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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Breeds > Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever

Origin: Canada

AKC Group: Sporting

Height: 21.5 - 24.5 inches (55-62 cm) (Male)

Weight: 55 - 80 pounds (25-36 kg), although some males grow to 100 pounds (Male)

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Male height: 
21.5 - 24.5 inches (55-62 cm)
Male weight: 
55 - 80 pounds (25-36 kg), although some males grow to 100 pounds
Short, hard, straight and weather-resistant double coat.
Black, chocolate and yellow.

The ancestors of the Labrador Retriever worked with fishermen and hunters in 17th-century Canada. Retrieving nets and fowl in the iciest of waters, these dogs had to be thick skinned, weather resistant, responsive and intelligent. In the 1800s, ships coming from Labrador in Canada to England brought with them specimens of these dogs. Eventually, the English used them to develop both the Flat-coated Retriever and what is now known as the Labrador Retriever. In both England and the United States, the Labrador Retriever is a universally popular dog. Famed for his excellent retrieving skills and talents in the hunting field, he is also considered a family dog par excellence. Highly trainable, relatively easy to care for, and with personality-plus, it is no wonder he is so well loved.

Labrador Retrievers are sensible, even-tempered, affectionate, intelligent and willing to please. They are enthusiastic retrievers and swimmers and can be kept happy for hours with a tennis ball or flying disc tossed repeatedly - especially if it's tossed in the water. At the same time, Labs love to relax along with the family, and they settle right into the routine at home.
At home: 
Rural or suburban environments are perfect for this active dog. However, Labs are very adaptable and can do well in the city if their owners are willing to give these large and athletic dogs the exercise they need. They love to chew and are mouth oriented. If the proper chew toys aren't available for them, a Lab will find something else in the home to chew.
The high-spirited Labrador Retriever needs plenty of exercise for his body and mind. He loves to swim, and a long walk that takes him to a body of water where he can retrieve and play in the water is his ideal outing.
Labs are enthusiastic eaters who will usually gobble whatever is fed to them. Because of this, it is important to monitor their food intake to prevent obesity. In their early years, Labs can expend a lot of energy in various activities and need the highest-quality diet to ensure that they are getting the nutrition they need. Feeding twice a day is preferred.
The Labrador Retriever is one of the most trainable of breeds. He lives to please his people and is attentive and responsive during training. His high level of trainability, along with his excellent temperament, have made him a popular service dog for people with disabilities.
The Labrador loves to play with people of all ages but has a special affection for children. Gregarious and friendly, he will gladly stop to say hello to anyone he meets; insufficient opportunities for socializing make for an unhappy Lab, as he thrives on the attention. Labs also get along well with other pets.
The average life span of the Labrador Retriever is 10 to 14 years. Common health problems in the breed include hip and elbow dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), and other eye disorders.
Fun fact: 

There are now two types of Labrador Retrievers - the field type and the show type. The field type is considered more energetic and leaner than the show type, which is shorter and stockier.

Grooming blurb: 
Labs are moderate to heavy shedders and should be brushed frequently so that the hair is removed by a brush rather than being left on furniture or clothes. The nails should be kept short because the Lab can be heavy on his feet, and long nails can cause them to splay.
Energy level: 
Compatibility with other pets: 
Compatibility with children: 
This document has been published with the intent to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter within. While every reasonable precaution has been taken in preparation of this document, the author and publisher expressly disclaim responsibility for any errors, omissions, or adverse effects arising from the use or application of the information contained herein. The techniques and suggestions are used at the reader's discretion.