Sponsored by The Runner Bean Coffee Co

Lovable Labradors are now sponsored by The Runner Bean Coffee Co!

The Runner Bean team provide mobile catering to the workplace and events across West P1000948Berkshire. Coffee being at the forefront of what they do, we throughly recommend trying one of their Frothy Cappuccino’s!

Here what they have to say “Established in 2010 we are a family run mobile catering business, providing quality coffee, freshly filled sandwiches & baguettes with locally sourced ingredients – not forgetting our delicious range of hot food from the classic Cornish Pasty to mouth watering Hotdogs!

On a daily basis, we visit a number of different business parks and industrial areas in our vans, covering West Berkshire. We also attend local events and shows which is a new and exciting part of our business.
We are delighted to have been awarded 5 stars for food hygiene from West Berkshire Council and all our staff are Food Safety Certified (HACCP).”

To view their website click the following link www.therunnerbeancoffeeco.co.uk 



The Great Divide – Dual Champions

Split in the Breed

It is unlikely that there will be any more dual champion (last one being born in 1946), due to a split in the breed. This has gradually happened for a number of reasons. The Labrador is no longer purely a working dog who is judged by his abilities, As a result of his wonderful, easy going nature, he has become the most popular breed in many countries, living alongside us a family pet. This means that dogs and bitches have been bred from with gradually changing temperaments and physical features.

Field Trial

Two extremes of this are the competitive field trial dogs, who are of a lighter build than the P1030541original dogs, and, in many cases, do not possess the features required in required Breed Standard (the blueprint for the breed). Points such as otter-like tails for use as a rudder; correct, dense, water and weather resistant coats; and the general conformation that enables the dog to move about with the minimum of effort and least amount of stress on bones, joints and ligaments, are not featured highly in the breeding of field trial dogs.

Show Type

The show type of Lab has become somewhat heavier and more stockily built over the years. Many of them are not given the opportunity to show if they are capable of the doing the job that the breed was originally bred for, and it is impossible to know how much of the instinct is still there in dogs that are shown but not worked. Most Labradors will pick up things around the home, but that is a long way from displaying if they would really make good retrievers in the field. There is no way of knowing if they would be gun-shy, hard-mouthed or have the biddable temperament that is so receptive to training.

In the middle of this divide, there are a number of breeders who still strive to conform to the Breed Standard while also producing a dog that is capable of being a good shooting companion and picking-up dog.


White Labrador Magic

Is there such a thing as a white Labrador?

Officially a “white Labrador” is not a recognised colour. As you are probably already aware the Kennel Club only recognises three colours of Labrador Retriever – black, yellow (golden) and chocolate. True white Labs (not albino) are nearly always a very pale cream version of the yellow Labrador. A white Labrador should have pigmentation on their nose, dark eyes and you should still see touches of cream in their ears.

White Labrador puppiesYou can have a range of variations in colour of the yellow Labrador from a white appearance to a fashionable red fox. This is due to genetics and usually by chance. The colour of a litter of Labrador puppies can contain black, yellow and chocolate. It’s worth pointing out that two black parents can still have yellow Labradors in their litter.

Many people ask if it is possible to have a white labrador with blue eyes. The answer is yes! But only for puppies. Lab puppies can have blue eyes but they will change to beautiful golden brown after 3 – 4 months.

A good breeder will not ‘specialise’ in white labrador puppies

When choosing a puppy from a litter, temperament should be top priority and the colour should be irrelevant. A breeder should not advertise that they only specialise in white labradors for sale. A good breeder will not try to produce puppies with the aim of making them a certain colour. The most important thing to consider when breeding is improving the breed and if a white Labrador is the result, then luck is on your side!

white Labrador puppies for sale




Dog Friendly Holidays

Dog friendly holidays are in demand! A survey finds we would rather take the dog on a UK holiday than travel abroad.

A study of 800 people from across the UK looked into the attitudes of holiday goers, and found 78% of those surveyed would rather holiday in the UK than go abroad because it means they can take their dog.

The survey conducted by Fish-4Dogs also found 83% of people would rather a hotel allowed dogs than had a swimming pool. And 63% of owners will give up much needed space in the car for their canine friend to have a suitcase for their trip away.

