Labrador retrievers are originally from Newfoundland. They were used to help fishermen bring in nets and catch fish that escaped from the fishing lines. Over the years, labs were crossed with setters, spaniels and other retrievers and formed todays Labrador retrieveran excellent game retriever with a stable temperament. When moving, the Lab should not side-wind, should not have any crossing over or high knee action. Its movement should not be short and choppy.
Notice the Labrador retrievers temperament. It is a hallmark of the breed. The lab should be kindly, outgoing, eager to please and should not be aggressive toward man or animal. The intelligent and family-friendly lab from Canada is the most popular breed in the United States. The breed comes in three colorsyellow, black and chocolate.2
Look at the general appearance and size. The retriever is a medium-sized dog that possesses an athletic and well-balanced conformation. This enables the breed to function as a retrieving gun dog. It may also hunt waterfowl or upland game. The Labs short, dense weather-resistant coat and otter tail are its most distinguishing characteristics. The Lab also has a clean-cut head. The eyes are kind and express character, intelligence and good temperament. The height of the male Labrador retriever should be 22 inches to 24 inches; a female should be 21 inches to 23 inches. The male should weight 65 to 80 pounds, and the female should weigh in at about 55 to 70 pounds.3
Make sure the head is well-developed, but is not exaggerated. The skull and foreface should be parallel and of equal length. The ears should hang close to the head, but are set farther back, slightly above eye level. They should not be heavy. The eyes are kind eyes showing intelligence and alertness. They should be medium-sized and set well apart. They should not be protruding, nor should they be deep set. The eyes should be brown in the black and yellow Labs, and in the chocolates, the eyes are brown or hazel.4
Check that the coat is short, straight and very dense. This is a distinctive feature of the Labrador retriever. The breed has a soft weather-resistant undercoat. The undercoat provides protection from water and cold.