Labrador Retriever

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55-70 lbs
21-23"
Canada
Golden Lab, Golden Labrador Retriever, Gladder Retriever

The Labrador was originally called the St. John’s Water Dog after the capital city of Newfoundland, off the North-eastern Atlantic coast of Canada. It was here that the trusty Lab helped the local fishermen to haul in their nets out of the icy water, and to retrieve any fish that had escaped. Because of their lovely nature, they became firm family companion dogs as well. Today most Labradors will shirk the work willingly to live a pampered life with their family, but they do make ideal therapy dogs bringing much pleasure to the elderly and hospitals. They also make great guide dogs for the blind, and assistant dogs for the disabled. This breed is still used as a working dog for search and rescue, or with hunters to retrieve game. They have a keen sense of smell and can be trained to do almost anything (with a lot of patience required). The only thing they are not good at is being a guard dog. Their friendly nature will welcome anyone to the home, and they are more likely to show them where the valuables are stashed than chasing them away! But overall, they excel at being a loyal companion and friend and have a mellow patient nature.

Purpose
water retrieving
Date of Origin
1800s
Ancestry
st. john's dog

Labrador Retriever Health

Average Size
Height: 22-24 inches Weight: 65-80 lbs
Height: 21-23 inches Weight: 55-70 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Gastric Torsion
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Epilepsy
  • Osteochondritis Dissecans
Minor Concerns
  • Otitis Externa
  • Cataract
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
Occasional Tests
  • Eye
  • Hip
  • Elbow
  • X-Rays
  • Eye Examination
  • Physical Examination
  • Ear Examination

Labrador Retriever Breed History

In the 1700s, the Labrador was known as the St. John’s Water Dog after the capital of Newfoundland. Here, it helped fishermen with their nets and retrieved any fish that fell from the nets. Later, this breed was renamed the Labrador after the Labrador Sea, which was the geographical location of its development. The records show that the Labrador, or its first direct ancestor, was exported to England in the 1820s. The second Earl of Malmesbury was one of the first to own a Labrador and it was because they were so good at retrieving during hunting that they became popular. It was the third Earl of Malmesbury who first referred to the dogs as Labradors. The breed nearly became extinct in the 1880s but was saved by the Malmesbury family and select English breeders. Sadly, in Newfoundland, the breed disappeared because of strict government restrictions and their tax laws. The families were only allowed to keep one dog, and owning a female was highly taxed. Because of this, female puppies were culled from the litters. Thankfully, the breed survived in England, with the breed officially recognised in 1903. In the 1920’s British Labradors were imported to establish the breed in the United States, and as they say… the rest is history.

Labrador Retriever Breed Appearance

The Labrador is built for sport – especially swimming. They are muscular and athletic and have an easy care short coat. Placid by nature, and keen to please they are friendly to all. Labs are devoted and loving people friendly dogs, and live to serve their families. Labradors have a short top coat and a thick, dense undercoat that is waterproof. It is ideal for cold weather and icy water. The head of the Labrador is broad, and it has a moderate stop. The nose color can vary with a black nose on the black and yellow Labradors, and brown on the chocolate Labrador. They have strong jaws, with teeth that meet in a scissor or level bite. With a wide muzzle and strong, powerful neck, the Labrador has a body that is slightly longer than its height. These dogs are known for their friendly expressive eyes, often brown or golden brown in color, although the chocolate coated lab can have hazel colored eyes. The eyes are rimmed in black, giving their medium sized eyes a classic look. On a Labrador, the ears are medium in size, pendant shaped and hang down. Their tail is like an otter’s tail, it is thick at the base and tapers to the tip and assists in their swimming, as does their strong, compact webbed feet. The lab has a free and easy gait. The English Labs are heavier and blockier while the U.S. Labrador is taller and lankier. In America, the Labrador Retriever has become the most popular breed, an honor it retains to this day.

