2016 Dog Costume Contest! Upload your photo. It takes 10 seconds to enter.

Find Out More!

Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever is medium sized, short-coupled and athletically built. The coat is straight, short, dense and, most notably, water resistant. The three coat colors of a Labrador Retriever are black, yellow and chocolate, with yellows having the greatest variation in shading (from cream to fox-red) and blacks having the least. The skull is wide with a moderate stop, the head clean-cut rather than fleshy cheeked. The muzzle is of medium length; the nose is brown on chocolates, black on blacks, and either black or slightly pink on yellows. Ears are set back and low on the skull, hanging close to the head. The Labrador Retriever’s expression is affectionate, friendly and alert, with expressive and intelligent eyes. The dog is short-coupled, with a strong back and fairly wide chest. The tail is medium length and free from feathering, distinctly thick at the base and tapering toward the tip. Some describe the Labrador tail as “otter-like.”

FIND A BREEDER Do you breed Labrador Retrievers? ADD YOUR LISTING HERE

Fast Facts

11 - 12 years
Canada (Newfoundland)
19th century
65 - 80 lb
55 - 70 lb
22 - 25"
21 - 24"
Labrodor Retriever, Labridor Retriever, Labredor Retriever or Labrador Retreiver.

Labrador Retriever Temperament

The Labrador Retriever has an enviable reputation among dogs, and one which is well deserved....

His gentleness and tolerance of people and other animals make him an ideal addition to a house with small children and other pets, while his tractability and athleticism earn him points in the field. These traits, coupled with his friendly nature and inherent eagerness to please make him a perennial favorite among dog enthusiasts. Labs are both highly intelligent and obedient, and are thus relatively easy to train. The dog loves to play and retrieve, and has what can sometimes seem to be a limitless store of energy – daily exercise is an unquestionable requirement. The Lab’s social nature makes it a mediocre protector of the household, and its abundant energy can lead to destructive and hyperactive behavior if it is not sufficiently exercised, but aside from these minor shortcomings, the breed makes for a nearly perfect companion and friend.

Caring For a Labrador Retriever

Labradors Retrievers are very active and among the most sociable of dogs....

The breed should exercise with people and / or other dogs every day, and should be given every opportunity available to socialize. Favorite pastimes of the Labrador Retriever include retrieving and swimming – if you have a pool, the dog will use it. The dog is fairly adaptable to both hot and cool climates but is much happier living indoors with its family rather than in the yard. Labrador Retrievers are average shedders, and should be brushed once a week. Primary health issues associated with the breed include canine hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, centronuclear myopathy, tricuspid valve dysplasia, OCD and obesity. Less common problems include cataracts, CPRA, patellar luxation, retinal dysplasia and hypothyroidism.

Labrador Retriever History

A Brief History of the Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever’s name is something of a misnomer, as the dog comes not from Labrador but from Newfoundland....

There, during the 19th century, small water dogs were bred with Newfoundlands. The resulting dog, then called the St. John’s Water Dog or the St. John’s Newfoundland, was the forerunner for what is today called the Labrador Retriever. These dogs were black and short-haired, with an exceptional skill for retrieving game and fish as well as performing other tasks involving swimming in icy waters. A heavy dog tax and quarantine law eventually caused the Labrador Retriever to die out in Newfoundland. But fortunately, the breed had already been brought to England during the early 19th century, where it continued to thrive and gain popularity. In the early 20th century, the standard of the breed was expanded to allow for yellow and chocolate Labs in addition to the original black Labrador. The Labrador Retriever was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1917. Today, the breed stands out for its immense popularity as well as its ubiquitous practical uses. Labrador Retriever pedigrees date back to 1878, and the Lab is currently the most popular breed of dog (by registered ownership) in both the United States and the United Kingdom. Labrador Retrievers are also highly adaptable to tracking, retrieving, hunting, watch dog work, police work, guide for the blind, service dog for the disabled, search and rescue, narcotics work, sledding and competitive obedience.