Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever is consistently the number one most famous dog breed in the world. The Lab has been America’s #1 most popular breed for the last 29 years in a row! Why is the Labrador breed so famous? Why do so many dog lovers choose the Labrador over all other dog breeds? Let us explore this amazing breed in-depth. Let us also try to find out if the Labrador is the best breed suitable for you.

This page not only includes precise info, facts, FAQs, breed standards, and info. For choosing the best Lab puppy, many more insights and knowledge derived from years of experience with owning, training, breeding, and judging the Labrador Retriever breed in the show ring.

Labrador Retriever dog breed
Brown, Yellow, and Black Labrador Retrievers

Why are Labradors so popular?

The Labrador Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world for several reasons:

1. Friendly and Affectionate Nature: Labradors are known for their friendly and loving disposition. They are often described as good-natured, outgoing, and affectionate, making them wonderful companions for individuals and families.

2. Playful and Energetic: Labradors are highly energetic dogs that love to play and engage in physical activities. Their enthusiasm and playfulness make them well-suited for active lifestyles.

3. Intelligence and Trainability: Labradors are highly intelligent and easy to train. They are quick learners and often excel in obedience and working roles. This combination of intelligence and trainability makes them versatile dogs.

4. Versatility: Labradors are versatile dogs that can excel in various roles, including as family pets, service dogs, search and rescue dogs, therapy dogs, and hunting companions. Their adaptability is a significant factor in their popularity.

5. Good with Children: Labradors are known for their patience and gentle nature, which makes them excellent choices for families with children. They often form strong bonds with kids and can be protective and nurturing.

6. Loyal and Protective: Labradors are loyal to their owners and are protective without being overly aggressive. They can provide a sense of security while also being great family pets.

7. Steady Temperament: Labradors generally have a stable and even temperament, which makes them predictable and easy to live with.

8. Excellent Retrievers: Labradors were originally bred as retrieving dogs for hunters. Their strong retrieving instinct, excellent nose, and love of water make them great hunting companions.

9. Low Maintenance Coat: Labradors have a short, dense coat that is relatively low maintenance. This makes them suitable for a variety of climates and easy to groom.

10. Pop Culture and Media: Labradors often feature in movies, TV shows, and advertisements, contributing to their popularity in the public eye.

11. Good Health and Longevity: Labradors are generally robust and have a good lifespan. They are less prone to some breed-specific health issues than other breeds.

12. Emotional Support: Labradors have a strong sense of empathy and are often used as emotional support dogs due to their calming and comforting presence.

Their overall temperament, intelligence, and adaptability have endeared Labradors to people around the world. Their versatility makes them suitable for various roles and lifestyles, which has contributed to their consistent popularity over the years.

Labrador Retriever Origin

Labrador Retriever dog breed originated and was developed on Newfoundland’s island (Newfoundland and Labrador is the easternmost province of Canada) as an all-purpose waterdog and functional retriever. The breed was preserved in England after anti-dog legislation almost decimated the breed in its homeland.

First original Labrador Retriever
Pic: The first known registered Labrador Retriever in Queensland (1931). Late Dr. A. Roe’s Eilyer Ranter, sired by Liddly Acorn (imported from the UK).

The Labrador is noted for its love of retrieving and water, for his excellent nose, soft mouth, intelligence, and biddable temperament.

Extraordinary versatility allows Labradors to excel as hunting, service, and therapy dogs; in search and rescues; in drug and bomb detection; as family companions, and in performance and field events. Labradors are medium-sized and do not look intimidating. This quality, combined with their capable noses and friendliness, makes them ideal dogs to work with the police at airports and public spots.

Labrador Retriever in action
Labrador Retriever in action

The Labrador Retriever is a do-everything dog breed.

Labs personify the definition of versatility – this breed can be a great hunting dog, show dog, the ideal family dog, dock diving dog, tracking dog, obedient dog, companion dog, and much more.

Labrador Retriever Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Let us seek some answers related to the Labrador Retriever breed. Are they hypoallergenic (non-shedding), or do they shed a lot? Do they bark a lot? Are they good guard dogs? Are they good family dogs? Good with children? And many more questions that a potential Labrador Retriever owner may be concerned about.

