Adored wherever they roam, the reliable Labrador Retriever is the ultimate family dog. One of the oldest breeds of the gun dog type, they’re strong swimmers and make the perfect loving and playful family companion. Their chocolate, black or yellow colouring and sturdy yet cuddly build make them one of the most recognisable and well-loved dog breeds, and their adaptable, calm temperament makes them the ideal candidate for assistance or therapy work.
The modern Labrador Retriever gets its name from ancestors who can be traced to Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada. These Canadian dogs were bred for their adeptness in hunting and fishing, and whilst the Labrador Retriever is a bit sleeker and smaller in size than its older relatives, it’s certainly inherited those water skills. First recognised as a separate breed in 1903, the Lab has since far surpassed its older cousins in popularity.
Labrador retrievers live an average of 10-12 years. Common health problems include joint issues, eye problems and tumours.
The ultimate family dog
There’s no question that Labrador Retrievers are a firm favourite with families. Lively but eager to please, Labs adapt really well to any situation and love to be around children as well as other pets. They really do want to be your best friend and very rarely get angry or aggressive.
Not naturally slim
Labrador Retrievers love exercise and jump at the opportunity for a good run or even a swim. However, Labs also like their food, so you’ll need to watch what they eat and give them plenty of exercise to avoid becoming overweight.
Getting carried away
Ever playful and curious, Labs have a reputation for disappearing suddenly to explore new sights and smells. Don’t be surprised when your Lab abandons his ball and reappears with a oversized stick instead. They also have a bit of reputation for being chewy – sometimes your Lab might carry around a ball or a stick for the entire duration of a walk, but slippers and shoes may go missing occasionally, too!
Labrador Retrievers are easy to train and react well to instruction.
Labs are very amenable and alert – housebreaking should be quick and relatively easy.
Where to find Labrador Retrievers
Fancy meeting other owners of the lovable Labrador Retriever? Find a breed group below.
The Labrador Retriever Club of Great Britain
Labrador Breed Council
Kent Surrey and Sussex Labrador Retriever Club
Midland Counties Retriever Club
East Anglian Labrador Retriever Club
The Yellow Labrador Club
Adopt a Labrador
Want to give a rescue Labrador a loving home? Start your search below.
Labrador Retriever Rescue Southern England
The Labrador Lifeline Trust
Labrador Rescue North West
Labrador Rescue South East & Central
Labrador Retriever Rescue Scotland
Would you love a Lab to call your very own? Find an approved breeder below.
Kennel Club Assured Breeders