- AKC recognized in 1917
- Lifespan: 12 - 14 years
- Size: Medium
- Energy: High
- Recommended Dog Kennel for Labrador: 42" dog crate*
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Table of Contents
Labrador Retrievers consistently rank as the most popular breeds in America and it is not hard to see why.
They are frequently used as assistance dogs to help people who are blind or diagnosed with autism.
They also can assist in detection and screen work with law enforcement agencies. To round it out, they are also a favorite breed for waterfowl and sport hunting.
Its expressive character, good temperament, friendliness, and intelligence makes it the most popular family dog.
They were recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1917.
Labs come in three colors, are high energy and medium-sized.
They are often described as friendly, outgoing and active.
Its lifespan is usually between 12 and 14 years.
Labs have a dense weather-resistant coat that is short in length.
The hair on its head is clean cut with a broad back skull.
Other ways to describe the Labrador Retriever's appearance is strongly built.
It is recommended to provide feed formulated to medium-sized breeds. It is highly recommended to discuss your dog's feed with your veterinarian and/or breeder in order to determine the size and frequency of meals in order to ensure a healthy, long life. It is also important to ensure that clean, fresh water is always available.
It is important to regularly brush your pet's teeth.
It is recommended to groom Labs on a weekly basis with an occasional bath to keep them looking healthy and clean.
Labrador Retrievers have fast nail growth and as such need regular trims using a nail clipper or grinder.
Overgrowth of nails can cause splitting and cracking. Their ears can build up wax and other matter.
To avoid infection, it is recommended to regularly check and clean around the opening but not inside their ears. This can be done with a large ball of cotton wool moistened with veterinarian-recommended ear cleaner or warm, previously boiled water.
It is important for Labrador Retrievers to get a lot of exercise. Despite their sometimes laid-back nature, they require plenty of exercise to stay healthy.
Remember, Labs were initially bred for the physically demanding and arduous task of retrieving for game hunters.
Although it depends on the nature and age of your Lab, it is generally recommended to give adults between 45 minutes to 90 minutes of active exercise each day.
Examples include swimming, jogging, playing fetch and similar activities that provide more intensity than a light walking speed.
For puppies approximately 5 minutes per month of age until fully grown is sufficient. For aging Labradors, it is important to monitor their health more closely for signs of sore joints and other health problems.
Regularly vet check-ups will help determine the appropriate levels of exercise.
The lack of sufficient exercise can lead to disobedient behaviors, excessive barking, and other destructive behaviors.
It can also lead to weight problems, hip and elbow damage, heart disease, higher blood pressure and a higher incidence of diabetes.
Pet Crates Direct recommends the 42" dog crate* for most adult Labs. Most models also come with a divider that allows puppies to grow into space.
A crate with dimensions of 42” length x 28” width x 31” height or 42” length x 28” width x 30” height will work well for your Labrador.
The crate you choose should be suitable for your dog’s needs without being too large.
Labrador retrievers are very social active animals. A dog crate will help you keep your dog away from mischief when you are not around to monitor its activities.
Click here to learn about the best dog crates for Labradors.
Have some toys in the crate for it to chew on to prevent it from chewing on the crate. When you are around, play with it and encourage it to have fun.
Be sure to keep an eye on it as they are known to play themselves to exhaustion.
Return to the main Dog Crate Sizes Breed Chart.
* Links for crate sizes will bring you to the most appropriate Amazon page.
Adult male Labrador Retrievers stand between twenty-two and twenty-five inches and they weigh an average of sixty to eighty pounds.
Female adults, on the other hand, weigh between fifty and seventy pounds, standing at a height of twenty to twenty-four inches at shoulder height.
Known as some of the sweetest breeds of dogs that the world has to offer, these dogs are very loveable and they aim to please.
This nature coupled with their high levels of intelligence makes them quite easy to train.
Training your Labrador retriever is of the essence as they are filled with high amounts of energy which can be used in destructive behavior where your dog is not well trained.
As a result of this energy, these dogs do well in surroundings filled with activity.
Compared to most breeds, these dogs are quite healthy and if you take good care of them, chances are that they will not develop most health conditions that other dogs suffer from.
Examples of diseases that your Labrador Retriever could suffer from include but are not limited to cataracts, epilepsy, cold tail, hip dysplasia, and elbow dysplasia.
Getting your dog from a good breeder lessens the chances of such diseases if they are hereditary.
Labrador Retrievers are generally very active and social animals.
Their social nature makes them ideal for the indoors because if you leave them in the yard alone, they will get bored and they will find ways to keep busy that are destructive, such as digging up your flower beds.
Though activity levels vary depending on the type of retriever you have, it is important to keep them active.
Exercising your dog on a daily basis helps it manage its stress levels and improves on its overall well being.
Take it for a walk or a jog for at least half an hour on a daily basis. This kind of exposure not only helps it release some of its energy but it will also expose it to different people and surroundings, making it more sociable.
Do not take puppies out for walks until they are at least a year old. Instead of walks, get your puppy a few toys to keep it busy indoors.
When it comes of age, you can go out on long walks. Labrador retrievers are workaholics and as such, it is important that you put an end to their games to prevent them from exhausting all their energy while playing.
Labrador retrievers are like any other retrievers and they are happy to have something to carry around in their mouths.
Get your dog a toy which it can carry around and chew on when they get bored. They chew a lot and having toys near them prevents situations where they might chew on your clothes or furniture.
Having a dog crate enables you to contain your retriever when you are not around to monitor their chewing behaviors.
Due to their sweet nature, you might think that it is not necessary to train them. Do not make that mistake.
These dogs are full of energy and without the right training, that energy will be put into negative uses.
They are easy to train and have been known to excel in obedience contests. To start off the training, you can enroll your puppy in a kindergarten where it will be taught how to interact with other animals.
You can opt to train your dog on your own and as you do this, use methods that use positive reinforcement for work well done as opposed to punishing your dog for getting a command wrong.
In this way, your dog will learn faster and the two of you will get to bond during the process.
Have an identification tag on your retriever as they are known to take off in the event when they sense something exciting nearby, such as food. This will help you find your dog easily.
Bathing your lab depends on how clean your dog is.
For dogs that prefer to stay indoors, a bath every two months should do the trick. However, if your dog loves to play in the mud, it goes without saying that the baths will be more frequent.
When bathing your dog, be on the lookout for sore ears and eyes, a change in the coloring of the fur and any other symptoms that may be indicative of sickness.
Labrador Retrievers shed a lot of fur and you should brush it daily to prevent it from shedding all over the house.
Oral hygiene should also be practiced by brushing your dog’s teeth at least twice a week to prevent the build-up of plaque and development of gum disease.
When feeding your dog, take into account your dog’s level of activity so you don't end up giving it too much food.
The more nutritious the food you give your dog, the less amount of food it will need to get full.
Measure out the amount of food to give your dog and feed it twice a day. When feeding a puppy, you should consider foods with low-calorie content. This prevents your puppy from growing at a rate that could be damaging to its bones.
Labrador Retrievers love to eat and you will catch them trying to get food from garbage. Ensure that you do not leave food lying about as they will eat it.
They grow obese very fast if they are allowed to eat at will and this can bring about some serious health complications.