Labrador Retrievers belong to the Gundog family. They were first recognized as a breed in England in 1903. Labradors were originally called a St. John’s Dog or lesser Newfoundland dog. The breed was in Newfoundland in the 1700s and imported to England beginning the early 1800s. Labradors come in three colors: Black, Yellow and Chocolate.
Their increasing popularity as a family pet has seen breeding numbers increase exponentially, in many countries in the world. Labradors do make good family pets, but many people underestimate the amount of work involved in rearing a new pup, and quite often, in the early days, give up through exasperation. Do your research beforehand, they can become fabulous family pets, but you get out what you put in, and in the early days, that is a LOT of hard work!
To date the only type of health test that we can undertake here in Kenya is the hip scoring (see below for more information about what a hip score means). We are hoping that eye testing and elbow scoring will soon be introduced here in Kenya to help us improve our breeding lines. When it is possible for these tests we will also undertake them.
One of the things that we are doing at Imani is that all puppies’ parents that we are importing have all been fully health tested and cleared in order to provide a solid foundation for our future puppies.
Explanation of Hip Scoring
At around eighteen months, when the dog’s skeleton has fully grown, an x-ray is taken of the dogs pelvis area. This x-ray is then sent from the vet to the Kenyan Vet Board (KVB). They will score this x-ray with each hip of the two hips scoring between 0 (lowest) and 53 (highest). So if both hips are scored the total that dog achieves will be between a TOTAL of 0 and 106 (2 x 53). Currently the breed average for a Labrador of a total of both hips sits at around 16. Thus dogs around or under this score have average or better than average hips to give a guide. The score can also be shown sometimes as two numbers, left hip/right hip – so, something like 5/4 (total of 9 – good) or maybe 33/21 (total of 54 – poor).