BESIDES KEEPING YOUR LAB LOOKING GOOD, grooming serves a number of functions. It's a great way to build a trusting relationship with your dog and to keep tabs on what's going on with his body. Routine grooming allows you to catch problems, such as ear infections, skin disease, parasite infestations, and tumors, before they become serious. Labs that are groomed regularly are more amenable to being handled by veterinarians, groomers, trainers, and dog-show judges. Good grooming serves a psychological function as well. Just as with people, a Lab that's well kept not only looks good but also feels good.