It’s estimated that just under a quarter of people will be staying put this summer, generating £12 billion in revenue back into the country’s economy, and passionate pet owners wanting to stay with their animals is seemingly playing a part. Dog friendly holidays are big news!

Holidays with dogsThe best holidays for dogs

If you’re going away this year why not take your furry friend? We’ve searched high and low to bring you the best in dog friendly holidays, from glamping in Cornwall to a luxury hideout in the Lake District. Even consider a camper van to Europe!

  • To kick us off we found East Thorne Yurts. Nestled away in Bude, Cornwall, they have a dog friendly luxury yurt for holidays with dogs.

Holidays with dogsWith log burning stove, al fresco dining and outdoor eating area you’ll definitely be in touch with nature. Cornwall is a great place to visit beaches and take long strolls in the countryside, which your Labrador will love! Why not give it a go?

  • Have you ever tried renting a camper van? Visit www.landcruise.uk.com where they have a “Roverhome” for hire.

Dog friendly holidaysThis is dog friendly holidays Camper Van Style! Travel anywhere in the U.K. or Europe with your dog and little fuss or hassle. Most camp sites are also dog friendly so there will be no problems there. The best thing we love about this one is the versatility of the camper van, allowing you to travel to multiple destinations. Imagine all the lovely walks you can en bark on!

  • Last but not least, how about a dog friendly self catering holiday to the Lake District?

Holidays with dogsWe found the four star Windermere Marina Village ( pictured above). Beautifully furnished and fully equipped in the heart of the Lake District at Bowness on Windermere. It’s a great place to base yourself and take in the views. With many miles of rights of way, you can walk, cycle and ride to your heart’s content. Your Labrador will be in seventh heaven!

When booking holidays with dogs, bear in mind dogs are like children and are never happier than when they are running free and rolling in dirt! Dog friendly holidays should include lots of exercise and fresh air so consider your destination carefully and not just the accommodation where you will stay. Check the property description so you know what your surroundings will be like and what amenities are close by. For many dogs, a holiday with their owners is a great opportunity for quality time with the family.



Labrador Retrievers Working


Remember Endal the Labrador Retriever assistance dog? Endal is the most decorated dog in the world, receiving awards such as PDSA’s Gold Medal for Animal Gallantry and Devotion to Duty and Dog of the Millennium.

Labrador Retriever Endal

Endal was also the first dog to ride on the London Eye and the first known dog to work a “chip and pin” ATM card. Endal assisted Allen Parton his owner/handler in many ways such as shopping and emptying the washing machine. Endal also dragged his owner into the recovery position, pulled a blanket over him and ran to a hotel barking for help when Allen had an accident. 

Sadly Endal passed away at the age of 12 years in March 2009. There is a film being produced about him.


Guide Dogs For The Blind

Have you considered sponsoring a puppy? Guide Dogs do a fantastic job in training their puppies and the prospective owners. From 14-17 months they will begin their proper training at the guide dog training school. Before this they would have learnt basic commands such as “sit” with a guide dogs volunteer.

By 20-22 months the puppy would have finished his training and be matched with a person with sight loss.

Currently there are three lovely puppies – Rio, Freddie and Katy (see below) all looking to be sponsored! Rio and Katy are both Golden Retriever cross Labrador Retriever and Freddie is a Golden Retriever cross German Shepherd.

Guide Dog Puppies

Sponsor a puppy from just £1 a week, and you’ll receive regular “Pupdates”, so you can follow your puppy’s journey to becoming a life-changing companion for a blind or partially sighted person.

Read more and sponsor on the Guide Dog’s website by clicking here


Looking to Join a Labrador Retriever Club?

Here is a list of the UK Labrador Retriever clubs – provided by The Kennel Club

Labrador Retriever ClubJoining a Labrador Retriever Club enables you to attend championship dog shows for reduced price, attend training classes, receive newsletters and find out more about the breed.

Click on each club for more information.

