Labrador Retriever – Must Know Facts and Traits

Labrador Retriever
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The family-friendly, smart, and gentle Labrador Retriever originally from Canada still holds the position of the utmost popular and famous dog breed in America. The Labrador Retriever appears in different colors as Chocolate Lab, Black Lab, and Yellow Lab.

Known for their affection towards their master, Labrador Retriever perform exceedingly well as guide or partner dogs for the visually challenged, in detecting and exposing narcotics with law department, and also serve as emergency rescue dogs.

People fondly call Labrador Retriever as “Lab” and also it is the only dog with maximum registrations all over the world.

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Labrador Retriever Breed Characteristics Sheet

  • Origin: Newfoundland, Canada
  • Size: Large
  • Dog Breed Group: Working / Herding /Family dog/ Guard/ Police dog/ Search and Rescue dog/ Service dog/ Guide dog
  • Purebred: Yes
  • Lifespan:10-12 years
  • Height: 21.5-23.5 inches (female), 22.5-24.5 inches (male)
  • Weight: 65-80 pounds (male) and 55-70 pounds (female)
  • Coat Appearance: Double coat
  • Coat Colors: Chocolate, yellow, black
  • Temperament: Friendly, Alert, Energetic, Smart, Intelligent, Lively, Caring
  • Good With Children: Yes
  • Intelligence Level: High
  • Good With Pets: Yes with supervision
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Grooming: Moderate (occasional)
  • Shedding: High (seasonal)
  • Suitable For Apartments: Low
  • Need For Exercise: High
  • Easy To Train: Yes
  • Good For First Time Owners: Moderate
  • Health Issues: Tick Bites, Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, (OCD) Osteochondrosis Dissecans, Cataracts, (PRA) Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Epilepsy, (TVD) Tricuspid Valve Dysplasia, Myopathy
  • Litter Size: 6-8 puppies, average-3
  • Average Price: $800 – $1200 USD (US), £650 – £850 (UK)

Labrador Retriever Size And Weight

Males stand at 22.5 – 25 inches while females are in the vicinity of 21.5 – 24 inches. The males and females weigh 65 – 80 lbs and 55 – 70 lbs respectively.

Labrador Retriever Lifespan

The Labrador Retriever generally lives up to 10 to 12 years. In certain cases, they can exceed the average life expectancy range due to numerous factors including genetic makeup etc.

Labrador Retriever Temperament

The Labrador Retriever is known for their high energy levels and they exhibit it without any fear.

They are extremely outgoing and friendly; Labs play quite well with all.

Regarded as a sweet-natured amiable dog, Labrador Retriever is a family friendly companion.

Labrador Retrievers are energetic, large dogs and like other dog breeds, they too need training and socialization lessons from the beginning.

Apart from a splendid pleasing personality, the eagerness and intelligence of a Labrador Retriever make it easy to socialize and train.

The Labrador Retriever needs a lot of mental activities and physical exercises to burn off their energy and also to keep them sound and happy.

Normally they are well-behaved dogs, however, some can be boisterous or rowdy while others may appear to be laid back.

Labrador Retriever Interesting Facts

  • Officially recognized in 1903 in the UK, the Labrador retriever garnered much appreciation during the Second World War in the United States.
  • Nowadays, Police services use Labrador retriever for emergency rescue operations.
  • No dog takes to water like a Labrador retriever does because their double fur coat protects them from harsh cold weather conditions.
  • Silver colored Labradors can also be found and dilution gene in a chocolate Labrador causes them to appear in silver.
  • Officially, there is only one Labrador retriever breed. The English Labradors and American Labradors are also called Show Labradors and Field Labradors respectively.
  • Previously, people called labrador retriever as ‘St John’s dog’. Also, they were sporting dogs mainly used in Canada in the Newfoundland area.
  • Endal, the most celebrated British Labrador has also received a lot of appreciation from its fans all over the world.
  • Another Labrador retriever named “Blind of Arden” appeared on the Life magazine’s cover in the year 1938.

Labrador Retriever Names


Recommended Read: Majestic Names For Your Male DogsCute Names For Female Dogs



Labrador Retriever Health Problems

A Labrador Retriever can suffer from any of these health problems.

Ear Problems 

Being a water dog, Labs are more prone to ear infections like cauliflower ear. Since they have dropping ears, it is important for a weekly ear checkup and cleaning.

