Labrador Retriever


The Labrador Retriever is the most popular of all dog breeds in the U.S. This large, handsome Retriever is solidly built with a deep and wide chest, short level back, and powerful hindquarters. The Labrador’s outer coat is short, dense and straight without any curl. The Lab’s undercoat is completely water repellent. Colors are solid black, yellow or chocolate brown; occasionally with a small white mark on his chest. Labrador males stand 22 to 24 inches tall and females stand 21 to 23 inches tall at shoulder height. Male Labs can weigh from 60 to 75 pounds and females from 50 to 70 pounds. Labradors are members of the American Kennel Club (AKC) Sporting Dog Group. See additional information on
choosing a Labrador Retriever.
Labrador Retriever Pictures


This breed originated in Newfoundland, Canada where it was developed to help fishermen haul in their fish nets. Labs came to England in the late 19th century and were trained as outstanding hunting or gun dogs. Labradors have a good nose for tracking and are famous for their “soft mouth” that enables them to retrieve game without damaging it. Labs have excelled at competitive retriever field trials as well as guide dogs for the blind and for narcotics and bomb detection. This versatile breed was ranked 1st out of 154 dog breeds in 2004 AKC registrations.


There are not enough superlatives to describe this breed. Labrador Retrievers are one of the best family dogs in the world. The Lab is gentle, loyal, intelligent and extremely reliable with children. These Retrievers are not apartment dogs but can adapt well to city living if they are given sufficient exercise. These dogs love to swim and should be given lots of opportunities to retrieve sticks from the water in all kinds of weather. The Labrador is good natured and eager to learn and can be easily trained to do everything from competitive obedience and field trials to becoming a “seeing-eye” dog for the blind. Most Labs love to chew and they should be provided with lots of chew-toys that they can carry around in their mouths. Some male dogs can be stubborn and try to dominate the owner. Early obedience training will make this breed much more manageable. Despite welcoming most burglars into your house, the Lab will let you know
they are breaking in. Labs make pretty good watchdogs and do well with first-time dog owners.


Labrador Retrievers are hunting dogs and do need lots of exercise which should include off-leash retrieving games. The Lab should also be taken swimming and water retrieving as often as possible. Labs have a tendency to overeat and must not be allowed to become fat or they will lose their will to run and play games.


A weekly brushing is sufficient except brush it more often when the Lab is shedding.

Health Considerations:

Labradors should live for 10 to 12 years and have some common health problems including hip and elbow dysplasia, eye problems, low thyroid, heart disease, epilepsy and cancer. There is an overabundance of breeders trying to meet the demand and as a result there are poor quality Labs being produced. Ask to see the parents’ health clearances before buying.

Article type: xdogbreed