Labrador Retriever: Breed Information, Temperament & More

Labrador Retrievers are sporting dogs. They were originally bred to retrieve birds, like pheasants. With Labs helping them, people long ago could find food to eat.

These days Labs can work as assistance dogs for people with disabilities, as search and rescue dogs, as drug detection dogs with the police, and more. Like the golden lab variety, they are good companions and sensitive therapy dogs. They enjoy fun activities like fly-ball and agility.

Labrador Retrievers can grow up to 24 inches tall and weigh between 55-80 pounds. Males are bigger than females.

Labradors come in three colors: black, yellow (light cream to reddish), and chocolate (light to dark brown)

Grooming and Care

Even though a Labrador’s hair is short, he will shed. Brushing him once a week will help keep the hair in the brush and not on the floor. Brushing also feels good to your dog and helps keep his skin healthy.

Bathing your Labrador will help keep him clean and smelling good.

Personality

Labrador Retrievers have really cool personalities. They are friendly, loving, and very patient. They are almost never aggressive (mean). Labs love to be with people and they especially like children.

Labs are not shy or nervous dogs, which means they are usually not afraid of things. They are usually very good watchdogs and will bark when they hear or see something unusual. When they are not being a watchdog, Labs are friendly, reliable, and trustworthy.

Exercise

It would be a good thing to walk your Labrador everyday even if he has a large yard. Labs are energetic and enjoy being active, playing games, and participating in activities like flyball, agility, swimming, tracking, and obedience. They especially enjoy ball and retrieving games like fetch.

Labrador Retrievers can swim!

Training

Labradors are easy to train and they are very social. That means they like people and other animals. Labs are happy to hang out with you and do whatever you are doing. They love to play! Spending as much time as you can with your Labrador will make him the happiest dog on earth. A Lab can truly be your best friend.

Strong black Labrador retriever Labrador Retrievers are very muscular and strong. They are very independent which means that sometimes Labs want to do things their own way. You will need to be strong and consistent when you work with your dog.

Know Your Breed

Labs love to put things in their mouths! They have to be watched very carefully when they are young so they don’t eat anything that could be dangerous. They can also eat your mom’s dining room table, so keep an eye on your growing puppy! There’s one thing that almost all Labs want you to know about them – they love to play fetch. Throw a ball and watch them run!

Labs have vey good appetites. They will be happy to eat almost anytime, so lots of exercise and regular meals without too many snacks will help keep him from becoming overweight.

It is important that your Lab start learning his manners when he is young. Spend lots of time with him from an early age so he is comfortable with you. Roll him over, touch his feet, look at his teeth, and brush him gently. This will help him get used to being handled and he will be a better companion when he is older.

Socializing

Some Labs like to get to know new people before becoming their friend. So as your dog grows up, be sure to take him lots of places. Socializing your pup from an early age will help him become comfortable wherever he goes.

Labs don’t like to be left alone very much. They get very lonely when left in the yard with nothing to do. If they get too lonely, they might dig or bark too much.

It’s good to go outside and spend time with your dog, or to let your Labrador in the house. If he has learned the house rules, everyone will be happy to have him in the house.

Fabulous Dog Facts

A healthy Labrador Retriever has two coats. Underneath the beautiful coat that you can see, is a soft, thick undercoat that helps keep him warm and dry.

There is no purebred dog called a Golden Lab. Your dog is either a Golden Retriever or a Labrador Retriever. Labradors that are gold color, are usually called yellow Labs.

A Labrador Retriever’s tail looks very similar to the tail of an otter! Did you know that?

Popular Lab Mixes

Because of their endearing nature, Labradors are popular “designer dogs” that mix with other breeds.  Here is a non exhaustive list of some very popular dog breeds that the lab gets mixed with.

  1. Pitbulls and Labs combine to make Labrabulls
  2. Corgis and Labs combine to make Corgidors
  3. German Shepherds and Labs combine to make Shepradors
  4. Blue Heelers and Labs combine to make Labraheelers

All About Labs

(from their kids!)

