For detailed information regarding Labrador Retrievers, please visit the AKC site:
Types of Labs
There are two types of Labradors, the English Labrador and the American Labrador. The English bred lab comes from English bred stock. Their general appearance is different. The English bred labs are heavier, thicker, and blockier. The American bred Lab comes from American bred stock and is tall and lanky. The double coat is smooth and does not have any waves. Coat colors come in solid black, yellow, or chocolate. There is also said to be a rare silver or gray color that is referred to by the AKC as a shade of chocolate. This color is controversial and some claim it is a Weimeriner cross, while others say it is a true mutation. The head of the labrador is broad with a moderate stop. The nose is thick, black on black and yellow dogs, and brown on chocolate dogs. The nose color often fades and is not considered a fault in the show ring. The teeth should meet in a scissors or level bite. The muzzle is fairly wide. The neck is proportionately wide and powerful. The body is slightly longer than tall. The short, hard coat is easy to care for and water-resistant. The medium sized eyes are set well apart. Eye color should be brown in yellow and black dogs, and hazel or brown in chocolate dogs. In silver dogs the eye color is usually gray. The eye rims are black in yellow and black dogs, and brown in chocolate dogs. The ears are medium in size, hanging down and pendant in shape. The otter tail is thick at the base, gradually tapering towards the tip. It is completely covered with short hair, with no feathering. The feet are strong and compact with webbed feet which aid the dog in swimming.
One of the most popular breeds in the USA, the Labrador Retriever is loyal, loving, affectionate, and patient, making great family dogs. Highly intelligent, good-natured, very willing, and eager to please, they are among the top choices for service dog work. They love to play, especially in water, never wanting to pass up the opportunity for a good swim. These lively dogs have an excellent, reliable temperament and are friendly, superb with children and equable with other dogs. They crave human leadership and need to feel as though they are part of the family. Labs are easily trained. Some may be reserved with strangers unless very well socialized, preferably while they are still puppies. Adult Labs are very strong, train them while they are a puppy to heel on the leash, and not to bolt out doorways and gateways before the humans. These dogs are watchdogs, not guard dogs, although some have been known to guard. They can become destructive if the humans are not 100% pack leader and/or if they do not receive enough mental and physical exercise, and left too much to their own devices. Show lines are generally heavier and easier going than field lines. Field lines tend to be very energetic and will easily become high strung without enough exercise. Labs bred from English lines (English Labs) are more calm and laid back than Labradors bred from American lines. English Labs mature quicker than the American type.
Height: Dogs 22-24 inches (56-61cm.) Bitches 21-23 inches (53-58cm.)
Weight: Dogs 60-75 pounds (27-34kg.) Bitches 55-70 pounds (25-32kg.)
Some males can grow to 100 pounds (45kg) or more.
Prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, PRA, and eye disorders.
Labrador Retrievers will do okay in an apartment if sufficiently exercised. They are moderately active indoors and will do best with at least an average-sized yard.
Labrador Retrievers are energetic dogs, delighted to work and play hard. They need to be taken on a daily, brisk, long walk, jog or run alongside you when you bicycle. While out on the walk the dog must be made to heel beside or behind the person holding the lead, as in a dog’s mind the leader leads the way, and that leader needs to be the human. They will be in their glory if you give them a job to do. Gains weight easily, do not over feed.
About 10-12 years
The smooth, short-haired, double coat is easy to groom. Comb and brush regularly with a firm, bristle brush, paying attention to the undercoat. Bathe or dry shampoo only when necessary. These dogs are average shedders.
Once known as the “St John’s Dogs,” the Labrador Retriever is one of the most popular breeds in the United States. The Lab is native to Newfoundland, where it worked side by side with fishermen catching fish that came loose from the lines and trained to jump into the icy waters to help pull in the nets. Specimens were brought to England in the 1800’s by English ships coming from Labrador. The breed was crossed with setters, spaniels and other types of retrievers to improve their instincts as a hunter. The Labrador is highly trainable and is not only popular as a family companion but also excels in: hunting, tracking, retrieving, watchdog, police work, narcotics detection, guide for the blind, service dog for the disabled, search and rescue, sledding, carting, agility, field trial competitor and competitive obedience.