Labrador Retriever Dog Breed Caring and Family, Social Life, Physical Traits, Diet Information

Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever is often abbreviated to Lab or Labrador. Labrador Retrievers serve as hunting and sporting dogs worldwide. Labradors were bred in the United Kingdom as a breed of retriever-gun dogs from imported Canadian fishing dogs. Gun dogs are bred to retrieve game for hunters. Retrievers are bred as soft mouth gun dogs, with the primary characteristics of desire to please, learn and obey.  The willingness of the dog to carry the game or birds in its mouth without biting into it is referred to as a soft mouth.

Labrador Retrievers are the most frequently used breed for service and guide dogs. They excel as therapy, search and rescue, bomb and narcotics detection dogs. Labs are intelligent, athletic, easy to train, and eager to please.

Furthermore, Labrador Retrievers are in the top 10 dog breeds best for families and children, mostly due to their playful, loyal, and obedient dispositions.

Female Labrador Retrievers typically have reproduction cycles at 6-month intervals.

Labrador Retriever Dog Breed Family, Social Life, Physical Traits, Diet Information

Photo: AKC

Contents

What are the Breed Traits and Characteristics of Labrador Retrievers?

Labrador Retrievers are known for their large, expressive eyes, drop ears and large, broad heads. Another trademark is their fairly short, thick and water-resistant double coat. Male Labs stand about 24 inches high, and they weigh between 55 pounds for females to 85 pounds for larger males.

The Labrador Retriever is an excellent choice as a family dog. However, they could become destructive if they do not get enough exercise and training. Owners must  consider that they were bred as working dogs. Labs that do not receive training while still young could easily drag their owners along at will when taken for a walk. The natural exuberance of Labrador Retrievers could be toned down with training.

Do Labrador Retrievers Love the Water?

Labradors love swimming, so those who have access to a river, lake, or the ocean can treat their Labs with frequent swimming trips. Labrador Retrievers were bred to help fishermen bring back fish and other aquatic animals from the water.

Labradors have thin membranes between their toes. The membranes give a dog’s paws the look of webbed feet. This is one of the traits that make Labs good swimmers.

Labradors’ coats have double layers to make their skins waterproof. Their outer coats are designed to repel water to prevent the soft inner layer of the coat from getting wet. The inner coats of Labradors are soft and smooth to keep them warm by regulating their temperature when they swim in cold water.

Are Labrador Retrievers Versatile Workers?

Yes, Labrador Retrievers are versatile workers. Labradors’ patient nature, willingness to please and trainability make them the ideal breed for disability assistance. Labs are trained in many countries to assist those with autism or blindness. They also act as therapy dogs, rescue dogs, or perform detection and screening work for official agencies such as law enforcement.

Are Labrador Retrievers Destructive?

Yes, Labrador Retrievers can be destructive, but it is preventable. Many people choose labs because they are so intelligent. However, they tend to get bored when they are not physically and mentally stimulated.

They love human companionship, so anxiety and chewing on things could set in when they are left alone.

Are the Labrador’s Colors a Character Indicator?

No, a Labrador Retriever’s coat color does not indicate its character. Although many Lab owners insist that a Labrador’s color determines their personality, no scientific or other testing supports this assertion.

Many Labrador owners say their Yellow Labradors are the calmest and sweetest dogs.

Some say Chocolate Labs are rambunctious and a little wild, while Black Labradors are considered patient hunters.

What are the Ideal Living Conditions for Labrador Retrievers?

Labradors are best suited to indoor living because they crave human company. Because Labs are social animals, they prosper indoors where they are members of the household pack. Labradors are energetic and love the outdoors but thrive when bonding with their human pack members during training and exercise sessions outdoors.

Labradors’ friendly, calm natures make them suitable dogs for apartment living. 

Although Labs have double-layered coats, they must not be exposed to very cold or very hot climates. In extreme weather conditions, they must be kept indoors.

Labrador Retriever Dog Breed Family, Social Life, Physical Traits, Diet Information

Photo: Wide Open Pets

What is the Type of Labrador Retriever?

Labrador Retrievers were originally bred from British hunting dogs and St. John’s Water dogs from New Newfoundland. The mixed breed was later registered as purebred Labrador Retrievers.

What is the Average Litter Size of Labrador Retrievers?

According to an American Kennel Club study, Labradors typically have  between 5 and 10 puppies in a litter. The litter size depends on age, size, diet, health and genetic diversity. However, in most cases, a Lab’s first litter is smaller than the average.

How Does Labrador Retriever Interact with Family?

The Labrador Retriever is the most popular breed in America. Most people find Labs to be perfect family dogs. They are gentle, outgoing and easily trained. However, without training, they can become destructive. To prevent Labs from chewing furniture, their owners should provide chewy toys.

Labs as pets do best with active families. However, their natural exuberance could lead to small children or older people being knocked over. Most behavioral problems can be eliminated or prevented with early training.

Labradors naturally bond with their whole family; however, they might show some level of preference for the person they spend the most time with or who feeds them.

How Does Labrador Retriever Interact with Other Dogs?

