LAB FAQS

Listed below are some 'frequently asked questions' about Labradors. Hopefully I will hit upon a few you might have. Any further questions that need answering....just e-mail us.

  • How big do they get and how heavy?
    Males on average get to be anywhere from 22 1/2 inches to 24 1/2 inches at shoulder and the females about 21 1/2 inches to 23 1/2 inches. The boys can weigh approximately 85lbs. and the girls approximately 60lbs. The weight will depend upon the height and how heavily boned the dog is. Condition also comes into consideration.

  • What colours do they come in and is there a difference between the colours?
    Labradors come in three colours, black, yellow and chocolate. Black is black, yellow can range from fox red to creme and chocolate can range from light sedge to chocolate. A small amount (silver dollar size) of white is permissible on the chest. There should be no difference between the colours in temperament or type. It is likely more the difference between one breeders breeding program and another as to what they place emphasis on. Please note: Silver is NOT a recognized, registered colour. Beware anyone advertising any colour other than black, yellow and chocolate.

  • Are they good with children and/or other dogs?
    Labradors, on the whole, adore children, people, cats, dogs and everything else that walks, crawls and breathes on this earth. I always tell people that they are not family dogs but neighborhood dogs! As a rule introducing a second dog into a family with a Labrador already there is not a problem.

  • Which is better as a family pet, male or female?
    My response to this is to say to someone, that is like asking people if they prefer to have boy children or girl children....it depends on the individual and their experiences with that given sex. Both make loving family companions however males tend to be more dependent and females more independent. Often people assume a female would be easier to handle. This is untrue as it really depends on the character of the given puppy/dog. A 55lb female who is very active and always underfoot is not as easy to live with as the 85lb male who is a real couch-potato. Try and chose a personality, not a sex.

  • Do they shed and how much grooming/bathing do they need?
    Yes this breed does have hair loss. If your dog is a house dog year round, you may have a little bit of hair loss all the time and then a large blowing of coat in the late spring and late fall. A warm bath and a good brushing with a shedding blade will get most of it out over a few days. Generally if their living quarters are clean, likely a bath or two a year is all that is needed. Check their nails to make sure they don't get overgrown and the ears once a week for smelly ear yeast. This is not a breed for someone with allergies.

  • How much exercise do they need?
    Labradors are dogs that require a far amount of it. Generally two to three good walks of say half an hour daily and then any play time...especially something like fetch, will be beneficial to the dog. If not properly exercised, they will become bored and then destructive.

  • Are they bad for chewing?
    Yes they are. Labs are part dog, part beaver. Always have plenty of safe doggy type toys for them to chew and play with. Also, use a crate when you are not around to supervise a young dog. Better safe than sorry. And yes...they will chew and eat anything and everything!

  • They do like the water don't they?
    Oh yes and just try and keep them out of every puddle, stream, pool, lake or ocean that they see. If your Lab is in the water a lot, make sure you don't run into hot-spot trouble from the coat constantly being wet. Also make sure you know what is in the body of water your Lab is joyfully swimming in....they can get sick from contaminated water or water high in bacteria especially during the hot summer months.

  • Do they have allergies?
    Generally no but individuals can develop them to everything and anything from carpets to food.

  • Do they make good guard dogs?
    No. Most will bark at something strange but they don't get overly carried away with this protection bit. Many Labradors, unfortunately, would likely welcome the stranger into the house and show them where the silverware, Blu-ray and computer(horrors!) are. However, they are not stupid dogs and have been known to kick up enough stink at a strange person in strange circumstances.

  • What sort of genetic problems do they have that breeders check breeding stock for?
    Currently breeders check for hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, exercise induced collapse, hereditary eye defects(cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, retinal folds/dysplasia for example) and in some lines they are now checking hearts for tricuspid valve dysplasia. Make sure your puppy's parents have had proper clearances...ask to see them.

  • How long do they live?
    I wish I could say forever but I would be telling a tale. Providing your Labrador is healthy, fit and getting proper exercise all of its life....I would say approximately about 12 years.

  • An Outstanding Article on The Cost of A Puredbred Puppy That Appeared In Forbes Magazine. Click here.
    Published February 2012