There’s Nothing Wrong With Adopting An Unknown Dog
According to ASPCA, When you are looking for a new dog, it is always a good idea to consider adoption. There are millions of dogs that enter animal shelters every year.
So how can you positively identify a yellow Labrador Retriever? The answer is that you will have to evaluate a large number of factors. Depending on where you get your dog, you might have little to no idea as to its exact breed. Read on to learn what you should do.
In most cases, animal shelters are able to identify the breed of a dog. That being said, there are so many different dog breeds that they cannot be expected to be 100% accurate in all cases. A large number of mixed-breed dogs make the process of identification even harder.
So, if you think you have a yellow Labrador Retriever on your hands, but you aren’t quite sure, this article is for you. We will cover the essential characteristics of the breed so that you can determine for certain if your dog is or is not a Labrador.
First, We Look For The Most Obvious Signs
Luckily, the Labrador has a number of distinctive traits that set it apart from other dogs. The first one to look for is a strange quality that you might never have expected to see on a dog: webbed feet. Yes, the Lab has a foot that is similar to that of a duck.
These webbed feet were deliberately bred into the Labrador so that they would be exceptionally good swimmers. This breed was created to work in the Labrador Sea off the coast of Canada, for which it is named. They have several other aquatic qualities, too.
The Labrador will always have a wide flattened tail. Like their webbed feet, this tail provides more surface area than a normal canine tail. As such, it can be used as a paddle in a manner similar to how a beaver uses its tail.
All Labradors will have a water-resistant coat. Basically, their body secretes certain oils that coat the surface of their fur and help to keep water from soaking into their inner coat. Labradors basically have two coats; an outer layer of fur, and an inner layer.
It should be noted that there are several other breeds that possess this kind of water-resistant coat. As such, this trait is not enough to make a positive ID when viewed alone. When taken with other signs, however, it can help to confirm the dogs’ breeding.
Continue The Process By Taking Body Measurements
We might as well begin by looking at the most authoritative sources when it comes to dog identification. Those would be the various kennel clubs such as the AKC, CKC, and UKC. These organizations have set very specific standards for all breeds.
First, a Labrador Retriever of any color must stand 21.5-24.5 inches at the shoulder. Any taller or shorter, and your dog is probably not a pure Labrador. In weight, A Lab should range between 55 and 80 pounds. However, you should consider one other factor.
If your adopted dog is either particularly skinny or particularly fat, you should refrain from making a judgment based on weight. Do what is necessary to get the dog back to a normal appearance, and at that point, they should be within the accepted range.
As you may imagine, there are slight size differences between males and females. The females tend to be slightly shorter, but only by about one inch. Females also tend to weigh a little less, though this is not an absolute rule.
Continue By Looking At The Bone Structure
The skull shape of a Labrador could be described as being a middle ground between the long, pointed shape of a wolf, and the stubby, blocky skull of a bulldog. The head should be wide, with a pronounced ridge on either side. However, the skull should not be blocky and squared-off.
The rest of a Lab’s body structure follows the same pattern: a middle-ground between wolf-dog and bulldog. AKC standards say that this breed should not be excessively slim not excessively bulky.
A lanky appearance or an extremely thick build are indicators that you may not have a purebred Labrador.
Take A Look At Your Dog’s Behavior
Apart from their obvious physical uniqueness, Labradors tend to have a certain kind of attitude and a specific personality type. When considering this factor, bear in mind that behavioral traits are not quite as consistent as physical traits.
This will normally be a very active dog. Labrador Retrievers tend to make for particularly rowdy puppies. Although Labs tend to calm down as they get older, they will almost always be a fast-moving and energetic breed.
As you might expect from a dog that was created to fetch things from the water, these dogs absolutely love to swim. Any dog that does not take well to the water is a lot less likely to be a purebred Labrador Retriever. Many times, they will even jump into the water.
Labradors also love to run and can hit speeds of up to 12 miles per hour. This allows them to make impressively long jumps into the water. Look for this jumping behavior by throwing a toy into a pond or pool and seeing how quickly they respond.
According to ScienceDirect, Studies have shown that Labradors need a little more exercise in order to remain happy and well-adjusted. Without this, they are more likely to show aggression, fear, and separation anxiety.
Don’t Sweat It If You Have A Mixed-Breed Dog
We hope that this article has been helpful to all Labrador owners, and to all those who think they might be Labrador owners. If you have evaluated your new dog and concluded that they are a purebred Lab, congratulations on a fine choice.
If your dog is not a purebred Lab, don’t worry. Even a mixed-breed Labrador will usually have the same charm and will make the same good impression upon anyone they meet.