Labrador Retrievers
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Description Of A Labrador Retriever: Part 3

All Labrador Retrievers are either a solid black, a solid yellow, or a solid chocolate. A white spot on the chest is permissible. All the colors should have the correct double coat. The thick undercoat lies under the topcoat. The topcoat should be a bit rough to the touch and does not have to lie flat. In fact, if the coat is too slick, the dog probably does not have a good undercoat and would not be useful as a retriever in cold waters.

The undercoat acts as insulation and, working in conjunction with the coat's natural oil, helps to repel water. The Labrador does not feel the cold the way a single-coated dog does. Another aspect of this coat is the special look that it gives the breed.

All four legs should have good, thick bone, the front legs coming straight down from the shoulders. The rear legs should be well bent at the knee or stifle. The hind quarters should be thick with well-muscled thighs. The hocks should not be too long and should also be well bent and well let down (not one continuous line from buttocks to the foot). Picture about a six-inch section from the foot to the hock joint and then a little jog, toward the front, and on up to the stifle. The view from behind the dog should not be narrow but rather hefty.

The tail should be set right off the back. In other words, you should see one straight line from the withers to the tip of the tail. If the tail is set too low or if the tail is set too high, the picture will be spoiled. As a Labrador moves, the tail usually wags happily from side to side. It should never be carried curled up over the back like a hound's tail. A tail that is carried too low or between the legs will give the appearance of timidity.

Timidity is a word that is not in the Labrador dictionary. This very important tail, which should not be too long (not below the hock), acts like a rudder when the dog is swimming. It is sometimes called an otter tail because it is thick at the base and tapers down to a tip, like the tail of an otter. The tail should be well covered with a very distinctive short, dense coat. The underside of the tail should never have any long feathery hair on it.

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