Labrador Retrievers

a black Labrador Retriever sitting outside on a clear day

The Labrador Retriever is one of the most popular breeds of dog in the world, and for good reason. They are friendly, loyal, and make great family pets. If you’re considering getting a Labrador Retriever, you’ve come to the right place!

Labrador Retrievers are known for their intelligence and eagerness to please. They are highly trainable and can learn a variety of commands. They’re very social and love to be around people, making them great companions.

Labrador Retrievers are the most popular dog breed in the United States. They are good-natured, yet hard-working dogs. Labrador Retrievers are extremely friendly and get along with adults, children, strangers and other pets. They are known for being friendly, outgoing, and athletic. 

Labrador Retrievers come in three colors: black, yellow, and chocolate. All three colors have the same personality traits, so it’s really up to you which one you prefer.

They enjoy playing fetch and other games and prefer their exercise to be an interactive experience with their families. This breed has a lot of energy and that means substantial exercise requirements. Because they have so much energy they’ll need to burn it off at least twice a day. If you have an active family this is good news because you know your furry friend will be ready to go whenever you are.

Labrador Retrievers have a double coat that allows them to be comfortable in extreme temperatures. They still shouldn’t be left outside for too long on a very cold or hot day, unless you can give them shelter and proper hydration. 

They love the water and will appreciate any opportunity to immerse themselves in it. Lakes, ponds or pools, it doesn’t matter, they love being in water. With all Labrador Retrievers have going for them it’s no wonder why they make wonderful companions and excellent pets.

Labrador pups are generally inexpensive (as far as purebreds go), and can cost anywhere from $800-$1200.

Labradors are active dogs that need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. They love to play fetch, go for walks, and swim. They also need plenty of attention and love from their owners.

Labrador Retrievers are a great choice for beginner dog owners. They are relatively easy to train and don’t require a lot of grooming or special care. However, they do need regular vet checkups and should be kept up to date on their vaccinations.

Labrador Retrievers are loyal and loving companions that will bring joy to your life. If you’re looking for a family pet, look no further than the Labrador Retriever!

Labrador Retriever Information

  • Average Height: 21.5 to 24.5 inches
  • Average Length: 21 to 25 inches
  • Average Weight: 55 to 80 pounds
  • Coat Type: Short Length
  • Coat Appearance: Double-coat that is flat and dense
  • Coat Colors: Black, yellow, and chocolate.
  • Grooming Needs: Medium
  • Shedding: Heavy
  • Brushing Requirements: Once a week
  • Sensitive to Touch: No
  • Excessive Barking: Medium
  • Tolerance to Heat and Cold: Yes. 
  • Good Pet: They are friendly, good-natured, and energetic, so yes!
  • Safe with Children: Yes
  • Good with Other Dogs: Yes
  • Good with Other Pets: Yes
  • Suitable to live in an Apartment: Yes
  • Good for Less Experienced Pet Owners: Yes
  • Training: They are obedient and have high energy which makes it easy to train them.
  • Exercise Needs: High as they are very energetic.
  • Weight Gain: High
  • Health Concerns: joint problems, obesity, bloating, ear infection, and heart diseases.
  • Allergies: Yes they have allergies from house dust, pollen, certain food, and certain chemicals.
  • Average Life Span: 11 to 13 years

Physical Appearance of Labrador Retrievers

a cream colored Labrador Retriever laying down outside near a bush

Labrador Retrievers have a strong and sturdy appearance. This dog breed is well-built and you will be able to feel their power in their muscles when you pet them. The dog has a broad head with large eyes, and ears that lay against their head. They have a dark snout that is slightly longer than other breeds. Their back is flat with the neck slightly arched upwards towards the head. Their tail is thick at the base and tapers near the end. It stands mostly straight in line with their back.

They have a short length double-coat that has a thick and straight topcoat with a soft and weather-resistant undercoat. This two-layered coat gives them protection from wet and cold weather. Their protection from the elements is why they love long walks at home or all day hunting trips in the fall or winter.

Labradors do not have any markings or patches on their body. Their coat is one of three solid colors – black, yellow, and chocolate. The yellow color ranges from cream to fox-red and chocolate from medium to dark brown.

Temperament of Labrador Retrievers

Labrador Retrievers have the sweetest personality among the dog breeds. They are very outgoing, kind, and easy to please. The dog is intelligent and very friendly and that’s why they are a great friend for the entire family. They’re nearly perfect, but their high energy needs means they need a large place to call home. The smallest they can be happy in is a large apartment or a home with a good sized yard for them to run around in.

