Labrador Retriever Breed Guide

History of the Labrador Retriever

newfoundland_island_mapDespite its name, the Labrador Retriever comes from the Canadian island of Newfoundland. The Labrador r
Retriever was bred to help retrieve fisherman’s nets and fish, in the icy waters of Canada.

The Labrador Retriever has a a strong muscular legs  that allows it to jump from the boat into the water. As well as a thick water resistant double-coat for staying warm, and webbed toes to help them swim.

The lab also has a gentle mouth which allows it to pick up fish without puncturing or damaging it.

Nowadays,  the Lab isn’t so much used for fishing, but has turned to other forms of service. Often used as therapy dogs, drug sniffing dogs, and for search and rescue, the Labrador Retriever can do it all.

When not used as a working dog, the Labrador is a great family pet. So much so that in the US the Labrador has been the most popular dog breed for over 20 years straight.


Lifespan: 10-12 years

Height: 22.5-24.5 inches (male), 21.5-23.5 inches (female)

Weight: 65-80 pounds (male), 55-70 pounds (female)


The lab is a friendly and outgoing breed that plays well with others. Being a very patient and kind dog, the Labrador makes for a great dog around children.



The Labrador is a very smart breed and easily trained. They love to please their people and work hard to do so.

Early socialization is necessary to ensure that the dog is friendly and confident in any situation.

A good training program should be used. Labradors are great for first time dog owners, because of how easy they are to train.

For more resource on training check out our other dog training articles.

Living Conditions

Despite being a large dog, the lab can live in an apartment. Indoor space is not as necessary as outdoor space. If you regularly exercise a Lab, then living in an apartment is not difficult.

Labradors love water. So regular visits to a body of water will keep this pooch happy.

Energy Level

The Labrador Retriever is a high energy dog. They require 30 minutes to 60 minutes of exercise daily. Due to their propensity to become overweight, it is important to give them regular exercise.

DietDog Bowls Stainless steel

Labs love to eat, which often leads them to become overweight. In fact, scientists found that 23% of labs have a genetic mutation that causes them to not realize they are full. As a result, overeating is a huge problem.

To help with this, give your dog a nutritious diet. Natural dog foods can ensure that they receive all the nutrients they need. There are plenty of different natural dog foods on the market for any budget.


Generally a healthy breed, the Lab can suffer from hereditary eye and joint issues.

Most common issues are hip and elbow displasyia, and a luxating patella. These can be very painful for the dog, and can be avoided with responsible breeding. Even with proper breeding, a Lab can still develop these issues.

Treatment can be costly but a good pet insurance can help. A vet visit alone can cost $100 but with insurance, this can be covered.

Find a Labrador Retriever breeder

If you are convinced on getting a Labrador Retriever, look for a reputable breeder. The AKC Marketplace is a good place to start. Be sure to talk to the breeder and understand their process.

Another option, is to check your local shelters. Plenty of great dogs can be found at a shelter and maybe that is where your next furry friend is.

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