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Tips & Training

Labrador Retrievers

How They Look

The Labrador Retriever is a large breed with a double layered coat that’s smooth and short. American Labs generally have a coat that’s solid black, yellow or chocolate in color although grey or silver ones are becoming more common. British Labs also include a fox red color. Tails of Labs should be pretty straight and are left full.

How They GrowLabrador Retriever Performance

Labs are a large breed that tend to grow pretty quickly. For adult dogs, the height usually ranges from 21 to 25 inches from the ground to the highest point of the shoulders and weight usually ranges between 55 and 85 pounds. They’re well known for their appetites, though, so it’s best to avoid overfeeding and keeping your Lab working year round to maintain proper condition.

How They Hunt

Labs are versatile hunting retrievers that handle cold air and water conditions well. They’re a tough and durable combination of rugged build with speed and agility. Labs will quarter in front of the hunter to flush upland birds and should stay within comfortable gun range. They’ll also range out at the hunter’s direction for long marks and retrieves in a waterfowl setting.

How They Behave

Labrador Retrievers are the most popular registered dog breed in the world for a reason. They’re generally a very versatile breed that’s also intelligent and very social. They’re known as good workers that are easily trained and they get along well with other dogs as a rule. Because they’re so social, they tend to make great companions but not the best watch dogs.

What To Feed

As Labs generally maintain weight well, Active 26K is the best starting point. For a dog that has a harder time keeping weight, we recommend switching to the Power 30K formula during heavy training, hunting or competition.

Kinetic Active 26K performance dog food

Winterizing Your Dog

Winter Brings Special Needs

Some dogs love the cold and snow whether they are mostly inside or outside dogs. It isn’t necessary to be a sled dog to enjoy a little frolic in the winter wonderland. There are some downsides to the cold weather, though, that you need to watch out for. Following are a couple of what we consider to be the most important cold weather tips to keep your dogs healthy and performing at a high level.

Watch the Calories Winter Dog Care

If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, you’ll want to make sure you feed plenty of calories during the winter months. This will help provide the necessary energy to maintain body heat and ensure that they maintain the skin, coat and fat condition that will protect them against the elements. If your dog is more often indoors there’s less of a concern here but more attention should be given if he’s going to be outside for any extended time. Your family or hunting companion still needs to get outside for exercise so there’s a possibility he’ll be burning more calories than normal to keep warm. You can feed more of the formula you’re on or, if your dog is consistently more active, you can transition to a formula with higher protein, fat and calories.

Protect The Paws

Unless you’re in a very mild climate area, your dog’s paws are going through a lot more snow, slush, salt and water in the winter. With the chemicals, wet and cold, the chance of a foot injury, even if it’s minor, is about 100% each year. If you apply some petroleum jelly or udder balm periodically to help keep the pads soft and free of cracks you can help avoid anything major. If your dog’s pads do develop cracks you should take special steps to get them healed quickly. Cracked pads can be very painful and can linger for quite a while if not cared for. Finally, keep in mind that ice melting compounds can cause significant drying, cracking and sensitivity to a dog’s feet. Take care to avoid heavily treated areas whenever possible and wash your dog’s feet periodically to remove any harmful chemicals.