Black Lab – A Complete Guide To The Black Labrador Retriever

47
482724
Black Lab - A Complete Guide to the Black Labrador Retriever

The average black Lab is up to 24.5 inches tall and weighs up to 80lbs. This active, friendly and loyal pup bonds strongly with their family, but usually loves meeting new people too.

Bred for work and for the show ring, the breed has two quite distinct types known as American and English Labs.

American Labs are bred for the field, with a smaller frame and a strong drive for retrieving. English Labs are bred for the show ring, with a broad head and an enthusiastic people-focussed nature.

The average lifespan of a black Labrador is 12 years, and your pup could live even longer given the right diet, exercise and a healthy dose of luck.

Get To Know Your Black Lab

My first black Lab, Ted, came into our family home when I was a child. He was my constant companion almost into adulthood.

He came on countless runs through the woods, spent hours playing ball in the backyard, but also sat with his head gently rested in my lap whenever I was sad.

So it has always amazed me that despite the black Labrador being the most common color, it is in some ways the least appreciated.

With an amazing history of working alongside human companions, and a fabulous temperament, this pup really is one to watch.

Our comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you could ever want to know about your favorite dog.

From the origins of the black Lab, to finding and buying healthy black Labrador Retriever puppies, we’ve got you covered.

And you’ll find more fun and interesting information in the box above!

In This Guide

Know what you’re looking for? Use the handy links below to jump to the relevant section:

The black Labrador has been favored by the hunting community for generations.

But they were bred from a fishing companion that has been extinct now for nearly fifty years.

Where Do Black Labs Come From

Did you know, the first Labradors were bred from a now extinct breed known as the St John’s Water Dog. 

This breed was also most likely the route of the rather different, and bigger, Newfoundland.

This fisherman’s companion had a thick coat and looked a bit like a cross between a Border Collie and the modern Labrador we know and love.

A Complete Guide to the Black Labrador Retriever

Two English Aristocrats each owned a St John’s Water Dog and they brought them together to create a breeding program that paved the way for the modern Lab we know and love.

Up until the early 1900’s almost all of these dogs were bred as shooting companions, and almost all of them were black. Albeit often with white markings.

How Is The Black Color Inherited In Labs?

Do you ever feel like you see more black Labs around than any other color? That’s because you do!

The first chocolate Labradors that we know of were born in the 1890s, but colors other than black were not at all popular until the mid 90s.

Horribly, for many generations most puppies born with chocolate or yellow coats were routinely euthanized at birth!

And yet those other shades persisted, despite black being what is known in genetics as ‘dominant’.

Black lab puppy

If a puppy has inherited the gene for black coat color from either of her parents, this is the color that her coat will be.

Black Labs vs Chocolate Labs

If you aren’t a fan of genetics, look away now! If you are, then here’s the nitty gritty.

We’ll start by looking at Black vs Chocolate Lab coat colors.

Beautiful black lab waiting for their master

These both come from a pigment called eumelanin. More eumelanin leads to a black Lab, less leads to a chocolate. 

If you push your brain back to high school genetics, you’ll remember that genetic instructions can be described by letters.

Genes come in pairs. Here we are dealing with B genes at the B locus.

B genes include a big ‘B’, for lots of eumelanin giving black, and a little ‘b’ for less eumelanin, giving brown.

B is dominant over b. So a pairing of BB or Bb will give a black coat. Only bb will give a brown coat.

A puppy gets one gene from each parent.

And that’s how we can get black Labs throwing chocolate puppies, as if they each have a recessive ‘b’ gene, so are Bb themselves, they can potentially come together in the pup as bb.

With me so far?

Yes? Great! Because this is where it gets slightly more complicated…

Because in contradiction to what we’ve just seen, BB and Bb aren’t in reality always black, and bb isn’t always brown.

This is because these genes are also effected by another set of genes, at the E locus.

Black Labs vs Yellow Labs

The yellow shade of Labs comes from the e genes.