Cold Tail




It is a painful condition where Labrador Retriever’s tail goes limp. Not an alarming condition, but still requires proper medical care and treatment.

Acute Moist Dermatitis 




A condition where the skin appears inflamed and red in color. Caused by bacteria, it is commonly called as hot spots. Treatment includes administering antibiotics, using a medicated shampoo, and clipping the hair.

(GDV) Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus 

♦ Mainly affects deep-chested breeds of dog, it is also known as “Bloat”. Likely causes can range from performing very rigorous exercise after eating, drinking large volumes of water without any purpose, and eating everything in a go etc.
♦ The stomach is unusually filled with air or gas, and the dog will find it difficult to get rid of this excess gas.
♦ If left un-noticed the condition may worsen and can result in severe heart conditions.
♦ At times the dog might appear weak, lethargic, depressed, and restless. Take your dog to the nearest vet if you happen to notice any of these conditions or any other abnormality.


♦ This affects the nervous system and the muscles. The early symptoms are stiffness and tiredness, usually not found in healthy puppies.
♦ Hence, dogs with this disorder should not be bred at any cost.

(TVD) Tricuspid Valve Dysplasia




♦ A one of a kind congenital heart problem, the tricuspid valve located on the heart’s right side is affected. Depending on the case, it can be severe or mild.
♦ An ultrasound scan can reveal this defect is present.


♦ The Labrador Retriever is prone to seizures and it can occur due to various factors such as severe injuries, exposure to harmful substances, infectious diseases, and other metabolic disorders.
♦ Immediate medical treatment is the only way to address this problem.

(PRA) Progressive Retinal Atrophy




In this case, the retina tends to deteriorate and thereby causes blindness.  It tends to adapt to this condition and can manage if the surroundings are not altered every now and then.





♦ Dog’s eye lens gets cloudy blocking the vision, and as a result, the dog might lose its eyesight completely.
♦ Hence, taking the dog to a registered ophthalmologist is the right approach to handle this problem.

(OCD) Osteochondrosis Dissecans

♦ In this disorder, the cartilage grows improperly affecting the joints, and in recent times the shoulders and the elbow are also getting affected.
♦ The dog affected with this condition will also suffer from severe pain in the elbow.
♦ Proper medication in addition to a proper diet can reduce the pain and suffering.

Elbow Dysplasia 

This disorder affects the bones related to the elbow causing bone joint laxity hence the result is painful lameness.

Hip Dysplasia 

For dogs suffering from hip dysplasia, the thighbone will not fit properly into the joint causing problem while walking. It is a hereditary problem.

Tick Bites

Tick prevention in this breed means removing tick environment. Also, animals like rodents and deer can carry ticks. In Labrador Retrievers, the most common tick problem is tick bite fever by “Brown Dog Tick”. This tick can complete its full life cycle in a couple of months.

Try using Fipronil, Imidacloprid, and Pyrethrin medications but avoid Permethrin as it can affect cats too. Finally, use vaccines, tick collar, tick sprays, topical etc. and safeguard your dog from ticks.

Labrador Retriever Foods

Recommended servings include 2.5 – 3 bowls of good quality dry foods per day and served as two meals.

As Labrador Retrievers are prone to allergies, arthritis and weight issues, you should give him a proper diet. Also, you should be aware of the foods to be given and avoided.

Foods Labrador Retriever Can Eat

The below-mentioned foods are rich in nutrients and they are healthy for Labrador Retrievers.

Foods having omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are much helpful for these dogs. In addition, foods with DHA help for their vision and brain development. Moreover, you can feed foods rich in chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine, which will be helpful for their joints.

Foods Labrador Retriever Should Avoid

It is important to avoid feeding dairy products such as cheese, yogurt etc as they may cause diarrhea in lactose-intolerant dogs. Also, you should always avoid feeding garlic and onions as they may cause dehydration in dogs.

So, it’s necessary to feed the right food in the right amount to dogs.

Must Read: What Foods Can/Cannot Dogs Eat?Best Dogs Foods For Labs And Feeding Methods

Labrador Retriever Breeders / Adoption Centers

  • AKC Operations
    8051 Arco Corporate Drive, Suite 100
    Raleigh, NC 27617-3390
  • The Labrador Retriever Club, Inc.
    New York
  • Ashland Labradors
    Downtown Nashville (North), TN
  • Belquest Kennels
    18745 Penn Shop Road
    Mt. Airy, MD 21771-3933

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