Breed Standard

Group 3 (Gundogs)

General Appearance
Strongly built, short coupled, very active; broad in skull; broad and deep through chest and ribs; broad and strong over loins and hindquarters.
Good tempered, very agile (which precludes excessive body weight or substance). Excellent nose, soft mouth, keen love of water. Adaptable, devoted companion.
Intelligent, keen and biddable, with a strong will to please. Kindly nature, with no trace of aggression or undue shyness.
Head And Skull
Skull broad with defined stop; clean cut without fleshy cheeks. Jaws of medium length, powerful not snipey. Nose wide, nostrils well-developed.
Medium size, expressing intelligence and good temper; brown or hazel.
Not large or heavy, hanging close to head and set rather far back.
Jaws and teeth strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. Upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
Clean, strong, powerful, set into well-placed shoulders.
Shoulders long and sloping. Forelegs well-boned and straight from elbow to ground when viewed from either front or side
Chest of good width and depth, with well-sprung barrel ribs (this effect not to be produced by carrying excessive weight). Level topline. Loins wide, short-coupled and strong.
Well-developed not sloping to tail; well turned stifle. Hocks well let down, cowhocks highly undesirable.
Round, compact; well-arched toes and well-developed pads
Distinctive feature, very thick towards base, gradually tapering towards tip, medium length, free from feathering, but clothed thickly all round with short, thick, dense coat, thus giving ’rounded’ appearance described as ‘Otter’ tail. May be carried gaily but should not curl over back.
Free, covering adequate ground; straight and true in front and rear.
Distinctive feature, short dense without wave or feathering, giving fairly hard feel to the touch; weather resistant undercoat.
Wholly black, yellow or liver/chocolate. Yellows range from light cream to red fox. Small white spot on chest permissible.
Height at withers
Dogs 56 – 57 cms (22-22.5 ins) 
Bitches 55 – 56 cms (21.5 – 22 ins)
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog, and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.
Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

The Main Points To Consider Before Bringing Home A Labrador Puppy

If you are thinking of bringing a Labrador Retriever puppy home, you probably feel rather bombarded with information. You may be wondering how much it costs to keep such a puppy happy and healthy, and what price you’ll need to pay to buy one. Buying a Labrador Retriever is not just a question of the purchase price of a puppy, though of course that is important. There are other costs involved, both financial, emotional and in terms of time and effort. So we need to look at those too. You may be wondering whether you will have the time for a dog, and if you have the space and energy for a large and lively breed? Nearly everyone has an opinion on whether or not you should ‘take the plunge’.

Here are some fundamental considerations, to help you make the right choice for you and your family.

Will a dog fit in with your family?

Research the breed and get an understanding of the traits and temperament.

Choosing a dog for your family is a big decision! As a new family member, your pup will need to get along with everyone, so it’s important to make sure you pick a breed that fits your family’s lifestyle.

Some dogs need lots of exercise, while others are content with just a few short walks. If you’re an active person who likes to go on hikes or runs, you’ll probably want a dog with high energy that can keep up with you. Breeds like Labrador Retrievers are great choices for active families. If you have young children, choosing a breed with a calm and gentle temperament is best. But temperament isn’t just about breed – individual dogs can have different personalities, so it’s important to spend some time getting to know what to expect through the breeder

    Do you have the right space for a large dog?
    The right space for a Labrador Retriever includes large clear rooms in the house, with no breakable or fragile objects within grasp. Ideally, easy access to a garden, so there is room to play and an area to toilet, along with a good system for cleaning up hygienically

    Dogs need space, both indoors and outside. Even small breeds need room to stretch their legs and run about. Labrador Retrievers are fairly large and lively dogs that need quite a lot of space. Labradors can be quite silly during adolescence, bouncing and cavorting in the home. Their tails are long and thick, easily knocking any fragile decorations you might have from shelves. If you have lots of ornaments then you will need to move them to higher shelves to avoid them getting damaged. You will also need to move anything that could be easily damaged by chewing.

    Labrador Retrievers need to go outside regularly for toileting. With small puppies this will be very often, perhaps every 15 to 20 minutes during their first few days with you. If you live in a flat, or do not have a garden, this may be difficult. You’ll need to set up a system where the puppy can toilet indoors, using puppy pads or newspaper, then re-train to go outdoors when older. Some people successfully use a crate inside a puppy playpen for the first few months. Although this will take up a lot of space indoors, it can work very well for larger apartments with no easy outside access.

    Do you have time for a dog?

    It is always sad to hear from new puppy owners that are struggling to juggle the needs of a puppy with their need to work. It may seem obvious to many, but a lot of people don’t realise that you cannot bring a small puppy into your life and leave it alone in the house all day. Even with a visit at lunch time. An older dog may cope with being left for hours on end on a regular basis, but puppies need more attention than this. The truth is, you can’t leave a young dog alone for long periods of time and expect it to remain quiet and well behaved. Lonely dogs bark and wreck things.

    If you work all day, can you afford to pay someone to come in and let him out to stretch his legs and toilet? Or do you have a relative or friend that would be prepared to do this on a regular basis. Bear in mind that this is quite a lot to ask of anyone.

    The biggest long term time commitment in owning a dog is in the form of training and exercise. All dogs need training in order to get along in human society without being a complete nuisance. This means a regular daily commitment of ten to twenty minutes from you, in addition to your regular interaction with the dog.

    Training cannot be saved up for the weekend, your dog will have forgotten most of what was learnt the weekend before, and does not have the attention span to concentrate on you for an hour and a half. Exercise is required on a regular basis, for some breeds of dog this means at least an hour a day of walking or jogging to keep your dog fit and healthy. Whilst your dog will not come to any harm if you miss a day occasionally, a daily routine is the best way to ensure that you build this important habit.

    Can you afford a dog?

    Dogs can be quite expensive. The cost of a puppy will vary from breeder to breeder, and from place to place. The purchase price of a puppy may be your initial focus, but you need to consider how much it will cost to keep your Labrador Retriever.

    Obviously, you will have taken the cost of food into consideration, but it is a good idea to budget for veterinary insurance too or at least put money aside. Veterinary treatment is expensive. Pretty much anything you can treat in a human, you can now treat in a dog. If you don’t have access to substantial savings, insurance is a good idea. The more comprehensive your insurance package the more expensive it will be, but watch out for very cheap deals, as they may not provide continuing cover for long term ailments.

    You will also need an annual health check, which will include vaccinations as required to protect against common canine illnesses. Kennel cough vaccination is needed every year, especially if you are wanting to use a boarding kennels when you go away. All boarding kennels require up to date vaccination certificates.

    There will be a few other one-off costs such as a crate, bowls, bedding, collar, leash toys, training products, books etc. There is also the cost of boarding kennels, if you go away and cannot take your dog.


    In summary, the purchase price of your Labrador Retriever is not the main consideration when it comes to cost. You will need to be confident that you will be able to cover all of the above, for at least the next ten years.

    What about your lifestyle?

    Bringing a dog into your life will cause a dramatic change. It is a big responsibility and means your future plans may need to be adjusted to accommodate the care and love a dog deserves. You will not be able to do things on a whim, you have to consider your dog!

    But, if you are committed and ready to put the time and money in you will get a friend for life. A companion that relies on you, a wagging tail pleased to see you every day, a great stress buster that always puts a smile on your face. The bond you develop is unmatchable. The health benefits of owning a dog are well documented, improving both physical and mental well-being.