E is dominant, and does not get in the way of the B genes. But e is recessive, and this does.

It has the potential to stop the B genes giving a black or brown dog, and gives us yellow Labrador pups.

So we have B genes – BB, Bb or bb and E genes – EE, Ee and ee.

And these all interact with each other differently to give different coat colors.

This diagram explains them nicely:

labrador colors

You can see from these combinations alone that the most common result is a black Lab puppy.

But also how chocolate and yellow Labs were hidden for a time through careful matings and selective culling.

But there is another twist to the black coat color tale.

Charcoal Labradors

Not all black Lab puppies are born the very dark shade we are most familiar with. Occasionally a Lab is born with the dilute gene.

charcoal lab

This genetic twist essentially tones down the shade of the dark coat color.

In the same way that the chocolate Lab looks silver when this gene is activated, the black Lab looks charcoal.

In genetic terms, this dilute gene lives at the D locus. A big dominant ‘D’ keeps the coat at it’s full color, so only a ‘dd’ pairing allows it to become dilute.

How this gene ended up in the Labrador breed is a contentious topic that we won’t fall into in this article, but if you are interested you can uncover all the fascinating theories in our guide to Silver Labs here.

Popularity

Black Labs have always been the most prevalent color, but their popularity has changed over the years.

Loving and lovable, the black lab is always ready for a game!

In the sporting dog community owners of hunting dogs still often prefer the black coat, but pet and show owners often show a preference these days for the paler colors.

Chocolate and yellow Labs can even fetch higher prices from some breeders, not to mention the less common fox red and silver tones.

Black Dogs Are Harder To Rehome

There is a sad phenomenon in pet shelters, which impacts the rehoming rate of black dogs.

Not only do these pups not photograph as well, they simply aren’t as easy to rehome in person either.

Lots of people don’t want a black dog.

Prospective owners often pass them by, regardless of temperament, in favor of the brighter colored pups on offer.

But these adopters are missing a trick, because black dogs have so much to offer beyond their coat.

And what they do offer differs slightly between the Labrador types.

English Black Labs – bred for show

There are two strains of Labrador. One was bred for the show ring, and the other was bred for the field.

Although they are both Labs in the true sense, these separate strains can be quite different and are easy to pick apart if you know what you are looking for.

English black Labradors are often preferred by pet homes as well as owners interested in the ring.

Different types of Labrador -we compare English and American Labs

The English black Lab has a reputation for being a little slower to mature, and a lot more playful.

American Black Labs – bred to work

American black Labs are slimmer, less excitable but more driven.

black labs are loving dogs, and make great hunting companions

They stand around the same height, but their heads are less broad and their tails often have less of the otter quality that their show companions sport.

Although still friendly, they are perhaps less inclined to play than their show bred cousins. And in contrast to this have a stronger drive to retrieve and hunt.

English Black Lab vs American Black Lab

English and American bred Labs are both Labs, but their appeal can differ between owners.

The English black Lab was bred for looks over purpose.

Their broad head and barrel chest is matched with a straight, thick furred tail and a heavier weight on the scales.

Black Labradors bred for show or as pets tend to be slower to mature, with a more playful personality, and are arguably less likely to run off after wildlife!

Which Type Suits You?

American black Labs may need more exercise and mental stimulation than English black Labs. They will benefit from gun dog style training involving retrieving exercises.

If you work long hours and won’t have much time to spend on long training sessions, a more laid-back Lab, probably from show lines, might suit you better.

Black Lab Characteristics

Although there is no denying that the different Labrador strains have separated to a fair dramatic degree, these are still all fundamentally black Labs.

And they do have some features in common that makes them who they are.

The Lab has a double coat, excellent for keeping them warm in and out of the water. And that’s an area where they excel, not least due to their amazing webbed paws!

Their thick straight tail is described as having an otter-like appearance, and they are almost all one single color with no other markings.

