Breed group : Sporting, Terrier
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GENERALBreed group: Sporting, Terrier Type: Hybrid
Talent: Agility, Competitive obedience, Hunting, Military work, Police work, Retrieving, Sighting, Watchdog
PHYSICALSize: Medium Weight: 55 - 90 lbs Fur length: Ears: Flappy Fur type: Straight
Fur Color: Black, Black & Brown, Black & White, Brown & White, Dark Brown / Chocolate, White / Cream
ATTRIBUTESLife Expectancy: 10 - 13 years Rarity: Uncommon Availability: Hard to find
Climate: Good for every climate
The Lab'Aire is typically an easygoing, curious and playful animal that can nevertheless be trained to look out for and protect its owners. A medium-sized animal with the double coat of its parent breeds,. the Airedale, with its even temper and naturally kind disposition, makes it suitable as a family animal. Yet, its heritage of hunting and retrieving, coupled with its athleticism, also predisposes it to police or military work , and also makes it a good choice as service animals for the handicapped.
Lab'Aires can come in colors similar to the parent breeds. This ranges from yellow (normally medium to dark), brown and black. Like Labradors, they can have a smattering of white on their chest, face and paws. The 'saddle' of the Airedale is rarely seen in this breed, though.
The hard, wiry overcoat overlays a shorter, straighter undercoat; both are close to the skin and provides dense protection and insulation against water or the cold. The fur around the eyes and muzzle can be longer and shaggier than the rest of the body, typical of terrier heritage.
Lab'Aires love play and are fairly energetic animals when given their head. They are trusting and curious, and are great eaters. They can react in alarm to unseen disturbances by barking, but are not generally noise. When paired with suitably exposed and instructed children, they can provide boundless energy and protective companionship, making them ideal family animals. They can be fearless, but are not aggressive by nature.
Lab'Aires love to eat, and owners have to watch their diet carefully, as they tend towards obesity if left unguarded. Also, they have to be allowed to rest for a sufficient after eating, before being taken for exercise. This reduces chances of gastric torsion, or bloating, which can be fatal if untended. Their dense coat shed at least twice a year; regular hand-stripping is recommended, to reduce skin dermatitis.
Their steady temperament makes them ideal for training as service dogs for the handicapped, and their intelligence lends them easily to 'human' tasks, such learning to recognize and respond to emergency situations.
For an energetic animal of its size, the Lab'Aire should ideally be taken out twice a day, for 30 - 45 minutes each time. They enjoy games, and can run and fetch for hours. Care has to be taken that they do not overextend themselves, though, as this can lead to difficulty in breathing. They also love playing in and around water, which is not surprising, given their ancestry. Exercise should be regular, not only to exhaust high energy levels, but also as a form of weight control.