Is the Labrador Retriever a hypoallergenic (non-shedding) breed?

No. The Labs are not hypoallergenic. Labrador Retrievers do shed a lot! Labradors have short hair, but they have a double coat – an external layer that is long and shiny and an inner layer that is much finer to keep them warm and dry (labs are water dogs). A Labrador bitch will generally blow her coat (shed heavily) 2 times a year with her heat cycle. All other Labs (neutered and un-neutered males and spayed females) will shed moderately throughout the year and shed heavily when the seasons change. Weekly grooming – brushing the topcoat, combing the undercoat, and massaging during baths will help keep hair out of your home. If you are allergic to dog hair and dander yet love the Labrador, you may consider the Labradoodle (Labrador x Poodle mix).

Do Labrador Retriever dogs bark a lot?

Yes and No. Labradors are capable of barking a lot if they are bored and under-exercised. However, they are smart dogs and can be easily trained to bark less. Just like most dog breeds, Labs do bark and for a variety of different reasons. Without plenty of physical stimulation and social interaction, Labs will bark more than normal, possibly to excess, due to their pent-up energy.

A Labrador may also bark excessively to protect the family because he considers himself the pack leader and feels responsible for protecting the pack or just because he is a bossy barker trying to get his way. Labradors need gentle yet firm training. Some methods to earn your Lab’s respect are to eat before your Lab, walk ahead of your Lab, and not allow him to sit on the furniture. These methods would make you the pack leader, and your Labrador will bark less.

You should also train your Labrador to speak or be quiet. Give your Labrador the command to SPEAK, wait for him to bark two or three times, and then stick a tasty treat in front of his nose and say QUIET. When he stops barking to sniff the treat, praise him for being quiet, and give him the treat.

Can the Labrador Retriever be a good family dog?

Yes. Labs can be a good choice for family dogs. If you live in a house with a pool or have a water body near your home, your family will be able to enjoy this breed to its full potential (Labs are water dogs). Labrador Retriever is a versatile breed of dog. They are outgoing, gentle, and easy to train. Labradors make excellent companions, as well as assistance dogs. Labradors do well with both sole owners or as a part of a family and get on well with the elderly, the children, cats, and other pets.

Are Labradors good apartment dogs?

Labradors need exercise. Living in an apartment makes them dull and obese. We do not recommend Labs for apartment living. If you must keep a Lab in an apartment – you should exercise regularly, consider a low-fat diet designed to match their activity level, and groom them regularly to keep the hair out. Please consider smaller dog breeds for apartments. Here is a list of good apartment dogs.

Are Labrador Retrievers affectionate? Good with kids?

Yes and No. Labrador Retrievers can be affectionate but not particularly cuddly by nature (unless you spoil them). If you cuddle with your labrador puppy often and reward him with treats for cuddling, your Lab will grow up to become the cuddliest dog you can imagine! Labs are smart, versatile, and want to please their master. YOU can influence how your Lab behaves when he grows up. The Lab loves food and treats and seems never to get enough to eat!

The Labrador Retriever is not bad with kids either. Labs will naturally be well balanced, independent, chilled out, and patient with children. They will tolerate being petted, cuddled, and occasionally prodded. Labs are mild and tolerating with kids (neither too excited nor grumpy). The Lab is loving and friendly, but this breed’s affection is often reserved.

Are Labrador Retrievers good guard dogs?

No. Labrador Retrievers are not good guard dogs. Labs have been bred to be unaggressive and friendly. They are medium-sized dogs that do not look intimidating, either. It would be best if you did not rely on a Lab to guard your property or home. Although they may bark at strangers occasionally, this is not a guard dog breed. If you are looking for a guard dog, here is a list of guard dog breeds.

Are Labrador Retrievers aggressive?

No. Labrador retrievers are not aggressive. Any aggressive behavior may be the result of a shy dog with a faulty temperament. Labs may seem aggressive due to boredom if they are tied up and left alone. Labs may be a bit aloof, but never aggressive. They are bred to be unaggressive and friendly.

Can Labrador Retrievers swim? Do they like it?