Mismarked Labs rear their heads from time to time, but this is generally just a case of white toes or a splash of white on their chests.

Does the dog in your life have a cat in theirs? Don't miss out on the perfect companion to life with a purrfect friend.
The Happy Cat Handbook - A unique guide to understanding and enjoying your cat!

How Big Do Black Labs Get?

The eventual size of your black Lab puppy will depend a little upon their upbringing, and a lot upon whether they are from American or English lines.

Finding your perfect black Lab puppy isn't hard, but there are things you need to know!

An adult black Lab will weigh anywhere from 55 to 80 lbs, and be from 21 to 24.5 inches tall at the shoulder.

The English black Lab will tend to be closer to the heavier end of the spectrum, and the American nearer to the lower.

Black Lab Temperament

Labradors are well known for being friendly. Perhaps sometimes a little too friendly!

This bouncy breed is more likely to leap up and lick a burglar than to stop him in the act.

The downside of this is that they can be easily distracted at the dog park by wanting to greet everyone they come across.

Their jolly, lively nature can also lead them into trouble with people who are unsteady on their feet. Sharing a house with a toddler and a black Lab involves some careful management to ensure that little people aren’t accidentally sent flying.

Although lovably clumsy, this dog also has a brilliant brain.

Black Lab Intelligence

Black Labradors have been bred for generations as hunting companions.

Deliberately bred from dogs that were attentive to their handlers and relatively easy to teach commands to, they are absolutely an intelligent breed.

This color has also been very popular in the sporting dog community, and as a result you could even assume that their intelligence has been prioritised in a way that yellow and chocolate Lab’s was not.

Because to get that black coat expressed is just a matter of mating two dogs, whereas to get the recessive genes you need to at least partially make your breeding choices based upon the colors of the parents as well as factors to do with temperament and trainability.

But the most important factor when bringing together two Lab lines should always be one of health.

Black Lab Health

All purebred dogs have inherited diseases that are common to the breed, due to the limitations of even the large gene pools.

Black Labs are generally thought of as healthy dogs, but there are some issues which you need to be aware of when thinking of bringing one home.

Avoiding Health Problems

The best way to avoid health problems is by purchasing a puppy from health tested parents.

This won’t guarantee that your pup will be fit for life, but will put the odds in your favor.

The main areas to be aware of are joint problems and eye problems.

Hip and elbow dysplasia are common Lab complaints.

This condition ranges in severity and an adult dog can have x rays to assess their joint health, and be given a score to let you know how well their joints have developed.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is an inherited eye disorder causing blindness. To avoid your puppy suffering from this either both parents need to be Clear or one Clear one Carrier.

If one is a carrier, your puppy might carry the gene too. If your puppy carries the gene and you wanted to breed from her at a later date you’d need to mate her to a dog that was Clear.

A general eye exam once a year will make sure that there are no other vision problems manifesting over time.

How To Find A Black Lab

The best way to get a black Lab puppy is from a breeder.

Most breeders advertise online now, so you will need to be careful to have a good chat with them before committing to buying a puppy.

Do not put down a deposit before meeting the mother and the litter at their home.

The mum should be relaxed and happy to meet you, and for you to handle her pups.

If you are looking for a pet you will need to decide whether you think a show or working temperament is better suited to your lifestyle and family needs.

Make sure the breeder willingly shows you copies of health certificates from both parents.

As a minimum they should be PRA clear, have a recent clear eye check from a vet, have good hip scores and an elbow score of 0.

If one parent has been shown as a carrier for dwarfism or PRA, be sure to check that the other has been tested clear.

Ask to see the parents’ pedigrees if they are Kennel Club registered and you can check that they are not inbred by making sure the names are not repeated within the family tree.

Good breeders ask lots of questions because they care about what happens to their pups, and will be open and willing to answer all of your questions too.

Choosing a Breeder

Your main priorities should be to find a breeder who is scrupulous in their health testing, and make sure your potential puppy’s parents’ temperaments are both excellent.