They are known for being very social and friendly towards other dogs and pets. For families who already have dogs, or other pets, Labradors could be a great addition. Their loving and good natured personality means that they’re making friends everywhere they go. They love attention and rarely bark or act aggressively towards anyone.

They would be a great choice for first-time pet owners because they are very kind and affectionate.

Training a Labrador Retriever

3 of the cutest Labrador Retriever puppies you've ever seen before

Labradors have a good reputation when it comes to training. Obedience training works the best for them and you will really enjoy training them. Labradors are fast learners. Just give them some praise in between the training sessions and you will see that they learn new things fairly quickly.

Clicker Training – Puppy Training

Puppies need to be trained to understand what is good behavior and what is not OK. Clicker training will help them understand what is good behavior. Clicker training has you make a noise with the clicker when the desired action is done. In addition to the click you’ll give them a treat, at least while you train them. Every time your dog hears the click they’ll know they did a good job and you are happy.

If your dog misbehaves, try not to punish them because it can discourage them. Instead, remember the clicker training and divert their attention to something else. You might have to do this several times to make the Lab understand that they are not supposed to do the undesired activities.

Kennel Training

Kennel training works very well with Labs. If done right they will see the kennel as their safe space, and a place that they can relax and sleep. Most dogs enjoy small spaces and will find a sense of security while inside it. Getting them comfortable in a kennel early on will save you a lot of headaches. You know that they can’t get into trouble while you’re sleeping or at work if they’re in their kennel. It’s also a great place for them to dry off after they come into the house when it’s wet outside.

Early Socialization Training

Early socialization is not absolutely necessary for Labs, but it is helpful. They need exposure to different sounds, places, people, other dogs, and pets right when they are a puppy. The main benefit for Labs is they learn the appropriate ways to interact with other animals and people.

Obedience Training Classes

Obedience training classes are a great way to help your dog learn some basic instructions. Obedience training isn’t just for your dog, it also helps owners learn to teach and control their new dog. These classes can teach you as an owner the best ways to teach your puppy.

Their Compatibility with Children

a cute Labrador Retriever puppy playing on the end of a log

Labradors are considered one of the best dog breeds for families with children. Labs love to play and spend time with kids. They develop a strong bond with children and always enjoy being around them. Labs are always even-tempered and friendly with children. Labs love running around and playing with their toys, or just being around the children.

As with any dog, you will want to monitor the interactions between the dog and any children the first few times they are together. By watching them you can make sure that they play nice together and prevent accidents from happening. The only real issue that might occur is the Labrador is enthusiastic and they might accidentally push a child over in excitement.

Teach your kids the best ways to interact with your Lab. Children should not disturb them when they are eating because they might get bit because your dog thinks their food is being taken away. Until you know how your children and new puppy will react its best to have an adult supervise their interactions. Supervision is the best way to keep accidents from happening.

Best Climate for Labrador Retrievers

Labradors are comfortable in both hot and cold climates. They have a double-coat that lets them adapt to extreme climates without too much trouble. The best climate for the Labrador is moderate to hot. Their maximum heat tolerance is about 90 degrees. If the temperature outside gets hotter than that, try to keep them indoors if possible. If that is not possible as long as they have a shaded area to rest in, and plenty of water they should be OK.

They have a coat that keeps them warm in cold weather. Because their coat keeps them warm below freezing you take them out for walks or hunting even when it’s very cold outside. They should not be left outside for too long if the temperature is below 20 degrees. If they’ll be left out for extended periods of time they’ll need a dog house so they have a place to keep warm. If your Lab is an outside dog and the temperature gets too cold, having an electric blanket for their kennel will help keep them warm at night.

The Attention a Labrador Retriever Needs

a super happy Labrador Retriever that you'd swear was smiling with bliss as they lay outside

Though Labrador Retrievers are very adaptable they definitely need a lot of attention. They will need at least 30-40 minutes of exercise daily. Playing games like fetch and tug of war or even just throwing a ball around will help them burn off some of their energy.

If you can give them 40 minutes to an hour each day of exercise time you will find that they will be much more behaved. If you can do this twice a day it will be even better for them to help wear off all the energy they have and keep them in their best shape.

Labrador Retrievers always want to be around their family. Leaving them alone in the backyard or inside the home for too long is not a good idea. If they don’t have a positive outlet for their energy they might end up digging or doing other things like scratching or even chewing on things. It can lead to separation anxiety if they’re left alone too much while they are young.

