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Labrador Retriever Dog Breed Profile

Labrador Retriever

Other Names
, Lab 
Dog Group Kennel Club
Breed Classification
Labradors belong to the gundog group and are used as companions, in field trials, assistance dogs (hearing and sight), gundogs and seen in the show-ring. 
Cost of Ownership
Average Food Cost
£4-7.50 per week
Feeding Requirements
Labradors are not fussy eaters and, as such, need not be expensive to feed. They are greedy dogs and therefore care must be taken to ensure they do not get the chance to raid the rubbish bin! Careful watch over their diet is a must as they are prone to obesity. 
Other Expenses
Puppies will cost around £400 and upwards. This is a relatively healthy breed therefore there should not be excessive veterinary bills. 
9 - 15 years
Labs usually live for 12 to 14 years. 
Average Litter Size
Litters can vary from 4 to 14 puppies, the average being 8. 
General Physical Description
Labs are very active strongly built dogs with good bone and substance Their heads are broad with soft intelligent eyes They have a double coat the undercoat being weatherresistant and the outer coat being short and dense with no feathering Their tails are totally unique being otter like and their movement is straight and true both front and back covering the ground freely
Height Min Max
Bitch 54cm (21") 56cm (22")
Dog 56cm (22") 57cm (22")
Weight Min Max
Bitch 28kg (62lbs) 0kg (0lbs)
Dog 30kg (66lbs) 0kg (0lbs)
Size Category
Weight Height Range
Bitches measure 54 to 56cms at the withers, dogs between 56 to 57cms. Bitches weigh around 28kgs and dogs around 30kgs. 
The problems the Lab has to contend with are largely due to overbreeding so care should be taken when purchasing a puppy to ensure the breeder has screened for these hereditary problems: hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy and epilepsy. If this is done the likelihood of your puppy being susceptible to these diseases is greatly reduced. 
Common Ailments

Cancer, Metabolic Liver Defect
Ear Infections  
Susceptibility To Illness
The breed originated not in Labrador, but on the coast of Newfoundland in the 17th century. They were trained to bring in the fishing-nets through the icy waters for the fishermen and, in the early 19th century, were brought to Poole Harbour in Great Britain. These dogs were short-limbed, sturdy swimmers with short dense coats and an otter-like tail. They were so attractive that the fishermen had umpteen offers from Englishmen to buy them. The breed was instantly successful as a gundog. The Earl of Malmesbury was fascinated by these dogs, known at that time as Saint John's breed of water dogs and he started breeding them, calling them Labrador dogs. A heavy dog tax in Canada and the new quarantine laws in Great Britain caused a great reduction in the breed, limiting further breeding to be done without any more imports. Thankfully the ones already in Britain were of excellent quality and in the hands of serious breeders. The Kennel Club of Great Britain first recognised the breed in 190 
Intelligent dogs, Labradors are easily trained, making them ideal for use in field sports, obedience competitions, as search dogs, as guide dogs and as hearing dogs. These dogs take a great pleasure in any of these activities.< 
Show Characteristics
The skull should be wide with a defined stop with powerful jaws and a wide nose. The teeth should also be strong with a complete scissor bite. Medium-sized eyes should express intelligence and good temper in either brown or hazel colouration. The ears should not be heavy or large and hang close to the head. The neck should be clean, strong and powerful set into well-placed, long and sloping shoulders. The chest should be a good width and depth with a level topline. The forelegs should be well-boned and straight and the hindquarters well-developed. The feet should be round and compact with well developed pads and well-arched toes. The tail is the distinctive feature, being very thick towards the base, amply covered in short and dense coat with no feathering. 
Country Of Origin
Famous Examples
Records Held
Overall Exercise
> 2 hours per day.
These dogs will adapt quite readily to the amount of time you can allocate for their exercise but do remember they should be given quite a reasonable amount. They love fairly long walks with a chance to run and play off the lead. They adore retrieving and water, so do take care when near the latter to ensure their safety. They will adapt to town living but come into their own in rural surroundings. 
Distress if Left Alone
Personal Protection
Guard Dog Suitability
Risk of Sheep Worrying
Tendency to Bark
Level of Aggression
Compatibility With Other Animals
Suitable For Children


General Character And Temperament
This breed is definitely in the top three when it comes to choosing a family pet! They are friendly, good-natured dogs who are affectionate with everyone. They are adaptable dogs and are naturally social animals. They bond well with children, being patient and forgiving. Other household animals are not at risk. They are extremely loyal and love to be included in all aspects of family life. They will bark to draw your attention to strangers but will welcome them with open arms. 
Coat Length
Grooming Requirement
Once a week 
Requires Professional Groomer
Their coats are easy to maintain. The coat is thick and dense with a weather-resistant undercoat. Brush them once a week with more attention during moulting. 
Labs come in solid black, yellow and chocolate brown/liver. 
Suffers From Allergies
Tendency to Cause Allergies