The Average Life Span for a Labrador

The Labrador retriever is a beloved dog for its agreeable nature, willingness to please and lack of aggression. While most dog owners would agree that a dog's life span is never long enough, when one considers the average life span of large breed dogs, the Labrador has impressive staying power at a life span of 10 to 12 years.

three labradors
Three Labradors standing together after exercising in a grassy field.
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A Decade of Companionship

There's a good chance your Labrador retriever companion will live to be old and gray, and there is no scientific evidence that suggests your Labrador's life span will be affect by whether he is black, brown or yellow in color. Sadly, certain genetic disorders can reduce the life span of your beloved canine. Labrador retrievers are genetically predisposed to such conditions as hip, shoulder and elbow dysplasia, which may make it difficult for your senior Labrador to live comfortably into his geriatric years. Additionally, heart disease can reduce the life expectancy of your pal. Labradors also have a tendency to gain weight, and obesity is a contributor to heart disease, and may make the dysplasia more pronounced as a heavier body is harder to carry on your dog's limbs.