Yes. Labrador Retrievers are natural swimmers and like to swim. Labs have webbed-feet, otter-tails, and double-coats, which make them excellent swimmers and water workers. Labrador puppies can start swimming in a bathtub or pool when they are about 4 months old. You can take them to a small pond once they learn to maneuver in the water. Gradually you can take your Lab to larger water bodies. It’s better to train your dog to come when called before taking him to play in large water bodies.

dog breeds love to swim
Labradors love to swim.

Why does a Labrador stink?

Labradors were bred to work in and around water bodies. Labs have a dense double coat with an oily outer layer that offers good waterproofing. These oils in the Lab’s fur are part of the source of the Labrador’s distinctive doggy smell. Labs can smell particularly strong when they are damp and drying off after a swim.

Which Labrador Retriever color is the best?

Labrador Retrievers are available in black, brown, yellow, lighter shades of yellow, white (the lightest shade of yellow), albino (white), and fox red colors.

Labrador Retriever Colors
Which Labrador Retriever color do you like best?

Choosing the best color is really a personal preference. The Lab’s temperament does not change with his colors. Some dog lovers believe that black is the Labrador Retriever’s true color because their ancestors were black in color. While most of the Lab pups originally born were black, some puppies were yellow or chocolate colored. However, these colors were not favored. Changing trends increased the demand for yellow and chocolate-colored Labradors. Recent trends have shown a preference for Fox Red Labradors in America.

Note: The original Labrador Retriever coat colors are black, yellow, and chocolate. Yellows may range in color from fox-red to light cream. Any other color or a combination of colors is disqualified in the show ring. A small white spot on the chest is permissible (but not desirable). White hairs from aging or scarring are acceptable. Also, Albino Labradors may inherit other genetic problems besides albinism.

How much do Labrador Retrievers cost? How much is a Labrador Retriever puppy?

Labrador Retriever puppies cost about $500 to $1200 from a reputed Labrador breeder. Some breeders may charge more for a Labrador Retriever with top breed lines and a superior pedigree. The cost to buy a Labrador Retriever varies greatly and depends on many factors. Expect to pay less for a puppy without papers. Expect to pay a premium price for a puppy advertised as show quality with papers.

The cost to adopt a Labrador Retriever is around $300 to cover the dog’s expenses before adoption.

How long do Labrador Retrievers live?

Labrador Retrievers have an average lifespan of 10 to 14 years.

Ok, so let’s assume you have chosen the Labrador Retriever as the best dog breed suitable for yourself. You have decided to find yourself a Labrador Retriever puppy as your next family member. How will you choose the best pup? Let us look at some standard characteristics of the Labrador Retriever dog breed, which will help you select the right puppy.

Brown Labrador Retriever puppies

Choosing a good Labrador Retriever puppy

The definition of the best Labrador Retriever puppy depends on your requirements. Your expectations from an adult Labrador Retriever can be broadly categorized as follows: Confirmation for show or breeding; obedience; hunting dog; smart dog; companion; homely pet.

Although it is tempting to look for all these qualities in one Labrador Retriever puppy you plan to buy; it is rarely possible to find all qualities in a single pup.

If you want your Labrador Retriever puppy to grow up to be a champion in the show ring, you should look for confirmation to the Labrador Retriever dog breed standards. We have put together a general guideline for selecting an all-around good puppy for you. Our guideline includes breed standards and gives importance to temperament, appearance, physical details, gait, health issues, grooming needs, and maintenance.

Look for the following characteristics while choosing a Labrador Retriever puppy.

Labrador Retriever’s Appearance

The Lab is medium-sized, strongly built, compact, short-coupled, powerful, athletic; broad in skull; broad and deep through chest and ribs; broad and powerful over loins and hindquarters. A water-resistant double coat, otter tail, and sound temperament are essential Labrador breed characteristics.

Labrador Retriever
Stunning picture of a Labrador Retriever in action

Labrador Retriever’s size

Lab’s height: Ideal height is measured at the withers: Labrador Dogs should be 22.5 to 24.5 inches (57 – 62 cm); Labrador Bitches should be 21.5 to 23.5 inches (54 -60 cm).

