Labrador Retriever is the only breed that takes pride in being identified as the most popular dog breed in America for 24 consecutive years. Black Lab, in particular, was in great demand back in the 18th century when fishing and hunting was more of a sport. And back then, this gun dog was mainly used as search and rescue dogs.
The first impression one would get after seeing it bark is – Black Labs are aggressive and protective. But in reality, Black Labs are gentle, affectionate and they crave for a lot of attention from their masters.
They are not altogether hostile towards strangers but do take time to assess the nature and behavior of visitors before reacting.
Whether it is a peaceful country life or a busy city life, the Labrador breeds like Black Labs, chocolate labs and yellow labrador are good family dogs and known to adapt themselves to all types of environment. Labradors are very popular globally especially in the United States, and the UK.
Black Lab Breed Characteristics Sheet
- Origin: Newfoundland
- Size: Large
- Dog Breed Group: Working / Herding /Pastoral / Guide/ Easy to Train
- Purebred: Yes
- Lifespan: 10-14 years
- Height: Male – 24 inches, Female – 21-23 inches
- Weight: Males – 100 lbs, Female-70 lbs
- Coat Appearance: Double coated
- Coat Colors: Black
- Temperament: Loyal, Outgoing, Sincere, Smart, Jovial, Protective, Responsive, Social, Fun loving, Trustworthy
- Good With Children: Yes
- Intelligence Level: High
- Good With Pets: Yes under supervision
- Hypoallergenic: No
- Grooming: Moderate
- Shedding: High (seasonal)
- Suitable For Apartments: Low
- Need For Exercise: High
- Easy To Train: Yes
- Good For First Time Owners: Yes
- Health Issues: Hip and elbow dysplasia, Obesity, Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- Litter Size: 5-10 puppies, average-7-8
- Average Price: $500 – $1500 USD (US)
Black Lab Appearance And Coat Color
Black Labs Appearance
The weather-resistant coat of Black Labs is dense, double coated and short, sometimes displaying a wavy texture. They are night-like dark and have broadheads to match their muscular body mass.
The weight of black labs will be between 55 and 75 pounds and reach an approximate height of 2 feet. Black Labs are born swimmers and it is very much evident from their webbed feet.
The head appears broad and consists of a moderate stop. With strong jaws, these dogs have strong teeth that appear like a scissor. This dog has a wide muzzle and a powerful neck. These dogs consist of a body that is long compared to its height.
The Labs have medium sized ears that appear pendant shaped. They have an otter-like tail. This Black Labrador has an easy and free gait.
Initially, Labradors were bred for dual purpose as gun dogs and as well as show dogs. Now, many breeders give preference to get them as two different types. Gundog labradors are bred separately; show dogs are developed a bit fatter on the configuration and they perform excellently as show ring dogs.
Black Labs Coat Color
Labs, in general, will have a thick undercoat and a short coat(upper). The undercoat is waterproof. These dogs are safe for icy water and cold weather.
These dogs are athletic and muscular with a simple care short coat.
There are three main colors of Labs with each of them perform a specific service and aides.
Yellow labs are very affectionate and very easy to train and do their part as show dogs excellently.
Chocolate labs are bred as family dogs and show dogs in the show field trials.
Black labs are very agile and offer their role with high energy; hence they do well as gundogs as well as show dogs.
Black is one of most widely found color in this breed. Genetics or parents ancestry decide whether the born Lab will have a chocolate or yellow color. A Lab can have a different coat color, say a chocolate color coat if the black gene is absent.
Black Lab Size And Lifespan
Black Lab Size
They can turn quite large. In this breed, the female Black Labs are much smaller than male Black Labs.
- Male Black Labs – 24 inches
- Female Black Labs – 21-23 inches
- Male Black Labs – 100 lbs
- Female Black Labs – 70 lbs
Black Lab Lifespan
Labrador Retriever has a lifespan of 10 -14 years and if taken care of with great effort, they even can live up to 16 years. Regular medical tests and perfect nutrition can help your pet live healthier and longer.
Black Lab Temperament
As mentioned earlier, Black Labs are not aggressive as they seem. They love accompanying their masters and are great at socializing with others unless they sense inevitable danger. They are always pushing themselves in eager to please their masters.
Earlier Black labs were mostly used to help catch fishes trying to escape from the net. They were even recognized as a sports breed by AKC in the early years of the 19th century.
