Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever
liz west / CC BY-ND 2.0 / Flickr: liz west

Labrador Retrievers are a famous breed of dog thanks to their constant use in advertising a particular brand of bathroom product. Who hasn’t “awed” at the Labrador Retriever puppy running away with the toilet roll at an inopportune time?

There is more to these dogs than cuteness and loo paper though. Affectionate, loyal and dare we say it, sometimes even soppy, these laid back lovelies are a very popular breed as both working dogs and family pets.

Labrador Retriever – Quick Facts

  • AVG Weight: 65 – 80lbs
  • AVG Height: 20 – 24.5 inches at the shoulder
  • AVG Lifespan: 12 – 13 years
  • Apartment Living: Potentially
  • Level of Exercise: Moderate

Labrador Retriever – Trademark traits

  • Even temperament
  • Outgoing and mischievous
  • Affectionate and loving
  • Easily trainable but sometimes greedy
  • A chewing fiend!

Labrador Retriever – Breed Temperament:

There is a reason that Labrador Retrievers are popular family dogs. These gentle, kind and even tempered dogs will put up with all manner of child friendly rough and tumble and tend to get on with other animals too. They are frequently used as assistance and therapy dogs due to their good nature and trainability.

Labrador Retrievers are definitely not guard dogs, due to their trusting nature. They are not big barkers either, tending to be fairly quiet unless alarmed.

They are pretty agile for their size, loving a good 45 minutes to an hour’s exercise a day and can become a little rambunctious if confined too much – leading to munching on your sofa and slippers.

Labrador Retriever – Suitable environment:

If given regular exercise, both mental and physical, Labrador Retrievers can live in almost any warm, safe environment.

Having a garden for them to play in is a definite advantage and remember these can be big dogs, so tiny studio based living is probably not advisable, if only to save your vases from wagging tails.

Labrador Retriever – Ideal Owners:

A Labrador retriever requires a good hour of exercise every day, so need an owner able to provide them with a walk or interactive play.

Their ‘wash and go’ coats mean they don’t require much grooming but they DO need a strong trainer who will be consistent and firm, especially when preventing them from overeating!

The kindly and gentle Labrador makes a magnificent family dog and is also commonly used as an assistance dog for people with additional needs.

Labrador Retriever – Breed Appearance:

Black, chocolate or yellow, Labrador Retrievers are relatively large dogs with a broad head and wide muzzle. They have kind and expressive eyes, short, dense coats and a muscular build to their body.

Labrador Retrievers also have an ‘otter’ tail, which is a distinguishing characteristic of the breed, along with their webbed toes, which make them fantastic swimmers.

Labrador Retriever – Breed History:

Originating in Canada and initially referred to as a St John’s water dog, the Labrador Retriever is a prized sporting and waterfowl hunting dog. In the 19th century, the first and second Earls of Malmesbury were instrumental in establishing the breed in England, following an incident where the first Earl saw a Labrador Retriever on a fishing boat and immediately exported it to England for duck hunting on his estate.

The Labrador Retriever was recognised by The Kennel Club in 1903 following the first recognised yellow Labrador in 1899, with chocolate Labradors gaining recognition in the 1930s. They are now the most popular dog breed amongst homeowners in the UK, the US, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

Labrador Retriever Popular Stories