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Black Labrador Retrievers are favored hunting and family dogs. With a remarkably calm disposition and incredible intelligence, this beautiful breed is loved my millions and has been the top registered dog with the American Kennel Club (AKC) since 1991.

The Labrador Retriever was first developed in England in the mid-1880s by a select group of private kennel owners who were interested in developing the perfect gun dog. During World World I, the labrador field dog was introduced to the United States.

Today, there are three distinct Labrador Retrievers recognized as AKC Standards: the Chocolate Labrador Retriever, the Yellow Labrador Retriever, and the Black Labrador Retriever. Within this standard, there are two separate lines of the Labrador: field lines and show lines. The field line Labrador has been bred with an emphasis on hunting ability, and show line Labradors have been bred with an emphasis on conformation and temperament.

The Black Labrador Retriever is a strongly built, solid, medium-size dog. It has a short, dense, dark black coat, an "otter" tail, a clean-cut head, and unusually broad skull. Kind, friendly eyes are a prominent feature of this breed.

The Black Labrador is known for its double coat, which is made of a soft, downy undercoat and a hard, short outercoat. While the undercoat allows the dog to stay dry and warm in cold water, the outer layer helps repel water, giving this dog the unique ability to be completely waterproof in nature.

The Labrador's renowned "otter" tail is thick at the base and tapers to a fine, narrow point. A male Labrador stands 22 to 24 1/2inches and weighs 65-80 pounds. The female is slightly smaller at 21 to 23 1/2 inches and weighs 55-70 pounds.

Black Labs are exceptionally healthy, athletic dogs. Many are prone to breeding and genetic medical problems, however, including hip dysplasia, eye trouble, arthritis, cold tail, tricuspid valve dysplasia, ear infections, ruptured cruciate ligaments, and laryngeal paralysis.

Black Labs are a favored pet for their friendly, people loving dispositions. Labs are retrievers, and therefore, will commonly bring things to you that they find lying around the house or yard. Labs are also uncommonly patient with children, which make them excellent family dogs.

Blessed with a protective bark, this breed is more bark than bite. Though they may sound vicious, Labs are more likely to lick the hand of an intruder than bite it.

Labrador Retrievers have been dubbed "laid back" by many owners. Don't misjudge this eager-to-please animal, though, because Labs are also action oriented. Black Labs, if left to their own devices, can be unmanageable due to their size and enthusiasm. Unexercised, they often turn to destructive behavior to alleviate boredom and excess energy. This breed requires equal amounts of love and exercise and is especially fond of swimming, running, and working.