Eye Color Possibilities
Hazel
Brown
Amber
Nose Color Possibilities
Black
Brown
Coat Color Possibilities
Cream
Brown
Black
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Labrador Retriever Breed Maintenance

Grooming is fairly easy with a Labrador Retriever, a good brushing daily to keep the shedding under control and can even use your vacuum cleaner to go over their coat if they are used to the noise. They do need a bath, usually about every two months or so unless they have found something disgusting to roll in which Labs seem to like doing. They are usually very patient when being bathed, enjoying the extra attention, but watch when you let them out after drying them off; they will head for a dirt patch to roll in! Other maintenance requirements are a regular ear check, as dirt and bacteria can build up inside, causing inflammation and a bad smell. Never insert anything deep into the ear canal, just clean the outer ear. Daily brushing of their teeth using an appropriate pet toothpaste is best, never use human toothpaste for your dog as it can produce a severe reaction. A busy Labrador’s nails will keep short naturally, but if your Lab is clicking its way across the floor, then the nails need trimming. It will help prevent any scratching if they jump up on visitors. If you make grooming a positive experience filled with praise and rewards, the rest will be easy. These dogs can be quite active and need regular exercise, and it helps to have a big fenced yard where they can roam. As they are prone to weight gain, as well as bloating, feed your dog meals several times a day rather than one big feed a day to keep them in shape and healthy.

Brushes for Labrador Retriever
Pin Brush
Slicker Brush
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Daily Weekly Monthly

Labrador Retriever Temperament

The Labrador is a loveable animal and adores being around his family. These dogs have one of the most mellow, patient personalities, and they love young children. They will happily put up with ear tugs, getting climbed on, and patiently endure getting dressed up, and of course, will help your child eat his dinner if he can get away with it. Even though they are mellow, teach your children not to tail pull, or to approach the dog while they are eating. A Labrador will rarely bite, but supervision is needed especially around food. If left alone for long periods of time in the backyard, he will get lonely, bark and get into all sorts of mischief. Labradors will happily join you on any outing, even if it is just going outside to put out the trash. They vary from dog to dog as to their level of activity, but they do need some exercise to keep them healthy, both physically and mentally. This breed loves to serve, which is why they adapt well to training, and they love meeting people which is why they are so good with the sick and elderly. Their one weakness is food; they just love it! They will go to extraordinary lengths to fill their stomachs, eating some things that would turn your stomach. The Labrador needs to be trained to walk on a leash. Otherwise, they will practice ‘selective deafness’ (ignore you completely) and wander off following their noses. They love a good game of fetch, enjoy a swim in the sea, lake or river, and will happily join you in the garden to offer assistance. Mixing well with other animals, they make friends easily with cats, rabbits, and other dogs.

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
15 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
60 minutes

Labrador Retriever Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
2.5 cups
Daily Cost
$1.8 - $2.3
Monthly Cost
$52.5 - $67.5

Labrador Retriever Height & Weight

6 Months
Height: 20 inches Weight: 47 lbs
Height: 19 inches Weight: 35 lbs
12 Months
Height: 22 inches Weight: 60 lbs
Height: 21 inches Weight: 42 lbs
18 Months
Height: 23 inches Weight: 72 lbs
Height: 22 inches Weight: 62 lbs

Top Labrador Retriever Breeders

Check out who made our list for the most reputable Labrador Retriever breeders of 2017.
On Cue Kennels
Chula, Georgia
Maranatha Farm Kennels
West Buxton, Maine
Puddleduck Retrievers
Morrill, Maine
Victoria's Pups
Dickerson, Maryland
Andover Meadow Farm
Marydel, Maryland
Shadyside Labradors and Bachman Mill Labradors
Mount Airy, Maryland
Belquest Kennels
Mount Airy, Maryland
Sweetwater Labradors
Stevensville, Maryland

Labrador Retriever Owner Experiences

violetta
3 Years
1 People
House & Yard
Health
Grooming
Friendliness
Energy
Trainability
Pastimes
perfect dog, beatiful, loveble,
1 month, 3 weeks ago