Health Issues

Overall, the Labrador Retriever seems to be a healthy dog breed.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a hereditary problem that can make walking, getting up or laying down difficult and painful. When a dog has hip dysplasia, their hip socket fails to fully cover the ball portion of their thigh bone. The looseness between the hip and leg bone leads to partial or complete dislocation of their hip joint and can cause pain and stiffness. In most cases, medication and exercise restrictions are advised by the vet. Over time the condition could become severe enough that your vet might recommend surgery to correct it.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is a degenerative eye disorder that affects the retina of dogs. It’s an inherited condition, meaning it’s passed down from parent to offspring.

PRA is caused by a mutation in the gene responsible for producing the photoreceptor cells in the retina. These cells are responsible for converting light into electrical signals that are sent to the brain and interpreted as vision. As PRA progresses, these photoreceptor cells die off, leading to blindness.

Symptoms of Canine Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Symptoms of PRA can vary depending on the breed and type of PRA, but generally include:

  • Night blindness
  • Decreased vision in dim light
  • Dilated pupils
  • Cloudiness of the eyes
  • Head tilt

As the disease progresses, these symptoms could worsen and eventually lead to total blindness.


Obesity is a growing problem in the United States. It’s estimated that up to 40% of dogs in the US are overweight or obese. Obesity can lead to a number of health problems, including joint pain, heart disease, and diabetes.

The most common cause of obesity is overfeeding. Dogs need a balanced diet with enough protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. If a dog is fed too much, or given treats too often, they can become overweight.

In addition to overfeeding, not enough exercise can also contribute to obesity. Dogs need regular exercise in order to stay healthy and fit. Taking your dog for a walk or playing fetch are great ways to get them moving and burning calories. Having your dog running around is also great for their mental health.

If you think your dog might be overweight, it’s important to talk to your veterinarian. They can help you create a diet and exercise plan that is tailored to your dog’s individual needs. With the right diet and exercise plan, you can help your dog achieve a healthy weight and live a long, happy life.

Canine ear infections.

Ear Infections

Ear infections are a common problem in dogs, and they can be caused by a variety of different things. Ear infections can be caused by allergies, parasites, bacteria, or yeast. Symptoms of an ear infection include head shaking, scratching at their ears, ears discharge, and a foul odor coming from their ears. If left untreated, an ear infection can lead to hearing loss or even deafness.

If your dog has signs of an ear infection, it’s important to take them to your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment. Your veterinarian will be able to determine the cause of the infection and the best course of action for treating it.

It’s also important to note that some dog breeds are more prone to ear infections than others. Breeds with long, floppy ears, like Cocker Spaniels, Golden Retrievers and Basset Hounds, are more likely to develop ear infections due to the shape of their ears.

Dogs with allergies or skin conditions can be more likely to develop ear infections.

Canine Bloat

Canine bloat is a serious medical condition that can be life-threatening for dogs. It occurs when their stomach fills with gas, fluid, or food and then twists on itself, trapping the contents inside. The twisting can cause severe pain and discomfort for your pet and can even lead to death if not treated quickly.

Symptoms of Canine Bloat

The symptoms of bloat include:

  • Restlessness
  • Pacing
  • Drooling
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Retching without vomiting
  • Labored breathing

If your dog has any of these symptoms, it’s important to get veterinary care immediately.

Tricuspid Valve Dysplasia (TVD)

Canine Tricuspid Valve Dysplasia (TVD) is a congenital heart defect that affects the tricuspid valve, which is located between the right atrium and right ventricle in the heart. The condition can cause a variety of signs and symptoms in affected dogs, depending on the severity of the disease. 

TVD is typically diagnosed through a combination of physical examination, chest X-rays, echocardiography (ultrasound of the heart), and electrocardiogram (ECG ). 

The prognosis for dogs with TVD is generally good if their condition is diagnosed and treated early. With proper medical care, many dogs can live a normal long life. However, some dogs may need lifelong care to manage their condition.

Symptoms of Canine Tricuspid Valve Dysplasia (TVD)

A stethoscope sits on top of a medical diagnosis.

