About Breed

Labrador Retriever


Available Pets

Weight: 65–80 pounds

Height: 23–25 inches

Clubs, Registries & Associations

  • American Canine Association
  • Continental Kennel Club
  • Universal Kennel Club International
  • American Kennel Club
  • United All Breed Registry
  • America's Pet Registry, Inc.
  • United Kennel Club

(Based on breed recognition. See store for details on this particular puppy.)

Heritage

The Labrador Retriever from Newfoundland was used to work with fishermen, trained to work in the water to pull in the fishing nets and to retriever fish that came loose from the lines. In the 19th century, this breed was brought to England where they were crossed with various breeds of spaniels, setters and other retrievers all to advance their hunting skills. Today this breed shines in hunting, tracking, retrieving, search and rescue, military and police K-9 units, narcotics detection, assistance and guide dogs, and field trial competition. One of the most popular breeds in the United States!

Description

Large, up to 21-25" at the shoulders, weighing anywhere from 50-70 pounds. The Labrador Retriever is a strong working dog with a smooth double coat that comes in colors of black, chocolate, or yellow. They have webbed feet to aid in swimming.

Health Awareness

The Labrador Retriever has a life expectancy of 10-12 years and is prone to hip dysplasic, epilepsy, eye disorders and skin allergies.

Personality

The Labrador Retriever is playful, alert, curious, patient and good-natured. They are highly intelligent and willing to learn, always loving a job to perform, so your job as a trainer will be easy. This doesn’t mean that you can ignore thorough socialization, though, so put that on your list. And they love to exercise, so be sure that you like to exercise, too. You need to be a calm, knowledgeable, and humane owner giving consistent and committed leadership to your Labrador Retriever using only motivational training methods. One more thing: your Labrador Retriever will love to eat and many owners need to keep the food out of reach and even under lock and key because this breed will find a way to get to the food bag with or without the owner. And they will eat until they get sick.

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 bold 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.

Exercise/Energy Level

The Labrador Retriever requires a long, brisk daily walk, jog, run or biking with you, and plenty of off-leash play and running in a safe, fenced area. They also need mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destruction, so be sure to provide your Labrador Retriever with plenty of interactive toys that challenge their problem-solving skills.

Additional Information

 Grooming Requirements:   Requires regular brushing and bathe only when necessary
 Coat: Short
 Shedding: Average shedding
 Hypoallergenic: No, due to shedding
 Apartment Living: The Labrador Retriever requires a long, brisk daily walk, jog, run or biking with you, and plenty of off-leash play and running in a safe, fenced area. They also need mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destruction, so be sure to provide your Labrador Retriever with plenty of interactive toys that challenge their problem-solving skills.
 Lap Dog: No
 Good With Children: Good with children when well socialized at an early age.
 Good With Other Pets: Good with other pets when socialized at an early age

General Appearance

The Labrador Retriever is a strongly built, medium-sized, short-coupled, dog possessing a sound, athletic, well-balanced conformation that enables it to function as a retrieving gun dog; the substance and soundness to hunt waterfowl or upland game for long hours under difficult conditions; the character and quality to win in the show ring; and the temperament to be a family companion. Physical features and mental characteristics should denote a dog bred to perform as an efficient Retriever of game with a stable temperament suitable for a variety of pursuits beyond the hunting environment.

The most distinguishing characteristics of the Labrador Retriever are its short, dense, weather resistant coat; an "otter" tail; a clean-cut head with broad back skull and moderate stop; powerful jaws; and its "kind," friendly eyes, expressing character, intelligence and good temperament.

Above all, a Labrador Retriever must be well balanced, enabling it to move in the show ring or work in the field with little or no effort. The typical Labrador possesses style and quality without over refinement, and substance without lumber or cloddiness. The Labrador is bred primarily as a working gun dog; structure and soundness are of great importance.

