The Labrador: thinking of getting a Labrador?
Last Updated: 12/10/2023
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
Labrador 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.
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.
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.
When considering the lifetime cost of owning a Labrador, remember to take into account:
- Breed-specific food
- Veterinary care
- Pet insurance
- Kennels or dog sitters
- Grooming costs
- Toys and equipment
Need more info?
For more info on finding the best dog breed for you and your lifestyle, have a chat with your vet.