Gradually, their love for their masters, attachment towards kids won them the tag of a family dog. Here are 3 quick behavioral facts that sum up their temperament and nature;
- Black lab puppies are very playful, happy, and stay active all the time. Given the chance to run 24/7, they would love doing it without expressing even the slightest discontent.
- More prone to laziness if left to sleep on the couch all day long. They must be given frequent exercise to help them stay active and fresh.
- Good at handling lonely situations; a room full of people to pamper is what Black Labs look forward to.
Black Lab Health Problems
- Hip & Elbow Dysplasia – This joint problem is very common among the canine groups. This condition goes unnoticed until the Lab is 3 to 4 years old.
Hence, you cannot predict whether your pet will suffer from joint problems unless you are buying an older dog. Hip dysplasia leads to pain in the joints, thus making walking very difficult for the pet.
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy – This eye disease can sometimes lead to blindness if left unattended. Dogs tend to suffer from eye problems as they grow older but routine medical tests can help your Black Lab stay safe from such issues.
- Obesity – Labs are usually susceptible to gaining weight quite easily. Uncontrolled weight may even lead to more dangerous health issues like cancer, diabetes if not kept under control.
Labs are carefree dogs, so they don’t really bother about their weight or appearance; so you need to take an effort and cut down on extra treats or the additional cup of food if you want your pet to stay trim.
Tips To Train A Black Lab
Since Black Labs come with a hunting background, it would be best if you give him a lot of retrieving tasks; they are experts at it. Many people wonder if Black Labs are easy to train.
Few points to remember while training a Black Lab;
- Start early – Dogs learn faster when taught at a younger stage.
- Never hurt your pet emotionally or physically – Let wrong activities be known but never use harsh techniques to instill obedience your pet.
- Train them at the same time every day – Pets will get accustomed to a lesson when practiced daily.
- Reward them when they succeed – Giving them treats once in a while will encourage them and boost their confidence levels.
Black Labs are known for their sportive nature; try getting them enrolled to a local pet club. Taking part in monthly pet sports will keep them motivated!
Feeding A Black Lab
Feeding habits of a Black Lab are no way different from other shades of Labrador Retrievers. Puppies must be given at least 4 cups of dog food because this is the age when they would gain body mass.
Adult Labs could be given 2 cups of dog food daily. Keep a close eye on their feeding habits and divide the healthy food proportions to several times a day in order to maintain health.
Interesting Facts About Black Lab
- Natural swimmers and love water.
- Excellent at retrieving tasks.
- Recognized as sports pets by AKC in the early 19th
- Black coat was the most popular shade before yellow and chocolate got introduced.
- They can keep eating if given the chance. So you need to cut down on its food proportions to keep it fit.
Black Lab Puppy Names
Black Lab Price
Black Labs may cost you between $800 and $1200; some breeders may charge you extra for medical tests and vaccinations. Spending extra is better than brooding over your pet’s ill-health in the future.
Before You Bring Home A Black Lab Puppy
Now that you have decided to bring home a black lab puppy, there are certain things you should know and follow:
- You have to adopt or bring home the puppy when he is between 7 to 12 weeks old. It will be easier to train him only at that early stage. Otherwise training a lab will be a hectic job for you.
- You have to make your home ready and friendly for your puppy. Read the article Pet-friendly homes for a better understanding.
- You have to inquire and get the pedigree details papers, vaccination shots details from the breeder or the adoption center.
- As soon as you bring home your favorite pooch, take him to the vet immediately for a complete checkup any other primary shots.
- Thoroughly read and understand about the diet and nutrition for your pooch.
- Supply him a lot of chew toys as he may lose his baby teeth in around 6 months of his age.
- Even though labs shed comparatively lesser, have the grooming tools like brush ready for regular brushing. Regular brushing keeps the skin glossy and healthy.
- Bath him once in two weeks with a good pet-friendly shampoo.
- Spend more time with your pooch and that will develop a very good forever- bonding.
- Read the article on The fundamental rights of the pets to know more about pets rights.
Black Lab Breeders
Getting Black Labs from rescue centers would be the most intelligent thing to do.
These days pet stores and pet farms are crowded with the different range of pet varieties and it’s difficult to conclude whether the dogs bought from such farms are purebred and healthy.
Hence you need to take extra care while looking for a reputable breeder in your locality. If you do not like the idea of buying from rescue centers, consider purchasing from a well-known friend or neighbor who is willing to part with his Labs for a good price.
If you are left with no choice but to buy from a local breeder, then make sure to confirm with a local vet on the breeder’s reliability.