With their handsome good looks and chiseled features, it's no wonder that the Labrador retriever is one of the most popular and personable breeds around. Known for their outgoing personalities and boundless energy, these pups are a favorite of active folks who want a dedicated companion for all of their outdoor adventures.
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Labs come in a three colors: yellow, chocolate, and a rich glossy black. No matter what the hue of your Lab, you're sure to find a dedicated friend for life if you adopt one because of their loyal nature. If you're looking to learn all about black Lab dogs, read on to discover if this intelligent and high-energy breed is for you.
Black Lab characteristics
Black Labradors are medium-sized dogs that range from 22.5 to 24.5 inches in height for males and 21.5 to 23.5 inches in height for females. Males typically weigh between 65 and 80 pounds, while the females weigh between 55 to 70 pounds. Black Labs are usually all black in color, from the tips of their noses to their wagging otter-like tails.
Originally developed in Newfoundland, not Labrador as the name implies, Labs were bred for retrieving ducks and as companions for fishermen. This explains their thick waterproof coats and unique webbed feet. Based on their background, black Labs are considered part of the American Kennel Club's sporting group.
Black Labrador temperament & training
If you're looking for a dog who is not only sweet but also easy to train, look no further than the black Lab. Breed is not a reliable indicator of personality, however black Labs are considered one of the most friendly and intelligent types of dog. One of the fun facts about black Labs is that they are frequently trained as service dogs, therapy dogs, search and rescue dogs, and other types of working dogs because of their eager-to-please attitudes.
Because of their obliging personalities, always use reward-based methods when training your black Lab and look for a qualified dog trainer who also uses positive training methods. You'll also want to properly socialize your dog to other pets and people starting at 8 weeks of age.
Black Labrador grooming
Black Labs have a thick and waterproof double coat. Because they tend to shed a lot, you'll need to brush them daily to prevent the fur from covering your couch. While monthly bathing is more than suitable for black Labs, these sporting-enthusiast pups may get a bit dirty during their outdoor adventures, so wash them as needed. Of course, your black Lab will also need regular nail trims every other week and daily tooth brushing.
Black Labrador exercise & health
One of the most common black Lab facts is that this breed is incredibly active and needs a lot of daily exercise. With their background, black Labradors love to go for a swim at the dog park and will jump at the chance to accompany you on hunting expeditions or hikes. Activities like agility, dock diving, and tracking are all natural fits for the black Lab.
Black Labrador retrievers are generally healthy dogs, living an average of 12 years, unlike chocolate Labs who live an average of 10.7 years. This deep-chested breed is subject to gastric distention and volvulus, commonly known as bloat, which involves the twisting of the stomach. Other conditions to look out for include hip and elbow dysplasia, eye problems, and a genetic condition known as exercise-induced collapse.
Black Lab puppies
As a medium-sized breed, Black Lab puppies reach their full adult size at around one year old. The majority of a black Lab puppy's growth takes place between the second and sixth month. It's during this time that you'll notice your Black Lab puppy putting on most of their weight and growing rapidly. By the time your puppy is around 6 months old, they'll be about one-half to three-quarters of their adult weight.
- The Labrador Site: Bloat in Dogs: Signs, Symptoms and Prevention Of Canine Bloat
- American Kennel Club: 8 Fun Facts About the Labrador Retriever
- National Geographic: Why Chocolate Labs Don't Live as Long as Other Retrievers
- American Kennel Club: Labrador Retriever
- The Labrador Retriever Club Inc.: FAQ
- The Labrador Site: When Do Dogs Stop Growing? Labrador Puppy Growth Chart and FAQ