Labrador Retrievers are, without a doubt, one of the most beloved dog breeds of all time. But, as breeds of dog go, theirs is pretty new. It wasn’t even recognized by the AKC until 1903. Prior to that, it almost went extinct. But, many people recognized something special in these pooches and worked hard to preserve this marvelous breed.
- Breed group: sporting
- Height: 21- 24 inches at shoulder
- Weight: 55 – 90 pounds
- Life Span: 10 – 13 years
- Labs come in 3 colors: black, yellow and chocolate.
- Labs typically have 6 to 8 puppies in each litter.
Quick Score Sheet:
All factors are graded on a score of 1 – 1o with 1 being the least and 10 being the most. For example, an adaptability level of 10 means that a dog is very adaptable. Conversely, a score of 1 in Barking Tendencies would mean that the pup rarely barks…
Adaptability – 9
Activity level – 7
Affection Level – 9
Barking Tendencies – 3
Exercise Needs – 8
Social Needs – 6
Apartment Friendliness – 7
Safety around Children – 10
Aggression – 1
Grooming Needs – 2
Playfulness – 10
Watchdog Ability – 8
Shedding – 3
- They have a short, weather-resistant coat because they are descendants of Water Dogs.
- They also have webbed feet and a tail like a boat rudder which make them exceptional swimmers.
- Labrador Retrievers are equipped with a double coat for extra insulation. The interior fur keeps them warm while the outer layer repels water and creates a barrier. Because of this, they do shed. But, not uncontrollably.
- Their muscular bodies make them great pets for people who love to be outside camping, swimming, hiking and so on.
- Labs are active and very smart dogs so they need daily exercise and mental stimulation. Bored labs can become destructive.
- Providing them with attention and affection is a great way to get it back tenfold as they are incredibly loving and loyal pets.
- They need training and activity in order to keep their bodies strong and their minds sharp.
- The Lab has a double coat — a soft, insulating undercoat topped with a short, hard, protective outer layer. Labs shed heavily, and brushing them once or twice a week will help keep the fur from flying.
- Most breeders like to keep puppies with their mamas until they are about eight weeks old, if not a bit older. Puppies who are adopted too early may be more difficult to house train or have social issues.
Official Breed Standards (for Show dogs)
- Weight: males – 65–80 lb, females – 55–70 lbs
- Height: 22.5 to 24.5 inches for males and 21.5 to 23.5 inches for females
- Short and dense, but not wiry or bristly, coat.
- Colors accepted by the AKC: black, yellow, and chocolate.
- The head should be broad and give an appearance of strength.
- The eyes should be expressive and loving with pronounced eyebrows.
- Appropriate eye colors: brown and hazel. The lining around the eyes should be black.
- The muzzle should be of medium length and relatively wide. Again, they should have strong, yet kind, appearance.
- The ears should set slightly above the eyes. They should also hang close to the dog’s head.
- The jaws should be strong and powerful and curve back ever so slightly.
- Powerful and muscular bodies that exude athleticism, and strength.
- Prone to dyplasia of the hips and elbows. They also may suffer from knee problems, often times having issues with their knees dislocating. This is especially the case, the larger that they are. However, they are not as prone to these issues as many other types of dogs.
- Labradors do not know their own limits and can suffer from collapse after exercise or exertion. Keeping an eye on your dog when he is out playing or when you take him out for a run is recommended. He or she may not know when to stop.
- Labrador Retriever is most likely to obese. out of all dog breeds. This obesity issue is genetic and Lab owners have to be especially careful in this regard. This is also a cause of the dysplasia issues mentioned earlier. A few facts about obesity in Labs:
- Obesity is considered the number one nutritional problem with dogs. At least a quarter of American dogs are overweight. With Labs being the most popular breed in the country, this is bad news for tehm.
- A healthy Labrador can exercise intensely for about 2 hours. Labradors should be taken on at least 30 minute walks no less than twice a day.
- A healthy Labrador retriever is fit and has a narrow waist. It is lean and muscular.
- In a 2016 study of 310 Labradors, it was found that the majority were missing all or part of the POMC gene which regulates appetite.