Here it is - your quick and easy guide to raising a Labrador Retriever. It's the facts on them, their trademark features, personality quirks and what to keep in mind when you're raising a Labrador Retriever. It's your simple one-pager on all things Labs.

Quick facts:

  • Life Span: 10-12 years
  • Height: 22-24 inches
  • Weight: 55-80 pounds
  • Coat: Short-haired, double coat

Trademark physical features:

They're athletic, energetic and love swimming. They have those big alert, warm eyes that make them one of the happiest breeds out there.

Personality:

Labs are known for being smart, people pleasers and really wonderful companions. A lot of people describe their labs as sweet and outgoing. These are the qualities that make labs great for families. They do well in busy neighborhoods with other people and dogs around because they are inherently social dogs who have abundant energy for social interactions.

Things to keep in mind when raising a Lab Retriever (pros and cons):

  • Labs do best in homes that are active - these dogs need plenty of exercise, training and attention. They particularly love swimming, so they do really well on beach and lake days.
  • They can develop behavioral problems from a lack of exercise and mental stimulation. When they feel understimulated, they can begin to lash out via aggression and destructrive behavior, so it's important to ensure that their physical and mental health needs are met.
  • I know that a lot of dogs are phenomenal companions, but Labs are especially loyal and love being with their person, so you won't ever feel lonely with your Lab Retriever around.
  • Labs are known for shedding. Even though they have shorter coats, they still shed. Brushing their hair once a week should help reduce some of the shedding, but don't be surprised if their hair gets all over your clothes and furniture.
  • Of all health issues, labs are most prone to hip and joint problems such as hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia, which predisposes them to early onset arthritis.
  • It's also important to actively portion your dog's food because Labradors are known for overeating and putting on weight. They're highly food motivated, so be careful with feeding schedules, type of food you feed and maintaining a healthy weight for them.