You might find it helpful to check out our article on Labrador breeders before you start searching for a pup.

You might also want to read this article: Choosing the Right Dog.

The information in these articles will help you avoid some of the common mistakes people make when looking for their new best friend.

Rescuing a Black Labrador

Rescuing a dog is a great thing to do if your circumstances are right. And rescuing a black Lab is even better, as this color can be hard to home.

One way to find your black Labrador dog is via an animal rescue shelter. Find out more in this article

Reputable rescues will work hard to match you to the right dog, and help you to make a choice that fits in well with your family.

Rescuing such a dog can be very rewarding. We hope you will find our article Should you adopt a Labrador helpful. You can view a list of rehoming societies on our rescue page.

They will also offer plenty of support and help once you bring your dog home. Especially when it comes to behavioral and training problems.

Training and Exercising Your Black Lab

Black Labs are intelligent dogs and training is an absolute essential for them and their owners.

Not only does it help you to get along well at home and outdoors, it is a brilliant way to keep those big brains busy

Whether you are starting from the beginning and need to get to grips with puppy parenting, or you are looking to learn some foundation skills with an older dog, training is a must.

Black Labs are slightly more likely to come from working backgrounds than other Labradors, and if your black Lab is an American Lab, you might want to consider giving him the opportunity to do plenty of retrieving.

His breeding may influence how far you can go with advanced training if you are thinking of moving on later to agility or gun dog work.

Although American Black Labs tend to be more driven to retrieve, English Black Labradors are still lively and fun loving dogs and many are also keen retrievers.

Both types need a good workout every day to keep them fit and healthy and to help them relax at home.

You can exercise your black Labrador with a traditional walk, by going for a run together or through play.

Retrieving games are a great way to give your Lab a lot of exercise without you having to travel quite such a long distance yourself.

You can find some great ideas for games you and your Labrador can play together in this article.

Black Lab Grooming

Your black Lab needs no special grooming due to his coat color.

In fact, the grooming requirements of your Labrador Retriever are some of the simplest among dog breeds. Their coats are designed to take care of themselves. Though your furniture and floors may benefit if your dog has a twice daily brush when shedding heavily.

Other than that Labs have a wonderful coat that requires only occasional washing.

Weekly brushing will improve the look and feel of his coat and your Lab will probably love the attention, but it isn’t critical.

As with any dog, you’ll need to trim his nails and brush his teeth regularly for good health.

Caring For An Old Black Labrador

Some black Labs can start to look old from quite a young age. White or grey hairs may start forming around their muzzle, giving them a bearded or grizzled look.

Old Black LabThis pale hair is nothing to worry about and happens to most black Labs sooner or later.

As your black Lab reaches old age, you might find that he slows down a bit. His typical energetic black Lab personality may mellow.

He will be less boisterous, and more inclined to spend the day in bed than bouncing up and down by your side.

The average lifespan of a black Lab is around 12, but if you are lucky your pup might be with you for 14 or more years.

The Labrador Handbook by Pippa Mattinson

However, with old age come some requirements and adaptations that will help ease your friend’s final years.

A more comfortable bed, ideally with memory foam, can help support those aging joints.

Ramps for accessing the car can really help them out too.

Depending upon advice from your vet you might also want to switch them to a senior dog food, which is easier to digest and has additives that some believe can help slow the pace of arthritis.

Famous Black Labs

We all know, of course, that black Labs are renowned as skilled and courageous service dogs.

Black lab with ownerThey work as search and rescue dogs, assist our soldiers in the army and help catch drug dealers bringing drugs across the border.

Dogs like Jake, pictured above with his handler Mary.

Jake burrowed through the terrible smoking debris after the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2011 and came to the rescue once more in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Famous Owners

Some black Labs are famous for having famous owners!

black Lab Konni belonging to president Putin of RussiaHere is president Putin of Russia with his black Lab Konni.