Name Location
Cotswold & Wyevern Labrador Retriever Club Gloucestershire
East Anglian Labrador Retriever Club East England
Kent, Surrey & Sussex Labrador Retriever Club South East and London
Labrador Club Of Scotland Scotland
Labrador Retriever Club National
Labrador Retriever Club Of Northern Ireland Northern Ireland
Labrador Retriever Club Of Wales Wales
Midland Counties Labrador Retriever Club West Midlands
North West Labrador Retriever Club Lancashire
Northumberland & Durham Labrador Retriever Club Northumberland
Three Ridings Labrador Club West Yorkshire
West Of England Labrador Retriever Club North West England
Yellow Labrador Club National

Is Your Dog Microchipped?

What is it?

A microchip is simply an integrated circuit that’s about the size of a grain of rice and is implanted under the skin of your dog, between his shoulders. Basically, a microchip is a permanent way to identify your dog. Every microchip has an identification number, and all of these numbers are stored in a special database. If someone finds your dog and he has a microchip, the identification number will come up when he’s scanned. The vet, shelter worker, or whoever scanned your dog will then contact the microchip company to find out your contact information and then your pet will be returned to you.

How’s it done and does it hurt?

A special device is used to inject the microchip under the skin. It’s a quick procedure that shouldn’t hurt any more than a regular vaccination.

Where can I get it done?

Your local vet and some dog groomers should be able to microchip your pet and it usually costs around £20-£30. Some animal charities also offer this service free of charge.

Why is it important?

Animal charities and local authorities use scanners to check stray animals for microchips. If they don’t have one it’s almost impossible to reunite them with their family. By microchipping your pet, you’ve got a much higher chance of seeing them again if they go missing and it would mean fewer animals were destroyed because no home can be found for them.


Do Dog’s Dream?

Considering dogs spend a large portion of the day sleeping, have you ever wondered if they dream?  Well the answer to that is yes, dogs do dream.

DSC00292It has been a topic of debate for many years as to whether animals dream or not.

To find out the answer, scientists monitored the brains of rats while they were awake and performing tasks such as running around tracks and collecting food, and then compared the brain activity collected to that of the rats while they were sleeping.  The results showed that there was almost the exact same pattern indicating that the rats were indeed dreaming.

It’s likely that all mammals dream, but why do we dream?

We still do not know the reason why sleep is so important to animals, but it appears to help with growth and repair of our body systems.  During sleep our brain also processes information and experiences gained throughout the day.

There are two main types of sleep, rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and non rapid eye (non-REM) movement sleep.  During REM sleep, the dreamer’s eyes move erratically and the brain activity mirrors that of the animal when awake.  Dreams occur mainly during this REM phase.

So what do you think our furry friends dream about?  Perhaps meal time or playing with their owners?

Chances are all of the above and more.  Pretty much anything your pet does during the day will be processed while they are asleep and relived during dreams.  This is the reason for twitching whiskers, whimpering and running paws we quite often observe.

Just like humans, their dreams may not always be pleasant ones or even based on realistic experiences however these are generally a lot less frequent.  Instead our pet’s dreams are more than likely to be filled of chasing toys, playing with their owners and eating all their favourite treats.  It’s a dream life for our pets!


Can dogs drink milk?

Well, it depends on your dog’s specific chemistry…
Some dogs enjoy a dairy treat with no apparent problems, whilst others experience a range of intestinal symptoms in changing severity, such as wind, pain, diarrhoea or vomiting. So…..

….Can dogs drink milk?

It basically depends on how your dog digests lactose. You may have heard of lactose intolerance in humans. Lactose is a nutrient found in milk comprising of two sugar molecules chemically bonded together. This is where the problem arises for dogs, as in order to be digested the lactose must be first broken down into basic sugars.
It is essential for your dog to produce its own lactase enzyme to digest the lactose found in milk, and dog’s can not reliably do this. If you notice loose stools or your dog develops gas after consuming dairy products, then he’s probably lactose intolerant. Do not experiment with puppies or seniors by giving them cows’ milk at such a vulnerable life stage.

Can dogs drink milk?Lactose is present in varying amounts in dairy products. Fresh milk contains an approximate percentage of 5% lactose. Chedder cheese contains less than 2%. Typically the more fat in the product, the less lactose. Small amounts of cheese are actually a good snack for your dog if well tolerated, although it can be high in calories. Cottage cheese and yoghurt (fermented or cultured dairy products) are easier on your dogs’ gut as the fermentation process breaks down the lactose.