Lab’s weight: Labrador Dogs should weigh in at 60-80 lbs (27.27-36.36 kgs); Labrador Bitches should weigh in at 55-75 lbs (25-34.09 kgs). Weight should be commensurate with the Lab’s height and with the Labrador breed’s function as a medium-sized, powerful, active retriever.

Labrador Retrievers have a tendency to gain weight. This breed should be exercised well and not overfed.

The Lab’s proportions are as important as his size.

Distance from withers to elbow should be approximately equal to the distance from elbow to the ground; length from the point of shoulder to the point of rump very slightly longer than the height at withers. A well -balanced Labrador dog is the ideal.

Labrador Retriever’s Coat

The Lab’s outer coat should be short, straight, although a slight wave down the back is also correct; dense without feathering, giving fairly hard feel to the touch; soft, dense weather-resistant undercoat.

Labrador Retriever Colors

Labradors should be completely black, yellow, or chocolate in color. A small white spot on the chest is permissible. Yellow Labradors range from light cream to fox red with variations in the shadings on ears, underparts, hocks, and down the back. Chocolate Labradors range from light sedge to dark chocolate. All other colors are penalized or disqualified from the show ring—pigmentation: Black in blacks and yellows; brown or liver in chocolates. Pigmentation fading to a lighter shade in yellows is not penalized in dog shows.

Black, Brown, Yellow - Labrador Retrievers
Black, Brown, and Yellow Labrador Retrievers

Fox Red Labrador Retriever

Fox Red Labrador Retrievers are just one of the somewhat wide variations in shades of the Yellow Labrador available. (The Labrador breed standard states: Yellow Labradors may range in color from fox-red to light cream) Fox red isn’t technically rare in Labradors. But, even though they are not rare, fox red Labrador Retrievers are definitely unique looking dogs. Most breeders feel that creating a pure red Labrador is genetically impossible.

Fox Red Labrador Retriever
Fox Red Labrador Retriever

Albino White Labrador Retriever

One ubiquitous question is whether a white Labrador is really an albino Labrador? White Labradors may be either due to albinism or simply a very bright shade of the yellow Lab. Albinism is a trait found in many animals, including dogs. It is caused by a gene that switches off coloring. Albino Labs will have white hair or fur and pale skin. Albinos Labradors are incredibly rare. Albino Labradors can be pure (full) or partial. If there is no pigment production at all (pure albino), this affects the skin color, nose, eyes, and ears.

White colored Labrador
Albino White Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever’s Head and Skull

A gentle, kindly expression is characteristic of the Labrador breed. The Lab’s skull should be broad with a defined stop; clean-cut without fleshy cheeks. The Lab’s muzzle should be of medium length, powerful, not snippy. Muzzle and skull should be on parallel planes and of approximately equal lengths. The Lab’s nose should be wide; nostrils well developed.

Lab’s Eyes: Medium in size, expressing intelligence and good temper; almond or diamond shape, not round; color dark brown or hazel.

Lab’s Ears: Medium in size, hanging close to head and set rather far back.

Lab’s Mouth: Jaws and teeth should be strong; the Labrador should have a scissor bite.

Labrador Retriever’s Neck

The Lab’s neck should be strong, medium in length with a good reach; the neck should be set into well-placed shoulders.

Labrador’s Forequarters

The Lab’s shoulders should be long and sloping. The forelegs should be well boned and straight from the elbow to the ground when viewed from either front or side. Legs should be of medium length, not short. Pasterns should be strong, short, sloping slightly from the perpendicular. The feet should be compact, round, medium-sized, with well-arched toes and well-developed pads.

Labrador’s Hindquarters

Should be well developed, with great power, not sloping to the tail; well turned to stifle. Hocks well let down; cow hocks are highly undesirable in the Lab breed.

Labrador Retriever’s Body

The Lab’s chest should be of good width and depth, with well-sprung ribs. The brisket should extend to the elbows. A straight level topline is ideal. Loins should be wide, short-coupled, and strong.