The most common symptom of TVD is a heart murmur, which is an abnormal sound heard through a stethoscope. Other signs and symptoms may include:

  • Exercise intolerance
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Abdominal swelling due to fluid accumulation (ascites)
  • Fainting or collapse
  • Weakness or lethargy
  • Weight loss
  • Pale gums
  • Rapid heart rate (tachycardia)
  • Abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias)
  • Heart failure

Periodontal Disease

Domesticated cats and dogs can get periodontal disease if their oral health is not taken care of. Periodontal disease is a tooth and gum condition that can become serious in a few ways. One of the biggest problems is that this disease can destroy the gums and teeth of your pet if left untreated.

Another major problem if the bacteria in the mouth enters the bloodstream. Plaque build-up in the mouth can damage the gums and let bacteria enter the bloodstream. If this happens it can cause kidney and liver diseases and narrow their blood vessels which can lead to heart problems.

One of the easiest ways to prevent periodontal disease is to regularly brush your pet’s teeth. More than likely they won’t like it, but regular brushing is the best way you can prevent plaque buildup in your pets mouth.

Bathing, Coat, and Cleaning

an absolutely beautiful black Labrador Retriever laying outside in some leaves

Their short coat has moderate grooming needs. But because they shed a lot, weekly brushings are a must. Regular brushings will reduce how much of their fur is left all over your house or covering your clothes. Use a soft bristle brush to remove their loose fur.

Give them a bath once every two months or if they get dirty or smell bad. Semi regular baths will keep their coat clean and remove any dirty dog smell they might have accumulated. To prevent any skin irritation it is best to only use a dog shampoo when you give them a bath.

Trim their nails every two weeks to keep them from scratching the floor or accidentally hurting people while playing with them. You can clean their ears with a wet cloth, but makeup removing pads work really well.

Schedule a vet visit every six months to get their teeth cleaned if you are not doing it weekly yourself.

Every week it is important to check their nose, paws, and other areas of your dog while brushing them for signs of redness or other infections. If you see any signs of infection, call your vet immediately.

Feeding A Labrador Retriever

a colorful pile of dog food

Labrador Retrievers need 2½ to 3 cups of dog food every day, split into two meals. You should not leave the food out in the open so your dog can eat it whenever they want. If they don’t eat it all after it is put out, put the food away until the next scheduled feeding time.

Avoid feeding table scraps to your Lab. If you want to feed them people food, consult your vet before giving them any. Labs love to eat people food and will overeat if given the chance. Eating more than what they are supposed to can cause them to put on weight or lead to negative health conditions.

Related Questions:

Are Labradors Retrievers Good Swimmers?

Yes, Labradors are excellent swimmers that love getting into the water. Their body is naturally shaped to allow them to swim in water. The dogs have a double coat that repels water. In addition to that, they have webbed toes that help them swim.

If you have a swimming pool at home, you can even exercise or play with them in the water. Some Lab owners have found that their dogs love the water so much that they end up buying a children’s pool just for their dog! You don’t even need to put much water in it, usually 3 inches is enough to keep them happy.

Can Labrador Retrievers be Good Guides?

This dog is very smart and intelligent. They can be trained to do many things which makes them great guide dogs. They can be of great help for people who are blind or deaf. Many Labs are selected as puppies to enter the training program to become a guide dog. As you can guess the testing is not easy, and because of the difficulty many older puppies will become available after leaving the training program.

These are not bad dogs, they just did not have all the necessary characteristics of a good service dog. They will still make excellent family pets, and are usually smarter than the average Lab just to have been selected to enter the service dog program.

This dog is very smart and intelligent. They can be trained to do many things which makes them great guide dogs. They can be of great help for people who are blind or deaf. Many Labs are selected as puppies to enter the training program to become a guide dog. As you can guess the testing is not easy, and because of the difficulty many older puppies will become available after leaving the training program.

How Fast Can Labradors Run?

The Labradors are very fit and have a sporty personality. They can run as fast as 20-30 miles an hour for short distances. This is not the fastest among dog breeds but Labradors certainly have a higher endurance and stamina than other dogs.

Are Labrador Retrievers a Popular Dog Breed?

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC) Labrador Retrievers are the most popular dog in America, beating out the German Shepherd and the Golden Retriever. Their popularity, high intelligence, devotion to their family and great personality are why many consider them to be the perfect family dog.

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Contributing Author & Social Media Expert

Maryna is an animal expert that has had dozens of animals in her life over the years. She has never found an animal that she didn't love immediately. It seems like every year she finds kittens that have been abandoned by their mom and she nurses them to health and finds homes for them. She contributes her vast knowledge about animals and family pets to our website and we're forever grateful to have her working with us. She's also an amazing graphics designer and has designed all of the social media images that we use across all platforms.