Labrador Retriever

Lifespan: 10 - 12 years

Height: 22 - 25 inches

Weight: 55 - 80 pounds

Labrador Retriever Traits
  • Jogging Partner

    Trait Rating: 3 of 5
  • Lap Dog

    Trait Rating: 1 of 5
  • Good with Children

    Trait Rating: 4 of 5
  • Warm Weather

    Trait Rating: 3 of 5
  • Cold Weather

    Trait Rating: 4 of 5
  • Grooming Requirements

    Trait Rating: 2 of 5
  • Shedding

    Trait Rating: 4 of 5
  • Barking

    Trait Rating: 2 of 5
  • Ease of Training

    Trait Rating: 5 of 5


  • Despite their name, they originated in Newfoundland, not Labrador.
  • Developed from the "Lesser" Newfoundland-a medium-sized black dog that retrieved game and fish from cold waters, and even pulled small boats.
  • Although they died out in Newfoundland, the Labs we see today are descended from those that were taken to England in the early 1800s.
  • In England, they gained favor as upland game retrievers; by 1870, the name Labrador Retriever was common in England.
  • Two Labs of the 1880s, Buccleuch Avon and Ned, are widely considered to be the ancestors of all modern Labs.
  • In 1892, the first liver Labs were officially recorded, and in 1899, the first yellow Lab. However, yellow and chocolate dogs did exist before then.
  • Labs came to America as Scottish-style shooting and gamekeeping became prestigious among upper class sportsmen.
  • The breed was recognized by the English Kennel Club in 1903, and the AKC in 1917.
  • In 1938, a Lab became the first dog to appear on the cover of Life magazine, bringing the breed national attention. The Lab was also the first dog to be featured on a U.S. stamp, in 1959.
  • Labs gradually replaced other breeds as the most popular guide dogs. They are also popular search and rescue dogs, assistance dogs and contraband detection dogs.
  • Since 1991, the Labrador Retriever has been the most popular breed in America. It is also the most popular breed in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
  • U.S. President Bill Clinton owned a Labrador named Buddy, and Russian President Vladimir Putin owned a Labrador named Koni.

Labrador Retriever Behavior Concerns

  • Makes a playful and trustworthy child's companion.
  • Eager to please, but can be oblivious to corrections.
  • A happy dog, with a good old boy attitude; not easily bothered.
  • Outgoing toward strangers.
  • Gets along well with other pets and dogs.
  • Loves to retrieve, to the point of seeming compulsive.
  • Loves to swim.
  • Quick to learn, but tends to pull when on leash.
  • Does best with reward-based training involving food or retrieving.

Labrador Retriever Suggested Exercises

  • Can be a calm housedog if given adequate exercise.
  • Needs daily walks, jogs, hikes or play sessions.
  • Swimming and retrieving are favored methods of exercise.
  • Also needs mental exercise in the form of training or games.
  • Field-bred Labs are lighter built and more active than show-bred Labs, and will usually require more exercise.
  • Labs enjoy hunting, and many owners compete in field events with them.

Labrador Retriever Grooming

  • Coat is straight and thick, but fairly short.
  • Colors are black, yellow and chocolate. No other colors are considered acceptable.
  • Brushing once a week is adequate; more during shedding seasons.
  • Shedding is average to above average.

Suggested Labrador Retriever Nutritional Needs

  • Labradors have a tendency to become obese.
  • Adult dogs should be fed a balanced diet that does not allow them to become overweight.
  • Puppies should be fed a large-breed growth food, which slows their growing rate but not final size. This has been shown to decrease the incidence or severity of hip dysplasia in adults.

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