Labs are typically happy to interact with other dogs. Spending time with their brothers and sisters as puppies teaches them that other dogs are friends. This is also the time they learn not to bite. However, if a pup was removed from the litter before such play, it might have problems interacting with other dogs.

Labrador Retrievers might want to secure their dominance if new pups are brought into the family.

Labradors get along with most other breeds, but the most suitable breeds for company for a Lab include other lively, friendly dogs like Golden Retrievers, English Springer Spaniels, Boxers, Boston Terriers, and Beagles.

How are Labrador Retrievers with Elder People?

Labrador Retrievers are the ideal company for older people. The overall characters of Labrador Retrievers make them welcome in assisted living facilities for seniors. Labs are friendly and  intelligent. Labradors can easily be trained to assist seniors with chores and activities, and they love human companions.

How are Labrador Retrievers with Children?

Labrador Retrievers get along well with babies and small children because they are confident and calm. They are especially careful when they interact with babies. However, when toddlers start running around, Labs’ exuberance might be overwhelming, and kids might get knocked over. The same applies when Labradors get too excited to show their love for old and frail people.

Labrador Retriever Dog Breed Family, Social Life, Physical Traits, Diet Information

Photo: Bubbly Pet

How are Labrador Retrievers with Neighbors or Guests?

Labrador Retrievers love people. They are usually happy to see friendly neighbors, and they may bark at strangers. However, their wagging tails will likely give away that they are only pretending. People who want their Labradors to protect them from strangers will have to train them to do so. Labradors are not natural protectors like some other breeds. However, they will growl and show their teeth when they feel threatened to warn strangers not to approach them.

Do Labrador Retrievers Remember Everyone?

Labrador Retrievers will remember scents forever. Labs are able to remember smells, looks, voices, movements they experienced before.

What are the Differences Between the Labrador Retriever Sexes?

The most significant difference between male and female Labrador retrievers is the size. Males are generally more sturdy than females, with squarer heads and broader chests.

Typical healthy adult Labrador males stand about 23 inches high at the withers, and they weigh between 65 and 80 pounds.

Healthy, adult Labrador females stand about 22 inches high at the withers, and they weigh between 55 and 70 pounds.

What are the Labrador Retriever Physical Traits?

The Labrador Retriever Breed traits are listed below:

Size:

Males weigh 10-20% more than females

Weight Range:

Males - 65 to 80 pounds

Females - 55 to 70 pounds

Height at Withers:

Males - 23 inches

Females - 22 inches

Features:

Naturally Floppy Ears

Expressive Eyes

Large, Broad Head

Exercise:

Require 40 minutes per day

Lifespan:

10 to 12 years

Coat:

Short, flat, dense double coat

Colors:

Yellow, Black, Chocolate

What is the Size of a Labrador Retriever?

Labrador Retrievers are medium-sized, athletic dogs with a strong, sturdy build. Most of Labs’ physical characteristics result from being bred as water retrievers. They mature reasonably fast and, although they reach an adult height between six and 12 months, some continue filling out until they are two years old.

How to Feed a Labrador Retriever?

Deciding how to feed a Labrador is not straightforward. The best foods for Labradors will not be the best choice for every dog in the Labrador Retriever breed. Labs need a diet that is high in fat and protein and low in carbohydrates. Then, of course, there is the choice of how much to feed a Labrador, which will differ from dog to dog, and depending upon which food the owner chose. Labrador Retrievers are known to have endless appetites, and as long as there’s food to eat, they will eat.

How Many Cups of Food Should a Labrador Retriever Eat Daily?

Each brand of kibbles have different ingredients and feeding instructions, one of which is listed below:  

Royal Canin Labrador Retriever Adult Dry Dog Food contains 28% Protein, and the brand breaks the food guide down into weight and activity level:

Dog Weight

Low Activity

Medium Activity

High Activity

57 Pounds

3 -3/4 Cups

4-3/8 Cups

5 Cups

66 Pounds

4-1/4 Cups

4-7/8 Cups

5-1/2 Cups

75 Pounds

4-5/8 Cups

5-3/8 Cups

6-1/8 Cups

84 Pounds

5 Cups

5-3/4 Cups

6-5/8 Cups

97 Pounds

5-5/8 Cups

6-1/2 Cups

7-3/8 Cups

What is the Daily Cost of Food Consumption of Labrador Retrievers?

Determining the daily cost of food consumption for Labrador Retrievers involves variables like the Labs size, age and health. Similarly, different food brands and food types will influence the average daily food costs.

Consider the following:

The average adult Labrador Retriever will likely eat about 310 pounds of dry dog food per year.

An average Lab puppy is likely to consume close to 220 pounds of dry food per year.

Average to Premium Quality

Average Annual Cost

Average Daily Cost

Adult Dog

$160 – $495

$290

.80c

Puppy

$180 – $355

$260

.70c

Treats

$125 – $715

$345

.95c

Example for a more expensive premium brand

Royal Canin – Size Health Nutrition

Quantity 

per Bag

Number of Bags / Year

Unit Price (PetSmart)

Total Price per year

Per Day

Large Puppy

35 lb

7

$73.99

$517.93

$1.40

Large Adult

35 lb

9

$68.99

$620.91

$1.70

How Much Should a Labrador Puppy Eat?