Size, Proportion, Substance

Size--The height at the withers for a dog is 22½ to 24½ inches; for a bitch is 21½ to 23½ inches. Any variance greater than ½ inch above or below these heights is a disqualification. Approximate weight of dogs and bitches in working condition: dogs 65 to 80 pounds; bitches 55 to 70 pounds. The minimum height ranges set forth in the paragraph above shall not apply to dogs or bitches under twelve months of age. Proportion--Short-coupled; length from the point of the shoulder to the point of the rump is equal to or slightly longer than the distance from the withers to the ground. Distance from the elbow to the ground should be equal to one half of the height at the withers. The brisket should extend to the elbows, but not perceptibly deeper. The body must be of sufficient length to permit a straight, free and efficient stride; but the dog should never appear low and long or tall and leggy in outline. Substance--Substance and bone proportionate to the overall dog. Light, "weedy" individuals are definitely incorrect; equally objectionable are cloddy lumbering specimens. Labrador Retrievers shall be shown in working condition well-muscled and without excess fat.

Neck, Topline, Body

Neck--The neck should be of proper length to allow the dog to retrieve game easily. It should be muscular and free from throatiness. The neck should rise strongly from the shoulders with a moderate arch. A short, thick neck or a "ewe" neck is incorrect. Topline--The back is strong and the topline is level from the withers to the croup when standing or moving. However, the loin should show evidence of flexibility for athletic endeavor. Body--The Labrador should be short-coupled, with good spring of ribs tapering to a moderately wide chest. The Labrador should not be narrow chested; giving the appearance of hollowness between the front legs, nor should it have a wide spreading, bulldog-like front. Correct chest conformation will result in tapering between the front legs that allows unrestricted forelimb movement. Chest breadth that is either too wide or too narrow for efficient movement and stamina is incorrect. Slab-sided individuals are not typical of the breed; equally objectionable are rotund or barrel chested specimens. The underline is almost straight, with little or no tuck-up in mature animals. Loins should be short, wide and strong; extending to well developed, powerful hindquarters. When viewed from the side, the Labrador Retriever shows a well-developed, but not exaggerated forechest. Tail--The tail is a distinguishing feature of the breed. It should be very thick at the base, gradually tapering toward the tip, of medium length, and extending no longer than to the hock. The tail should be free from feathering and clothed thickly all around with the Labrador’s short, dense coat, thus having that peculiar rounded appearance that has been described as the "otter" tail. The tail should follow the topline in repose or when in motion. It may be carried gaily, but should not curl over the back. Extremely short tails or long thin tails are serious faults. The tail completes the balance of the Labrador by giving it a flowing line from the top of the head to the tip of the tail. Docking or otherwise altering the length or natural carriage of the tail is a disqualification.

Head

Skull--The skull should be wide; well developed but without exaggeration. The skull and foreface should be on parallel planes and of approximately equal length. There should be a moderate stop--the brow slightly pronounced so that the skull is not absolutely in a straight line with the nose. The brow ridges aid in defining the stop. The head should be clean-cut and free from fleshy cheeks; the bony structure of the skull chiseled beneath the eye with no prominence in the cheek. The skull may show some median line; the occipital bone is not conspicuous in mature dogs. Lips should not be squared off or pendulous, but fall away in a curve toward the throat. A wedge-shape head, or a head long and narrow in muzzle and back skull is incorrect as are massive, cheeky heads. The jaws are powerful and free from snippiness-- the muzzle neither long and narrow nor short and stubby. Nose-- The nose should be wide and the nostrils well-developed. The nose should be black on black or yellow dogs, and brown on chocolates. Nose color fading to a lighter shade is not a fault. A thoroughly pink nose or one lacking in any pigment is a disqualification. Teeth--The teeth should be strong and regular with a scissors bite; the lower teeth just behind, but touching the inner side of the upper incisors. A level bite is acceptable, but not desirable. Undershot, overshot, or misaligned teeth are serious faults. Full dentition is preferred. Missing molars or pre-molars are serious faults. Ears--The ears should hang moderately close to the head, set rather far back, and somewhat low on the skull; slightly above eye level. Ears should not be large and heavy, but in proportion with the skull and reach to the inside of the eye when pulled forward. Eyes--Kind, friendly eyes imparting good temperament, intelligence and alertness are a hallmark of the breed. They should be of medium size, set well apart, and neither protruding nor deep set. Eye color should be brown in black and yellow Labradors, and brown or hazel in chocolates. Black, or yellow eyes give a harsh expression and are undesirable. Small eyes, set close together or round prominent eyes are not typical of the breed. Eye rims are black in black and yellow Labradors; and brown in chocolates. Eye rims without pigmentation is a disqualification.

