How much should my Labrador weigh?

People often ask “How much should my Labrador weigh?”

Most days on the Labrador site we receive a comment or email from someone who tells us exactly how old their dog is, and wants to know how many pounds, or kilos, he should weigh.

However,  Labradors come in a wide variety of sizes.

Some of our chunkier, show bred Labs can be a good twenty pounds or more heavier than their field bred cousins, without necessarily being overweight.

A naturally big (not fat) Labrador may have a larger overall ‘frame’ with bigger bones.  But they should still look ‘slim’.

The Labrador in the photo below is obese and needs to lose weight urgently.

Muscle is heavier than fat

It is worth bearing in mind,  that a very fit dog will have more muscle and may weigh more than a fat, unfit dog of similar dimensions.

For these reasons, it simply is not possible to give a ‘rule of thumb’ on adult Labrador weights.

Unless a dog is grossly obese, or desperately thin, the scales may not be an accurate reflection of the dog’s state of health.

So how do I know if my dog is too fat?

The way to effectively judge whether your dog is too fat, is by feel and appearance.fatlab2Your dog should have a ‘waist’.

You should not be able to see ribs,  but if you press firmly along his sides you should just be able to feel your fingers bumping along them.

You can read about this in more detail in our article on Fat Labradors  where you can also find a picture of a Labrador at a healthy weight.

What about puppies?

To an extent, this information applies to puppies as well as adults.   People often worry a lot about their puppy’s weight.

But in most cases it really is not necessary to weigh your puppy every day, or even every week!

Any more than you would weigh your three year old child on a daily or even weekly basis.

There are however, some exceptions.

Very thin puppies

Occasionally we have people post up about puppies that are desperately underweight and clearly failing to thrive.

Most of these comments come from people that have purchased puppies that are not ready to leave their mothers, and should not have been sold by the breeder.

Some of these puppies are as young as three weeks old.

If you have inadvertently been sucked into this horrible trade in underage puppies,  please check out our article: Too Young to Leave Mum,  and do contact a vet for help with feeding your puppy, as a matter of urgency.

If you are concerned that your puppy might be seriously underweight, again, your vet is the first port of call.

As a very rough guide,  many Labrador puppies will weigh around a kilo for every week of their lives.  So you would expect a ten week puppy to weigh something in the region of ten kilos or around twenty-two pounds.

A twenty percent variation around this would be fairly normal.  If your puppy falls outside this variation he may still be perfectly healthy,  but if you are inexperienced,  a check with the vet is a good way to put your mind at rest.

Check out this article on Puppy Growth for more information:  Puppy Growth FAQ

So do I never need to weigh my dog?

If you are trying to put weight on a very thin puppy,  you may want to check your progress with regular weigh-ins for a while.

You may also need to weigh your dog if he needs medical treatment.

Determining the appropriate dose of some drugs requires that we know the exact weight of the patient.

How to weigh a dog

If you need to weigh a dog in order to ‘dose’ him, and he is small enough to hold in your arms, just weigh yourself on the bathroom scales without him, then weigh yourself again whilst holding the dog, and subtract the first weight from the second.

This is accurate enough for most purposes.

Larger dogs will need to be weighed on purpose built scales, most vet surgeries have one in the waiting room.

Really tiny dogs can be weighed accurately on a good sized set of  kitchen scales,  or by using fishing scales to weigh a puppy placed carefully  in a shoulder bag (don’t forget to weigh the bag first and subtract its weight from your total)

Appearances first

For once, this is a situation where appearances really do count.  Try to get into the habit of looking at your dog objectively and of avoiding comparing with other dogs, many of whom will be overweight.

You may find that some other dog owners will tell you your nice slim Labrador is actually too thin.   This happens a lot, largely  because people are simply getting used to so many dogs being fat,  including some of those receiving the highest accolades in our show rings.

Again, if you are worried, check with your vet,  but the chances are, your dog is healthy and their dog is overweight

If you enjoy Pippa’s puppy articles, you will love her new book: The Happy Puppy Handbook – a definitive guide to early puppy care and training.

Be Sociable, Share!

Pippa Mattinson

The Labrador Site is brought to you by Pippa Mattinson. Pippa's latest book The Happy Puppy Handbook is a definitive guide to early puppy care and training

by Pippa on September 2, 2013

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

martin September 2, 2013 at 7:22 pm

Pippa, another very good article, for interestingly my lab, let us say he on the large size. We having a job to weigh him, vet and Petsupermarket, a little small for him; He is 42:43 kgs. Not fat, but have too watch get thin. He has lots of lovely grounds to play in, and as Estate manager he goes round with me.


david July 31, 2014 at 6:31 pm

MUSCLE DOES NOT WEIGH MORE THAN FAT!!!!!!! COMPLETE NONSENSE. A pound of fat is a pound of muscle is a pound of fat etc etc.


Pippa August 1, 2014 at 3:19 pm

Capital letters is shouting, there is no need to shout :) Volume for volume muscle weighs more than fat, so fat takes up a lot more space than muscle.


remmy November 29, 2014 at 10:39 pm

To this guy who say muscle doesn’t weigh more than fat……. Yes a pound is a pound but if a dog looks big and is all muscle and standing next to a dog that is all fat….. The muscular dog will weigh more… Don’t be too literal and a douche…..


fskj April 29, 2015 at 4:25 am

Bahaha… Ignorance at it’s finest. @Pippa


Stacy May 18, 2015 at 3:38 pm

A pound of feathers weighs the same as a pound of bricks, but it takes more feathers to make a pound


Adrian May 19, 2015 at 12:25 am

A pound of fat takes up more space than a pound of muscle. Think of it this way: a fit dog will take less space on your sofa than a fat dog of the same weight. Now stop barking and take your dog out for a run!


