AVERAGE SIZE OF ADULT: Medium
EXERCISE REQUIREMENT: High
GROOMING REQUIREMENT: Low
AVERAGE LIFESPAN: 10-12 years
A medium to large sized dog his amiable nature makes him easy to train. He is very forgiving and always looking to please. Comfortable in most settings but happiest in the countryside he is an excellent swimmer and, as the name suggests, loves to retrieve. His otter like tail and webbed paws make him a particularly strong swimmer. His short coat sheds profusely but is relatively easy to care for.
He comes in solid yellow, cream, black, chocolate or red. He is believed to have originated from Newfoundland where he may have been used by fishermen to retrieve fish. Today he is a true country gent and the most popular breed of choice for the shooting field, as he is keen to work and at the same time shows great focus and calmness to his job, being used to flush and retrieve.
The Labrador Retriever is also the most popular breed used to work as an assistant dog, particularly for the Guide Dogs For The Blind Association who favor the Lab’s reliable temperament and trainability. The Labrador is built well with a strong well muscled body, large round head, triangular ears dropping down at the cheeks, strong well proportioned legs, an otter like tail and an extremely biddable character with little or no tendency towards aggressive behavior. As with most gun dogs he has what is known as a ‘soft mouth’, which makes him unlikely to bite and able to carry live game without injuring it.
Measuring up to 57cm at the shoulder and weighing up to 35kg he has a tendency towards obesity if his diet and exercise requirements are not carefully monitored. The breed can be extremely prone to hip dysplasia and that is why reputable breeders hip score both parents before breeding puppies to prevent the problem. Labradors need at least two hours exercise a day and can live for up to 15 years.