Forequarters

Forequarters should be muscular, well coordinated and balanced with the hindquarters. Shoulders--The shoulders are well laid-back, long and sloping, forming an angle with the upper arm of approximately 90 degrees that permits the dog to move his forelegs in an easy manner with strong forward reach. Ideally, the length of the shoulder blade should equal the length of the upper arm. Straight shoulder blades, short upper arms or heavily muscled or loaded shoulders, all restricting free movement, are incorrect. Front Legs--When viewed from the front, the legs should be straight with good strong bone. Too much bone is as undesirable as too little bone, and short legged, heavy boned individuals are not typical of the breed. Viewed from the side, the elbows should be directly under the withers, and the front legs should be perpendicular to the ground and well under the body. The elbows should be close to the ribs without looseness. Tied-in elbows or being "out at the elbows" interfere with free movement and are serious faults. Pasterns should be strong and short and should slope slightly from the perpendicular line of the leg. Feet are strong and compact, with well-arched toes and well-developed pads. Dew claws may be removed. Splayed feet, hare feet, knuckling over, or feet turning in or out are serious faults.

Coat

The coat is a distinctive feature of the Labrador Retriever. It should be short, straight and very dense, giving a fairly hard feeling to the hand. The Labrador should have a soft, weather-resistant undercoat that provides protection from water, cold and all types of ground cover. A slight wave down the back is permissible. Woolly coats, soft silky coats, and sparse slick coats are not typical of the breed, and should be severely penalized.

Color

The Labrador Retriever coat colors are black, yellow and chocolate. Any other color or a combination of colors is a disqualification. A small white spot on the chest is permissible, but not desirable. White hairs from aging or scarring are not to be misinterpreted as brindling. Black--Blacks are all black. A black with brindle markings or a black with tan markings is a disqualification. Yellow--Yellows may range in color from fox-red to light cream, with variations in shading on the ears, back, and underparts of the dog. Chocolate--Chocolates can vary in shade from light to dark chocolate. Chocolate with brindle or tan markings is a disqualification.

Temperament

True Labrador Retriever temperament is as much a hallmark of the breed as the "otter" tail. The ideal disposition is one of a kindly, outgoing, tractable nature; eager to please and non-aggressive towards man or animal. The Labrador has much that appeals to people; his gentle ways, intelligence and adaptability make him an ideal dog. Aggressiveness towards humans or other animals, or any evidence of shyness in an adult should be severely penalized.

Disqualifications

Any deviation from the height prescribed in the Standard. A thoroughly pink nose or one lacking in any pigment. Eye rims without pigment. Docking or otherwise altering the length or natural carriage of the tail. Any other color or a combination of colors other than black, yellow or chocolate as described in the Standard.

Interesting To Know

  • There are two types of Labrador Retrievers: the English Labrador Retriever and the American Labrador Retriever. The English Labrador Retriever is heavier, thicker with a big "block" head. The American Labrador Retriever is tall and lanky.
  • The famous "Marley" from the feature film Marley & Me was a Labrador Retriever.
  • Zeke the Wonder Dog from Michigan State University is a Labrador Retriever.