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Labrador Retriever Dog Breed Information, Pictures, Characteristics & Facts

Have you ever met a Labrador Retriever and thought you’d want one?

Do you wish to adopt a Labrador but don’t quite know how to provide for one?

Labrador Retriever Dog Breed Info, Characteristics & Facts

Well, in that case, stay tuned because I’m going to show you all of the Labrador Retriever Dog Information, to make sure you become the Ultimate Dog Owner.

 

Quick Facts about the Labrador Retriever Dog

  • Friendly
  • Agile
  • Intelligent
  • Active

 

Of a friendly nature, the Labrador is a dog that adapts easily to new environments.

 

Their intelligence has allowed them to be the perfect assistant dog breed, whether it’s to work in the field, to assist as a care dog and even on rescue missions.

They are a hunting breed, which means they are naturally agile dogs.

 

Labrador Retrievers are incredibly energetic and love feeling useful.

That means that they are considerably happier when they are occupied with some activity or mission.

 

Despite their sense of duty, they are also affectionate dogs that will easily bond with their handlers.

 

Breed Information

Active, friendly and affectionate.

What’s not to like about them?

 

These dogs are strong and athletic, love playing around and will become your best friend very quickly!

Plus, they are great for any household, so whether you live alone or share a home with 12 other people, your Labrador will be friends with everyone!

 

Name

  • Labrador Retriever

 

Other Name

  • Labrador
  • Lab
  • Black Lab
  • Yellow Lab
  • Chocolate Lab

 

History & Area Of Origin

Labrador Retrievers get their name from the place where they originated: “Labrador” in Canada.

They gained a reputation as extraordinary hunters and were recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1917.

 

This breed was known to be used as assistants in field word, but later on started getting recognized as house.

 

Size

Labradors are dogs with a strong body build who happen to be quite agile.

They are considered to be a medium/big size dog breed that is prone to being overweight.

 

They have a thick coat and come in three different colors.

 

Height

Male: 22–24 inches (55–60 cm)

Physically, the male Labradors are generally taller than the females.

A healthy male Lab will stand around 22 to 24 inches tall at the withers.

 

Female: 21–23 inches (53–58 cm)

As I’ve mentioned already, the females tend to be smaller than the male.

The ideal size on the female Labrador Retriever is 21 to 23 inches at the withers.

 

Puppies : 5–6 inches (12–15 cm)

Puppy Labs grow at a slower pace than other breeds and they only achieve full adulthood at the age of 15 months.

At 3 months old, they ought to be around 5 to 6 inches tall.

 

Weight

Male: 65–80 pounds (29–36 kg)

Are you concerned that your Labrador might be overweight?

Well, if your male Lab weighs between 79 and 88 pounds, then don’t worry, your dog is perfectly normal.

 

Female: 55–70 pounds (24–31 kg)

As a breed that has a tendency towards becoming overweight, you might want to create a feeding schedule, especially for females.

A healthy female should weigh 55 to 70 pounds.

 

Puppies : 13–20 pounds (5–9 kg)

Labrador Retrievers love eating and the puppies are no different.

That means you’ll need to control how much your Lab eats right from the start.

 

And pay attention to the weight, as a puppy should weigh around 13 to 20 pounds.

 

Labrador Retriever Breed Purity: PureBred or Mixed?

As I’ve mentioned before, the Lab was recognized as a pure breed in 1917, by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

However, this organization only recognizes three coat colors: chocolate, black and yellow (some white spots on the chest are permitted).

 

They ought to be medium-sized, athletic, with a well-balanced body.

Are you uncertain about getting a Labrador? Well, how about a mix?

 

There are many adorable Labrador Retriever mixes that might just suit your lifestyle! Such is the case of:

  • American Bulldog Lab Mix
  • Australian Shepherd Lab Mix
  • Basset Hound Lab Mix
  • Border Collie Lab Mix

 

Behavior And Temperament

Labradors are active, loyal and affectionate dog breed.

They thrive in the water, performing rescue missions, but also on land, as care dogs or even as hunting partners.

 

They have a calm and balanced personality, without ever getting violent or aggressive, which is part of the reason why they’re beloved by everyone.

They are very easy to teach and train and you will soon realize they make great house pets.

 

Alertness

Labs are not exactly the most alert of dogs.

