three labradors standing side by side against autumn background

The Labrador: thinking of getting a Labrador? reading-time-icon 2 min read

Labradors are adventurous, loyal and unfailingly energetic. They’re great companions for socialites and typically get along well with children.

Let’s take a closer look at the Labrador.

Place of origin: Newfoundland, Canada – descendent of the St John’s Water Dog

How big do Labradors get? 55 – 62cm

How heavy are Labradors? 25 – 36kg

Life Expectancy: 10 – 14 years

Types of Labrador: English and American – English-bred labs are bulkier and heavier

Colour: Black, Chocolate, Yellow, Fox Red


Please note: A dog’s exercise, training/stimulation and grooming requirements can depend on several factors such as age and health. The same goes for ongoing costs of ownership. For advice on one specific dog, we always advise chatting with a vet.


How much exercise does a Labrador need?

Labradors love their exercise and play time. As a Labrador owner, you’ll need to take your pet for 2 sizeable walks every day as a minimum. They’ll happily accompany you on hikes, jogs and other outdoor conquests; Labradors also love to swim, to play fetch and to play with other dogs.

If you’re a keen outdoor explorer and you like to combine your walking time with socialising and fun games, a Labrador may be just the breed for you.

What with their endless enthusiasm, Labradors may not realise they’re tired until it’s too late. You might find yourself having to call time on their adventures once in a while.

Training: how to train a Labrador

Labradors are typically easy to train. Begin training at a young age, or as soon as you bring your Labrador home with you, and always use positive reinforcement.

Labradors are intelligent breeds but their love of EVERYTHING may make them easily distracted. Aim to keep their training sessions fun and different each time – don’t let them get bored. As retrievers, Labradors like to ‘retrieve’ things and to have something in their mouth, so make sure you provide them with plenty of safe, suitable toys.

labrador lying in field smiling

Grooming: do Labradors shed?

If you’re a Labrador owner, you’ll need a good vacuum cleaner! Labradors shed a fair amount but you can minimise this with regular brushing (which your Labrador will enjoy very much!)

You’ll only need to bathe your Labrador once in a while, unless they’re rolled in something smelly.

Complete your Labrador’s grooming routine with regular tooth brushingnail clips and ear checks.

Labrador temperament, socialising and ideal home environment

Labradors are one of the most popular dog breeds in the UK, and with good reason.

They’re happy, even-tempered and easy-going. They love to socialise with their pack members and typically get along well with children – although they might be a tad boisterous for very young, small children.

If you have lots of time ready to spend with a fun and rewarding companion, a Labrador may be just the breed for you. If exercise and bumping into other owners isn’t your thing, you may be better suited to another breed.

Cost of owning a Labrador

When considering the lifetime cost of owning a Labrador, remember to take into account:

Need more info?

For more info on finding the best dog breed for you and your lifestyle, have a chat with your vet. 

Find your nearest vet using our Find a Vet page, or speak to a vet online using Online Vets.

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