dog pound, animal shelter or maybe, if you are really
lucky, to a Lab rescue group who happens to have room for your dog
(fat chance!). Believe me, there are many, many poor Labbies facing
death every day, so please take my words to heart to commit to training
your young Lab so that you can all live happily ever after.

Because people often have the misconception of a Labrador Retriever as a
couch potato, many people are surprised that they have a great deal of energy!
People - they are SPORTING dogs!!! They are bred to jump into icy cold water
and love it! They run through any and every kind of undergrowth and can't wait
to go back for more! And they can do this all day long!!! Now, that's not to
say that a Lab with adequate exercise cannot be a perfect companion, because they
ARE perfectly perfect when they've had the edge taken off their energy level.
And another thing - most Labs are "mouthy"- they have to have something in their
mouths at all times and they don't care what it is. Again, they were bred to be
that way - to run and find that poor, hapless dead duck and bring it back to the hunter.
So needless to say, they aren't too particular about what they pick up in their
mouths - keep some appropriate toys handy!

And about that icy water - well, to be able to stand to do that, they are what is
called "double-coated" dogs. That means they have a fine undercoat that provides
warmth and a harsher outer coat that sheds water. Well they also shed hair - a lot
of hair!! During the peak shedding times - spring and fall -you may have to brush
them daily, but normally, a good brushing once a week will take care of things.
Know anyone who knows how to weave dog hair? I could use a couple new
sweaters and a scarf or two in a lovely shade of chocolate!

Oh yeah, and back to all the poor Labs in shelters and pounds, we know you have
the most perfect, the most beautiful, the smartest Lab ever born - hey, so do we - but
that doesn't mean you HAVE to breed it! Don't you want your dog to be unique?
You really don't want everyone else to have a Lab just like your darling, now do you???

Now seriously folks, to those of us who are members of the Northern Ohio Labrador
Retriever Club, Labs are just about the greatest invention since sliced bread.
My own little darling is laying peacefully, contentedly at my feet right now - only
because we went for a nice long walk today and took several play breaks, too.

The Labrador Retriever has been at the top of the American Kennel Club list of most
popular dogs just about since the beginning of time and as wonderful as they are, they
are NOT for everyone. So, before you decide to get one, meet some first. E-mail us,
call us - just talk to us first - come to a meeting, go to a dog show, read some books!
Do your homework and find out all about Labs BEFORE you spontaneously buy that cute,
cuddly puppy that will weigh 40 pounds before you can say Labrador Retriever!

Now I know life can really throw some curve balls and sometimes because of circumstances
beyond your control, you may have to give up your dog. The first place to call if
this horrible situation ever happens to you, is the breeder from whom you got your dog.
Any reputable breeder should be willing to take the dog back or at the very least,
be willing to help you place it. For sure you'll be thanking me then for persuading
you to go to a reputable breeder!!

And speaking of reputable breeders, when looking for a Lab puppy, take your time to
make sure you find a breeder who is reputable - one who truly loves Labs and breeds
them only for the betterment of the breed. Anyone can breed a dog but it takes time,
dedication, patience and a bundle of money to do it right. Caveat emptor - buyer beware -
you get what you pay for! Labs can have some health problems - some of them extremely
serious - and reputable breeders do their VERY best to screen for them before breeding
any dogs. Sure it's cheaper to buy a $200. or $300. dog now, but just wait until your
vet bills start rolling in because your dog has elbow or hip dysplasia, epilepsy, allergies,
or eye problems. That $200. dog won't look like much of a bargain then! And, when
buying from someone who has no idea what a Lab really is or is supposed to be, don't
be surprised if your $200. dog doesn't look anything like a Labrador Retriever!

Now, if after all I've told you, you still think you want a Labrador Retriever,
well bully for you, and we'd LOVE to have you join our club!

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