They tend to always be too busy playing around or digging to actually pay attention to what happens around them.

 

A good watch dog would alert their handlers of suspicious activity near their territory, but a Lab will very likely not do so.

 

Friendliness

Well, this probably doesn’t come as a surprise to you, but Labrador Retrievers are definitely a friendly dog.

They are very social dogs that just love being around others.

 

They are not shy whatsoever and will almost always welcome you with a wagging tail (and possibly some, and by some I mean A LOT, of licking).

 

Gentle

Considering they are often used as care dogs and also as care guides for the blind, they absolutely HAVE to be gentle.

These dogs are very sensitive and can easily tell when they need to be gentler towards some people or animals.

 

They also tend to act as parents to smaller animals and even children, always trying to protect them.

 

Intelligent

This breed is made of extremely intelligent dogs.

They can detect people’s emotions and interpret their meaning rather easily, and will act accordingly.

 

Labs are very easy to train and to work with, which is why many health care organizations adopt one to help with patients anxiety or even as guide dogs.

 

Outgoing

Labradors are famous for their social skills.

They can calm a raging dog and encourage a shy one.

 

They make great companions who will bond with your family and friends.

But please, do not make the mistake of thinking that their easy going personality means low levels of energy!

 

These dogs are quite athletic and therefore need quite a lot of physical exercise.

 

Personality

On one hand, these dogs are sweet, docile and playful.

They excel at demanding jobs (rescue dogs, care dogs,…) and at other functions where their characteristic skills are necessary.

 

On the other hand, they also make great family dogs, perfect for any sort of household, whether it’s a single person or a house full of children!

As for temperament, they are incredibly energetic and love playing around, especially in activities that include water.

 

Coat Types

Labradors have distinctive coat that should allow you to spot one easily.

It is short, straight and very dense, due to the undercoat.

 

Their coat is meant to protect them from water, low temperatures and even dust.

There is an exception where the Lab is allowed to have a slight wave down the back, but if the dog has a different coat (wooly coat, silky coat, wire coat), then you’ll know that it is not purebred.

 

Coat Colors

Labrador Retrievers come in three colors and three colors only: chocolate, yellow and black.

However, a white spot in the chest area is permitted.

 

All dogs with similar build but with different coat color will be considered mixed breed.

Black Labs used to be the most adored by the people, but the chocolate is now considered the best looking.

 

Eyes

Labrador Retrievers are quite famous for their sweet and gentle eyes.

Their eyes are proportionate to their body, are almond shaped and are usually either brown or hazel.

 

Nose

Labs have a rather big nose, that somehow fits perfectly into their muzzle.

It is usually brown or black, though some of the yellow labradors might develop a reddish toned nose.

 

Tail

Labs have a long, slightly curved tail that hangs a bit lower than the body.

It is thick at the beginning and gradually gets thinner all the way up to the tip.

 

It has a medium length and it is completely covered in dense hair.

 

Litter Size

6 – 8 number of Puppies

The average and also the ideal number of puppies produced in a litter should be between 6 and 8 puppies.

This because the puppies will be smaller and that will help the mother in the process of giving birth.

 

A female Labrador that produces less than 6 puppies might have a hard time giving birth to them and therefore, might need to do a C-section.

 

Life Span

12 – 13 number of Years

As most medium-size dogs, a Labrador Retriever’s life expectancy is lower than the small-size dogs.

But don’t let that scare you, as they do live up to 13 years!

 

That is still quite a lot of time.

And if you take good care of it, by feeding it properly and taking it on frequent walks and regular health testing, you’ll see that your dog will live a long, healthy life (and it might even surpass those 13 years!).

 

Care Requirements

 

Grooming Requirements

All Labradors have short, dense hair that lies close to the body.

They won’t need to get their hair trimmed, but they do need occasional brushing and baths.

 

They shed quite a bit, so if you wish to avoid having a lot of hair hanging around the house, then buy a good brush and just brush all of the dead hair out.

Other than that, they require the same treatment as all other dog breeds: teeth brushing, nails trimmed, ears cleaned and occasional hydration of their paws.

 

Exercise Requirements

  • Active
  • Energetic
  • Playful

 

These three adjectives describe a normal, healthy Labrador Retriever.

