The Labrador Retriever

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Labrador Retriever
Weight: 55 — 75 lbs
Height: 21” — 25”
AKC Rank 2008 #1
Life Span: 10—12 yrs
Group Sporting
Origin Canada

Dog Breed Info - Labrador Retriever

A Yellow Lab resting in a corn field
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Breed Overview

The Labrador, medium sized, not only retrieves game, but fish and pulls small fishing boats through icy water and helps the fishermen with any task involving swimming.

The breed continued to grow in popularity in America. It reached #1 in 1991. The AKC registered the Lab in 1917. Labs are strong, energetic, water-loving, hunting dogs with high energy that will bring anything back that you might throw for them. They are the #1 family dog in America and have been so since the 1990’s. Today, Labs come in black, chocolate and yellow.

Labs are excellent swimmers. They have webbed toes to help move the water and a water-resistant coat so they just slid through the water.


Highly intelligent, EASY to train, eager to please, loves his dog training sessions, a joy to work with. Use clicker training and positive reinforcement for excellent results with this dog.

Labrador Retrievers are trained as guide dogs for the blind and as therapy dogs in nursing homes. Due to the dog’s intelligence, it is very versatile as well as popular as a pet.

Crate Training

Want to crate train your Labrador Retriever puppy? It's easy and if you're interested, take a look and you'll see what to do. Crate training your puppy will save many headaches and problems.

Potty Training

Labrador Retriever puppies are fairly easy to house train, potty train, toilet train, housebreak or whatever you want to call it. If you have a puppy, decide if you want to crate or paper potty train it. For the best results, we have a page at Crate vs Paper Potty Training which will help you decide and from there you can get all the information you need to get the job done. Always praise the pup profusely when she goes potty in the RIGHT PLACE so she knows she has done a good thing. Either method will work for this breed.

If you have an older dog, take the dog outside every two hours until she gets the idea which door leads to her potty area. Older dogs catch on to the potty or housebreaking pretty fast once they are shown what to do.


A Chocolate Lab giving the "HIGH FIVE."
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This is a fun loving, high spirited, mostly non-aggressive dog and does well if he is given plenty of exercise every day.

If you happen to get a Lab with a separation anxiety problem, that can be dealt with by investing a few hours of work on your part and some "tough love."

Friendly Toward Other Dogs

Generally gets on with other dogs. Not many enemies.

Friendly Toward Other Pets

Yes. Family pets are part of HIS family too.

Friendly Toward Strangers

Yes. Loves people and will get along with all your guests and friends.

12 year old Yellow Labrador
Retriever with a happy face.

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Yes! This dog LOVES to play, and play hard! His energy level is high and he’s a fun loving guy.


Yes! Labrador Retrievers are very affectionate and need people-affection. They return the same. This is a serious family dog.

Good with children

Yes, but—Be careful. The Labrador Retriever is a quick, powerful dog. If the kids are 6 years or older, OK. Under 6, you could be looking for trouble. Labs are active and frisky with long legs. Most are gentle and mean well, but they can easily knock a 2 year old over on his skull and crack it open by accident. Close supervision necessary for young children.

Good with Seniors over 65?

NO. Labs have too much energy, need too much exercise and are too heavy for some seniors to manage.

A Labrador Retriever puppy
trots down a long boardwalk alone.

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Living environment

Needs space to work off energy. House with a medium to large fenced yard is ideal. Farm or ranch is even better.

The Lab needs enough room to chase a ball or Frisbee and play a brisk game of fetch without fear of running off.

Energy level


Exercise needs, daily

Moderate to high. Romp in back yard with a ball or Frisbee, chase sticks into the ocean, take long walks or hike, swim in the lake. That’s a Labrador Retriever! He MUST have exercise.


Yes, fairly good. A lab is curious and will investigate strangers.

Guard dog

Fair. Not the best, but can appear protective toward family members. Labs are a bit too friendly to kill an intruder.

A Labrador puppy and his best friend!
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Yes, some.


None. Brush him twice a week—he’ll love the attention!



Suggested Reading For The Labrador Retriever

The book on the right is by the American National Red Cross and deals with dog emergencies, illnesses and injuries. It's a valuable reference book for every dog owner and I keep a copy handy. Vol 2, 2008, includes a DVD.

The famous "Black Lab"
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Oct 09 Please visit our recently added Dog Book and DVD Store.


Labrador Retriever Breeders

In the event you decide to go looking for Labrador Retriever puppies, be SURE to find reputable breeders that really know what they are doing. Be sure the puppy has been well socialized and started in obedience training. Check your local dog pounds and other kennels as Labs often turn up there.
Labrador Retriever Breeders with puppies for sale.

Labrador Retriever Rescue Groups

In the event you are seriously considering the adoption of a Labrador Retriever and are looking for a rescue group or groups in your state, here are several links that might help:
Petfinder - Dog Rescue -- Nationwide
Adopt A Pet This is an interesting site that may give you some ideas.

Dog Health Issues For The Labrador Retriever
Below: The dog illness / illnesses or medical problems listed for the Labrador Retriever by various vets.

This is basically a healthy breed. Don’t let the list below scare you! Your own dog will probably never have ANY of these problems. These are dog illness and medical problems this breed is prone to that have been listed by various veterinarians at different times over the past decade or so and some pertain to puppies and very young dogs that a breeder would deal with.

The information contained herein has been gathered from numerous books by veterinarians and is intended as general information only. Every dog and situation is different. You must see your vet. Our information is for general interest only and not intended to replace the advice provided by your own veterinarian.

Other health problems could occur with your Labrador Retriever. If you notice any problems with your dog, take it to the vet immediately. This website is for general information only and is not intended to, in any way, be a medical guide.


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