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All About Labrador Retrievers

Labrador Retrievers are well known for their loyal and friendly personalities

They are a dog breed that is typically good-natured and highly sociable. They get along well with children of all ages as well as other dogs, making them excellent family pets.


Labrador Retriever Overview

Labrador puppy on a hay bale at doggy day care

Labrador Retriever Overview

  • Origin: UK
  • Size: Medium / Large
  • Height: 22 – 24 inches
  • Weight: 25 – 36 kg
  • Official name: Labrador Retriever / Labrador 
  • Lifespan: 10 – 12 years
  • Temperament: Intelligent, Outgoing, Agile, Friendly
  • Colours: Black, Yellow, Chocolate
  • Shedding: Frequent
  • Energy level: Active
  • Exercise Requirements
  • AKC Breed Group: Sporting
  • Training: Highly Trainable

History of Labrador Retrievers

Labrador Retrievers originated from the Canadian island of Newfoundland in the 1500s.  They were originally named St. John’s dogs or Lesser Newfoundland dogs and were raised by fishermen to help retrieve fish. In the early 19th century, they were brought to England and used in various shooting sports. The Earl and Duke of Malmesbury called these ‘labrador dogs’ and they have been known by this name ever since.


Choosing A Labrador Retriever Puppy

labrador puppy playing in the puppy preschool at doggy day care.

Choosing A Labrador Retriever Puppy

Labrador puppies are a very popular choice in the UK.

Due to the high demand breeding is not always of the best quality so choosing where you get your pup from is a very important choice. When you pick them up make sure they look healthy and lively and get them checked over by a vet.

It’s easy to see why these puppies are sought after as they are so sweet-natured and loveable. When choosing a Labrador Retriever make sure you understand the breed and the training that is involved. 

Puppy training and their full rounded upbringing are key to making sure they build those all important social skills and do not develop any behavioural issues in the future.

To get an idea of what size your lab will be when fully grown you can use the ‘two times formula’. By doubling the size of your dog at 16 weeks this should give you a rough idea of their size as an adult dog.

Senior Years Health Guide

Labradors are generally healthy dogs but they are prone to certain hereditary health issues. These issues include:

Getting your puppy from a responsible breeder is therefore important to ensure their genetics are as strong as they can be.  Regular veterinary care can also help keep on top of any issues that may arise.


Labrador Retriever Coat & Colours

Lab running in the water

Labrador Retriever Coat & Colours

Labrador Retrievers have a double coat. The double coat helps to keep them warm in cold weather and insulated from the heat in summer. It also provides some element of waterproofing.

Their inner coat is short and dense which lies close to the body and feels a little coarse to the touch. This outer coat is a little longer and provides protection from the elements.

Labrador Retrievers coats come in three standard coat colours: 

  • Black
  • Yellow
  • Chocolate (brown)

This can range from a deep, solid black to a variety of yellow shades, from pale cream to a rich, deep gold. Chocolate Labs have a solid chocolate-coloured coat. You may also see a colour change in their coat when they shed their summer or winter fur.

Dog Grooming Tips

A Labrador coat is relatively low-maintenance but they can still benefit from grooming. Regular brushing at home can help remove loose hair and help reduce continual shedding. Brushing also helps distribute natural oils, and keeps their coats in good condition. As with all dogs, their ears should be checked regularly and their nails should be trimmed as needed.

If you want to treat your labrador to a pamper session Bruce’s dog grooming can offer the above and more. Helping your dog feel relaxed, clean and loved.


Lab Feeding Guide

Labradors love food and have been often described as having an insatiable appetite. Even with a fully tummy you will still find this fun and friendly breed looking for food.

Knowing how much to feed them is therefore important to ensure they do not put on too much weight. As labradors are high energy they will need a good portion of protein and complex carbohydrates to replace the calories they rapidly burn.

They do not finish growing until they are 2 years old so feeding a healthy, balanced meal is essential to keep weight and nutrients optimal during this peak time of life.

Depending upon age, meals should be split into 2 – 4 meals per day.

Age Of PuppyPuppy WeightMealsAmount Of Food Per Meal
2 – 4 months7 – 8 KG455 – 55 grams
4 – 6 months11 – 12 KG380 – 100 grams
6 – 12 months23 – 27 KG2175 – 225 grams

Every dog is different so keeping an eye on your dog’s weight and body shape is important. The above amounts should only be used as a guide. If in doubt as a dog professional.


Top Personality Traits

three black labradors on a trampoline at doggy day care

Top Personality Traits

  • Active
  • Intelligent
  • Loyal
  • Social
  • Friendly
  • Obedient

Labradors are active dogs that require regular exercise and mental enrichment to stay happy and healthy. They love to play a game of fetch as well as running, and swimming whenever possible. This makes them perfect for doggy day care where they can keep fit and fill their days with fun activities. 

They are highly intelligent and eager to please their owners, which makes them easier candidates for dog training. They do great in doggy activities such as obedience, agility, and any type of retrieving sport. They can be fast and can run up to 20 – 30 miles per hour if kept in their peak condition.

Due to these qualities Labradors are often seen working dogs in search and rescue and as guide dogs for the blind.

Famous Labrador Retrievers

We have seen many famous Labrador Retrievers on our screens. Here are a few of our favourites.

Many A-list celebs have also chosen this well-natured breed to join their families. Including ex-US President Bill Clinton with his pal Buddy, Reese Witherspoon with her sweet black lab called Major and Friends star Jennifer Aniston with her rescued yellow lab she named Lord Chesterfield.

Labrador Retriever FAQs

Is a Labrador Retriever a good family dog?

Labradors are amazing family dogs. They are a kind and loyal breed that does well with active families. Due to their high energy levels, they love to join their owners on long walks and enjoy being sociable. As long as the whole family is ready to help with training a labrador would be a good choice.

Do Labrador Retrievers bark a lot?

Labs are classed as moderate barkers and are not usually known for excessive barking. As with all dogs it is important to understand why your dogs bark and if there is anything that you can do to help stop this behaviour. Regular training should help these people pleasers understand right from wrong.

How long do Labradors live?

Labradors on average live between 10 – 12 years of age. Their diet, healthcare and inherited diseases can all influence this. Keeping your dog as healthy as can be will give them the best chance of being with you for as long as possible.

Compare Dog Breeds

If a Labrador Retriever doesn’t seem to be the dog for you why not check out some other dog breeds:

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