 

If you know the meaning of those words, then you know they require quite a lot of attention when it comes to their physical needs.

These dogs need a lot of space and exercise, in order to be healthy.

 

Not only because it will make them happy, but also because they have a tendency to become overweight, and so a good dose of exercise will do the trick.

But keep in mind that their exercise needs applies only to adult Labs.

 

Puppies should not be exercised to often nor too hard, as to not develop any bone growth issues.

 

Health Care Requirements

Labradors are as healthy as many other dogs.

They tend to live long healthy lives if you just take good care of them.

 

They are, however, prone to some illnesses, which can possibly be avoided if you know how to do so.

That means you should test your dog for a few conditions to see if it has or might eventually develop some issues.

 

A few tests you can do are:

  • DNA test (to identify carriers of diseases)
  • Eye test (to check for progressive retinal atrophy)
  • Hip evaluation
  • Elbow evaluation

 

Training Requirements

Training a dog, any dog, will keep it mentally and physically stimulated.

Training a Labrador means you’ll have to:

  • Create a training schedule
  • Combine training with exercise

 

Your Labrador will be much more appreciative towards you if you dedicate enough time to train it.

Not only will you be getting a more obedient dog, but also you’ll be creating a deep bond between the two of you.

 

Labrador Retriever Dog Breed Info Characteristics

Physical Characteristics

As dogs that were specifically bred to carry out a job, they have (or should have) a strong, muscular and athletic body.

They have a very resilient coat to protect them from the elements and that same coat can come in one of three colors: Black, Yellow and Chocolate.

 

They are famous for being clumsy, as they are not exactly aware of their own size and tend to be the eternal puppy, as they will grow physically, but will keep doing things that they did as small pups (like jumping to your lap, as if they weighed nothing more than a leaf).

 

Adaptability

Adaptability is the keyword with Labrador Retrievers.

These medium-size dogs love visiting new places and therefore adapt very easily to new living environments.

 

They do well in most weathers, though they can overheat a bit in those hot summer days.

But if you do live in a hot environment, then don’t worry, some shade and lots of water will do the trick.

 

Other Dog Friendly

Labs adore other creatures, despite being animal or human.

They are very patient dogs (which means they are good for houses with children) and they love other animals, especially dogs.

 

They welcome other dogs very easily into their home and territory, provided that the other dog does not become aggressive.

 

Shedding Level

If you’re thinking that short hair means no shedding, then my friend, I have to tell you that you are VERY wrong!

These dogs seem to have an immense amount of hair that likes to fall out ALL YEAR ROUND.

 

So get used to using a vacuum cleaner and hair removal brushes, or prepare to see giant spots of hair flying around the house.

If anyone in your household has allergies or intolerances to dog hair, then you should think twice before adopting a Labrador Retriever.

 

Affection Level

These dogs have huge hearts!

They love everyone and will befriend anyone.

 

There is not a single creature that they will not try to become friends with (even those nasty looking spiders!).

A Lab will easily bond with everyone in your household, so don’t worry about bringing guests home.

 

Exercise Needs

I’ve already told you this, but Labradors are very energetic and need lots of exercise every day.

It is not enough to just release it in the backyard for 5 minutes, you will have to spend around 30-50 minutes with them, training and playing, in order for your dog to spend all the pent up energy.

 

This breed loves engaging activities such as field trials, and sports such as agility, tracking and, most important of all, swimming.

So grab your shoes (or swimming flippers) and just have fun!

 

Social Needs

Labradors are very social animals that absolutely love interacting with people and other animals.

It is important that you socialize them early on and to continue to do so every time that it is possible, in order to keep them emotionally healthy and happy.

 

These dogs can suffer from separation anxiety, so if you are a busy person that hardly ever stops at home, then consider adopting another pet to keep your Labrador company.

 

Apartment Friendly

These dogs have a very easy going personality and make great family dogs, but they are famous for being quite naughty and destructive.

So, keeping a Lab in a small apartment would mean you’d have to exercise it twice as much, in order to keep it calm and to keep it from entertaining itself, mainly by digging into your couch and chewing shoes or rugs.

 

An owner willing to meet his physical activity needs will be able to keep one in an apartment.

 

Grooming

Labrador Retrievers LOVE cuddles, snuggles and petting sessions.