To show how much should a Labrador puppy eat, the following Royal Canin Labrador Retriever Puppy Food Guide, shows that puppy food portions are measured by the age and weight of the pups, as in the table below:

Dog Age

Weight 57 Pounds

Weight 70 Pounds

Weight 88 Pounds

2 months

2 - 3/8 Cups

2 - 4/8 Cups

2 - 6/8 Cups

3 months

3 Cups

3 - 1/4 Cups

3 - 1/2 Cups

4 months

3 - 1/4 Cups

3 - 1/4 Cups

3 - 7/8 Cups

6 months

3 - 6/8 Cups

4 - 1/4 Cups

5 - 1/8 Cups

8 months

3 - 3/8 Cups

4  Cups

4 - 6/8 Cups

10 months

3 - 1/4 Cups

3 - 7/8 Cups

4 - 6/8 Cups

12 months

3 - 1/4 Cups

3 - 7/8 Cups

4 - 5/8 Cups

14 months

3 - 1/4 Cups

3 - 6/8 Cups

4 - 1/2 Cups

What are the Breed-Related Health Problems of Labrador Retrievers?

Labrador Retrievers are prone to Hip Dysplasia, an inherited disease. However, many large breeds are susceptible to this condition. It causes abnormal hip joint formation, resulting in arthritis and instability, which cause lameness as the painful disease progresses. Other known genetic disorders in the Labrador breed include osteochondritis dissecans, which is shoulder and elbow dysplasia.

What are the Health Tests that a Labrador Retriever Should Take?

Labrador Retrievers should take health tests related to their breed-related health conditions. Labrador Retrievers could be carriers for several genetic diseases known to trouble this breed. Even if they look perfectly healthy, having them tested is a good idea.

Why are genetic tests important? The prevalence of certain genetic diseases in Labradors makes testing essential to avoid having them breed and pass the diseases on to their pups. Before breeding with any Labrador Retriever, the main genetic tests listed below should be done:

  • Hip Dysplasia: This condition involves the Labrador’s hip joint with abnormalities in the ball and socket formation, causing painful arthritis as the Lab ages.
  • Elbow Dysplasia: Labs are vulnerable to four different crippling elbow problems grouped under the name Elbow Dysplasia.
  • Tricuspid Valve Dysplasia: TVD is a genetic disease in Labradors that involves a misformed tricuspid valve that prevents the blood from flowing forward from the right ventricle of the heart to the ventricle.
  • Centronuclear Myopathy: CNM in Labrador Retrievers is similar to the human condition, muscular dystrophy. The disease causes an awkward gait due to loss of tendon reflexes, exercise intolerance, and weight loss.
  • Exercise Intolerance and Collapse: EIC causes Labradors’ hindquarters to become weak and collapse after five to 20 minutes of high-intensity exercise.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy: PRA causes Labrador Retrievers to go blind in a slow progressive manner.
  • Narcolepsy: NARC can affect Labradors in two ways. They can either look like they are experiencing a seizure, or they can suddenly fall asleep.

Is Labrador Retriever Hypoallergenic?

No, Labrador Retrievers are not hypoallergenic. Dogs produce allergens to which some people are allergic. The immune system of a person who is allergic to dogs reacts to the allergens present in a Lab’s fur, dander, urine, mucus, saliva,  etc. This means that even hairless dogs produce allergens. However, these allergens are present in most dogs.

Labradors might not be suitable pets to people who are sensitive to allergens. However, people less inclined to allergic reactions can typically manage the allergens produced by Labradors.

What is the Exercise Need of a Labrador Retriever?

The exercise needs of Labrador Retrievers are precise, and too much or too little can cause health issues. Use the notes below as guidelines while keeping Lab’s daily running around, walking, playing, pottering about, and resting in mind:

  • Adult Labrador Retriever Exercise Needs: It is important to consider each Lab’s energy level. High-energy Labradors need about 80 minutes of exercise per day, and a more relaxed Lab could be healthy with a bit less. This must be a high-quality exercise that involves running, playing fetch, and such. Taking a lab for a slow walk will not be enough. Labradors love swimming, so those who have access to a river, lake, or ocean can treat their Labs with an occasional swimming trip.
  • Labrador Retriever Puppies Exercise Needs: Up to age three months, running around and playing inside is enough to avoid damage to a pup’s developing joint strength. After three months, slow, short walks are allowed, gradually increasing the distance as the puppy grows.
  • Older Labrador Retriever Exercise Needs: Striking the right balance as a Labrador ages is essential. The energy levels of older Labs are lower, and their mobility might be impaired due to health issues. Depending on the vet’s advice, continue exercising but tone it down as needed.
What is the Activity Level of Labrador Retrievers?

Labrador Retrievers are very active. They were bred for demanding, physically challenging jobs, and their high energy levels go along with being members of a working breed. It is essential for Labradors to get 30 to 60 minutes of exercise each day. If they do not get the necessary exercise, they can vent pent-up energy by becoming destructive, like chewing and barking.

Labrador Retriever Dog Breed Family, Social Life, Physical Traits, Diet Information

Photo: Bil-Jac

What are the Nutritional Needs of a Labrador Retriever?