Labrador Retriever’s Tail

The Labrador’s tail is a distinctive feature: The Lab’s tail should be very thick towards the base, straight, gradually tapering towards the tip, medium in length, free from feathering, but clothed all-round thickly with a thick, dense coat, giving a rounded appearance described as the otter tail. The tail may be carried happily but not at more than a 35-degree angle with the back. The Lab’s tail should look like an extension of the topline balancing the Labrador dog.

Labrador Retriever’s Movement

The Lab’s gait should be free, effortless, and powerful. The Labrador should walk with good reach and drive, straight and true in front and rear. The front and back legs should appear to meet at a point at higher speeds.

Faults in the Labrador Retriever breed.

Any departure from the ideal Labrador should be considered a fault. The seriousness with which the fault should be regarded must be proportional to its degree and its effect upon the Labrador’s function as a working retriever.

Labrador Retriever Videos

A loving Labrador dad took it upon himself to teach his precious little puppies how to swim, and by the looks of it, it was a very successful first lesson!

In this video, Dogumentary TV sits down with Alexandra Flanigan, a breeder and fancier of Labrador Retrievers for twenty-nine years. Mrs. Flanigan shares her insights and expertise on the breed that has captured her mind and soul.

This video series gives you guys some basic insight into the differences between types of Labrador Retrievers. American vs. English Labrador Retrievers.

Part 1

Part 2

In this video, Donna from Endless Mt. Labradors shares what to expect when you come to pick out a puppy of your own and how your puppy’s structure will affect his or her size as they get older. How to choose a puppy.

If you already have a Labrador Retriever, check out the best dog food for Labrador Retriever page, the Labrador puppy care and training page, the Labrador puppy vaccinations page and the 10 activities and games for Labradors post.

We hope you enjoyed reading about the Labrador Retriever dog breed. You may consider sharing your views in the comments section below. Inputs and priceless experiences from dog owners, Labrador Retriever breeders, and dog lovers, in general, help us better understand Labs. Thank you for your interest.

18 thoughts on “Labrador Retriever”

  1. Labradors are excellent IF kept on a diet. This is my experience after keeping 2 and observing many Labs.. if you let a lab eat as much as he wishes for, I guarantee it will become fat and ugly before you know it. It will also develop a weird figure as it gets fat like a log! Labs should be made to run, exercise, swim and kept on a strict diet!! Feed them a little less than the recommended portion.. don’t let your lab grow fat at all.. it is difficult to make a fat lab loose weight!

  2. The Labrador retriever is an amazing dog however you have to care properly for its skin in which body weight. Having a physically fit Labrador is altogether a different experience than having a fat one Labrador also love to swim and will be very happy to accompany you to play a on the beach and in the sea.

  3. We have a 9 week only labrador, hes been home nearly a week and I am struggling with juggling dog, kids, sleep etc. Anyone else had this and tips to survive? He’s responding to some training but still into everything(I expected it, but wow!) He does not like going to bed at night (we are not crate training but he is happy with is space and knows his bed) last night he cried for nearly 3 hours before fo ally going to sleep and it feels horrible to leave him doing it but i can’t sleep in the kitchen again! Any advice is welcome. Sorry for the long post.

    1. Having a puppy is just like having a baby in the house, the crying at all hours, getting into everything, ugh. Anyways, I would suggest crate training, maybe have the crate in your bedroom if possible and make it cave-like, that’s what I do. Try to wear the puppy out before bed with exercise, training, or playing. Try to get your lab puppy on a schedule or routine. It’s gonna be hard listening to the whimpering at night but the pup will eventually stop. Good luck.

  4. When my Labrador Retriever was a pup I bought a playpen and put it next to my side of the bed. Pup slept there so I could reach down to give a little pet and comfort if she woke up in the night. That way I didn’t have to get up and we both went back to sleep. When she got big enough to try to climb out we transitioned her to a dog bed in the corner of our bedroom. You may want to give this a try, it worked for us with two labs.

  5. Hi so I have been wanting to learn more about labs rather than just google I’d like to know what they are like from people currently with one maybe why you chose the breed how is it training them if you do any jobs or sports with them how they are doing what they are like day to day.

