The housing issue is the main reason that prevents people from having the dog of their dreams. So, the Labradors that are in great demand are quite impressive in size, which does not allow them to be kept in one or two-room apartments. But few people know that there are Labradors whose sizes are much smaller than the established norms.
Mini Labrador Retriever: Defect or Breed?
According to the appearance standard approved by the International Cynological Federation, the growth of an adult thoroughbred Labrador must be at least 56 cm in males and at least 54 cm in females. All deviations from the norm are considered genetic defects.
Important! Often, the growth of mini-Labradors differs from the standard by 20-15 cm.
That is why mini-labradors, whose growth is far from the official parameters, are unrecognized and not registered as a separate species. Dogs with such a feature of appearance are not allowed to participate in competitions and exhibitions, they are not included in the stud books, they are not allowed to participate in breeding the breed.
Origin of Mini Labradors
According to one of the versions, the first mini-labrador appeared as a result of a genetic mutation. The mother of the puppy who did not grow to normal size was a full-fledged female, and the father was a male with dwarfism.
Important! Many unscrupulous breeders pass off dog dwarfism as an expensive and rare trait.
According to the second version, which also has the right to exist, undersized Labradors evolved from the crossing of close relatives. Puppies born as a result of inbreeding have the same set of genes that negatively affect growth and physical development. In other words, puppies stop developing before reaching the norm.
The third version claims that miniature Labradors were born to a purebred female from an outbred male. Most likely, the father of “yard blood” was much lower than his thoroughbred lover, which influenced the growth of puppies born from their relationship.
In addition, various diseases and pathologies can affect the growth retardation of puppies:
- lack of growth hormone;
- improper functioning of the kidneys, thyroid gland, blood vessels, and heart;
- dysplasia of the skeleton.
It is not worth believing that mini-Labradors were specially bred abroad for hunting or serving in the police. It is also a lie that in other countries, dogs with such a feature are very popular and in demand. According to the rules, breeders are not allowed to put up such puppies for sale, even those who have an impressive pedigree.
Mini Labrador Retriever: Temperament
By their nature, Labradors are very intelligent, friendly, and completely harmless. However, it cannot be said that these positive character traits were passed on to their miniature brethren. Even if in childhood the puppy behaves in the same way as his thoroughbred good-natured parents, it is impossible to give guarantees that anger and aggression will not appear in him at two or three years of age.
Most often, individuals born as a result of mixing different breeds can “delight” their owners with completely unexpected character traits and behavioral features. So, “non-standards” may show hysteria, fearfulness, and hyperactivity. Such dogs may have problems with socialization and training, it takes more time and effort to educate and train them.
Mini Labradors: Pros and Cons
The pros of dwarf Labradors include:
- compact size;
- benevolence that can be passed on to them from purebred parents.
Among the existing cons, it is worth highlighting:
- dislike for loneliness;
- year-round molt;
- the need for long walks in the fresh air;
- more likely to have health and parenting problems.
Miniature Labrador Retrievers: Diseases and How Long They Live
Purebred individuals can live for about 14 years. Dogs that have certain developmental problems rarely live to be 8-10 years old. Puppies born from close relatives most often have practically no immunity, often get sick, and age much faster.
Individuals with any genetic disorders are more vulnerable to viral and infectious diseases. Their bones and teeth develop much worse. They may have impaired functioning of the liver and intestines. Mini Labradors are prone to strokes, allergies, hydrocephalus.
Important! Dwarf dogs must be neutered without fail. In addition to performing the main task, castration helps to normalize the work of the brain, stabilizes the hormonal background, improves the behavior of the animal, making it more affectionate and obedient.
How to Care for a Mini Labrador
Miniature Labradors need care, perhaps even more than the standard breed. They must be fed strictly with those products that the veterinarian will allow. Bathing is often prohibited, combing and cutting should be done as needed. Also, attention should be paid to the eyes, ears, claws, and teeth of dogs.
Important! Due to its weak immunity, the mini-labrador must be vaccinated and antiparasitic treatment in the spring and summer.
What experts do not advise to do is to involve professional dog handlers in the training of dwarf Labradors. Due to its unpredictable behavior and often difficult nature, professional training may not bring the desired results.
Those who want to give a chance for a happy life to a mini-Labrador rejected by breeders will have to spend a lot of time looking for a special puppy. Most often, advertisements for the sale of such dogs are posted on the Internet or in newspapers.