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The Labrador Retriever originated from the island of Newfoundland off Canada. They were originally called St. John’s dogs after the capital city of Newfoundland. The Labradors worked as companions and helpers to the local fishermen in the 1700s which involved retrieving fish from the waters that escaped hooks and towing in lines. The Labs were not only working dogs for these fishermen, but they were also their family pets and so would go home to their homes after each long working day. The heritage of the Lab is unknown, but it is thought that the St. John’s Dog was interbred with the Newfoundland dog and other local smaller water dogs. English sportsmen recognised the dog’s usefulness and athletic build and began using the breed as hunting companions. The breed was recognised by the Kennel Club in England in 1903. The Pit Bull descends from the Bull and Terrier breeds that were created in the early 19th century in England that were used in spectator sports of bull and bear baiting. When those sports became illegal in 1835, dog fighting took its place which is where the assumed violent trait of these misunderstood dogs comes from. The breed naturally had an unwillingness to bite humans and so the breed developed the reputation of being a very strong and protective dog, but also one of a gentle nature that could be a family-friendly pet. These bull dogs immigrated to America with their owners and were used as all-around farm dogs where they hunted wild game, guarded the properties and provided companionship. The Kennel Club in England named their equivalent to these dogs the American Pit Bull Terrier in 1898. They were recognised in America in the early 1930s.  The Labrador and Pit Bull differ in their physical appearance significantly regarding their coats. The Labrador coat is a silky and easy to look after coat of two layers: a short, thick and straight topcoat and a water-resistant undercoat which aids them in their love for swimming. The Pit Bull has a short coat also which is shiny and stiff to the touch which can come in all colours including red, blue, brown, grey, black and white, and brindle. They also require little grooming and have an easy to keep coat.  Pit Bull males stand at 18 to 19 inches at the shoulder and females are a height of 17 to 18 inches. The weight of Pit Bulls ranges between 30 and 85 pounds. Labrador males stand 22.5 to 24.5 inches weighing between 65 to 80 pounds whilst female labs stand 21.5 to 23.5 inches and weigh 55 to 70 pounds.  The Labrador is known for being a kind natured dog who is eager to please their owners. Their friendly and outgoing personalities make them perfect pups for families with children and other pets. Labradors need physical and mental activities to keep them happy and to prevent any destructive behaviours developing due to stored up energy or boredom. As with all dogs, temperament can vary greatly in a breed and the Lab is no different. One Labrador may have a higher required activity level in comparison to another Lab that is much more laid back, but they still all will most certainly thrive on activity. Temperament is largely influenced by lots of different factors and this is something you need to be aware of in preparation when looking into getting a puppy.  Pit Bulls absolutely love people and, even though they are pretty big dogs, this will not stop them from wanting to be as close to you as possible. They are commonly confident and very aware and perceptive of their environments – they are very good watchdogs in that they will alert you of a stranger, but they will be eager to greet this person as well. Their love for people means that they are not great guard dogs, but they have extreme courage and want to defend and protect their family. Pit Bulls need plenty of early socialisation in order to grow into a well-balanced and well-rounded adult dog. Pit Bulls are generally healthy but as with other breeds of dog they can be prone to particular health conditions. They can be prone to Hip Dysplasia, allergies, hypothyroidism and heart disease. The Labrador is a generally healthy breed, but as with the Pit Bull, they can be prone to serious health conditions. The Labrador can be prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, issues with cartilage growth, cataracts, epilepsy, heart problems, ear and eye problems and a few others. Your pup may not get these health conditions through their life or they may only get them occasionally or in old age, but it is important to be aware of the possibilities as you need to be financially able to care for your dog properly.  Labradors are in the top ten most intelligent canines in the world and this, along with their eagerness to please, makes them very easily trainable. Due to their large amount of energy and outgoing personality training is crucial with this pup in order for you to be seen as the calm and consistent canine leader in your home. Pit Bulls also need to be trained and socialised from puppyhood to overcome the breed tendencies toward being stubborn and sometimes being bossy – it’s much better to start early because as they grow older, they grow stronger and can be difficult to handle.  Both the Labrador Retriever and the Pit Bull are energetic and athletic dogs who are eager to please their owners. When looking into adding a pup into your life, it is highly recommended that you do a lot of research into the breed to make sure that they are going to be an appropriate and suitable match to you and your lifestyle.

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