Breeds 101

Labrador Retriever


Waterproof, water-loving, affable, gregarious and family oriented - a delicious range of adjectives describes one of the world's most popular family companions.

One of the world’s most popular breeds, the Labrador Retriever traces its origins back to the St. John’s region of Newfoundland, Canada. There it was known as the “Small Water dog”, to differentiate it from the larger Newfoundland.

The Labrador once worked from the shores of the granite-rocked inlets of the Newfoundland coast, retrieving the cork floats of fishing nets and swimming them ashore, so that fishermen could pull in the fish-filled nets.
Today, this steadfast breed is the quintessence of the agreeable canine member of the human family. Unfortunately, many individuals do not live up to the image they carry. Some suffer from hereditary cataracts, hip and elbow arthritis and even wayward temperaments.

Despite this, the breed’s intelligence and adaptability has propelled it into such canine careers as guide dog, search and rescue, and police work.

Extremely gentle and eager to please, the Lab is incredibly appealing as a pet and remains the most popular breed in the world.

Large; females 211⁄2 to 231⁄2 inches, 55 to 70 pounds; males 221⁄2 to 241⁄2 inches, 65 to 80 pounds.

Color: Black, yellow, and chocolate.

Outgoing, amiable, gentle, and obedient temperament.
Nonaggressive toward all. Intense in the field, but calm and playful as a home companion; patient with kids.

High energy level, especially in puppyhood.

Active owner or family in suburban or rural home are best owners for Labrador Retriever.

Needs: Daily physical and mental challenges to stay occupied (and avoid pudginess), obedience training, secure fencing (around yards and pools), weekly brushing.

Life expectancy: 10 to 12 years.