She was originally trained as a search and rescue dog and her puppies have been presented as gifts to foreign dignitaries.

There is even a children’s book about her adventures.

What Is So Special About Black Labs?

The black Lab will always have a special place in our hearts, because they are such a loving, friendly and loyal dog.

black labrador puppy

From sporting routes to vital roles in the community such as support dog work, their intelligence and willingness to please really sets them apart from any other dog.

Don’t forget to tell us why your black lab is so special to you, in the comments below. We love to hear your stories

The Labrador Site Founder

Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of The Happy Puppy Handbook, the Labrador Handbook, Choosing The Perfect Puppy, and Total Recall.

She is also the founder of the Gundog Trust and the Dogsnet Online Training Program 

Pippa's online training courses were launched in 2019 and you can find the latest course dates on the Dogsnet website

47 COMMENTS

  1. Veterinarian for 40 yrs–happily retired. Lab owner for 55 yrs. My best dogs were black but others were great also. We still like o hunt birds–dove/quail.

  2. I just purchased a black lab from a breeder today ! He is 8 weeks and he is just the calmest puppy I’ve seen. Very good dog !

  3. Being recently divorced and having bought a new home, I found life rather boring when my sons were at their moms for her portion of the custody. While sharing custody of the boys 50/50 and having an empty house every other week, I proceeded to look for a puppy. My kids wanted a black puppy, and I wanted a mastiff. having always had bigger dogs growing up and with the HOA and Insurance restrictions on my new home, if I was going to sway from the desired Mastiff, black labs were going to be the exception. So the day before I was going to pick my Mastiff up, I decided to go through the motions and go look at a black lab puppy so I could honestly tell my two boys (8 and 4) that I looked at black puppies too. When I walked in the door at the breeder, they had all the different puppies in their own compartment, rubber made containers across the floor and puppies from 3 different litters. Every puppy was up and barking as if they were all screaming “Take me home!” As I look off to the left there is this little black puppy looking at me, not making a single sound, with sad little puppy dog eyes. I picked her up and she nuzzled her head in my neck and didn’t move a muscle. How was I supposed to say no and put her back in the rubber made container? It was then that the plan changed to the Mastiff was going to be the next dog I own because this one is going to be a lab.

    We struggled with a name. Many names were voted into the name bank. It was down to “Stella” (Italian for star my nomination) and “Audrey” (After Audrey Hepburn who my mother who nominated Audrey, knows I think se is the most beautiful lady there has ever lived) in a tie. So I opened it up to social media and it was an overwhelming vote for “Stella”. But before I set it in stone, I thought, my boys want Audrey and they are really the only ones that matter. Ta hell with Stella, her name is going to be Audrey.

    Fast forward 12 weeks. I couldn’t be happier. She has made the perfect companion. When the boys are here she always wants to play with them. She follows me around like my second shadow. If I go back and forth to the garage 5 times, she follows me five times. I work from home. Every morning she walks over to her puppy bed and barks twice and tugs at her bed, then she barks twice and tugs at her bed. She does this until I bring her puppy bed into the other room next to my computer where I work. She then does the same thing with the box fan. And while I am working she will lay there next to me with the fan blowing on her looking at me with those puppy dog eyes waiting for affection.

    When I am watching TV in the bedroom, shes laying in the bedroom on the floor next to me. I even replaced a toilet and while I was bent over tightening the bolts to the floor, she laid over my ankles.

    She has never snapped at anyone, me or the kids. But when she plays she likes to mouth so you have to be careful. I have had really great luck being stern with her and telling her how naughty it is to bite and she has responded well. She potty trained well. The only down side is the home I bought has a lot of really pretty flowers. Mexican petunias and plumerias, if you dont keep and eye on her, she will eat the flowers. But other than that she has been the perfect puppy.

    I recommend anyone who is looking for a dog to get a black lab as long as you have the time to show her the fun and affection she needs.

    When I take her to the dog park, all the ladies yell oh my gosh look at the little black lab puppy shes so cute. She runs and plays with the other big dogs well.

