Tag Archives: chocolate labrador

So You Think You Want A Labrador Retriever (Click image to enlarge)

The lab in this pic is Muddy (as in muddy paws). Muddy is now 4-5  years old . He is the product of some callous, cruel, uncouth, coward, ass-butt, who chose to dump him in the middle of winter at the hospital where I worked. I was the last person on my shift to leave the building one very cold and misty night. As I walked toward my SUV, I  saw what looked like a small animal sitting in the middle of the parking lot. With a few more steps I could see that it was puppy. I walked toward the puppy and he greeted me with a wag of his tail. I bent down to take a closer look and he returned my gaze and then sat down at my feet. The puppy had no collar and was rather thin. I walked toward my vehicle and coaxed him to follow me. Clearly this was not a lost puppy. There just was no way that a puppy of this size could leave home, make it across a very busy 4 lane street and on to the vast grounds of a government installation and keep going quite a distance past the entrance gate to the building where I worked. I believe that someone knew me or of me and believed that I would TAKE THE PUPPY.

I took him to my vet the next day.  Upon seeing the pup Dr. M. immediately said, “Oh, this dog belongs to someone. This is a chocolate lab and no one is going to discard a puppy that looks this good.” I told Dr. M. that I could not disagree more! I said, “people throw away purebred dogs all the time. And cats too. I know he does not have a microchip. You can scan all day long and there AINT NO MICROCHIP.” And of course I was right. There was no microchip!

I named him Muddy- it was a name that came to mind from out of the blue.  Really!  There is a blues singer who plays the guitar named Muddy Waters who has been on the music scene for a very long time. I remember him from  my teenage years. I have no idea how I happened to think of the name.  

Muddy grew by leaps and bounds. He has a congenial temperment and a surplus of energy. He and my border collie and Aussie cross became pals and chase each other or roll in the grass or dirt when ever I allow my dogs access to my one acre property. He also is good with the other dogs and doesn’t chase the cats.  He has one huge fault but I work around it. Food aggression is a big problem. The food thing began suddenly and I have no idea what triggered his excessive and hostile desire to protect his food from any dog that merely walks past as he is eating. At feeding time I put Muddy in the back yard and close the gate. As soon as he has eaten, I immediately pick up his dish which I place in a bucket of soapy water. This way he no longer has a bowl to guard.  Each dog must have finished eating before any of them are allowed in the smaller fenced yard that cconnects to the house.span>

To say that Muddy is a good dog is an understatement. He comes when I call, sits, and goes in what ever direction that I point;. He is loyal and thrives on affection.  That is really not a long list of attributes BUT he is a watch and guard dog. Labrador dogs love to fetch and retrieve just about anything that they can cram into their mouths. The odd thing about Muddy is that he is not interested in fetching and he is not a fan of water. Despite being such a big dog Muddy can clear the ground by about 3 feet or so. Now that does not say much but this is an eighty eight pounder and I have yet to figure out how such a gawky looing dog can be such an agile jumper. He can jump up and turn around before touching the ground. He is huge and the largest dog that I have ever owned in my long life. One other negative about the labrador retriever. These dogs shed more hair than any dog that I have been around. In the morning when I let them out of their crate the floor on the outside of the crates is covered in dog hair.

So there you have my take on the lab. I can see why these dogs continue to be, year after year, the number one dog registered with the American  Kennel club.


Muddy: Anticipating a game of chase

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Purebred, Pedigreed, Mutt, Mongrel, What is Your Dog? (click to enlarge photo )


Molly looking for squirrels   (foundling)

“Muddy” chocolate labrador retriever ( foundling)

Purebred and pedigree are two words that are often mistaken as meaning the same. I will attempt to simplify the words but the meanings can actually be confusing, if paying attention to detail is over looked.

Purebred is a dog that has been created to breed true of a certain type, with all offspring that have continued to look the same for many generations. For example the dogs with the same physical attributes are mated with repeated matings and sometimes within a small gene pool which means lots of inbreeding. So a dog as a breed may be recognized by the AKC but the progeny of the original breeding just might not have “papers” proving that he/she is of pedigreed stock. I want to make it clear that a dog does not need to have a pedigree with papers in order to be a good dog or a good specimen. For example quite a number of dogs are bred purely as working dogs and some of these breeders keep records but they are recorded in other registries rather than the AKC.  And, some breeders of working dogs simply do not enter their dogs in any kind of registry.

There will always be individuals  attempting to create a new breed. With each successive generation the breeders are hoping and applying for AKC regconition with years and years going by before the breed is finally deemed acceptable by AKC standards. Getting a little deeper here: it is up to the breeders of what ever dog they have created, to set a standard for the breed. This includes color or colors, and every physical feature of the dog which includes height, weight, ears, tails, etc. etc. A breed standard is complicated and one must study the breed closely in order to really know a breed.  

A pedigree dog means one that has a record- an ancestry record that is.  In other words if you buy a purebred dog from a breeder of good reputation then most likely you can get a dog that has “papers” as in American Kennel Club registration papers. This organization keeps records of all puppies with papers that are sent in by the breeder and the owner also sends in the final papers with a ridiculous sounding name such as “Othello the Great of Isle Dogdoright.” Well that is just a tiny stretch of the imagination. But I’m sure there are some of y0u that have a dog/dogs with a funny sounding name with AKC registration papers.  A (pedigree) therefore really means a (purebred) dog that has a long history of all of its descendants- mother, father, grandfather, great grandfather, etc. etc. and on down the line.

Some of my dogs are mutts and over half just happen to be purebred. I did not go looking for any of my dogs-they either arrived on our property or I found them in a hospital parking lot, apartment complex near my home, or starving on the street, Two of them were saved from the needle of death – one from the Ft Worth city animal shelter and one from the shelter in the town where I live. None of my dogs have a pedigree paper and yet they are all very smart and mostly free of any inherited disease with the exception of Kippy who is a mutt and developed a hernia that required surgery. My other little dog has chronic eye problems. I love all my dogs for their loyalty and companionsip. I can not imagine not having a bevy of dogs around me- and one major attribute is that my pets keep me safe. Each one of them can hold their own as a guard dog.

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