Labrador Retriever | Dog Breed Guide

Labrador Retriever | Dog Breed Guide

by Scritch

Labrador retrievers are active and outgoing dogs with friendly manners, making them the perfect choice for families. As high-spirited companions, they are a great option for children.

Weight - Female: 55-70 pounds; Male: 65-80 pounds

Height - Female: 21.5-23.5 inches; Male: 22.5-24.5 inches

Life Expectancy: 10-12 years

Group: Sporting group

Temperament: friendly, high-spirited, outgoing, active

Energy Level:

Ease of Training:

Grooming Requirements:

History and Personality

In the early 1800s, some of the multipurpose dogs that were used by hunters in North America and Canada were shipped back to England. Most of the “water dogs” were considered “Newfoundland” type; however, the smaller dogs were considered “St. John’s” dogs. While the dogs were in England, the breed was developed and revised into the breed that we know today.

Labrador retrievers were bred and chosen due to their phenomenal retrieving abilities, especially in water. These dogs have worked as partners with duck hunters in several types of weather conditions. Labrador retrievers are known for their intelligence and their desire to work as a partner.

A Labrador retriever attracts many people because of how social the breed is. They love meeting and playing; this breed is typically well-mannered around other dogs and even cats. Because of their gentle temperament and being able to put up with just about anything, they are great to be around kids. Labrador retrievers are medium-to-large sized dogs, but they are like a big, cuddly teddy bear. Weighing in around 60-80 pounds, it’s important to keep in mind that they are prone to obesity, so their diet is important. Shedding can tend to get excessive as they shed their coats seasonally, just like any other dog.

When it comes to training, Labradors love to learn so training is usually a breeze. If you love to be active, they will love to challenge you in a round of frisbee or fetch. While this breed is quiet most of the time, they will bark if they see a stranger or hear a noise. While they don’t normally harm anyone, their bark can seem intimidating to people who aren’t used to being around the dog.


Labradors have a double-coat, which means they have two separate layers of fur. The top layer is called the guard coat, or also known as the top coat. The top can be quite abrasive. Underneath, there is a lighter and softer coat called the undercoat. These two layers help regulate the dog’s body temperature and protect against harmful UV rays. Since their coats work together to protect them, it’s ideal to avoid shaving this type of dog. During the spring and fall, you will notice more shedding, but it’s nothing a vacuum and some lint rollers can’t tackle.

Energy Level

Labradors are energetic dogs. If you’re up for some long-distance walks or runs, your dog would be more than happy to join.

This breed needs physical activity as it is a highly active and high-spirited dog. Lack of activity can contribute to some destructive behavioral issues. You can play ball, frisbee, or even make your own agility course to give your dog mental exercise as well.

Health Concerns

  • Patellar Luxation
  • Canine Hip Dysplasia
  • Osteochondritis Dissecans
  • Canine Elbow and Shoulder Dysplasia
  • Diabetes
  • Distichiasis
  • Exercise-Induced Collapse
  • Hot Spots
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Cataract
  • Retinal Dysplasia
  • Central Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Knee, eye, elbow, and hip tests should be part of regular medical check-ups with this breed. Between the tests that need to be run during appointments and potential health conditions, pet insurance is beneficial so your dog can get the care they need when they need it.