“Labradors [make] lousy watchdogs. They usually bark when there is a stranger about, but it is an expression of unmitigated joy at the chance to meet somebody new, not a warning.” – Norman Strung

“My yellow Labrador Retriever, Oliver or Ollie, has a very funny personality. Like he’ll sneeze a lot or chase his tail. His favorite toy is an old stuffed Barney,but whenever we get home from somewhere we’ll find him sleeping on his back with his legs up in the air and he’ll have a smile on even when he’s sleeping.
It’s so cute – he is the best dog EVER.” Kiersten, age 10, New Jersey,USA

“I love Myffy (Labrador Retriever) because he is a cute little pup. I hope he will grow up to be an
intelligent and responsible dog. He loves to play with me and enjoys running around”. Anupama, Age 11, New Delhi, India

“We have two Labradors. Our first dog, Max Million, he looks like a big bear. Our second dog Maddie, looks like a Salamander, because she lays on her tum tum with her legs spread out!” Anonymous, ages 11 and 9, Washington USA

“I have some dogs too! Yeller (named after Old Yeller). He is a yellow Labrador Retriever and very obedient. He is 6 years old and he has mellowed out a whole bunch! I got him when he was a puppy.
He can be very cute and cuddly at times!” Kara

“I have a black Lab. His name is Chivas. I had another dog but she died. Her name was Bailey. She was a
yellow Lab. I also had a chocolate Lab. His name was Captain. We had to give him away, because he
kept on digging out. I want another dog so that my dog can have a playmate.” Kimberly, Age 9

“My Lab, Mac, is so cute. He is three months old and loves to chew on things. He is a purebred yellow Lab.” Kelsey, Age 12, Florida USA

“My dog’s name is Chewbacca and his nickname is Chewy (chocolate Labrador Retriever). He is going to turn one in like three days. I got him last June and he was a cutey. I love Labradors a lot! I would say he is one of my best friends!” Laura, Age 13, Nebraska USA

“I have a yellow Lab named Haley. She is 2 years old and very sweet! She loves to take walks with me and
likes to play fetch. She can do lots of tricks, one of her favorites is jumping through a hoola-hoop. Haley is one of my best friends. I will always love her!” Jeanette, Age 12, Wyoming USA

“I got my dog, Niki (black Labrador Retriever), on Christmas Day. I very surprised that I would get a dog.
She is very good. She is also a lot of fun. She is 12 weeks old. This summer I’m going to teach her how to swim. She is going to be a lot of fun this summer.” Alyssa, Age 8, New Hampshire USA

“Our dogs (Labrador Retrievers) are very sweet. They love to play ball. We love them very much and
take good care of them. Max is so intense about the ball and he sleeps onJessi’s bed. Maddie snuggles when she is tired. She also snuggles on Candi’s bed and is a two-second puppy’. ‘Two-second puppy’ means that she only wants to snuggle two seconds when she is awake.” Candis and Jessi, ages 10 and 8, Washington USA

“My dog, Sunny (Labrador Retriever), was very nice. She’s very polite, too. When we went up to the mountains (2 hour drive), she didn’t throw up or poop. But still she was very funny whenever we went swimming. She also enjoyed baths, so I guess that’s one good thing about a dog.” Kati, Age 11, California USA

“My dogs (yellow Labrador Retrievers) are so nice. I love them because they are part of our family. They are special because they always love me no matter what. My dogs are related to each other. Dakota is Lady’s dad.” Kaylah, Age 7, California

“Hi Doggie luvers! You wanna know something cool about my dog Gracey (Chocolate lab)!? Her real name is Gelya (Gail-ya). I mean her first name is Gelya. Her middle name is Gracey. We call her by her middle name. She does this hilarious thing.Every once and a while she’ll roll on her back, all over the floor like a nut! And when she’s tired, she’ll go into our computer room and she’ll flop on the couch & fall asleep! Plus she snores. But she only does it on the couch in the computer room! Nowhere else! I’ve written a ton of stuff on this site. Look for it! Well gotta go! See ya on the web!” Adnama, Age 9, Massachusetts USA