To determine the Labrador Retrievers’ precise nutritional needs, consider several factors, such as size, life stage, general health, and activity level. For instance, a healthy growing Labrador pup might need twice as many calories as an adult Lab, and the older dogs may require as much as 20% less than adult Labradors.

The list below includes the essential nutrients for Labrador Retrievers:

Proteins: Labrador Retrievers cannot live without proteins that contain 10 essential amino acids that the Labs cannot make themselves. They repair and build tissues, provide energy and keep the musculoskeletal system and the immune system strong. Adult Labradors need about 18% protein, and for growing puppies, the minimum protein requirement is 22%.

Fat: Labrador Retrievers get fat from the proteins they eat. It provides energy while the fat also helps with the normal development and functions of nerves, body cells, tissues, and muscles. Essential fatty acids are also responsible for the healthy skin and coat of a Lab. For Labrador puppies, the recommended fat per day is 8%, and 5% for adult Labs.

Vitamins: Vitamin deficiencies can have many health consequences for Labrador Retrievers.

Vitamin A deficiency could lead to vision impairment, respiratory problems, susceptibility to infections, and skin lesions.

Not enough vitamin E causes the breakdown of skeletal muscles in Labs, and also retinal degeneration and reproductive failure.

Sudden Thiamin deficiency in Labs causes neurological abnormalities like brain lesions, but if the deficiency is chronic, it could cause heart damage that could be fatal.

It is important to note that Vitamin D for Labradors is essential in small amounts, but it could be toxic if oversupplied.

Minerals: There are 12 minerals essential for Labrador Retriever health.

Most important are phosphorus and calcium for Labradors’ strong teeth and bones.

Magnesium, sodium, and potassium are essential for the muscle contraction, cell signaling and nerve impulse transmission of Labrador Retrievers.

Carbohydrates: Carbs are not essential for Labrador Retrievers, they get the carbs they need from the protein and fat they eat.

What is the Shedding Level of Labrador Retrievers?

The shedding level of Labrador Retrievers is significant throughout the year. However, there are two three-week periods when Labs shed more. During the change from winter to spring, they shed extra hair to prepare for the heat of summer. Then, when autumn arrives, they shed their summer coats to get their thick winter coats on. Most Labrador owners call those periods “shedding seasons.”

What is the Coat Grooming Frequency of Labrador Retrievers?

Labradors have two layers of coats, soft hairs against the skin and coarser hair as an outer layer. Labs’ grooming schedules should include thorough brushing at least once a week. However, it is good to groom them three to four times per week during the shedding seasons to ensure all the loose hairs are removed. Frequent brushing could also limit the effects of the Labs’ shedding in the home.

What is the Drooling Level of Labrador Retrievers?

The drooling level of Labrador Retrievers is not excessive. However, drooling is natural for any dog breed, and when it becomes more than usual, a visit to the vet might be a good idea.

Causes of Drooling are listed below:

  • Labradors’ instinctive reaction to the smells of tasty food can cause excessive salivation.
  • Labs might also drool in response to disagreeable tastes in their mouths. 
  • Motion sickness could cause nausea and drooling in a Labrador taken on a road trip.
  • Digestive issues could lead to more drooling than usual.
  • If a Labrador starts drooling from only one side of its mouth, it could be a telltale sign of gum or teeth problems.

If your dog starts excessively drooling that lasts for several hours, it is time for a consultation with a vet.

What is the Coat Type of Labrador Retriever?

The coat of a Labrador has two layers, called a “double-coat. Labs have a top layer of fur and a bottom layer against the skin. The top layer, known as a guard coat, is abrasive and wiry to keep water away from the softer, lighter undercoat. Together, the two layers regulate the Lab’s body temperature, repel water, protect it against harmful UV rays, and protect the skin. Furthermore, the undercoat is an excellent insulator that keeps Labradors warm during the colder months. Those fur layers also keep them cool during summer by insulating them from the warm air.

What is the Coat Length of Labrador Retrievers?

The vast majority of Labradors have short, dense double coats, although some Labs have longer hair.

Some people think that shaving their Labradors in summer would keep their dogs more comfortable in the heat of summer. Shaving a Labrador should never be considered. They need both the soft undercoat of fur and the coarser outer coat to regulate their body temperature, act as a barrier against the harmful UV rays, and protect the Labs’ skins from the weather.

Some Labrador Retriever owners think shaving their labs could eliminate allergy problems caused by the shedding. The truth is that pet allergies are caused by dander, which includes skin particles that dogs shed throughout the year. Shaving Labradors could exacerbate the shedding of skin particles.

Finally, a Lab may never regrow the soft layer of fur against the skin after shaving because they typically only grow the coarse outer guard hairs.

What is the Coat Density of Labrador Retrievers?

The coat of a Labrador Retriever is dense and short, but it is not wiry. The outer coats of Labs are water-resistant, helping to protect the dog from cold winter weather and cold water. This helps to keep the Labrador Retrievers’ coats slightly dry and oily. Labradors’ coats can be chocolate, yellow or black.

What is the Coat Texture of Labrador Retrievers?

