Labrador Retriever puppies are cute and cuddly, but you don’t want their sweet looks to deceive you when it comes time to selecting the right one. There is plenty to consider when purchasing a Lab puppy. You need to ensure the one you select is healthy and will grow up looking like the breeds standard.
The following are some basic tips about the Labrador Retriever’s standard that you should keep in mind when selecting your puppy.
The coat of a Labrador Retriever is one of his most distinctive features. Labs have two coats, the undercoat, which is water resistant and unseen, and the top coat which is dense, straight and short. There is no wave, curl or feathering present anywhere in the coat. The coat should feel rough to the touch. Carefully observer Labrador Retriever puppies before buying them. Make sure there are no bald patches or thinning of the coat on any part of the dog’s body.
Labrador Retriever puppies come in three different coat colors: Yellow(light cream to red fox), Chocolate (liver) and Black. There should be no other colors or spots in the coat.
Labs have a broad skull and a well defined stop. The head of a lab is quite large, but the features on the head, such as the ears look proportioned. The ears of a Labrador Retriever should hand close to the head and should be set far back from the face.
Furthermore, the ears are not overly larger or heavy. They compliment the head and don’t overwhelm it. Check your puppy’s ears to make sure they are healthy. The inside skin of the ears should be a pale pink and soft. There should be no scabs or discoloration inside the ears. There should also be no foul odor coming from them.
The eyes of Labrador Retriever puppies are round. They are either a deep brown or hazel with black rims. The eyes should be friendly and express intelligence. The whites of the dog’s eyes should not be yellow, nor should any discharge be leaking from the eye.
The Labrador Retriever has a wide black nose that is well developed with distinguished nostrils. The nose should be clean and without discharge. Keep in mind that a wet nose is not an indication the Lab is healthy, just as a dry nose does not indicate he is unwell.
Looking past the nose, you will notice that Lab’s have strong jaws which they require for retrieving. Their white teeth should form a complete scissor bite, with the top teeth slightly overlapping the bottom. The teeth should be set square to the jaws. Keep in mind that Labrador Retriever puppies will have fewer teeth then adults, and will lose their baby teeth when their permanent ones grow in.
Labs have a well developed strong chest that has good depth and width. Their barreled ribs are well sprung their back is level. Their loins are wide and strong. Make sure when observing the body you look at the skin. The skin of a Lab should be without scabs or bumps. It is normal for Labrador Retriever puppies to have extra skin at the back of their neck. That is how their mother picks them up. The skin color of a lab is usually a pale pink but it can also be brown or even spotted.
The tail of a Labrador is thick at the base, and tapers towards the tip. The tail is a moderate length and has no feathering; it is as smooth looking as the rest of the coat, giving it a somewhat rounded appearance. The tails is carried even with the back or slightly upwards. It should never be carried over the back or hang down.
Labrador Retrievers have long and sloping shoulders that flow into the strong boned front legs. The hind legs are developed well and have a turned stifle. Both the front and hind legs should appear straight.
The feet of Labrador Retriever puppies are compact and perfectly round. Their toes are arched and pads well developed. Feet should be straight and not turned inwards or outwards.
The gait of a Labrador should be carefree. Labs take long strides and should walk straight. Observer puppies as they walk. Make sure they are not favoring any legs or paws, as this can be a sign of a current or future health issue.
There is plenty for you to consider when looking at purchasing Labrador Retriever puppies. Your goal is to find the healthiest one, and to ask the breeder plenty of questions.