“Hi, my name is Tawny and I have a black lab and her name is Casey. Casey is a female puppy and she is very playful. She is only 10 weeks old and she does not get along with my cat, Mitsy or my kitten, Kali. Casey loves all of her toys especially her squeaky white teddy bear.” Tawny, Age 10, California USA

“Hi. I have a dog named Casey. She is a black Lab. Once I got in big trouble by my mom and she yelled at me and I started to cry. I was laying on the floor and she (Casey) came to me and laid next to me and started licking my face.Casey is a 1 year old and as cute as can be!” Courtney, Age 11, Illinois USA

“Hi my name is Amanda. I have a dog, her name is Casey. She is very cute.She can jump very high. Her favorite toy is a squeaky teddy bear. She is a very funny puppy. She loves to play with me and my sister. Maybe you think black Labradors like water, but Casey doesn’t. I love her very much!” Amanda, Age 8, California USA

“I love my dog (a Black Labrador). He’s adorable. He loves to swim at the Lake. He likes going on walks
and going bye-bye. We took him to the car wash once and he barked up a storm. When we got out everyone was looking at us. His name is Jake. He weighs 120 pounds. I love my dog. I will always love my dog, even if he is rambunctious and chews up underwear. I will always keep my dog and not ever sell him for all the money in the world. When I grow up, I’m going to own a kennel. I wish that I could have every dog in the world. Even if they were ugly, I’d still love them.” Amanda, Age 11, Ohio USA

“I taught my dog, Rosie (black Lab), to sit, give me her paw, and whisper, and I taught her to lay down and roll over and play dead. And once I brought her to a pond to swim and she cut her foot on something we brought to the hospital. She loves to chase cats and lick my face and lick the food out of the cat food can. And once she dug a hole 5 feet deep and the cats fell into it.” Samantha, Age 10, Maine USA

“My dog, Tucker, (yellow Lab) is 3 years old. He is really cute and I love him because he’s smart, very playful, and always greets you when you get back from school. He also knows a lot of tricks like high five,
bye-bye, airbud, and much more. He’s such a good pup I wouldn’t give any dog in the world for him. He loves being around people, especially kids. When we go somewhere in the car,he’s always the first one in.
He sits beside me and puts his head on my shoulder. Every year at our trailer, there are fireworks. He gets really scared and hides in the car and refuses to come out when it is over. He also thinks the same of thunderstorms.” Julia, Age 8, Oshawa, Ontario, Canada

“I love my dog, Coco (Labrador Retriever), because he makes the cutest faces and he barks when there’s
someone or another animal around. He likes to come swimming with me when it’s warm and he is always very playful.” Jocelyn, Age 11, Ontario Canada

Rusty’s Ridiculous Riddles!

What do you get when you cross a Labrador and a phone? A Labrador Receiver. Thanks to Tyler, age 8, of New York USA for this great riddle!

Resources

Visit this site for available rescued Labradors:
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Labrador Retriever Rescue

Read to your Lab

Do you want to know more about Labrador Retrievers? Click on the link below. When you’re finished, just close the window and you’ll be right back here!

The Labrador Retriever Club, Inc.

Famous Labrador Retrievers

  • Old Yeller, star of the classic book and DVD
  • Buddy, U.S. President Bill Clinton’s dog
  • Seamus, U.S. President Bill Clinton’s dog
  • Ubu, seen in the credits of TV programs produced by UBU Productions
  • Zeke, the Wonder Dog, mascot for Michigan State University’s Spartans
  • King Buck, the first black Lab on a US postage stamp
  • Luath, the Lab from the book and movie, The Incredible Journey
  • Vincent, from the TV show Lost, played by Madison the Labrador