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The Yin and Yang of Dog Breeds: Labrador Retrievers

Dog breeds have very different personalities. This makes them a better fit for certain households or families. It’s important to know how to evaluate a certain breed or mix of a certain breed before adding them to your home. This week, we’re taking a look at one of the most popular breeds: the Labrador Retriever.


While the breed name might make you think the Labrador Retriever is from Labrador, they actually come from neighboring Canadian province Newfoundland and were developed in the 1500s. The American Kennel Club recognizes three distinct coat colors for labs:

  • Yellow

  • Black

  • Chocolate

Do you want to add a dog to the mix and considering a Labrador Retriever? What’s good and bad about this breed?

The Good: Highly Energetic

Labrador Retrievers are one of the most popular breeds in the United States. Labs, as they’re called, are extremely high energy dogs. They love to:

  • Run

  • Hike

  • Swim

  • Play fetch

They’re a large dog generally weighing between 50 and 80 pounds and are sturdy, generally healthy dogs.


Labs are cuddly, too. They’re loyal and will bond with their family, including children. They’re not aggressive and are great around children of all ages.

The Bad: Needs to be Busy

Hand-in-hand with all of these good traits is their constant need to be busy. If they’re not fully engaged with their people and environment, they can become destructive. They have a tendency to channel their unspent energy by:

  • Chewing

  • Barking

  • Digging

They’re not a good breed if what you’re looking for is a couch potato. But if you and your family are active, their high energy level can be constructively channeled. Walk or play regularly to encourage positive behavior.

Labrador Retrievers are Best When:

  • They have a large home and yard to explore

  • They can play and bond with children

  • Their family is active

  • They can travel to be part of the action

  • They are trained to obey commands

To determine if a Labrador Retriever or lab mix is a good fit, think about how their personality will work in your home.


We believe rescue dogs make great pets, but if your heart is set on a purebred pup, please choose a reputable breeder.

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