Rhodesian Labrador

He is not recognized by the F.C.I.

Origin
Southern Africa <> Canada -> U.S.A.
Translation
Francis Vandersteen

A brief presentation of the Rhodesian Labrador

Beautiful, gentle, loving but determined and sometimes stubborn is the best way to describe the Rhodesian Labrador. These large, energetic dogs are loyal and devoted to their parents, sharing a strong bond and unwavering companionship. They love to play and adore children, they can play for hours and outperform even the most energetic child. Although the Rhodesian Labrador is a big, long-legged dog, it's not an outdoor dog as such. No kennel for them, they want to be with you, hiding inside, sharing your treats and goofing off. These dogs love to eat, so beware of their begging tricks and gorgeous eyes. They can put on weight very quickly and are prone to bloat, which is dangerous for a dog. So space out his meals, and only give small treats. Training brings out the best in this dog, although he does have a stubborn streak and if he's too disciplined, he'll withdraw and sulk. Praise and encouragement go a long way with these beautiful dogs. They are not aggressive, but can be wary of strangers and adopt a threatening posture. Lively, playful, affectionate and a bit of a clown, the Rhodesian Labrador is an exciting new hybrid breed that shows great promise as a devoted companion.

History of the Rhodesian Labrador

The Rhodesian Labrador is a new hybrid dog with no well-written history to document its development. Consequently, we have to look to the parent dogs for clues to its nature.

 

        

A little of the Rhodesian Ridgeback

        
The Rhodesian Ridgeback originated in Zimbabwe, formerly known as Rhodesia. It was developed as a working dog, used for hunting and retrieving game, guarding family and property. Their history is one of refined crossbreeding with the Ridgeback dogs of the Boer settlers in the 16th century and with indigenous tribal dogs such as the Khoikhoi, Mastiff, Deerhound and Great Dane. Reverend Helm brought two Ridgebacks to Matabeleland in 1877, where hunters quickly learned of their prowess if used to hunt in packs. They were used to chase and hold off lions until the hunters caught up with them. They became known as African Lion Hounds. These strong, confident dogs became trusted companions and were much appreciated. The breed was imported to America in 1950 and recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1955.
Standard of the Rhodesian Ridgeback

 

        

A little of the Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever is one of America's most popular breeds. They originated in Newfoundland, where they worked with fishermen to catch fish that got loose in the net, or jumped into the icy water to help haul in the nets. English ships brought them to England in the 1800s. Once there, the dogs were crossed with Spaniels, Setters and other types of Retrievers to enhance their hunting instincts. The breeders were very successful and the Lab, as it is affectionately known, is renowned for its hunting and retrieving prowess. The Lab is easy to train, and as well as being an affectionate companion dog, it's often a dog with a job to do. They have been used for drug detection work, police work, guide work for the blind, search and rescue, sledding and carting, and in dog show events for competitive obedience. The Lab has a happy nature and always seems to have a broad smile on his face and a hanging tongue.
Standard of the Labrador Retriever

Appearance of the Rhodesian Labrador

Long and tall on legs, with a slender, athletic body, the Rhodesian Labrador is a handsome dog. A deep chest supports a strong neck, which in turn supports the fine, elegant head. The top of the head is slightly rounded, and the dog often has a hollow between the eyes. The eyes are bright and alert, full of character and curiosity. Rich dark amber or dark brown, they are round and have a dark rim. The muzzle is long and pointed, ending in a black nose and a dark area around the mouth. The teeth meet in a neat scissor bite. The Rhodesian Labrador's ears are set wide apart, almost framing the head, and are taut and slightly erect, but can tend to fold back at the tips. A long tail and elegant posture complete the description of a confident, environment-conscious dog.

Temperament of the Rhodesian Labrador

Calm, confident and downright happy, Rhodesian Labradors are true character dogs. They love to please, but have a stubborn streak that can come out from time to time. Rather than overreacting, the best way to deal with this is to praise them when they succeed, combined with tasty little treats. They need a strong leader or they'll decide they're the boss and act accordingly. Firm but benevolent management is needed to bring out the best in this noble dog. They can adapt to apartment life as they are calm and quiet indoors, but will need their daily walk to let off steam. They are not noisy dogs, but will alert you when strangers are around. Although not aggressive, they may posture to scare off a perceived intruder. They tend to chase small animals or adapt to other dogs. Training at an early age will help eliminate this, and fully socializing your dog as a puppy will help, but it's useful to be aware of this trait. Rhodesian Labradors love food, lots of it if possible. They put on weight quickly and can suffer from life-threatening bloat, so divide his meal into small, frequent meals to overcome this problem. These dogs are ideal companions for children; they love to play, are affectionate and will protect the family. Large in size with a matching heart, the Rhodesian Labrador is a big cuddly toy when it comes to his family.

Needs and activities of the Rhodesian Labrador

The Rhodesian Labrador is an active dog, but can be remarkably calm inside the house. Not an outdoor dog when it comes to life, he needs attention and wants to be with you and the family. A daily walk will meet your dog's needs, but don't forget to keep him on a leash as the Rhodesian Labrador has a strong hunting instinct and may take off after a low-flying bird or a small, fast-running animal. Once they do, they'll be oblivious to your shouted commands to return. They're great with children and love to play games or splash around in the water. A little time at the dog park will help your dog get used to other dogs and keep him socialized. They'll love playing with other dogs once they're used to it. Rhodesian Labradors are ideal fitness friends, happy to accompany you on a run or while you're riding. Once indoors, they'll snuggle up with their family and doze off to regain their energy.

Maintenance of the Rhodesian Labrador

Easy care and minimal maintenance are the key words here. The Rhodesian Labrador is a moderate shedding dog, and careful brushing every week with a stiff bristle brush will remove all loose hair and produce a sheen on their smooth coat. Some dogs may inherit the Labrador's double coat, in which case they may require more frequent brushing. Professional groomers will not be necessary for this dog, unless you want them to trim your dog's nails. These dogs can suffer from ear infections due to their floppy ears, which can create a warm, moist environment for bacteria. Gently clean his ears every week and then dry them with a soft cloth. Smelly ears are a sign of a bad infection. Only bathe him when he's really dirty, and make sure you use a gentle dog shampoo that won't damage his skin. After all that, a thorough toothbrush, a little cuddling and warm praise and your dog will be a happy dog.

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