    5 stars for Labs

  4. I have just put my deposit down on a black lab puppy, she is my first dog and we pick her up in 3 weeks when she will be nearly 9 weeks old. My main concern is getting her socialised and letting her off lead and teaching recall as she cannot go out until she is about 13 weeks when she is fully vaccinated I’m worried I will have missed my window while she is in the dependant stage and won’t be open to meeting new dogs and she will be approaching independent stage so she won’t feel the need to follow me everywhere. My back garden is small but we have a huge Park and forest out the back of our house but it’s frequented by other dogs is it possible to take her out to teach recall? We are also going on holiday with her at 13 weeks, (uk based) it’s a dog friendly place and so lovely but I’m concerned she won’t cope with the other dogs and run away if I let her off lead on the beach. Any advice?? I will cancel my little 5 day break if it’s going to cause to much upset to her but also think it will be great for Socialization. Help!!

  5. We’ve just had a lab/lab mix follow my daughter home from work, Sunday. Took her to the vet, no microchip. 5-6 months old (which is one reason she may have been dumped & we live on a dirt road). She is the sweetest thing, very loving and attentive, tries to chase the cats, comes into the chicken coop with me & is not at all aggressive with the chicks, I can tell she wants to play with them but when I tell her no, she stops. Posted her pictures on Facebook, no claims yet, just offers to adopt. We’ve already fell in love with her & have named her Daisy and if no one claims her soon, will have her fixed & into obedience classes!

  6. Hi! I “recued” a black Lab mix who seems to have all the qualities, personality, and physical attributes of a purebred Labrador. I’ve had five other dogs, in total, throughout my life. But THIS one, this one is SOOO special. It’s hard to really explain. I’ve always loved all of my dogs, and they all meant (and and still mean) so much to me. But my black Lab mix — his name is Coffee — is so much CLOSER to me than I ever thought possible. I love him just as strongly as if he were my child! He is so protective and loyal. I had a bad car accident recently and it’s obvious that he fully understands that I am hurt. He started standing guard around me at all times– if he’s not cuddled up with me, he’s sitting or standing in front of me, making sure that my houemate’s large and overly energetic puppy doesn’t get too close. I have broken, healing bones, so Coffee’s attentiveness is a welcome relief to me. If not for Coffee, I’m POSITIVE my housemate’s puppy would have (not on purpose) caused me some sort of terrible injury by now, during this critical time. He really is terrific.He’s quick to learn — without me really even TRYING, he quickly adapted to me, intuitively understanding what I want from him. He is a beggar for food, but this is all my “fault” because I find it sooo incredibly cute! Everyone will surely gasp at this, but you’d have to see it to understand: he uses his paws inn such a funny way; it’s like they’re real “people” hands, and he taps on on your arm as if saying, “Hey, um, excuse me, Can I have some?” Everyone finds his movements hilarious. He sometimes walks around like a human, on just his two back legs, which is also a very funny sight that brings us all joy and laughter (he can do it do it for quite a long time!). He’s a DELIGHT with kids. He definitely recognizes that children are different than adults, and boy, does he LOVE them! He’ll hear a child’s giggle in the distance and his ears will immediately perk up, as he begins wagging his tail and bouncing with happy excitement. I’ve never seen a dog make the people around him SO happy! He’s a bit excessive with his licking, but I don’t think anyone minds at all. Everyone sees him and starts to smile. He instinctively seems to know to be more gentle with very young children, and is the just the right amount of playful depending on whether he’s with small kids, older kids, adults, or the elderly — he adjusts his energy according to that of the people he’s around. Because he’s so loving and delightful, I’ve often thought that he’d be a great for some kind of program where dogs are brought in to help provide therapy. Besides his wonderful personality, he’s an adorable dog. His coat is always effortlessly shiny and healthy looking. He’s AROUND four years old, and so far he hasn’t has any health issues. I hope he lives as long as possible because he truly is a part of the family. I am so glad to have my Labrador mix. Long live Coffee and the Awesome, Loyal Labrador!!!