    1. Labs are awesome. We are on our third one. In the puppy stage, like any puppy, they are exhausting. They like to chew….furniture, shoes… rocks.. A pure bred lab is a very trainable dog as they are so smart. Their best quality is that they become like people. It’s not a little fluffy baby you can stroll around. This is a 50-100 pound friend that will want to go everywhere you go. They are so loyal. Great with kids. Our labs have only made me cry one time. And that was when they crossed the rainbow bridge into pup heaven. Such a hard thing losing a best friend.

  6. You should note that the four main areas that make a Lab a Lab, are the three physical attributes of its head, tail, and coat, but with high importance also placed upon its temperament. The Labrador Retriever dog breed was initially developed as a working animal and it’s the physical features described that enable a Labrador to endure the rigors of working in harsh environments such as cold water and thick undergrowth. The physical attributes described allowing the ease of movement and stamina to work long days and the strength and balance required to carry heavy loads over reasonable distances in its mouth. A Labrador’s temperament of being loyal, biddable, intelligent, eager to please, and highly adaptable is what makes the Labrador such an excellent working breed, but also dearly loved as a family pet.

  7. One of the cutest, popular and friendliest of dogs is the Labrador Retriever. Their love for all things fun, friendly demeanor, and their nature to please their humans makes them the most affectionate dog breed. Labrador Retrievers were bred in Canada in the 1800s for a distinct purpose: helping fishers retrieve their catch from water and bring it back easily. And for that, they developed a breed that would be the best water retrievers. Labradors’ key characteristics are their webbed paws that make them excellent swimmers, their otter-like tail to help them maneuver in water to retrieve the catch. A waterproof coat, which is actually a double coat, is a soft undercoat that is weather-resistant and keeps the dog insulated from the extreme cold. In contrast, the dense outer coat allows the body’s natural oils to repel moisture. Labradors were also bred to have a voracious appetite to help them retrieve the catch. Labradors are the most popular breed and are exceptionally warm and intelligent. Because of their friendly and helpful nature, a majority of guide dogs are usually Labradors. They are great in bomb detection, search-and-rescue, and stress therapy of various kinds. Labradors are high-energy dogs and need plenty of exercises daily to keep them active. They are great for families with children and are easy to train too. Labradors are sprinters and need loads of room to run around. An overall healthy dog, their love for food often makes them obese, so a proper diet and weight management are necessary.

  8. We owe a special debt of thanks to the families of the Dukes of Buccleuch and the Earls of Malmesbury, the first to fully appreciate the beautiful qualities of the Labrador Retriever and, without whom, the breed would have been in danger of extinction.

    They put an enormous effort into keeping the breed going and keeping it pure. Because of their passion, dedication, and breeding programs, we have the Labrador Retriever for us to enjoy today.

  9. Where Did the Labrador Retriever Come From?

    Labrador Retrievers are the ancestors of various British and Portuguese working dogs brought to the northern Canadian island of Newfoundland in the 16th century. Years of breeding between these immigrant dogs created, among others, the St Johns dog breed – a direct ascendant of the modern-day Labrador Retriever. The first written record of ‘Labrador’ about the breed was in 1887 in a letter penned by the British Earl of Malmesbury, although they thought they were associated with the term long before this. Theories as to the genesis of the name vary. However, it’s likely that the island of Newfoundland, where the dogs originated, is located in the province of Newfoundland, and Labrador may have had an important impact.

    What is the Typical Labrador Retriever Temperament and Personality?

    Labs are well known for being excellent companions due to their placid temperament and loveable, loyal personalities. Steady and patient with a good-hearted nature, they also tend to get on very well with other dogs and children, so they are the perfect fit for a busy household. Labs are known for being enthusiastic dogs, eager to please, and amenable to training. You will need a lot of energy to keep up with your Lab as they are bouncy – just like a puppy – well into adulthood. To keep their energetic temperaments in check, they require lots of daily exercises – without it, you may find them becoming more rambunctious and destructive towards household objects. Their pent-up energy can result in heavy chewing and excessive barking.

    Are Labradors Good With Children?

    Labrador Retrievers are well known for their patience and playfulness, so they are generally very good with children.

