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AKC Meet the Breeds: Labrador Retriever

American Kennel Club, Inc. (c) 2011

The gentle, intelligent, and family-friendly Labrador Retriever from Canada continues to be the most popular breed in the United States, according to AKC Registration Statistics. This versatile hunting breed comes in three colors -- yellow, black, and chocolate. Because of their aptitude to please their masters, they excel as guide dogs for the blind, as part of search-and-rescue teams, or in narcotics detection with law enforcement.

A Look Back
Labrador Retrievers, originally from Newfoundland, were initially used in work alongside fisherman, helping to pull in nets and catch fish that escaped from fishing lines. After being crossed with Setters, Spaniels and other Retrievers, the Labrador Retriever honed its skills as a true retriever. From this point in the breed's history, "Labs," as they are affectionately called, were bred primarily to perform as an efficient retriever of game, with a stable temperament suitable for a variety of activities beyond hunting.

Right Breed for You?
An ideal sporting and family dog, the Labrador Retriever thrives as part of an active family or as a trusted hunting companion. A double-coated breed which sheds seasonally, regular grooming keeps his coat at its water-resistant best. Because of their even temperament and trainability, Labrador Retrievers are owned as pets by millions of Americans.

  • Sporting Group; AKC recognized in 1917
  • Average size: from 55 to 75 pounds
  • Outgoing and devoted companions; water dog



AKC Meet the Breeds is a registered trademark of the American Kennel Club, Inc.

Comments (2)

  • elnsctt 26 Mar, 2013

    We adopted a shelter pet. We did not know he was a lab until we took him to the vet. He is by far the smartest, loving, and most gentle dog. If you want a pet, please go to the shelter first.

  • Aly52 27 Jan, 2012

    I had a lab foster for 6 months. The easiest going dog I had ever delt with, very eager to please. Lovely dog breed for someone looking for an easy going dog.