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Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever is a popular hunting and companion breed. They make good family pets and come in three colors: black, yellow and chocolate.

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Physical Characteristics
  • Comes in three colors - black, yellow and chocolate
  • Strong build, medium size
  • Athletic, well-balanced
  • Powerful jaws, broad back skull
  • "Otter" tail is thick at base and tapers at tip
  • Round feet; forelegs are straight from shoulder down
  • Coat: Smooth, short hair; double coat; waterproof
  • Height: 21-24 inches
  • Weight: 55-80 pounds (in good physical condition)
  • Average lifespan: 10-12 years
  • Warm, outgoing, compliant, nonaggressive, patient, gentle, smart, versatile
  • Interaction with people: Excellent family dog; plays well with children. Needs to feel a part of the human family; extremely loyal and loving
  • Interaction with animals: Plays well with other dogs
  • Level of attention needed: Committed to pleasing owner; craves human interaction and attention. Enjoys playing, especially swimming. Doesn't like to be left alone too long
  • Training: Easily trained; aptitude for hunting, retrieving, tricks, policing, guiding, search-and-rescue, sledding, agility and competitive sport. As with all dogs, early socialization and puppy training are required to make this active breed a good house member and perfect companion animal.
  • Protection: Good watchdog; not a good guard dog due to nonaggressive nature
Medical Conditions
  • Congential cardiac diseases (including tricuspid valve dysplasia)
  • Exercise-Induced Collapse (neurological disorder)
  • Hereditary Myopathy (muscular disease)
  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Ophthalmic disorders (including progressive retinal atrophy and cataracts)
  • Patellar luxation
While the listed ailments may be common in this breed, not all members of the breed suffer from these conditions. Responsible breeders screen for orthopedic and genetic diseases.
At Home
  • OK for apartments if given enough exercise
  • Active indoors and needs at least an average-sized yard
  • Needs long, brisk daily walks, jogs or runs; enjoys running alongside a bicycle
Other Facts
  • Popular breed for guide and search-and-rescue dogs
  • One of the most popular family companion breeds in the world
  • Favorite family house pet in the U.S. since 1991 due to its gentle disposition and loyalty
Breed History
  • Native to Newfoundland, Canada
  • Descendant of the St. John's water dog
  • Bred to jump overboard into icy water and haul fishing nets to shore
  • Retrieving ability was sharpened on the coast of Labrador
  • In 1887, the Duke of Malmesbury coined the name "Labrador" when he wrote a letter referring to the breed as his Labrador dogs
For more information about this breed and breeder referral contacts, please visit the Labrador Retriever Club For breed rescue opportunities, visit LRC Rescue
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