    Care should also be taken with very young children; although Labs are not prone to aggression, their relatively large size and playful demeanor can mean that they are sometimes a little clumsy and excitable.

    How Long do Labradors Live on Average? What Is a Labradors Lifespan?

    Lifespans inevitably vary from dog to dog, but generally, you can expect a healthy Labrador to live for between 10 and 13 human years.

    The oldest recorded age of a Labrador Retriever is Adjutant, who died in 1963 at the ripe old age of 27 years and 3 months.

    How Big do Labrador Retrievers Get? How Tall? How Much do They Weigh?

    While the Kennel Club authorities dispute the minutiae of the Labrador Retriever’s ideal size, you can generally expect male Labs to reach between 22 and 24 inches tall when fully grown and females between 21 and 23 inches.

    Weight will vary due to size, feeding, and exercise habits, but generally, males should weigh between 65 and 80 pounds and females between 55 and 70 pounds.

    What Colors do Labrador Retrievers Come In?

    The Kennel Club authorities only recognize 3 colors in Labrador Retrievers: black, brown (often referred to as ‘chocolate’), and yellow.

    In reality, there are a host of shades between these standards and white, red, and even silver coats.

    Silver Labrador Retrievers are currently a topic of much-heated debate – although they certainly look like your typical Lab, their unusual color has led many to doubt their pedigree credentials.

    How many exercises Do Labradors Need?

    Labradors are known for being an energetic breed and a ‘normal,’ healthy; adult Lab will need about an hour’s worth of good exercise every day – they certainly won’t be satisfied with a walk around the block!

    The most active Labradors will potentially need over 90 minutes of exercise daily. Without good, regular exercise, you may find your Lab’s behavior will become more unruly, and their weight can potentially balloon.

    Do Labradors Like To Swim?

    Although Labs are commonly considered water lovers and excellent swimmers, this isn’t always the case.

    Some Labrador Retrievers are anxious around water and need to be coaxed into swimming, while most need, at least, a little teaching and encouragement before they’re confident enough to play in the water.

    If possible, teach your Lab to swim while they’re still a puppy to grow that confidence at an early age.

    Remember – never force your dog into the water as this could lead them to develop a hard-to-overcome aversion to it.

    Your best bet is to allow your Lab to learn at their own pace and let them embrace swimming in their own time.

    Do Labradors Need Much Grooming?

    Not really. With their short-haired coats, Labs are relatively low maintenance when it comes to grooming, only requiring baths when they’re visibly dirty. While their hair should never need detangling, it is dense enough to require regular brushing as they do shed all year round, with two big ‘blowouts’ during autumn and spring.

    It’s rumored that male Labs possess coarser and thicker coats than their female counterparts, so they require a little more grooming – this is hotly disputed, however!

    How Much Do Labradors Shed?

    Although it’s impossible to quantify exactly how much Labradors shed, you can count on it being a lot – get ready to start vacuuming a whole lot more than normal!

    Labs shed when their puppy hairs make way for their adult coat and then twice a year regularly after that.

    The reason for this is they possess a double coat – underneath the glossy hairs that we can see on top; Labrador Retrievers also have a warm, inner coat to insulate them during the winter that renews itself regularly.

    Is it OK to Have a Labrador If I Live in a Hot Country?

    The Labrador Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds worldwide, including in such hot climates as Brazil and Israel.

    Labs are very resilient against both hot and cold weather extremes, remaining energetic, loving, and playful whatever the weather.

    You can bet on the fact your Lab will love going running with you on the beach and diving into the sea with you too!

    Of course, there are factors to bear in mind when you own a Lab in a hot climate – for instance, it’s imperative they stay cool, avoid over-exertion and heatstroke while drinking plenty of water.

    Do Labradors Bark a Lot?

    Just like most dog breeds, Labs do bark and for a variety of different reasons. Without plenty of physical stimulation and social interaction, Labs will bark more than normal, possibly to excess, due to their pent-up energy.

    If your Lab is plenty stimulated but still barking, it could be because they’re scared, frustrated, guarding, or even suffering from separation anxiety.

