Labrador Retriever Dog Breed: History, Temperament, Care, Training & more

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Labrador Retriever Dog Breed Information

Labrador Retriever
Level of Energy  
Exercise Needs    
Level of Affection  
Climate Tolerance   
Good With Children  
Tolerance of Animals  
Suitable as Guard Dog     

Just The Facts

  • AKC Popularity:  1
  • AKC Breed Group:  Sporting
  • Size of Male:  65-80 lbs., 22.5-24.5 in.
  • Size of Female:  55-70 lbs., 21.5-23.5 in.
  • Color:  Black, Chocolate, Yellow
  • Average Lifespan:  10-12 years
  • Breed Origin:  Canada/England
  • Purpose:  Retriever, Service Dog, Pet

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General Description

The Labrador Retriever is an intelligent, loving and loyal dog with a good nature and desire to please. “Labs” are easy to train, making them popular with skilled and unskilled alike. They are also fairly low maintenance but prone to boredom if not given regular exercise opportunities, which can lead to destructive chewing. Labrador Retrievers get along with almost everyone, including kids, other family pets and strangers. They are fairly tolerant of most climates, but thrive in temperate climates.

Origin and History

Haling from Newfoundland, Canada, the original Newfoundland dogs were bread for retrieving fish and game. Newfoundlands were taken to England in the 1800s and cross bread with other retrievers to eventually create the extraordinary Labrador Retriever.

Famous for retrieving upland game, Labs have become the AKC’s most popular breed, sought after for their working ability and easy training, as well as their good natured, obedient temperament, making them a wonderful family pet.


The Labrador Retriever’s temperament is outstanding. They are patient, loving dogs that love to be loved. Their high intelligence makes for easy training and their loyalty and good nature make them fiercely devoted to their owners. From house to yard or park to field (for hunting), they can be calm, playful or intensely focused on their job.

Labrador Retriever Care

Living Environment – Labs do well in almost any living environment, including apartment living, IF given regular exercise. An average to large yard is the best scenario.

Grooming – The Labrador Retriever has a relatively short, smooth and double layered coat that does not require a lot of grooming, although they are average shedders that should be regularly brushed, especially when they are shedding. An occasional bath is necessary, especially if they find something to roll in.

Diet & Exercise – Because Labs love to eat, portion control and regular exercise are important. Daily exercise limits overweight, and can include walking or running together, throwing (you) and retrieving (your dog) a ball, swimming (which they love), or any activity to expend their endless supply of energy. They love to work, love to play, and will likely wear you out first!

Health – Labrador Retrievers are generally very healthy, but can be plagued with eye problems and PRA (progressive retinal atrophy that can lead to blindness), as well as canine hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia. Good breeding and certification of healthy blood lines can limit the number of health issues.


Labs want you to be happy, so dog training is quite easy; however, you must treat them fairly, with a consistent, firm hand, but not harsh. Given their energy, enthusiasm and great strength, early training is very important, teaching them to heal, come and not pull on their leash.