Labrador Retriever

"Mr. Popularity"

Photo of Labrador Retriever


The original Labrador Retriever came from Canada – although technically from Newfoundland, not Labrador – where they worked beside their larger cousins, the Newfoundlands, as working water retrievers for fisherman. They gained great popularity in both Great Britain and the United States as a hunting retriever of both water fowl and upland game. They also made such great pets that they are currently the most popular dog (by far) in both the United States and the United Kingdom.


Well-bred Labs are usually good ol' boys and girls, ready to join in just about any activity. They're easygoing and accepting of strangers. They'll entertain kids for hours and vice versa. Some may be too active for toddlers, so supervision is suggested at least until both mature enough to understand limits. Labs can be strong-minded and have powerful bodies; they do well with a leader who sets goals and boundaries.


Smooth-coated black, chocolate or yellow coats cover a sturdy body. The long powerful “otter” tail is always wagging and is strong enough to bruise shins or wipe the coffee table clear of cups and newspapers. They can be chow hounds and if not given sufficient exercise, they might become waddlers rather than the athletes they should be.


A well-trained Lab is a joy. Their will, strength and will to please make them good service dogs. Labs learn quickly partially because they really want to please their people. They're high energy and tackle any activity with glee and gusto. An untrained Lab, however, can be a pain in the posterior due to her drive, strength and playfulness. You just might find a ball in your soup bowl and the soup on your shirt. The breed's love for water means Labs should be watched with care around pools. It's difficult for a dog to climb from a pool so they can become exhausted.

Grooming & Care

Their smooth coat looks easy care, but that doesn't mean no care. The breed's enthusiasm for water (and sometimes mud) and the oily coat call for regular baths. Dead hair must be combed out. Labs tend to sprinkle their hair liberally around the house and owners find it gloms tightly to clothing….usually the dressier the outfit, the more hair it attracts.

Health Concerns

Labs can suffer other joint and bone problems in addition to hip dysplasia, thus, OFA certification of parents is a must as is CERF registration for clear eyes. Prospective buyers should ask a veterinarian or research other problems such as diabetes or epilepsy, so they can ascertain they are obtaining a puppy from healthy lines.

Famous Labrador Retriever

Old Yeller (part Lab); Marley of "Marley and Me;" Luath from the The Incredible Journey, the puppy in the Cottonelle ads.

Ideal Owner
Activity Level 4
Schedule 6
Home 9
Children 50
Experience 11
Quick Facts
Grooming 13
Exercise 14
Challenges Not for the neat-freak, freewheeling Labs love to slurp, chow, shake, pant and drool.
Height 21.5 to 24.5 inches
Weight 55 to 80 pounds
Life 10 to 12 years
Home Alone 20
With Kids 88
With Strangers 22
Availability 96

This client information sheet is based on material written by: LifeLearn

© Copyright 2014 LifeLearn Inc. Used and/or modified with permission under license.

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