That means you will have absolutely ZERO trouble grooming your Lab.

 

You might need a chew toy to keep it from trying to nip at your hand or brush, but other than that, they are quite easy to handle!

 

Stranger Friendly

If you are looking for a dog that will warn you when a stranger is circling around the house, then you are not looking in the right place.

Labradors will always or almost always greet strangers with a wagging tail, or might even lie down, expecting some petting.

 

But that also means that, if you’re looking for a friendly dog, that you are definitely at the RIGHT place.

 

Barking Tendencies

Despite not warning you when strangers are around, they do like barking.

They bark whenever they see something curious, they bark when they want to get in the house, they bark if the TV is loud.

 

You’ll also notice that they like barking at different sounds that they are not accustomed to.

 

Health Issues

Labradors are prone to problems in their ears, mainly otitis, as their ears are supported on their cheeks.

But this problem can easily be solved with good hygiene.

 

One thing that you will absolutely have to control is feeding time.

They tend to get fat very easily and very quickly and so you have to avoid overfeeding your dog.

 

Plus, you can’t treat your dog with human food, as Labs do not process human food very well.

If you are unsure on the food to buy, you should know that there is dog food specific for Labrador Retrievers.

 

Other conditions you need to be aware of before adopting a Labrador, are:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Cranial Cruciate Ligament Disease

 

Territorial

As a friendly dog by nature, the Labrador Retriever is not at all a territorial dog.

They have no issue with other dogs, cats and even humans, entering their territory.

 

The only exception might happen if you own a female Lab that has just giving birth.

In that case, it might become wary of strangers, as it is trying to protect its babies.

 

Cat Friendly

Cats can easily become the Labrador’s best friend.

Labradors are usually more gentle when playing with cats, as they are aware that the cat’s constitution is more fragile.

 

Other than that, they tend to have no issues with cats (unless they’ve had a traumatic experience in their past involving cats, like for example, a cat that scratched them as pups).

 

Intelligence

This breed is incredibly intelligent and sensitive.

That same intelligence is the main reason they are used often for important jobs, such as care dogs, rescue dogs,…

 

They have a constant desire to please their handlers and so are great companions to keep around.

 

Trainability

Due to their long history of working with humans, you can expect them to be quite easy to train

And that is absolutely true.

 

They love seeing their owners happy and so will do or try to do what you want them to.

Plus, they have a strong build and endurance that will allow them to work out for a long period of time.

 

Those factors allied with the fact that it is a very social dog, means that you will love training the adorable Labrador.

 

Child Friendly

Labradors’ energy levels tend to match children’s level of energy, which means they are perfect for each other.

They can handle being around lots of children all day long, without ever losing their patience.

 

I mean, they are big children after all!

They might need to be taught how to approach children in the beginning, but once they get the jist of it, it’ll become an easy task.

 

Playfulness

Play, play, play.

That’s all that a Labrador needs in order to be happy!

 

They LOVE playing and will not notice when you are trying to train them, if you just try to make the training sessions a fun time.

So, grab a ball or a stick, or bring along other dogs, and just play with your Lab.

 

You’ll see its smile grows from ear to ear.

 

Watchdog Ability

Some Labradors are great as watchdogs, but the great majority of them will be way too friendly and sociable, which means they probably will not be a good guard dog.

I am sorry to be the one to tell you that, but you will definitely have a hard time finding a Lab that is both friendly towards friends and family, but that also makes a good watch dog.

 

It is just not possible.

 

Other Pets

I’ve mentioned this already, but it’s never enough to say it again: Labradors are incredibly good with other animals and pets.

Considering they are not an aggressive breed, they will greet other pets with a wagging tail!

 

You might however need to help the OTHER pets adjust to your Lab, to make sure that they are all on friendly terms and won’t hurt your Labrador.

 

Feeding

Due to their proneness to becoming overweight, various dog foods were created especially to fulfill the Labrador’s diet requirements.

The ideal dog food would be rich in protein and vitamins, to sustain the dog’s athletic body.

 

Puppy

Your puppy will need to be on a strict diet the second it gets home.

You need to establish a feeding schedule, ideally feeding it small portions, 4 times a day.

 

Labs need a lot of water, so make sure that your dog’s water bowl is always filled with fresh, clean water.

