• Despite their name, they originated in Newfoundland, not Labrador.
  • Developed from the "Lesser" Newfoundland-a medium-sized black dog that retrieved game and fish from cold waters, and even pulled small boats.
  • Although they died out in Newfoundland, the Labs we see today are descended from those that were taken to England in the early 1800s.
  • In England, they gained favor as upland game retrievers; by 1870, the name Labrador Retriever was common in England.
  • Two Labs of the 1880s, Buccleuch Avon and Ned, are widely considered to be the ancestors of all modern Labs.
  • In 1892, the first liver Labs were officially recorded, and in 1899, the first yellow Lab. However, yellow and chocolate dogs did exist before then.
  • Labs came to America as Scottish-style shooting and gamekeeping became prestigious among upper class sportsmen.
  • The breed was recognized by the English Kennel Club in 1903, and the AKC in 1917.
  • In 1938, a Lab became the first dog to appear on the cover of Life magazine, bringing the breed national attention. The Lab was also the first dog to be featured on a U.S. stamp, in 1959.
  • Labs gradually replaced other breeds as the most popular guide dogs. They are also popular search and rescue dogs, assistance dogs and contraband detection dogs.
  • Since 1991, the Labrador Retriever has been the most popular breed in America. It is also the most popular breed in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
  • U.S. President Bill Clinton owned a Labrador named Buddy, and Russian President Vladimir Putin owned a Labrador named Koni.
Labrador Retriever Behavior Concerns
  • Makes a playful and trustworthy child's companion.
  • Eager to please, but can be oblivious to corrections.
  • A happy dog, with a good old boy attitude; not easily bothered.
  • Outgoing toward strangers.
  • Gets along well with other pets and dogs.
  • Loves to retrieve, to the point of seeming compulsive.
  • Loves to swim.
  • Quick to learn, but tends to pull when on leash.
  • Does best with reward-based training involving food or retrieving.
Labrador Retriever Suggested Exercises
  • Can be a calm housedog if given adequate exercise.
  • Needs daily walks, jogs, hikes or play sessions.
  • Swimming and retrieving are favored methods of exercise.
  • Also needs mental exercise in the form of training or games.
  • Field-bred Labs are lighter built and more active than show-bred Labs, and will usually require more exercise.
  • Labs enjoy hunting, and many owners compete in field events with them.
Labrador Retriever Grooming
  • Coat is straight and thick, but fairly short.
  • Colors are black, yellow and chocolate. No other colors are considered acceptable.
  • Brushing once a week is adequate; more during shedding seasons.
  • Shedding is average to above average.
Suggested Labrador Retriever Nutritional Needs
  • Labradors have a tendency to become obese.
  • Adult dogs should be fed a balanced diet that does not allow them to become overweight.
  • Puppies should be fed a large-breed growth food, which slows their growing rate but not final size. This has been shown to decrease the incidence or severity of hip dysplasia in adults.

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever dog breed picture
10 - 12 years
22 - 25 inches
55 - 80 pounds
Labrador Retriever Traits
  • Jogging Partner
    3 out of 5
  • Lap Dog
    1 out of 5
  • Good With Children
    4 out of 5
  • Warm Weather
    3 out of 5
  • Cold Weather
    4 out of 5
  • Grooming Requirements
    2 out of 5
  • Shedding
    4 out of 5
  • Barking
    2 out of 5
  • Ease Of Training
    5 out of 5