Dog Breeds: L

The Labradoodle is a designer breed that results from crossing a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle. Because it is not a breed, the Labradoodle’s characteristics are not quite consistent and both temperament and appearance vary. Initially created to be hypoallergenic guide dogs, Labradoodles became popular as family pets, getting people’s attention for their friendliness and joyfulness. Loving and affectionate, Labradoodles are also active, high-energy dogs.

The Labrador Husky is an intelligent dog from Canada bred for sled pulling and as a companion. It is friendly and easy to train, but with incredible stamina, and needs daily vigorous exercise – ideally, in a home with a yard. It is good with children and large dogs, but has a strong prey drive that may be problematic for households with cats and small dogs.

The Labrador Retriever is a medium sized, outgoing, friendly and intelligent dog, originally from Canada but developed in England, to retrieve fowl during shoots. An exceptionally lively but popular and highly trainable breed, which requires plenty of exercise to combat weight gain and is exceptionally good with children. The Labrador has a weather-proof coat, which sheds but does not require specialist grooming. Selection of a healthy family line is important to avoid some inherited health conditions.

A breed of dog traditionally used to guard linen set out in fields and watch over livestock, the Laekenois Dog is a rare breed of Belgian Shepherd Dog that is still frequently used as a working animal to this day. High energy, this dog benefits from an active lifestyle, and should be given a job to do if at all possible.

The Lagotto Romagnolo is thought to be the ancestral breed of other European water retrievers. Originally kept to retrieve ducks from the swamps in Romagna, Northern Italy, the Lagotto Romagnolo nearly disappeared forever. However, a renewed interest in the breed kept this hard-working breed alive. Active, intelligent and playful, the Lagotto will certainly keep you on your toes!

The Lakeland Terrier is a sturdy and intelligent small dog, developed in its native Lake District to hunt and kill foxes bigger than itself. Far removed from this setting, the breed makes an excellent family dog, particularly for households without other pets. Its wiry coat does not shed, however, its tendency to bark means it may not be suitable for densely populated urban areas.

Bred as a nimble and brave drover’s dog in the Northwest of England, the Lancashire Heeler is a rare breed with a loyal following. It is an active, clever, and spirited breed that needs plenty of exercise and a firm owner. Its tendency to nip at ankles makes it unsuitable for very young children, and it may not always get along with smaller pets.

The Landseer is a gentle, affable, giant breed dog that originated in Canada but developed further in the Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland. Originally used to retrieve fishing nets, these dogs are great swimmers and have been known to rescue drowning people. They are perfect family pets, love children of all ages, and make excellent guardians.

The Lapponian Herder is an intelligent, energetic, docile, and friendly herding dog originally from Finland. In addition to being an excellent family pet, these dogs excel in herding and other activities that require sustained physical activity. They are good with children and with other dogs if socialised early.

Few non-hunting homes can provide the exercise and stimulation that this versatile and energetic German gundog requires. However, for hunters looking for an all-rounder that will double as a cheerful and tractable family pet, the Large Münsterländer may be the perfect breed. With its very strong prey drive, it does not mix well with smaller animals, but is very sociable with other dogs.

The Leonberger was bred to resemble a lion, but its temperament is anything but fierce. This gentle giant is renowned for its affectionate and submissive nature with its owners, and is sweet enough to make a suitable pet for children of all ages, despite often weighing over 60 kg. The breed is playful and energetic, needing a moderate amount of exercise and regular brushing.

Lhasa Apsos were bred by the monks of ancient Tibet to be brave and confident sentinel dogs. As a result, this is a small dog with a big attitude! Distrustful of strangers, but loyal to his family, the Lhasa requires plenty of socialisation, and is not a dog for young children. The breed’s coat requires a lot of grooming, but they do not require much exercise, and can adapt to indoor living.

The Lithuanian Hound is an intelligent, energetic scent hound bred for hunting rabbit, fox, and boar in its native country of Lithuania. These dogs are loyal companions but require vigorous daily exercise. They are great with older children, other dogs, and families with an active, outdoor lifestyle. They are not recommended for households with cats.

The Löwchen is a small dog with lots of personality. Inquisitive, intelligent and affectionate, they were the lap dog of choice for European aristocracy for many centuries. Traditionally, they were clipped to appear like lions, and while they will bravely announce the approach of a stranger the resemblance ends there. They are playful little dogs who love attention and company.

A wonderful little companion, the Lucas Terrier is a good-natured dog that loves human companionship and is always up for a game. While originally bred to hunt small quarry, this breed is now mostly kept as a pet and gets on extremely well with young children and other dogs. Very smart, the Lucas Terrier is highly trainable.