Labrador Retrievers have distinctly straight hair. However, Labradors are close relations of a breed called Newfoundlands, a retriever with a curly coat. The bottom line is that some purebred Labrador Retrievers have small amounts of wavy hair. Labradors with primarily curly hair are unusual and mostly regarded as mixed breeds or even members of the curly-coated breed of retrievers. 

Labradors have two layers of coats, soft hairs against the skin and coarser hair as an outer layer. Labs’ grooming schedules should include thorough brushing at least once a week. However, it is good to groom them three to four times per week during the shedding seasons to ensure all the loose hairs are removed. Frequent brushing could also limit the effects of the Labs’ shedding in the home. No amount of brushing could affect the length of a Labrador’s coat.

Labrador Retriever Dog Breed Family, Social Life, Physical Traits, Diet Information

Photo: Pin Paws

What are the Social Traits of the Labrador Retriever Breed?

The social traits of Labrador Retrievers make them the most popular dogs in the U.S.

  • Labrador Retrievers are famously friendly.
  • Labrador Retrievers are lovable and sweet-faced.
  • Labs are outgoing, friendly, and high-spirited companions.
  • Labradors may have one favorite person in the family, but they have enough affection for the others.
  • As housemates, Labs are companionable, and they bond with all the family members.
  • Labs socialize well with neighbor humans and dogs alike.

How Does Labrador Retriever Interact with Strangers?

Labrador Retrievers are friendly dogs, even to strangers. They are known to be patient and laid back. However, they are excellent watchdogs, even though they will never be guard dogs. Being friendly to strangers does not mean they will not bark, and when strangers seem threatening, they will bark much louder than when they would when they want to warn their owners of the presence of strangers.

Are Labrador Retrievers Playful?

Yes, Labrador Retrievers are playful dogs. Their versatility endears them to all. They can learn to play with very young children one moment and then take on some rambunctious play with older children outside. Their playtime with their owners includes going on hunting trips, or just hiking in the mountains, only to entertain the kids on trips to the beach. Labs are enthusiastic athletes requiring swimming, marathon fetch games, and other fun exercises.

Are Labrador Retrievers Protective?

Labrador Retrievers are protective when they think their owners are threatened. This is only because of their loyalty to their owners and not because they are aggressive dogs. Owners who want their Labs to be protective guard dogs will have to train them specifically for that purpose because it is not a natural trait of Labrador Retrievers.

What is the Adaptability Level of Labs?

Labrador Retrievers have excellent adaptability levels. Relocating, like moving from place to place, causes them no problems, and they bounce back quickly, even if the new home is an apartment. New people in their space, even new babies, or household upsets do not affect Labs or change their love for humans.

What are the Personality Traits of Labrador Retrievers?

Labrador Retrievers’ personalities are natural instincts from their breeding. They are friendly toward infants, children, the elderly, adults, strangers, and even other dogs and cats.A trait that promotes Labradors’ friendly and adaptable personalities is their ability to become highly socialized at a young age. Before Lab pups are 16 weeks old, they are comfortable with all people, places, sights, and sounds.

This early development helps Lab puppies grow to be outgoing, confident adult dogs. With sufficient training, companionship, and attention, lab owners can mold them into wonderful additions to families.

Can Labradors be Aggressive?

Yes, Labrador Retrievers can be aggressive. However, it is not their nature, and when they show aggression, it will only be because they feel threatened.

Can Labradors be Dangerous?

Yes, Labrador Retrievers can be dangerous. Their fierce loyalty to their haman pack members make them dangerous if they perceive threats.

Do Labradors Ever Attack?

Yes, Labrador Retrievers have been reported to have attacked humans. Little information about Labradors attacking people in the U.S. are available. However, attacks by Labs in the U.K. have been recorded. As far back as 2016, the results of a study by an insurance company showed Labradors as number four on the list of most dog-attacks in the U.K. Numbers one to three were German Shepherds, Staffordshire Bull Terriers and Border Collies. Reportedly, their victims mainly were delivery drivers and postal staff.

A 2008 study by The Coalition for Living Safely with Dogs indicated that Labrador retrievers were responsible for 13.3% of dog attacks. It was later determined that aggressive owners trained mild-natured Labradors to attack.

Can Labradors Kill Humans?

Very few humans have been reported killed by Labrador Retrievers. However, it is possible, because Labs have been known to cause serious damage to those people they attacked.

Do Labradors cope with being left alone?

Labrador Retrievers do not cope well with being left alone. They are exceptionally social dogs, and when left on their own for many hours, separation anxiety could set in, or boredom could cause them to engage in destructive behavior. Regular exercise and other physical activity and mental stimulation are essential for this loyal, friendly, and energetic breed. Because they crave people-company, they need at least some family to be around for most of the day. Cover plans for alone days might be necessary.

Can I Leave My Labrador at Home?

Yes, Labrador Retrievers can stay home alone if their owners take some precautions. Labs are very needy; they require lots of attention, exercise, and playtime. Labradors do not naturally enjoy spending a lot of time without human company. It is a good idea to make sure Labs are well-exercised and make sure they have access to a “bathroom.”

Can Labs be Left Alone for 8 Hours?