Avoid giving your dog leftovers or any sort of human food, as it will not digest it properly, which can result in bloating.

 

Adult

The recommended amount of food for an adult Labrador depends on its size, age, metabolism and of course, activity level.

No couch potato will ever need to eat as much as a dog that practices a lot of physical activity.

 

If you have any doubts as to how much you should feed your Lab, then just check the boxing of your dog’s food, the information will very likely be there.

If it’s not, then contact your local vet and ask for their expert opinion.

 

Famous Labrador Retriever Dog All Over the World

#1 King Buck

Labrador Retrievers are a famous dog breed in many places of the world, and so, naturally, there are some that stand out to the crowd.

One of them is King Buck. This adorably looking dog was the first Labrador Retriever to ever be featured on an american postage stamp.

 

It was born in the year 1948, and gained quite a reputation when it started field hunting.

 

#2 Ben of Hyde

Next up is Ben of Hyde, a lovely yellow Lab that set a record for being the first yellow Labrador Retriever, and was owned by Major Radcliffe.

 

At first, this dog was considered an anomaly, considering that up to that point there had never been a yellow Labrador, but slowly they started becoming more popular and beloved by the world.

 

#3 Bella

Bella is yet another dog that broke a world record. In this case, it was because Bella managed to live a long, happy life. By long, I mean she lived to the age of 29 years, which is 158 in human years. Talk about impressive!

 

#4 Spike

A famous Labrador has conquered many hearts. That Lab is Spike. Spike was an acting dog that was a part of a Disney movie, back in 1957.

Not only that, but he also participated in “Lassie” and many other movies.

 

#5 Endel

Another Lab, Endel, has made it to the hall of fame, gaining many awards, like Blue Peter Badge, Dog of the Year, Dog of the Millenium and local hero, by supporting an ex-royal chief Officer named Allen Parton, after he was injured in the Gulf War.

 

#6 Jake

Jake was a black Labrador Retriever who was abandoned on the streets and then rescued by a woman named Mary Flood, who chose to take care of Jake.

 

He had a broken leg and dislocated hip, but luckily, Mary Flood provided the best care possible, to ensure that it recovered.

 

Jake then went on to become a part of the federal search and rescue team that responds to disasters nationwide, being given the title of “U.S. government certified rescue dog”, a title that was given to less than 200 dogs NATIONWIDE.

 

#7 Saddie

Last but not least is Saddie. Saddie is another black lab who saves the lives of over 100 american soldiers in afghanistan, by alerting her handler, Lance Corporal Karen Yardly of hidden explosives nearby.

 

The bomb was, thankfully, neutralized and she was given the Dickin Medal Award for bravery.

 

How To Adopt a Labrador Retriever

If you’ve decided that a Lab is definitely the best dog match for you, then you should start looking for places to adopt one.

This is a vital step, considering that if you choose a bad breeder, you might end up with a very costly dog that will likely have a short life span.

 

But if you choose a good breeder, then the risks of your puppy or pupper inheriting illnesses is rather small.

You can also choose to adopt one from city kennels or rescue groups.

 

How Much Does a Labrador Retriever Cost?

Purchasing a Labrador through a breeder can cost between $300 and $1.000, depending on the breeder.

But that is not your only option, you can adopt a Labrador through:

  • Local kennels
  • Rescue groups
  • Local animal event fairs

 

Some times animal fairs are held in big cities, where a lot of animals are up for adoption.

Try visiting one, and maybe you’ll get a chance to bring home your next companion.

 

Breed Group

Sporting Group

Sporting dogs have a natural instinct that keeps them active and alert.

They were bred to help humans with hunting. There are spaniels, pointers, retrievers and setters.

 

The Labrador falls under the “Retriever” section.

 

National Breed Clubs

 

Rescue Groups

 

So, What was your Favorite Thing to Learn About Labrador Retrievers?

If you have decided that now is the right time for a new Labrador puppy, then I’m glad for you!

They are amazing companions and I am sure you will not regret your decision.

 

But don’t forget that you need to exercise them and keep them on a healthy diet, do that and you’ll have a long-time lasting dog.

So tell me, now that you know all of the Labrador Retriever dog information, what was your favorite part?

 

What excites you most about the Labrador?

Please let me know in the comment section below and please share this article with other Labrador lovers!

 

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