Jacqui November 9, 2014 at 7:13 pm

I’d just like to say that 10kg gram of muscles weigh exactly like 10kg of fats. The difference is the dog is better off carrying muscles than fat. That big paragraph there about how muscles weigh less than fat is grossly wrong and misleading.


Gillian Mulligan November 9, 2014 at 10:20 pm

My labrador weighs 49kg he is a show type lab. Chunky with muscles. Gorgeous.


Mike February 13, 2015 at 7:06 pm

My new pup was weighed at the vet last Saturday (8 weeks) at 6.3 kilos. He remarked that she was on the large side, and there`s no doubt she looks like a little fatty, although you can feel her ribs. She is definately show bred, probably won`t be overly tall, and the breeder likes her dogs to have `a hint of a waist`. I am feeding her very slightly less (rounding down) than it says on the bag, but am still worried I might have an overweight dog on my hands.


Catherine February 26, 2015 at 8:54 am

I found this article interesting as this subject recently came up when we took our chocolate lab Ruby to the vet with cruciate ligament injury.
She has a large frame, was getting in the region of 2 hours of exercise daily running in fields, is raw fed and extremely muscular. She felt as she should do, has a waist, but according to the vet scales weighed 39 kg. She is fed for the weight would like her to be, in fact I have now gradually cut that back. The vet said she was overweight, made no allowance that it was muscle mass rather than fat.
I realise with an injury such as hers (we are going for conservative treatment of rest with limited exercise for the next few months, rather than invasive surgery), that the heavier a dog is the more strain can be put on the stifle joint.
As she is obviously not getting the exercise that she was, then cutting back on her meals gradually was the obvious thing to do. In 8 weeks she has lost 1 1/4″ round her waist.
The vet needless to say, tried to sell me expensive dried diet food, even though Ruby is otherwise more healthy than most other labs I see, with muscle, gleaming white teeth (she’s nearly 6), and a coat you could use as a mirror!


Nichole February 27, 2015 at 4:11 am

I find this interesting. It depends on the lab, truly. My lab weighs over 100 lbs., or 47kg and you can see his bones. He is not in the least bit unhealthy, but very strong and muscular.


Paula February 27, 2015 at 12:42 pm

Hi there, my black Labrador puppy was born on the 12 of Nov, so he’s 3 and a half months old now. He weighs 16.5Kg (over 36 pounds!). He comes from a Field line and the Vet said he is extremely big. Since then, I’ve been searching to see if I find Field Labradors the same age as big as mine… I know that it might sounds silly, but I’m a bit concerned about it. I even thought the breeder might have lied about his date of birth, for some reason. But the birth was registered with The Kennel Club and I don’t see a reason for them to lie about it. I got him when he was 8 weeks old, then he had his first vaccine and the second one at 12 weeks. I feed him based on his weight and ‘age’ (I’d be very upset to know that I’m feeding him the wrong amount of food, in case he is older). Every time I’m walking him in the park and someone asks me his age, they are always surprised and some people don’t believe he is just 3 and a half months. He is not fat at all, I can feel his ribs. Does anyone else heard about a 3 months old Field Lab as heavy as mine??


Irene Bammer March 1, 2015 at 6:18 am

Hi Paula, don’t panic about his weight at this stage, it does sound heavy but when I took my lab puppy (girl) to training classes there was another one the same age as mine (a boy) and he was twice the size of mine, very chunky. I know they say adult male labs weight is 25-30kg, and the feeding guide is what it says, just a guide. I’ve fluctuated with feed amounts all the time , it depends how much exercise and chasing around she does. But I certainly haven’t skimped on food,because they grow so quickly and need the high protein that puppy food gives them up to a year old.
One good thing I’ve done is weigh out her daily amount of food leaving out about 25-30grams to allow for treats for training, so they are included in her daily allowance. I then divide her food into two meals a day and use a slow feed bowl, cause she a guzzler.
I cut up the treats as much as I can to make them go further. One thing I don’t do, is feed extra tit-bits of food that we eat, she gets her kong with kong stuffing in small amounts.
Do you know how big his parents are?that’s a good indicator of what he’s going to be like.


pubudu dilruk March 18, 2015 at 8:18 am

I have a labrador of 2 months & it weighs 3.3 kg. she is extremely playfull. Does her weight matches with her age? I feel like it doesn’t because I have seen their growth chart and it says they should weigh about 8 kg at 2 months of age . she takes her meals well and I give her 4 meals a day including milk. please tell me what I should do.I’m really concerned about her.


jon March 19, 2015 at 6:13 am

First, you should remove the milk. Water and kibble only is fine. Second, She is small, feed her right and love her and let her grow without worrying.


Mike March 20, 2015 at 8:24 pm

Fern will be weighed tomorrow at the vet prior to her puppy class. She is 14 weeks, and went 10.2kg at 12 weeks. Polly (3 in May), was like a body on stilts at 4 months, and weighs under 27kg now. Btw she stands 22″. Although I can feel Fern`s ribs, she still looks like a litle bundle of fat. When should I expect her to loose the puppy fat, or should I be taking things in hand now? She is fed on Eukanuba puppy food, and has just over 15 mins. of exercise a day.


Siddhant May 9, 2015 at 9:06 am

My lab is 3 months old and 6 it normal??


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post:

Want to keep up to date with all of our Labrador articles, news and information?

 Sign up to our free email newsletter today!

We respect your email privacy

Powered by AWeber Email Marketing Services