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Labrador Retriever Facts   
General Facts & Stats


The Labrador Retriever is the most commonly AKC registered dog breed in the United States…and is the most popular dog in the UK and Canada.

It is in the sporting group.

Litter size is quite amazing…it can range from 4 to up to 14 puppies, with 8 being the average.

This is one of the most commonly used canines for use as guide dogs and for search and recovery dogs for the authorities.
One of the interesting Labrador Retriever facts is that this dog originated in Newfoundland.

They used to be used as work dogs, mostly for the fishing industry as they would be trained to pull in nets and catch any fish that escaped from lines.

They were then crossbred with Spaniels and other retrievers to produce the Lab that we know today.

They were originally called a St. John’s Water Dog, however the name changed to Labrador Retriever, being named after the Labrador area of land in the U.K.

The average life span in 12 years and this breed has very few genetic health issues.

This is the #1 most registered breed in the United States.
Color and Appearance

Purebreds have only 3 coat color possibilities: Yellow, Chocolate or Black.

A Yellow includes shades that range from a golden hue to a fawn.

A Chocolate will include any shade from light brown to a rich, dark brunette.

With a Chocolate or a Black Lab, the nose color will match the coat color.

Puppies in 1 litter often range in all colors possible.

Yellow Labradors usually have black noses, which may slowly turn pink as the dog ages… this is called snow nose or winter nose.

Labrador Retriever eye color will depend on the coat.  Chocolates will have hazel or brown eyes and those in the yellow shade or black will have brown eyes.   There are some that have rare green or even green to yellow irises.

Eye rims are black in both yellow and black Labs and brown in chocolates Labrador Retrievers.

They have  webbed paws which makes them excellent swimmers.

It is Labrador Retriever fact that all purebreds have double coats. This means both in inner and outer coat of fur.

A fascinating Labrador Retriever fact is that the coat is known to be water resistant, meaning that it tends to repel water…This allows the dog to be able to swim for long periods of time and not become as cold as most other breeds.

They are a large breed,  with males typically weighing 29 to 41 kg (64 to 90 lb) and females 25 to 32 kg (55 to 71 lb).  However, some can be much larger.

Dogs that weight more than the standard weight, may be overweight and this can be slowly corrected by replacing high calorie treats for fresh produce such as carrot sticks.

They have short, straight hair and long, thick tails.

While all the same breed, there are variations of the Labrador Retriever which includes the field dog and the show dog.

In general, show bred Labs have a thicker build, a shorter body and a coat and tail that is denser than the field Labrador Retriever.

The ears on some will fold back after the dog has a hearty run.

Behavior and Temperament

While still having their hunting instincts, they make excellent pets.

They are known for being very tolerant and patient with children, making them an excellent family pet.

This breed in known for being energetic, happy and kind.

They are very protective and loyal, making them superb watchdogs.

They have an excellent scene of smell and if allowed, will follow a scent for as long as the trail goes.

A fascinating Labrador Retriever fact is that their mouths are amazing…they have an instinct to carry things in them, but can be so gentle that they can hold a raw egg without cracking it.

Aside from normal puppy teething with causes chewing, older dogs still love to chew. This can sometimes be an issue for owners; however the Lab can be trained to not chew on household items and stick to treats and toys.

Training is best done at an early age. When puppies are shown what is expected and what is not acceptable, they are can be very well behaved adults.

Puppyhood lasts for 3 years, longer than what is average for many other breeds; one benefit of this is that the owner has more time to train and instill proper behavior.

While they do have a fairly loud bark, they are not known as Barkers…and usually limit this to when a stranger approaches, etc.

Sadly, one Labrador Retriever fact is that this breed is stolen much more than others.  For this reason, owners are encouraged to never allow their dog to roam free, allows walk them on collar and leash and to microchip them for identification reasons.

They will enjoy walking as much as an owner allows… most are happy with 2 walks per day, one in the morning and one at night.

Most love to eat and have furious appetites; this is not a problem when owners make sure that their Lab receives exercise each day, this includes a schedule brisk walk lasting 30-45 minutes. 

They are very versatile…they can thoroughly enjoy playing with other dogs and then switch to wanting to cuddle on the couch with you.

When choosing a pup from a litter, it is recommended to not opt for the most active and bouncy one, not should one want to choose the puppy who is lethargic….Best is the pup that falls in the middle…who shows interest but can control their energy.


Most will shed 2 times per year...Although those in climates in which it remains warm year round will slowly shed throughout the entire year.

Easy to groom, an owners should brush every 3 days for a bristle brush and give a bath every 2-3 weeks.

In the News

In California, a Labrador named Sadie saved a Shih Tzu from drowning. The smaller dog had fallen into an outdoor pool spa. The Black Lab tugged on her owner's sleeve and barked, but was put outside. The dog immediately re-entered the house again through the doggie-door and repeatedly tugged on her owner. This amazing Lab pulled her owner, by the shirt, all the way to a fence that separated her yard from her neighbor's. After peering over the fence, she spotted the tiny Shih Tzu and rescued her from the water.

In Kentucky, a Labrador Retriever named Benny saved his owner's life after she had fallen off of a tractor mower, severed her hand, crawled into a ditch and fell unconcious. The dog, trained to never go into the road, stood in the middle of the street until a passing car stopped. Once out of the car, the driver spotted the woman, who was saved and recovered from her injuries.

In Iowa, a yellow Labrador named Reagan found a closed bag while roaming outside.  He brought it to his owner and refused to leave the bag, nosing and pawing at it until the man opened it. Inside were a litter of kittens. Two of the little kittens were able to be saved and were adopted by local families. 

In Oregon, a blind Labrador Retriever named Norman saved a young girl from drowning in the ocean. Walking along the shore with his owner, the dog ran into the water in response to the girl's cries for help. He successfully guided her back to safety.

A Yellow Labrador named Roselle is credited with saving her owner's life after guiding him out of the World Trade Center building on September 11th. Her owner stated that he would not have been able to navigate to safety through the smoke and debris without his dog.



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