No, Labs cannot be left alone for eight hours. Boredom could lead to mischief like digging, chewing, and excessive barking if they are left alone in the backyard. If Labs are left inside, they would not be able to hold their bladder for eight hours. Four hours is the absolute limit for adult Labradors, pups, and senior dogs needing to empty their bladders more frequently.

How to Train a Labrador Retriever?

To train a Labrador Retriever is not a problem because they are exceptionally trainable. They are uniquely affable, and their cognitive abilities blend perfectly with their willingness to please their humans. All these traits make them eager to show how smart they are. Labradors are highly intelligent, and the fact that they were bred as working dogs allows them to learn quickly.

Labrador puppies should begin training at about two months old or when they are brought home. Owners must start by teaching Labs that their humans are the leaders of the pack. After that, Lab pups can learn two to four new commands each month. At first, it should be uncomplicated gesture-triggered cues, advancing to word-triggered commands that become more advanced over time.

It takes about six to seven months to teach a Lab pup basic skills and obedience. However, getting to a stage where a Labrador can respond to all kinds of tempting and challenging situations could take three to six more months.

All in all, Labrador Retrievers could reach reasonable levels of training by the time of their first birthday.

Why should Labradors be trained? It serves multiple purposes, mostly helping Lab and its owner fit comfortably in a human lifestyle and society. The most significant benefit of training Labradors is ensuring the safety of owners, their beloved pets, and all those around them. Keeping an untrained, energetic Labrador out of trouble is challenging.

Labrador Retriever Dog Breed Family, Social Life, Physical Traits, Diet Information

Photo: The Labrador Site

How Frequently does a Labrador Retriever Bark?

Labrador Retrievers are not known for excessive barking. However, barking is natural in dogs, and the reasons are varied. Labs could bark when they are bored, scared, frustrated, excited, feel threatened, or when they struggle to cope with being left alone.

Although most Labradors’ communication involves body language, they have a large vocalization range that includes yelps, barks, growls, and whines. The pitch and length or duration of the vocalization and the bark’s repetition or frequency allow Labs to use 14 different variations of barks to communicate.

Barking is natural for dogs, and only nuisance barking needs to be addressed. This can be covered in training, but a good way is to entirely ignore the Lab when it barks. No touching, no eye contact. Wait for the moment the Lab stops to breathe, then praise him, give him a treat and a good scratch behind the ears. However, if a Labrador barks because of imminent danger, he might need praise for barking to warn his humans.

What is the need for Mental Stimulation of a Labrador Retriever?

The need for mental stimulation for Labrador Retrievers is significant. Labs are intelligent dogs who need mental and neurological stimulation.Mental stimulation could be external, using the environment or internal using thought. This can include using toys, puzzles and other interactive toys, and games like scenting games involving hiding tasty treats to be sniffed out. Hide and seek is another perfect way to stimulate Labradors.

Exercise and movement are vital to ensure a Labrador remains limber, maintains a healthy weight and has a low risk of developing medical problems throughout his life. However, mental stimulation is essential for a Lab to function optimally.

What are the Breed Standards of Labrador Retrievers?

The American Kennel Club is a registry of purebred dog pedigrees in the United States. Based on AKC Standards,  Labradors are hunters, and they should be hardy enough while also having the personality to be lovable family pets. 

Some of the AKC standards for Labrador Retrievers are listed below:

  1. Color: Labrador Retrievers must be black, yellow, or chocolate brown.
  2. Size: Labrador Retrievers fall in the category of medium-sized dogs with strong, athletic looks. The distance from hip to shoulder must be relatively short without interfering with their ability to run and walk comfortably.
  3. Eye color: The eyes of yellow and black Labradors must be brown and have black rims. Chocolate brown Labs’ eyes must be hazel or brown with brown rims.
  4. Height: Male Labrador Retrievers must be between 22-1/2 and 24-1/2 inches at the withers, and females must stand between 21-1/2 and 23-1/2 inches at the withers.
  5. Weight: Labrador Retriever males’ weight should be from 65 to 80 pounds, and female labs must weigh from 55 to 70 pounds.

What is the General Information about Labrador Retrievers?

The general information about Labrador Retrievers includes their origins. Labrador Retrievers were bred in Newfoundland as far back as the 1500s. Fishermen bred them with waterproof double coats and webbed paws to jump into ice-cold water to retrieve fish that had fallen off hooks or out of the nets.

Labrador Retrievers are hard-working dogs ready to please their humans today.

They are outgoing, affectionate, friendly, and intelligent to humans, especially children and also other animals. They don’t require much grooming but need a significant amount of exercise each day. They enjoy vigorous and regular walks, playing a game of fetch or hide-and-seek, and even going for a swim.

Labrador Retrievers are the most frequently used breed for service and guide dogs. Labradors are used for search and rescue, bomb and narcotics detection, and as therapy dogs. Labs are intelligent, athletic, easy to train and eager to please.

Statistics indicate that almost 90,000 Labrador Retrievers were registered in the U.S. in 2018. Although Labs are the most popular breeds in Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, the most significant numbers of registered Labrador Retrievers are recorded in the U.K. and U.S. 

Where to Buy or Adopt Labrador Retrievers?

