- More than 2 hours per day
- Size of home
- Large house
- Once a week
- Coat length
- Over 10 years
- Vulnerable native breed
- Town or country
- Size of garden
- Large garden
The Labrador is the most popular of all pedigree breeds and his popularity comes from his versatility as family companion, service dog, guide dog as well as a working gundog.
The breed originates from Newfoundland, which from the 16th century was renowned for the fishing industry with well-established trading routes between England and Canada. Dogs were used there to help fishermen retrieve nets and lost lines and pull carts loaded with fish. The Newfoundland dogs were smaller than they are today and a smaller variety was known as the St John’s dog. It is thought that these breeds crossed with hunting dogs taken to Newfoundland by English traders and fishermen formed the basis for the modern Labrador.
Some of the dogs resulting from this breeding were taken back to England where their retrieving skills were recognised by the sporting gentry. One of the early patrons of the breed, the Earl of Malmesbury gave the breed its name. The first breed club was founded in 1916.
Images for this breed
The Gundog breed group
Dogs that were originally trained to find live game and/or to retrieve game that had been shot and wounded. This group is divided into four categories - Retrievers, Spaniels, Hunt/Point/Retrieve, Pointers and Setters - although many of the breeds are capable of doing the same work as the other sub-groups. They make good companions, their temperament making them ideal all-round family dogs.
Breed standard colours
Breed standard colour means that the colour is accepted within the breed standard and is a traditional and well-known colour in this breed.
Breed standard colours in this breed include:
Non-breed-standard colour means that the colour is not accepted within the breed standard and whilst some dogs within the breed may be this colour, it is advised to only select a dog that fits within the breed standards for all points.
Colour is only one consideration when picking a breed or individual dog. Health and temperament should always be a priority over colour.
Non-breed-standard colours in this breed include:
- Silver (NBS)
'Other' means you consider your puppy to be a colour not currently known within the breed and one that does not appear on either the breed standard or non-breed-standard list. In this instance you would be directed through our registration process to contact a breed club and/or council to support you on identifying and correctly listing the new colour.
Whether you’re thinking of buying a puppy, or breeding from your dog, it’s essential that you know what health issues may be found in your breed. To tackle these issues we advise that breeders use DNA tests, screening schemes and inbreeding coefficient calculators to help breed the healthiest dogs possible.
More about health
Priority health schemes and tests
The Kennel Club's Assured Breeders must use the following schemes, tests and advice. All other breeders are strongly advised to also use these.
- Hip dysplasia screening scheme (BVA/KC)
- Elbow dysplasia screening scheme (BVA/KC)
- Eye screening scheme (BVA/KC/ISDS) (find results for the pre 2020 MRD open register. This only lists dogs that were diagnosed as 'affected by MRD'. MRD results published after 31.12.19 can be found in their health test results finder entry)
Important health schemes and tests
We strongly recommend that all breeders, both assured breeders (ABs) and non ABs, use the following schemes, tests and advice.
- DNA test - prcd-PRA (part of The Kennel Club's CombiBreed package* - see below) (find lists of clear, carrier or affected dogs)
- Check inbreeding calculators
Other health schemes and tests available
- DNA test - CNM (part of The Kennel Club's CombiBreed package* - see below) (find lists of clear, carrier or affected dogs)
- DNA test - EIC (part of The Kennel Club's CombiBreed package* - see below) (find lists of clear, carrier or affected dogs)
- DNA test - SD2(part of The Kennel Club's CombiBreed package* - see below) (find lists of clear, carrier or affected dogs)
- DNA test - HNPK (part of The Kennel Club's CombiBreed package* - see below) (find lists of clear, carrier or affected dogs)
- Linkage test (DNA based) - Prcd-PRA (find lists of clear dogs)
*CombiBreed - simple to use and easy to organise all-in-one DNA tests for breeders
The DNA tests listed above marked with an * are included in our CombiBreed health test package. This includes:
- CNM (Centronuclear myopathy - also known as HMLR)
- EIC (Exercise induced collapse) (partner lab)
- HNPK (Hereditary nasal parakeratosis) (partner lab)
- prcd-PRA (Progressive retinal atrophy)
- SD2 (Skeletal dysplasia 2)
As part of this package, all five tests are carried out from a single swab for a total of £135 (incl. VAT). Assured breeders receive a 10% discount (£121.50 incl. VAT).
Find out more about our CombiBreed health packages.
Find out about a particular dog's results
Please visit our Health Test Results Finder to discover the DNA or screening scheme test results for any dog on The Kennel Club's breed Register.
You can also view the inbreeding coefficient calculation for a puppy's parents, or for a dog you're thinking of breeding from.
Have any questions about health in your breed?
If you have any concerns about a particular health condition in your breed then you may wish to speak to your vet or you could contact your breed health co-ordinator.
Breed health co-ordinators are individuals working on behalf of breed clubs and councils who are advocates for the health and welfare of their chosen breed. They acts as a spokesperson on matters of health and will collaborate with The Kennel Club on any health concerns the breed may have.
Contact the breed health co-ordinators for the Labrador Retriever.
Particular points of concern for individual breeds may include features not specifically highlighted in the breed standard including current issues. In some breeds, features may be listed which, if exaggerated, might potentially affect the breed in the future.
There are a number of The Kennel Club rules and regulations that may prevent a litter from being registered, find out about our general and breed specific breeding restrictions below.
More about breeding
Where the two parent dogs are both yellow it is only genetically possible to produce yellow puppies. Therefore, The Kennel Club will only accept the registration of yellow puppies from this mating.
Where the two parent dogs are both chocolate (liver) it is only genetically possible to produce chocolate (liver) or yellow puppies. Therefore, The Kennel Club will only accept the registration of chocolate (liver) or yellow puppies from this mating.
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