  7. I have a black lab, we call him Patton. He’s 7 years old, and he shares our home with 4 rescued cats. He loves his toys, and knows each one by a special name. If I ask him to get his “dundun”, he goes and gets his shark toy!!
    Patton came into my life after my husband passed away, and he helped me tremendously!! He still does! He offers me comfort, he will sit with me while I cry, and try to lick my tears away, he brings me his toys to cheer me up. But mostly, he just lays with me until I feel a little better….and I love him for that!!

  8. i have a black lab mix. he is great when i home with him. right by my side for anything and everything. but when i go to work he turns into the tasmanian devil and shred everthing in the house. so i got him a heavy duty metal kennel, the first night he shredded the hard plastic tray the goes in the bottom and fling the pieces all over the floor. the second night he broke the wield on three of the bars and bent them to make a hole in the side. so i fixed that and blocked the side so he couldnt do that again and one the third night he bent the bars around the door. so on the fourth night i blocked the door too, so he bent the bars on top to the kennel trying to break the wield there. he is very smart and i love the guy, if he only stop chewing up everything when i gone i would even bother with the kennel. he is determined to get out of it no matter what i do to keep him in it. i am worried that he is gonna hurt himself. jeff

  9. I had a bushy coat gsd… He left us at d age of 10….thn v bght a black lab… Now he is 5 months old n he is d soul of our family…

  10. I am the proud owner of a 3 month old black female lab. Her name is Darla Jaye. We also have four older dogs. I really studied and stressed over taking on a new puppy but we lost our other black lab 3 years ago at 13 years old. I still miss her every day but I do not regret for one minute deciding to bring this puppy into my home. She has brought so much joy and laughter and happiness and sometimes aggravation to my life. I truly love all dogs but a Labrador is the greatest dog on Earth.

  11. I just fostered three boxer/lab puppies. The boy was Charcoal, the two girls were black. They were very young, but the fastest learners I’ve ever seen. I tried to make learning fun and worked with them at least three hours a day, They are now at K9 Lifeline rescue in Wisconsin. I miss them so much. Not sure I can foster again. It’s too hard to say goodbye. I pray they get great homes. They are fantastic pets!

  12. Lost my 150 lb German Shepherd to bladder cancer. After he was put down the vet took a look in his bladder. It was stained green. It was dye in the Pedegree dog food he ate his whole 9 years. This dye more than likely caused his cancer. Just got an 8 wk old Black Lab. He does not eat dog food.

  13. My wife and I had two lab”s Black lab Max was the best and the most loyal friend I ever had he was a gentle old soul never left my side when I had surgery I love and miss him he is always in my heart. Our yellow one Buster was the silly one always wanting to play and they both loved going for there walk”s both were very loyal they complemented each other very well my wife and I will never own any other dog but labradors we are picking up two new puppies October 15 two brothers .

  14. My friend is a black (American) lab. She is not quite 4 months old (born on 28th March 2018). Like all puppies, she has melted the hearts of everyone she has met.

    About six days ago, she ‘switched on’; she got that look and body language of a dog completely focused on waiting to be instructed to do something. I’ve been training her from our first full day together. I use positive reinforcement, which works very well with her. The weak link is me, so I’m in the process of being trained in how to train her.

    My aim is for us to be best friends and enjoy ‘picking up’, do some working tests and, if I don’t let her down, some Field Trialling.

  15. I have a black lab puppy of age about 6 months but sometimes he is very aggressive specially on roof and tries to bite the family members.. So can you tell me how to control his temperament ?

  16. I’m thinking ? of getting a lab but I can’t decide wether to get a chocolate lab or a black lab any suggestions which one is better ✍️✍️✍️

  17. We recently rescued 2 male Black Lab puppies from a shelter. 4 and 8 months old. What a handful they are, but learning fast to be part of the household. Love our two little guys.