Choosing a reputable Labrador Retriever breeder is essential. Potential Lab owners must know that they will get a healthy dog that will not develop problems years later. It is important to know what to look for in a breeder when deciding on your next purchase of a companion.

The list below shows the ten best Labrador Retriever breeders in the U.S. for comparison purposes:

  • Michigan Elite Labradors operating in Wheeler, Michigan
  • Empress Labradors based near the Illinois and Wisconsin state line
  • Simpson’s Labrador Retrievers in Red Bud, Illinois
  • Dawson Labs just north of Kansas City in Claycomo, Missouri
  • Hunters Point Kennel in Marshalltown, Iowa
  • Horizon Labradors in Hart County of northern Georgia,
  • Silver & Charcoal Kennels in Greenwood, Mississippi
  • Snowy Pines White Labs in the Ozark Mountains

There are many Labrador Retriever breeders across America. Potential Labrador parents should feel comfortable with their choice of breeder or walk away. However, these breeders are all approved by the American Kennel Club.

What are the Average Puppy Prices of  Labrador Retrievers?

The average puppy prices of Labrador Retrievers vary between different Labrador Retriever breeders, who have different priorities in breeding and the raising of Labrador puppies.

Right now, the average cost of a Labrador puppy can range between $800 and $1,200 in the U.S. and between £650 and £850 in the United Kingdom. However, those who want to buy pups from champion bloodlines could pay up to $2,500 or more.

Several factors affect the cost of Labrador Retriever puppies, one of which is the difference between breeders and puppy mills. Some of the factors that affect breeder prices for Labrador puppies are listed below:

  • Breeders test the Labrador breeding pair’s health and then feed the Lab pups on the best and most nutritious food.
  • The color can make a difference to the price. For years black Lab pups cost more than chocolate or yellow labs. However, a new color, silver, seems to bring in the highest prices.
  • English-bred Labrador Retrievers tend to be more expensive than the American Labrador Retrievers because they are typically bred for showing while American Labs are working dogs, primarily family pets.
  • Labrador Retriever breeders also spend a significant amount of money on screening and testing young Lab pups for congenital health problems.

What are the Rescue Clubs for Labrador Retrievers?

Rescue Clubs for Labrador Retrievers are organizations that help Labradors in need of new homes. There are many such facilities in the U.S. and worldwide.

A few examples on different continents are listed below:

  • U.S.: Labrador Retriever Club, Inc. in Marysville, California
  • Canada: The Labrador Retriever Club of Canada, and the Canadian Kennel Club granted the Club recognition in 1980.
  • Europe: Labrador Retriever Rescue Southern England

Which Dog Breed Organizations Recognize Labrador Retrievers?

The dog breed organizations that recognize Labrador Retrievers are listed below:

  • American Kennel Club
  • Australian National Kennel Council 
  • Continental Kennel Club 
  • National Kennel Club 

What is the Labrador Retriever History?

European settlers in Newfoundland were breeding dogs they called the St.Johns Water dogs as hunting and gun dogs.

Some St.John’s dogs landed in Britain from trading ships between Poole in Dorsetshire and Canada. The British bred their hunting dogs with the St. Johns dogs, resulting in the new breed that ultimately became the Labrador Retriever.

Which Ancestry does Labrador Retriever Belong to?

The ancestry of Labrador Retrievers goes as far back as ancient Greece, in the Epirus region, inhabited by members of the kingdom of the Molossians. 

What is the Date of Origin of Labrador Retrievers?

The date of origin of Labrador Retrievers is the 1500s.

What is the Origin of Labrador Retrievers?

The origin of Labrador Retrievers is Newfoundland where European settlers bred them.

Labrador Retriever Dog Breed Family, Social Life, Physical Traits, Diet Information

Photo: Silverbrook Kennels

For What Purpose is Labrador Retriever Used?

Labrador Retrievers serve as hunting and sporting dogs worldwide. Labradors were bred in the United Kingdom as a breed of retriever-gun dogs from imported Canadian fishing dogs. Gun dogs are bred to retrieve game for hunters.

Labrador Retrievers are the most frequently used breed for service and guide dogs.

Is a Labrador Retriever a Hunting Dog?

Yes, Labrador Retrievers are specifically bred as hunting dogs.

Historically, Labradors started to serve as duck retrievers in Newfoundland. However, after some of them landed in the UK around the 1800s, the British chose to breed them as companions for game hunters. Today, they’re excellent retrievers who can work in various settings, including waterfowl hunting and game hunting, often for many hours at a time. 

What are the Other Names of Labrador Retrievers?

The Labrador Retriever is often abbreviated to Lab or Labrador.

Where Does the Name of Labrador Retriever Come from?

There are a few suggestions about the origin of the name Labrador Retriever. The British Earl of Malmesbury wrote a letter in 1887, which might be the source of the name. It might have been named for the region from where they came, or, as some suggest, named after lavradores or labradores, terms for workers in Portuguese and Spanish, respectively.

What are the Common Nicknames of Labrador Retrievers?

Some of the common nicknames for the different color Labrador Retrievers are listed below:

  • Yellow Lab nicknames: Goldie, Sunshine
  • Chocolate Lab nicknames: Choco, Mocha
  • Black Lab nicknames: Oreo, Jet
  • Nickname for any color Lab: Labby

What is the Scientific Name of a Labrador Retriever?

