By far, hands down, no contest…the Retriever is Brookfield’s most popular dog.
And America’s! For 25 years, the Labrador Retriever has been America’s most popular dog according to the American Kennel Club. The Golden Retriever ranks number 3.
What about Flat Coats, Chesapeake Bay, and Curly Retrievers? Yes, yes they’re all popular, but we didn’t want to drown out Top Dog Tuesday with article after article drilling down into the variations on this affable, smart, versatile breed. We had to leave room for some of the other guys!
Bred in Scotland
Rarely aggressive, eager to please, loyal, trainable, powerful…you’ll see this breed serving the blind, working in airports, curled up next to babies, catching frisbees, hunting in fields, retrieving game, and patriotically serving in our military. The first retrievers were bred near Iverness Scotland on the estate of…get this…on the estate of Dudley Majorbanks the first Lord Tweedmouth. (How’s that for a handle?) Lord Dudley kept log books of the breeding work that he and his family did on the line from 1850 to 1890. At the same time the Labrador line was developed in…not Labrador as their name might suggest… but Newfoundland!
Labs Without Abs
Can we be frank? If we matched your Retriever against a Hoover Vaccuum to see who could suck up more food in the shortest period of time, your dog would win. This breed is exceptionally prone to obesity. Make your life and this dog’s life better by feeding him or her lean portions of a quality diet, Do not feed table scraps and don’t cave to food begging!
We’re serious. Brookfield performs about 20 knee surgeries every year on dogs. Can you guess which breed ranks near the top? …Exactly. Too much weight added to this breed’s natural tendency to exuberantly run and dash equals torn knee ligaments and joint issues. Additionally, this stocky breed is prone to arthritis as it gets older. Add 10 unnecessary pounds to the dog’s carriage and you’re going to have a painful dog, hesitant to move, and an easy target for MORE weight gain.
Eating the Inedible
Another tragic, but not uncommon issue with this dog is eating stuff it shouldn’t eat, but we’re not talking ice cream and hot dogs here; we’re talking socks, rocks, t-shirts…the list extends into areas that would make all of us blush. Each year, Brookfield treats dogs (and some cats) who are near-to-death because they’ve eaten some indigestable household object. Provide your retriever exercise and mental stimulation as a way to redirect energy that might otherwise go into gnawing on (and swallowing) the sole of your kid’s shoe.
Annual Health Screens and Clean Teeth are the Ticket
Large breeds like Retrievers are full blow seniors by the age of 6. Regular tooth brushing and annual early disease blood screens will go a long, long way to keep your pet living longer and healthier. Brookfield also provides annual abdominal ultrasound screens to Retrievers who are at risk for liver, kidney and spleen issues as they age. Early detection of these maladies can sometimes be treated surgically or with medication and diet changes, but only if they are caught early enough.
Okay, enough with the seriousness. It’s time to watch a contest between a Retriever and a German Shepherd eating spaghetti.