The Best Of The Breed: Breeding LabradorsIf you are considering breeding labradors for a dog show, there are many things that you should know. The aim of breeding labradors, or any dog for that matter, is for the resulting labrador to posses the ideal characteristics or features of the labrador breed. But how will you know which dogs to breed if you do not know which characteristics are most favorable in labradors? Knowing these traits will help you to successfully breed your labradors—and it may make the difference in that first place ribbon at the dog show.
General Characteristics And AppearanceBecause the labrador retriever is a medium-sized dog with a short coat, small ears, and a short thick tail, there are several variations of the breed that would be peanalized in the dog show. Weedy, light dogs; leggy, tall dogs; low-stationed, long dogs; and lumbering, cloddy dogs are all given penalties at dog shows because they contradict the preferred sturdy, proportionate build of the labrador.
When breeding labradors, it is key to look for a favorable temperment. This will impress the judges of any dog show. Labrador retrievers are eager to please and they are very outgoing and friendly. Additionally, they are intelligent and eager to please. Judges search for these characteristics when evaluating labradors in a dog show.
It is important to aim for certain favorable anatomical characteristics when breeding labradors. The labrador’s head should ideally include a broad snout, clean cheeks, powerful muzzle, and even, white teeth. The nose color varies depending on the color of the dog, and the nostrils should be wide and open; the eyes should be slightly triangular-shaped and have a kind expression. Finally, the ears should be short, drop, and triangular in shape.
The color of labradors can be black, chocolate, or yellow. Yellow dogs may vary in shade, and some labs may have a white spot on the chest, though this is not preferred. Judges do not give any penalties for white hairs that occur as a result of aging and scarring.
Judges look for labradors who are bred to be a specific height and weight; that is, the height and weight that is typical of labradors. For male labradors, the typical height is twenty-two and one-half inches to twenty-four and one-half inches; male dogs should weigh between sixty-five and eighty pounds. For female labradors, the typical height is between twenty-one and one-half and twenty-three and one-half inches. The ideal weight for female dogs is fifty-five to seventy pounds.
It is important to be aware of dog show criteria so that when you are breeding labradors you can aspire for certain characterisitics and traits. Breeding labradors can be frusterating, but if you are successful it can be very rewarding.