Agility, Conformation, Field Trials, Hunting Tests, Obedience, Rally Obedience, Tracking, Guide Dog
Labrador Retriever is a very friendly and intelligent breed, which makes Labra everyone’s a favorite dogs in the world.
Labrador Retrievers are everything you’d expect of man’s best friend. They’re friendly and outgoing, devoted to their families, eager to please and easygoing, yet energetic.
As an athletic breed, Labradors love to swim and retrieve. They also make great search-and-rescue dogs, service dogs and drug and bomb detection dogs.
Labradors are a large breed with lots of energy, so it’s important to socialize and train Labra puppies from an early age. Daily exercise is important to prevent a bored Labrador from resorting to destructive behaviors like excess barking or chewing to burn off pent-up energy.
Labradors are sturdy dogs with a wide head, tapered tail and a dense, water-repellent double coat.
10 to 12 years
Standard colors for Labrador are yellow, black and chocolate.
Labs are moderate to heavy shedding. Regular brushing helps remove loose hair and keeps the coat shiny.
Labradors are generally healthy, but they’re prone to weight gain. Many Labs will overeat if given the opportunity, so watch their food intake closely. A complete and balanced diet and daily exercise can help prevent weight gain.
Other health conditions that may affect Labs include hip and elbow dysplasia, myopathy and heart disorders. Labs may also have a higher risk for certain eye conditions like progressive retinal atrophy.
As with other large breed dogs, Labrador Retrievers are at risk of bloat, a life-threatening condition. Because of the breed’s popularity, there’s a higher risk of irresponsible breeding to fulfill demand, so make sure you work with a reputable breeder who conducts thorough health screens.
The Labrador Retriever gets his name from Labrador, Canada, though the breed was developed in 19th-century Newfoundland as a water dog. Originally called St. John’s dog after Newfoundland’s capital, Labs worked alongside local fisherman to retrieve their catches.
Early Labradors may have been bred with Newfoundlands and other water dogs before a breed standard was formed. Around 1830, Labs were imported to England, where they served as hunting retrievers.
The breed disappeared from Newfoundland entirely after government restrictions and various tax laws took effect.
The Kennel Club in England recognized the Labrador Retriever as an official breed in 1903, however, and the American Kennel Club (AKC) followed suit in 1917.
The breed’s popularity soared after World War II and by 1991, Labs were the most popular dog in the U.S. They’ve held onto that top spot ever since.
Today, most Labs skip the hard labor and spend their days being pampered and loved by their people. However, some Labs still serve as indispensable working dogs.
Labrador Retrievers are also the breed of choice for search and rescue work, guide dogs, assisted living dogs, and contraband detection work.
While Labradors are a relatively healthy breed, they do have some problems that they are more likely to suffer from than some other breeds.
Fortunately, many of these can be avoided or reduced through good health testing of breeding pairs.
Here are some conditions you will need to be aware of if you are thinking of buying a Labrador puppy:
- Hip Dysplasia
- Elbow Dysplasia
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- Cranial Cruciate Ligament Disease
Labrador Retrievers make great pets for active families, who are around for much of the day or are able to put in place effective cover plans during the working day.
Note: While the characteristics mentioned here may frequently represent this breed, dogs are individuals whose personalities and appearances will vary. Please consult the adoption organization for details on a specific pet.