Like its cousin the Golden Retriever, the Labrador Retriever belongs to the category of large breed dogs. But how big do Labradors get in adulthood? And how much do they weigh? Find out below.

What is a Healthy Weight for a Labrador?

The Labrador is a medium to large dog breed, with the male generally weighing more than the female. An adult dog weighs between 29 and 36kg, while a bitch weighs between 25 and 32kg on average. Experts estimate that it’s possible to know the final weight of a Labrador by the age of 7 or 8 months. At this point, your dog will have reached around two-thirds of its adult weight. Bear in mind, however, that these estimates are far from an exact science. Additionally, as Labradors are prone to obesity, care needs to be taken with their diet; being overweight can seriously affect your dog’s life expectancy. Consider taking out pet insurance to help protect your Labrador from any unforeseen health issues.

There are two distinct stages in the Labrador’s growth: a phase of rapid growth until the age of 8 or 9 months, followed by a slower phase of sustained growth. Labradors reach maturity between 16 and 19 months old, depending on their size. At six months old, the healthy weight for a male puppy is between 20.5 and 24.4kg, while a female should weigh between 18 and 23kg. By the age of one year, a healthy male will weigh between 28 and 34.5kg and a female between 24.2 and 30.8kg.

A Quick Note About the Labrador’s Growth

As is the case with all dogs, and especially large breed dogs, growth is a delicate time for your Labrador. It’s important to avoid overexerting your pup during this critical period. Take care not to put too much stress on your dog’s joints to prevent the onset of serious joint problems, such as hip or elbow dysplasia. For example, don’t let your Lab run up and down the stairs or engage in intense or sustained physical activity. Limit playtime and the length of your walks, and pay close attention to your pup’s needs. If you live in an apartment with your Labrador, we recommend you take the lift whenever possible.

What is the Average Size of a Labrador? 

As is often the case with medium or large dogs, there is some difference in size between male and female Labradors. In adulthood, The Kennel Club indicates an ideal height of between 56 and 57cm for males, and 55 and 56cm for females. The reality is often more varied. A dog can measure between 56 and 63cm, while a bitch can measure between 54 and 60cm at the withers. If you’re looking for a smaller dog, choose a female pup. Keep in mind that these numbers are guidelines and it’s quite possible for a male puppy to end up being smaller than expected. In any case, the aesthetic criterion should never be the decisive factor in your choice of puppy. Favour the temperament of your Labrador puppy instead.


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The Difference Between a Working Labrador and a Companion Labrador

As with other dog breeds, the Labrador's build looks a little different in so-called companion and "conformation" dogs (those who participate in dog shows, for example) than those intended as working dogs. Worker dogs have a lighter build with a narrower head and a larger muzzle, which promotes a better sense of smell. Show dogs, said to be more beautiful, tend to be smaller, stockier, and often barrel-shaped. 

Their function requires that puppies intended for work have a higher capability for learning and are easier to train. This makes training a worker Labrador more affordable. Finally, working Labrador lines are bred to be more resilient and enduring. If you do not intend for your dog to be used for hunting or as a guide dog, opt for a companion dog. Nonetheless, both types of Labrador have a sociable and affectionate temperament and, as such, do not make good watchdogs.

Labrador Colour

The Labrador’s coat is short and dense, without being rough. Labs also have a waterproof undercoat, which allows them to go in the water even during winter. According to The Kennel Club breed standard, the only correct colours for a Labrador are wholly black, yellow, or chocolate. Yellows can range from light cream to red fox. Sometimes, Labradors may have a small patch of white fur on their chest, tail, or paws.

Different-coloured puppies can be born in the same litter. The colour of the Labrador's coat is determined by three genes:

  • The B locus determines the density of the melanin pigments. The higher the density, the darker the colour, resulting in a deep black to dark brown coat.

  • The E locus determines the production (or lack thereof) of melanin. A dog who has a recessive E locus gene will have a yellow coat, even if they also have the B or K gene.

  • The K locus contains black pigments. Dogs with a chocolate-brown or black coat always have the same colour nose as their fur.

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