Labrador Retriever scientific classification is listed below:

Scientific Name: Canis lupus

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Carnivora

Family: Canidae

Genus: Canis

What is the Average Maintenance for Labrador Retrievers?

The average maintenance for Labrador Retrievers involves many aspects. The cost of owning a Labrador Retriever is not straightforward math, but there are averages to work on. Owning a family Labrador retriever will cost between $1,060 to $10,000 annually or between $88 to $833 a month. The first year of a Labrador’s life is more costly because of more veterinary care. However, throughout a Lab’s life, vet care costs are typically higher than any other expenses.

Below is a list of averages:

  • Typical Veterinarian Expenses When Owning a Labrador Retriever $45 – $85 per month, including once-off neutering or spaying, which is $50 to $400.
  • The Labs’s Vet bills will also include Vaccines, $15 to $30.
  • A Labrador’s Food requirements are between $27 and $62.50  per month.
  • Labrador training costs from $240 to $600 for private training or $50 to $125 for group training, both refer to a 4 to 6-week course.

How to Name a Labrador Retriever?

To name a Labrador Retriever might require different criteria than new Lab parents might expect. It is never the actual name the Labs respond to; instead, it is the sound and how it is said.  

The Building Blocks necessary include tone and syllables as listed below:

  • Labs respond best to two-syllable names because they are not short enough to be confused with single-syllable command words like sit, come, and down. However, they are not long enough to become puzzling. Simple examples include Sadie, Cupcake and Buster.
  • Labrador owners set on a specific single-syllable name can go with it, but find a way to stretch the sounds to sound like two, such as “Coach” stretched into “Coh-oach” and using two different tones when calling him.
  • Labradors respond most positively to high-pitched, excited, and happy sounds when calling them, and soothing, quiet sounds when they get nervous or overzealous.
  • Some Labrador parents find their Labs respond and recognize their names better if they say it in a sing-songy voice.

What are the Most Common Female Labrador Retriever names?

The most common female Labrador Retriever names are listed below: 

  • Molly
  • Willow
  • Sadie
  • Juno
  • Sydney
  • Luna
  • Coco
  • Cassie
  • Lola
  • Bella

What are the Most Common Male Labrador Retriever names?

The most common male Labrador Retriever names are listed below: 

  • Chester
  • Buddy
  • Bruno
  • Dexter
  • Buster
  • Guinness
  • Diesel
  • Murphy
  • Bailey
  • Blu (or Blue)

What are the Different Types of Labradors?

The different types of Labradors are listed below:

  • English Labrador
  • American Labrador

They come in three different colors, as listed below:

  • Yellow
  • Black
  • Chocolate

The English-bred Labrador Retriever comes from UK- bred stock. They are blockier, thicker and heavier than the  Labrador Retriever bred in America.

What are the Similar Dog Breeds to Labrador Retrievers?

Labrador Retrievers are intelligent and able to learn and adapt without difficulty. They enjoy challenges and are happiest among humans, and being the center of attention. However, there are other dog breeds with similar characteristics.

A few breeds similar to Labradors are listed below:

  1. Golden Retrievers are similar to Labrador Retrievers because they have similar personalities. The most significant difference is the Golden Retriever’s long coat.
  2. Rottweilers and Labradors are similar because they were both bred as working dogs. They also both have short double-layered coats.
  3. German Shepherds and Labrador Retrievers are similar because they are both intelligent and crave social interaction with humans. Both breeds need mental and physical exercise and stimulation.
  4. Beagles and Labrador Retrievers share some characteristics, such as being playful, curious, and extremely active. Both breeds are famous for their family-friendly dispositions.
  5. Dobermans and Labrador Retrievers are similar in their eagerness to please their human pack members, and both breeds are exceptionally trainable.
  6. Labradoodles and Labrador Retrievers share their love of being around humans, and both breeds have low-maintenance coats.

What are the Similar Maintenance Dog Breeds to Labrador Retrievers?

The similar maintenance dog breeds to Labrador Retrievers are mostly also low maintenance and easy to have as a member of the family. However, certain aspects of their care need more maintenance. The same goes for some other large dog breeds.

Examples of breeds with similar maintenance requirements include German Shepherds, Rottweilers, and Golden Retrievers. These, and some other large breed dogs are prone to genetic diseases like elbow or hip dysplasia and other conditions that make their health a high maintenance issue. Furthermore, these breeds are all highly intelligent, making plenty of mental and physical stimulation and exercise essential.

What are Similar-sized Dog Breeds to Labrador Retrievers?

Similar-sized dog breeds to Labrador Retrievers are those that are in the medium-sized category. Dog breeds in this category are no taller than 27 inches in the withers, and they weigh between 20 and 60 pounds.

Other breeds in the same category as Labrador Retrievers include Cocker Spaniels, Beagles, German Shepherds, and Border Collies.

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Michael Brady

Michael is an animal-lover who specializes in marketing. He started running Dog Food Care with his mother, Sarah, after leaving his office job. Michael gained enough flexibility in his schedule to be able to adopt a dog of his own and welcomed Emmie the dachshund into his home in 2020.