Breed Profile: Labrador Retriever

Two Golden Labrador dogs looking up
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Labrador Retrievers, despite their name, actually originated in Newfoundland. The breed was developed from the St. John’s Water Dog -- a combination of Newfoundlands and small water dogs.

In the early 19th century, the Duke of Malmesbury developed an interest in the breed and brought them to England. Though the breed died out in Newfoundland, the English were able to preserve and develop the breed standards still known and loved today.


Males: 65-80 pounds
Females: 55-70 pounds


Black, Chocolate, or Yellow

Health Problems:

Responsible breeders strive to maintain the highest breed standards as established by kennel clubs like the AKC. Dogs bred by these standards are less likely to inherit health conditions. However, some hereditary health problems can occur in the breed. The following are some conditions to be aware of:

About the Breed:

Labrador Retrievers, or “Labs,” are one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States. They are medium to large-sized dogs with sturdy, athletic builds. Labs are known for their intelligence, fine character and good temperament. Though bred to be retrieving gun dogs, these qualities also make them excellent companions.

The Labs' smooth, water-resistant coats and otter-like tails make them excellent water dogs.

Because of the breed's short coat, little more than basic grooming is required. However, because Labs are heavy shedders, routine brushing is beneficial.

As true family dogs, Labs usually get along well with children and are known to be incredibly loyal, loving and active. Because of this, Labs are best suited to homes where they can get plenty of exercise, attention and training.

In addition to their sporting abilities, Labs make excellent service dogs. They are often trained to become guide dogs for the blind, handicapped assistance dogs and therapy dogs.