Labrador Retriever Dog Breed Information

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Labrador Retrievers are bright, energetic, and friendly. These traits have made them popular companion dogs and excellent working dogs.

The Labrador Retriever is the most popular breed in America today. As hardworking and good-natured as their ancestors, this breed was initially bred to be a hunting and retrieval dog. Labradors excel in many canine jobs, such as assistance dogs, search and rescue dogs, and show competitors.

Vital Stats

Dog Breed Group

Sporting Dogs


65-80 pounds (male)55-70 pounds (female)


22.5-24.5 inches (male)21.5-23.5 inches (female)


10-12 years

Breed Characteristics & Traits

About the Breed

Labrador Retrievers have been America’s most popular dog breed since 1991. These outgoing, friendly, and high-spirited dogs are great companions for a family looking for a dog with lots of energy.The Lab is a hardy, well-balanced dog. Males stand from 21.5 to 24.5 inches at the shoulder, and females stand from 21.5 to 23.5 inches at the shoulder; both sexes weigh between 55 to 80 pounds. The coat comes in chocolate, black, and yellow.The Labrador’s head is broad, with eyes that glimmer with kindness. His thick, tapering tail seems to be signaling their eagerness.Labrador Retrievers are friendly, sociable housemates who bond with the whole family. They socialize well with everyone: neighbor dogs and humans alike. Just don’t mistake the Labrador’s easygoing personality for laziness. A healthy lab needs regular exercise, such as playing fetch or swimming.

Labrador Retriever Breed Appearance

Labrador Retrievers have a smooth, short-to medium-length coat and webbed toes, making them great athletes and water dogs. Their ruddered tail is ideal for swimming, and their foot webbing makes it easy to be tough in cold climates.Labrador Retrievers are born in various colors: the yellow Lab, chocolate Lab, and black Lab. A “golden Lab” is not a Lab at all but instead is the result of a crossbreeding of the Golden Retriever and a Labrador Retriever.Labrador retrievers fall into two categories, the field or working variety (the “American” type) and the show variety (the “English” type).The field Labs have lighter bones, a narrower head, a longer and less dense coat, and a longer muzzle. Their activity level is higher; these Labs are built to work.The Show variety of Labradors tends to have shorter legs, a more dense coat, and a broader head than the field variety, making it better suited as a family pet.Labrador Retrievers shed twice a year or year-round in temperate climates. To prevent the dreaded blowout of their undercoat, Labs require daily brushing during shedding months.

Labrador Retriever Personality

Labrador Retrievers are known for their sweet personalities, which is not surprising considering they were originally bred as hunting companions. They’re outgoing, eager to please, and friendly with people and animals alike.In addition to a sweet personality, they are easy to train and are pretty devoted, making them great family dogs. This breed also needs a good amount of exercise and mental stimulation to be happy. Some Labrador Retrievers are more excitable than others. They love to play, fetch and swim.

Labrador Retriever History

In the early 19th century, some of the North American water dogs used by hunters were shipped to England. Many of these multipurpose dogs were of the Newfoundland type, known as “St. John’s” dogs. In England, The St. John’s dog was developed and refined into the breed we know today.As their name suggests, Labrador retrievers are outstanding retrievers and especially enjoy retrieving in water. These dogs work as partners with duck hunters in all kinds of weather and conditions.Their intelligence and desire to work with people have led to many other jobs and their status as popular dogs.Today, Labradors make excellent pets, especially for families, as service dogs, scenting dogs for the military, search and rescue dogs, and hunting companions. They are also very talented in many other areas, including performance events.These dogs were so well-liked that they were ranked the most popular dog breed in America in the mid-1990s, a position they intend to hold onto. Even though they are indoor pets, they are even more at home outdoors.It is important to remember that Labradors were bred as water retrievers, and very young puppies show a desire to carry things around and an attraction to water.

What To Expect When Caring For a Labrador Retriever

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