Dog Breed 101: Labrador Retriever

Dog Breed 101: Labrador Retriever


Written by Dr. Muqeet Mushtaq DVM, MS ABG (Animal Breeding and Genetics)



The Labrador has several intelligent qualities that are easy to train and are an excellent family companion. They need moderate exercise, but labs can be devastating if they are not provided or left alone.

The Labrador retriever matures in moderate amounts, reaching adult heights at six to 12 months but possibly up to 2 years of age.


In the early 1800s, some of the multinational dogs used in North America (primarily Canada) were sent back to England by hunters. Several of these dogs were of the Newfoundland kind, but young puppies were often referred to as "St. John's" dogs. In England, the breed was developed and improved (perhaps with some flat-coated retrieval input) the breed we still recognize today.

As their name suggests, Labrador retrievers were bred and selected specifically for their outstanding recovery abilities in the water. They have partnered with duck hunters in all weathers and conditions. His intelligence and desire to work as a human partner have led to many other jobs and his current status as a well-known pet. Today, Labradors serve as service and guidance dogs, family pets, best dogs for the military, customs and fire task force dogs, search and rescue dogs, and hunting companions and performance dogs.

The breed's good nature has moved it to the number one position in the United States in popularity, which it intends to maintain. Despite their reputation as indoor pets, they are more fun outdoors. It should always reminisce that Labradors are water retrievers in the heart and from the very beginning.


In general, Labrador retrievers are great family dogs unless you keep in mind their need for exercise and training. These are dogs that work hard, and they love to work especially retrieval.

Labs are frequently good with other dogs, other pets, and children as long as training reduces their natural happiness. They are sturdy dogs and need some obedience training at an early age, or they can be seen dragging their owners on the road at will.

Due to their passionate nature, Labradors who are left alone or do not exercise well can become destructive and show abnormal chewing, digging and biting behaviour. These dogs are incredibly high energy dogs, with few exceptions of sofa potatoes.


The Labradors have a lot of qualities, and that's why they are so popular. They are intelligent and easy to train enough. They are "easy keepers" and can cause weight gain if not given a proper diet, so their food portion must be adjusted as needed. Labs are excellent family dogs because they want to be with people.

Labourers protect their families and homes but also generally make the company happy. Strong retrieval instincts can thrive negatively if they are not given proper guidance.

Body Characteristics

Weight Range:

  • Male: 65-80 lbs.
  • Female: 55-70 lbs.

Height at Withers:

  • Male: 23
  • Female: 22

Other Body Features

  • Ears: Floppy ears (naturally)
  • Exercise Requirements: 40 minutes/day.
  • Energy Levels: Average
  • Longevity Ranges: 10-12 yrs.
  • The tendency to Drool: Low. 
  • The tendency to Snore: Low.
  • The tendency to Bark: Low.
  • The tendency to Dig: Low. 
  • Social/Attention Needs: Medium.
  • Bred For: Retrieving

Body Coat Characteristic

  • Coat Length: Short
  • Coat Features: Flat, double coat, thick.
  • Coat Colours: Black, yellow, chocolate.
  • Overall Grooming Requirements: Low

Club Recognition

  • AKC Classifications: Sporting
  • UKC Classifications: Gun Dog
  • Prevalence: Common

Labrador retrievers are healthy, solid dogs. They are almost square in appearance, with muscular bodies and strong legs. The Labrador retriever is a reasonably fast maturing breed.


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