A stocky, short coupled, solid gun dog of the retriever type.
The History Of The Labrador Retriever
The Labrador Retriever is also known as St. John's Newfoundland and the Lesser Newfoundland. They originated in Canada during the 1800's.
In spite of the name, this breed was actually developed in Newfoundland as a fisherman's work dog. The breed retains its love of the water.
The original dogs were black. The golden color came about as a result of recessive genes at the E locus (a genetic phenomenon seen in many breeds, including golden retrievers) and called a "sport."
The chocolate coat is a recessive color to black. The breed gained popularity from the Earl of Malmesbury in England who named it Labrador and worked it extensively on his estate.
Description Of The Labrador Retriever
The tail resembles that of an otter and is not altered. Short ears hang close to the head and are not altered.
The breed averages 22 - 24 inches tall for dogs, with bitches 21 - 23 inches tall (at the shoulder). Dogs weigh 60 - 75 pounds and bitches 55 - 70 pounds.
There are two types of Labradors - the English Labrador and the American Labrador.
The English bred lab comes from English stock. Their general appearance are heavier, thicker and blockier than the American bred Lab.
The American Labrador Retriever comes from American bred stock and is tall and leggy. The Labrador Retriever is a solid and muscular dog with a short, hard, easy-care, water-resistant double coat that does not have any waves and comes in solid black, yellow, or chocolate.
There is also a rare silver or gray color, referred to by the AKC as a “shade of chocolate”.
Coat & Grooming
The smooth, harsh double coat is water repellent. Black, chocolate or yellow colors are permitted. The coat is easy to groom. Comb and brush regularly with a firm, bristle brush. Pay particular attention to the undercoat. Bathe or dry shampoo only when necessary. These dogs are average shedders.
Temperament and Labrador Retriever Training
The Labrador Retriever is highly intelligent, loyal, willing, and high-spirited. They are lively and good-natured. They love to play, particularly in water. Their reliable temperament makes them great children’s companions. They are happy with other dogs but they need to feel as though they are part of the family.
Labradors are easily trained. These dogs are watchdogs rather than guard dogs. They can become destructive if left too much alone. As with all dogs, Labrador Retriever training should be started as a puppy. To prevent behavioral problems later in life, training should follow a recognized training regime.
Either enroll in a certified local dog training school or read this.
Life Expectancy and Health
The average life span for a Labrador Retriever is around 10-12 years.
Reported health problems are hip and elbow dysplasia. Tricuspid valve displasia. Obesity if not given enough exercise. Eye diseases: progressive retinal atrophy, retinal dysplasia. Skin tumors.
Please read our page on health problems by clicking here.
Preferred Environment and Exercise Requirements
Labrador Retrievers will be fine in an apartment if sufficiently exercised. They are moderately active indoors and prefer an average-sized yard.
They are are energetic dogs and love to work and play hard. They need a lot of exercise. Labradors are big eaters and need regular exercise and moderate meals to avoid becoming overweight.
For More Information on the Labrador Retriever
To get more information, check out the Labrador Retriever web site:
There may also be rescue dogs available. Check for details on:
The most popular dog in America. There are in excess of two million working gun dogs, search and rescue dogs, guide dogs, and police dogs trained to detect drugs and explosives.
:: Labrador Retriever Training ::