There is quite a controversy about miniature Labradors. Do they even exist?
Sadly, there have been instances of breeders trying to create a mini breed of Lab.
Yet this goes completely against nature and, for the life of me, I can't see why anyone would want to try and temper with the most wonderful breed of dog.
If you are a dog lover, you are aware of how wonderful a pet a Labrador Retriever can make.
Although originally hunting dogs, their gentle and friendly disposition, and extremely energetic nature make them the perfect pet for families with young children, as well as canine companions to the elderly.
They are also known to work extremely well as guide dogs for the sightless.
This popular breed is also preferred for their faithful nature and rather trainable quality, as well as their beautiful, lustrous coat and color.
Contrary to popular belief, these kind of Labs are not a different breed of dogs; however, they are merely a size variation of the same breed. Some even doubt the existence of such a breed of Labradors and point to Labrador dwarfism (see below).
The Miniature Labrador is a crossbreed, bred due to demands from pet-owners and some breeders. Apparently though mini Labs are registered as a sub-group within the Labrador breed, with the American Kennel Club.
They retain most of the same characteristics as their pure breed Labrador counterparts, but are much smaller in size.
But, as far as many are concerned, the only real mini Labs are puppies, like the fellas in the picture below:
Labrador dwarfism might be caused by one of two reasons: an abnormality of the pituitary gland may stunt the growth of a dog, but the more common reason is usually inbreeding.
Inbreeding of Labrador retrievers can result in a dog receiving two of the same defective gene, which, other than limiting their growth, also gives rise to many health issues, including retinal dysplasia.
This type of Labrador also significantly alters the bone and muscle structure of Labradors, rendering them incapable of their normal energetic behavior.
Miniature Labradors are often also bred with ordinary Labradors, in order for them to retain their appearance and characteristics. However, the breeding of the mini Lab makes way for many health defects in these dogs.
Health problems such as hip and elbow dysplasia, Retinal atrophy, and hypothyroidism, are twice as likely to occur in mini Labs, if they are not bred according to strict regulations, which the breeders often fail to follow.
In conclusion, it can be said that although mini Labs could make amazing pets, because they retain most of the appreciable qualities of regular Labradors, and are also much easier to handle because of their smaller size, they are also a lot more susceptible to common ailments and more serious health conditions, than purebred Labrador retrievers.
It might therefore be a more sensible thing to do, to choose a normal Labrador over a ‘mini-lab’ when you adopt a pet.
Chances are that you will be rewarded with good health and great energy levels in your pet, which is less than likely to happen with this type of Labradors, especially as they get older.
While hybrids are often more convenient pets than purebreds, because they are designed to suit the needs of the owner, it is often extremely cruel to the animal itself.
As a pet owner therefore, it is up to you to make the right decision and choose a healthy and pure bred Lab rather than a miniature type of Labrador.