Lactose free milk was created for humans that are lactose intolerant, or have a sensitivity to it – it was not created for dogs! Actually we are the only species that drinks another species’ milk.
In rare circumstances a dog may have an allergy to a milk protein.

Can dogs drink milk from other sources than a dairy cow?

If you are looking to try your dog on something different to drink as an occasional indulgence, there are milk treats which you can give your dog such as TopLife formula, available is some supermarkets.This is specifically formulated for dogs from goats’ milk – which can be far easier to digest than cows’ milk. However there is no evidence that a dog needs to drink milk after they’re a newborn puppy.

Can dogs drink milk?Puppies will drink their mother’s milk, but once they’ve weaned themselves they no longer need milk of any sort. Weaning can start from the age of 3 weeks and usually complete by the age of 7 weeks. For orphans or puppies whose mothers reject them, you can purchase a puppy milk replacer suitable for the first few months of life. Puppy milk is easily digestible and can also benefit convalescing dogs, nursing mothers and senior dogs. Puppy milk will boost their immune systems and provide readily available nutrition. Discuss with your Vet if you are considering giving your dog puppy milk replacer.

Can dogs drink milk…? The answer is that they do not need to drink milk as it is not a natural food for them. The digestion of milk depends on a dogs varying ability to produce lactase to breakdown the lactose found in milk and may risk some bad side effects. A dog will receive all of it’s nutrition from dog food. Treats can be in the form of specially made dog biscuits or dog chews.


A Dog Harness Or Collar?

It’s often asked what is better for your dog. The dog harness or the leather dog collar…

The Dog Harness

Pros of the dog harness:

  • A properly fitted harness will give the walker much more control over the dog particularly over pulling, lunging or jumping behaviours.
  • Large dogs that are difficult to control should always be walked on a harness.
  • Dogs which have not been trained to walk, or who have not been socialised with other people and animals, should be walked on a harness.
  • A dog harness is best for use in brachycephalic dog breeds – which have flattened facial features – as these dogs can develop respiratory stress if too much pressure is put on their throat and neck area.
  • A harness should always be used to walk miniature and toy dog breeds as injury to their delicate esophagus and trachea may occur through collar pressure.

Dog Collars UKCons of the dog harness:

  • A dog harness can be difficult to put on and take off, and a harness should not be left on a dog for long periods of time.
  • Practice taking the harness on and off your dog a few times, once you – and your dog – are more comfortable with how the harness fits, it should be easier to use the harness in the future.
  • A harness should be removed after walks or training exercises are over; for this reason, rabies and identification tags should not be placed on a harness. Instead, many pet owners use a small light collar to hold their dog’s tags so the tags remain with the dog at all times.

Leather Dog Collars

Leather is a great choice for clothing and accessories that receive a lot of wear. It comes in many varieties, ranging from soft, supple leather to tough, durable varieties. Leather also works for dog collars, since it is robust yet gentle, and will last a long time if correctly cared for. When owners reside in regions that are not too damp, leather dog collars can be some of the most durable accessories for any dog. Good quality leather collars can last for the lifetime of your pet, so it is worth the outlay advises Pete from a dog collars UK based company. He suggests that:

Labradors owners should choose collars that are about 1.5 inches wide. The right size should be loose enough so the width of two fingers can fit between the neck and the collar. Young Labs will grow quickly so it is important to regularly check this.

Dog Collars UKPros of leather dog collars: 

  • Stocked in virtually all stores, can be worn most of the time (always keep an eye on your dog though).
  • Quite affordable in price.
  • Durable
  • Ideal for attaching ID tags.
  • Some collars feature a ”quick release” option similar to luggage strap fasteners which allow owners to get them on and off readily with no hassle.

Cons of leather dog collars:

  • Adjust this collar too loose and your dog may slip out of it, adjust it too tight and your dog may cough and gag.
  • Some small and delicate dogs may get a collapsed trachea from wearing a buckle collar and pulling with too much force.
  • Some dogs learn how to back out of this collar when frightened or excited.

Overall verdict

We believe that for walking dogs it is beneficial to use a dog harness rather than a leather dog collar. The harness has the extra capability of controlling your dog and will protect them against damage to the throat area.

Dog collars UK