RESOURCES : Collapsed

Life Expectancy: 10 - 12 years
Dog Breed Group: Sporting Dogs
Weight: 55 - 80 lbs.
Height: 21 - 24 inches

Where Does the Labrador Retriever Rank?

See where this beloved breed ranks in comparison to other breeds in 7 key categories.


The Labrador Retriever is an easy-to-train, eager to please breed.

Shedding Friendliness

The Labrador Retriever is a heavy shedder. To reduce the amount of fur which is being shed, be sure to groom your dog regularly.

Ease of Grooming

Your Lab should be brushed daily to remove any excess fur. The Lab requires regular bathing. Be sure to choose a high-quality shampoo to optimize your dog's skin and coat health. Your Lab's nails will need to be clipped regularly. Cleaning your Lab's ears weekly will prevent ear infections in this breed.


Labrador Retrievers are prone to many dysplasia conditions. Bloat and obesity are also common in Labs. Your Lab should be seen by a veterinarian for routine check-ups to ensure and maintain the health of your pet.

Exercise Needs

Your Lab will need a minimum of 60 minutes of activity per day to remain happy and behavior-free. This could be playing a game of fetch or going for a walk.

Good with Children

Labrador Retrievers are very good with children and quickly becomes part of the family.

Barking Restraint

Barking is not generally a problem with Labrador Retrievers.

What You Need to Know About Labrador Retriever Dogs


The Labrador Retriever is one of the United States’ most popular dog breeds. The Labrador Retriever is an excellent breed to choose for a family setting. The Labrador Retriever is extremely friendly and learns quickly. They are also very good with children and individuals with special needs.

The Labrador Retriever is extremely eager to learn and is extremely intelligent. These factors, along with loyalty to his pet parent, make him an easy-to-train breed. This breed also has an extreme amount of energy which means proper training is crucial to prevent behavioral problems. This breed needs a significant amount of daily activity to remain happy and healthy.

The Labrador Retriever also finds family extremely important. If you choose a Labrador Retriever to be a part of your family, be certain to include him or her in your family activities. They feel the need to be a part of their “pack” at all times. They enjoy spending time with you whether on a car ride or simply sitting with you as you watch television.

The Labrador Retriever also serves as an effective working dog. Their ability to hunt and track game is very high. Due to their high level of energy, they are also often chosen for agility competitions.


Labrador Retrievers are extremely intelligent and eager to please their pet parent. This results in successful and relatively easy training.


The Labrador Retriever is a breed which sheds significantly. If you are looking for a dog which does not shed often, this is not the breed for you. This breed needs to be brushed once every day to keep a healthy, clean coat. You should give your Lab a bath every two months or so for their coat and skin to remain healthy.

Health Problems

Obesity - The Labrador Retriever is a breed which easily becomes obese. Free-feeding should often not be permitted with this breed to avoid overeating. You should also limit their treats to ensure they remain at a healthy weight.

Hip Dysplasia (as found in many large dog breeds)

Osteochrondritis - A common condition in Labrador Retrievers where the cartilage of a joint softens. The softened joints are caused by an interruption in the blood flow to that section of the bone.

Allergies - Labrador Retrievers often have allergies that are caused by environmental factors. Pollen, dust mites and mold may be factors to why your Lab has itchy skin.

Epilepsy - This is a neurological disorder that creates episodes of seizures. Epilepsy is common in Labrador Retrievers and should have routine check-ups with a Veterinarian.

10 Common Health Problems for Labrador Retrievers

  • Obesity
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Osteochondritis Dissecans - soft joints
  • Eye Disease
  • Epilepsy - seizures
  • Allergies - environmental allergies
  • Bloat
  • Tumors
  • Exercise-Induced Diseases - causes a dog to collapse after too much exercise
  • Heart Disease


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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances. 

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.