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Labrador Retriever

Popular pet, service dog, guide dog and working gundog

The Labrador is the most popular of all pedigree breeds and their popularity comes from their versatility as family companion, service dog, guide dog as well as a working gundog. The breed originates from Newfoundland, which from the 16th century was renowned for the fishing industry with well-established trading routes between England and Canada. Dogs were used there to help fishermen retrieve nets and lost lines and pull carts loaded with fish. The Newfoundland dogs were smaller than they are today and a smaller variety was known as the St John’s dog. It is thought that these breeds crossed with hunting dogs taken to Newfoundland by English traders and fishermen formed the basis for the modern Labrador. Some of the dogs resulting from this breeding were taken back to England where their retrieving skills were recognised by the sporting gentry. One of the early patrons of the breed, the Earl of Malmesbury gave the breed its name.

Labrador Retrievers are devoted, intelligent, and enthusiastic companions who need to be included in family activities. Labs are famously friendly and they socialise well with neighbour dogs and humans alike. The Labrador Retriever is an exuberant, very energetic breed that needs lots of exercise every day. A Lab who doesn’t get enough exercise is likely to engage in hyperactive and/or destructive behaviour to release pent-up energy. The breed’s favorite activities are retrieving and swimming. Labs also love to burn up energy on hunting trips or at field trials, as well as by participating in canine sports such as agility, obedience, tracking, and dock diving. With the Lab’s physical strength and high energy level, early socialisation and puppy training classes are vital. Gently exposing the puppy to a wide variety of people, places, and situations between the ages of 7 weeks and 4 months and beginning obedience training early on will help him develop into a well-adjusted, well-mannered adult. The only thing they are not good at is being a guard dog. Their friendly nature will welcome anyone to the home, and they are more likely to show them where the valuables are stashed than chase them away! But overall, they excel at being a loyal companion and friend and have a mellow, patient nature.

Read more about the history of this breed – HERE


Most of these stats are from the The Kennel Club UK. You can view stats from kennel clubs around the world at the links below, which may have different standards and classifications.

Group – UKGundog
Bred ForRetrieving, Hunting, Service
Rare BreedNo
Country of OriginUK / Canada
TemperamentIntelligent, Kind, Keen
Exercise NeededMore than 2 hours a day
Size of Home NeededLarge
Height at Withers – Females55 – 56 cm / 21½ – 22 in
Height at Withers – Males56 – 57 cm / 22 – 22½ in
GroomingOnce a week
CoatShort, Dense
ColourBlack, Chocolate, Liver, Yellow
Life Expectancy10 – 14 years
  • Labradors love water, their thick tail (sometimes called an “otter tail”) is used as a powerful rudder, their webbed feet help them swim fast, and their thick, waterproof coats keep them happy even in cold water.
  • Labradors are invaluable workers in a variety of fields. They’re the among the most popular choices for service dog work, as well as search and rescue, bomb and drug detection, and therapy dog work.
  • Labrador dog coats are easy to maintain. The coat is thick and dense with a weather-resistant undercoat and is easy to maintain with a brush through once a week, and more regular attention when moulting.
  • Labrador Retriever has keen sense of smell and it can be trained to detect cancer at the early stage.
  • Labrador Retriever is social breed that enjoys to spend time with people. It is prone to separation anxiety (not suitable for people that are rarely at home).


Breed standards vary throughout the world, these links will inform you of those standards and give further information about Labrador Retrievers.


Click on any picture below to view it larger and in a slideshow, it’s worth it! 😃


Enjoy this video about Labrador Retrievers, you can view the entire playlist of videos about this breed on our YouTube Channel by clicking the button below:


Here’s some websites specifically dedicated to the Labrador Retriever breed, click to view them. I am not affiliated with any of these sites, they’re just here for further information. Please note I will not advertise breeders on this site and as many websites dedicated to a specific breed are run by breeders, sometimes there’s fewer sites listed here.

Thanks for reading!

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