The Labrador Retriever is strongly human oriented and makes a wonderful family companion when properly trained, socialized and exercised.
A member of the sporting group, the Labrador Retriever comes not from Labrador, but from the sturdy dog breeds of Newfoundland. There are a variety of opinions on the origin of the Labrador, one being that they derive from those originally called St. John’s Water Dog or Lesser Newfoundlands, a breed that had all but died out in its country of origin by the 19th century, but was resurrected and refined by English sportsman during that time.
Labrador Retrievers are friendly, sociable dogs who need to be included as part of a family. They are usually very gentle with children and make good family pets. Adult rescued Labs generally adapt very easily to a new home and family.
Basic obedience training is a MUST for this active breed! They learn quickly and love to participate with their owners in a wide variety of activities: obedience, agility, hunting, flyball, tracking and other doggy sports. They make wonderful therapy dogs, too. They are also happy just fetching tennis balls in the park or going on hikes with their owners.
Easily housetrained, Labrador Retrievers prefer to be indoor dogs. However, they are active dogs who require daily exercise: a walk around the block is not enough for a Labrador! If they are given plenty of exercise, Labs will settle down nicely for long snoozes in the house (preferably on the couch, of course!).
- Families who are dedicated to spending maximum time with their dog.
- Active owners with time for daily exercise.
- Homes with a fenced yard.
- Inactive or absent owners, those who work long hours, and/or are gone from home a lot. You cannot abandon a Labrador Retriever to an empty home, back yard, or garage.
- People with a sedentary life style.
Friendly, loving, people-oriented; easy to train; great family pets.
Requires daily vigorous exercise in order to prevent destructive behaviors (such as digging, chewing, and barking).
Males: 22 to 24 inches at the shoulder, and 65 to 80 pounds; females: 21 to 23 inches, and 55 to 70 pounds.
Labradors come in three colors: black, yellow and chocolate. There are no differences in temperament or activity level among the three colors.
Medium to high.
12 to 14 years.
Excellent family pets.
Usually good with other dogs; need to be socialized with cats.
Loves to fetch and swim; prefers an active lifestyle. The Lab is equally successful in tracking, search and rescue, service, agility, therapy, and scent detection, to name just a few of their “job opportunities.”
Self-cleaning coat with moderate shedding.
Hip and elbow dysplasia and eye problems occur in the breed but are not widespread.