Labrador Retriever Breed Profile

Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever was bred originally as gun dogs, but today’s Labrador is well known for its roles as assistance dogs for visually impaired and autistic people, detection & screening dogs, therapy dogs and law enforcement dogs.

The Labrador Retriever is also the most popular breed of dog in many countries around the world.


Loving, affectionate and patient, in general the Labrador Retriever is an excellent and reliable family pet, a wonderful companion and playmate for children and other dogs.

Physical attributes

Labradors come in black, chocolate and yellow with a smooth, short, dense and straight coat, with an expected lifespan of 10 to 13 years.

Their ideal weight range is 25-34kgs, but as Labradors love their food, it’s important to keep an eye on their diet and weight to ensure they don’t become overweight or obese.


The Labrador is a highly intelligent breed that is very willing and eager to please, but it is important that they get a daily brisk walk, jog or run and plenty of mental stimulation to help avoid problematic behaviours.

Scenting and retrieving games are ideal, as are teaching them some tricks and playing brain games.

They do need confident and consistent handling to help ensure their boisterous personality doesn’t become too over-exaggerated and pushy.

Working on their control around food is important too, as is ensuring they aren’t encouraged to mouth and bite as a puppy which can lead to some oral based behaviour and chewing problems in adults.

Lifestyle considerations

Labrador Retrievers enjoy living inside with their family, but their exuberance and wagging tails means they can active indoors, so having an averaged sized yard can help get them outside and good for playing some games outdoors.

They tend to shed a lot of hair, so regular brushing of their dense undercoat can help.


Labradors gain weight easily so food should be measured carefully. Particularly as they are predisposed to hip and elbow dysplasia so you want to keep any extra weight off their joints and bones.

They are also prone to allergies such as flea allergy dermatitis, environmental allergies like atopic dermatitis,  ear infections, and ocular conditions including glaucoma and diseases affecting the retina, so do consider taking out pet insurance for your dog to help ensure you are covered for illness and injury.

About the Author: Lara Shannon is a certified dog behaviourist and trainer, pet food nutrition specialist, Executive Producer and Host of Pooches at Play on Channel 10 and editor of Poochesatplay.com. Lara also runs her own dog training business in Melbourne’s Bayside area and is the Author of World of Dogs and Eat, Play, Love Your Dog

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