    There is one dog breed on the planet that is physically unable to bark: the Basenji. Although not mute, they can only quietly ‘woof.

    Do Labradors Make Good Guard Dogs?

    No – unless they have any aggression issues unrepresentative of the breed. Labs have several characteristics that are not suited to guard a home effectively. Firstly, they’re great at interacting with humans as they’re so friendly, gentle, and patient.

    They aren’t known for being territorial either – chances are, your Lab will make friends with an intruder before they scare them off!

    What Age Can I Bring a Labrador Puppy Home?

    The best age to bring your Labrador puppy home is at 8 weeks old.

    We would suggest 7 weeks as the absolute minimum age, and no reputable breeder would normally allow you to bring your new puppy home any earlier.

    Puppies learn several valuable traits in these early weeks from their mother and their littermates, such as bite inhibition and what’s acceptable during play.

    Without this early learning, behavioral problems could develop later in life.

    When Should I Start Training My Labrador Puppy?

    There is much debate as to the best age to start training – one camp believes 6 months is best when your puppy has built some mental and physical strength, while the other camp believes gentle training can begin at 8 weeks when you first receive your Labrador puppy home from its mother. We believe that gentle training should start right away from 8 weeks old, as they will be learning from you anyway from the moment they leave their mother.

    There are plenty of positive, gentle training techniques available nowadays to ease your Labrador puppy into training – such as clicker training and lure and reward – so they will not find it too mentally taxing.

    Should Labradors Live Inside? Can They Be Outside Dogs?

    Although Labs are resilient to different temperatures due to their double coat, at their heart, they are social creatures who need lots of mental and physical stimulation with their human family to stay happy and healthy.

    As such, they will thrive living indoors and, chances are, will not receive the same level of bonding and stimulation if they live outside.

    If your Lab has to live outside, you need to consider several factors regarding their safety, such as shelter, water supply, and potential dangers.

    Do Labradors Typically Have Any Genetic Problems?

    Although reputable breeders will take the time to test Labs for any genetic defects before breeding, sometimes puppies do unfortunately develop or inherit diseases and defects – just as humans do.

    Genetic problems associated with Labrador Retrievers are PRA blindness, epilepsy, and hip and elbow dysplasia.

    Is it True There is a Difference Between American and English Labradors?

    There are indeed differences in temperament and appearance between American and English Labs, although, officially, there is only one Labrador standard recognized by the UK and American Kennel clubs.

    Due to differences in breeding purposes and ancestry, American Labs tend to be slimmer with longer legs than their English counterparts and with a more energetic disposition.

    On the other hand, English Labs are generally bred for show and, as such, look more similar to the Labrador standard with a heavier gait and shorter legs. They are also generally mellower than their American cousins.

    Do Males or Females Make Better Pets? Why?

    Labs of either gender make great pets, and there are very few notable differences between them aside from a few subtle personality notes.

    Females tend to be a little more independent and quicker learners. At the same time, their male counterparts are often more exuberant – it’s entirely an individual preference over which gender will fit in better with your family.

    Regardless of gender, it’s worth spaying or neutering your Lab before reaching maturity to avoid any of the less desirable traits that their gender brings.

    For example, males will no longer feel the need to mark their territory or ‘hump,’ while females will no longer be caught in the 6 monthly heat cycle.

    There’s a saying about male and female Labs and the differences in their personalities: While males approach and say “love you,” females will approach and say “love me”!.’

  10. Such a well written article.. I’m in love with dogs and labs are my favourite since childhood. However due to one reason or another I could never have my own yet.. I grab any opportunity to play with them.. I keep seeing them all around.. since past few years I see less labradors and more golden retrievers and labradoodles. Once I attended a dog show in which there were many labs they were just too good… A fit and active lab in its prime looks really beautiful ?

  11. Well written page.. images and different colours of labrador dogs.. I had a black labrador many years back and the black coated lab shines the most when a special shampoo and conditioner for black hair is used. The labs also shed a lot use salmon oil supplement for better coat and less shedding. Also, if you take your lab to swim a lot don’t bathe too often with shampoo. The natural oils in labs coat offer protection from water. These natural oils make labs smell weird sometimes..

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