  18. We just lost our Black Lab after having him for 14 years. We got him at 9 weeks old and we miss him so much. Such a wonderful temperament and totally loyal. We moved to Australia in 2009 for a year and took him with us, he never once spent a night outside in his whole life. We had had German Shepherds before our Black lab and when the time comes to get another family member we will be going straight back to a Black Labrador. A better dog we could not have wished for. it was traumatic saying good bye to him but we know he had a wonderful life with unconditional love, of which he gave back to us ten fold.,

  19. My husband had to work away for 6 months and my Lab has changed completely from day 1, even though my husband is home now my lab still does not leave my side, no matter where I go on our property he is behind me, when my husband is not around my daughter and I cannot leave the property as he tries to pull us back in. I cannot move without him following me around. I now call him my shadow. How can I remedy this drastic change.

  20. I have a 15 month old black lab that I rescued about 8 months ago… He was the love of my life… I trained him so easily and his happiness was being with me right by my side… Then I sent him to gun dog school… Now he is not interested in me or the things we did before… He walks to fetch and seems bored when we play… He would pay attention before but now it is a struggle to get him to do anything… He was filled with energy but only wants to lay around now.
    He is completely opposite of the dog I had pretraining…. It seems he resents me taking him away from the trainer he had… What happened??

  21. Any advise please I have a beautiful black lab 5 year old female she has just started to be a bit funny around other dogs? I could be over the park with 30 dogs that she knows but she has. Ever played with other dogs as she is quite happy with her ball, she is also quite happy to give her ball up quite easily but if there is a dog that she doesn’t really know and would go round her to sniff she wants to try and go for it, there is no warning she just try’s to bite it please help

  22. We have a yellow male who’s 7 and a black male who is 3 they are both different, the yellow is from working background and is very gentle the black lab is show much wider in the chest and head and very bouncy, they are both slim tall and beautiful, we are very lucky to live near the coast, with open fields that they get to bomb around freely everyday day, we feed them dry food at present but we enjoyed the article on raw food and we are looking into this. Both our dogs prefer not to be on leads! My fault as I hate to tie them up! However, with more fog owners finding our secrete space, we are having to keep dogs on lead more and more, not because our dogs are in any way dangerous but they are very friendly and large, especially when bounding towards you… there are a lot of dog owners about now that understand that digs benefit from socialising with other dogs whatever their size colour or breed!! We live our dogs they are amazing ????

  23. We were prepared to adopt a 18month old black lab. We went to visit him and my 16 yr old and the dog fell in love with each other instantly. We had the home visit. All seemed fine, we live on over an acre of land in Michigan, so planned on having him in a 10×20 kennel outside with a dog house attached, while we are gone to work and school. During extreme weather, we would keep him in the basement. When we were home he would be with us. My husband runs and so does my son. I had planned to walk him everyday, so he would get plenty of exercise and time with us. All seemed right, but they won’t let us adopt him because we planned to leave him outside. They want him left inside throughout the day while we are not home. That seems more cruel than being outside. So, can someone tell me what i am missing?

    • dogs are pack animals,they want company and to be part of a family,not nice to isolate an animal on its own in an outside kennel or basement, he would be happier left alone in his home knowing his family would be back soon than spending 22 hours a day on his own outside.all animal shelters insist that dogs should be kept in the house and rightly so.

    • NO dog should be left outside. They would be subject to all kinds of weather, not to mention bugs. Plus I would never put any dog in the basement. My black lab is a family member. No family member lives outside. He is loving, friendly and loyal. His heart would break if he was dumped somewhere without his family. I’m not sure a family with all working members is a correct placement for a lab. Unless you use doggy day care. My guy is by my side 24/7.

  24. This is my second Labrador. My first, 22 years ago, was a yellow Labrador, who lived 17 years. I only ever fed him Hills Science Diet. Now, I have a black Labrador, who I had adopted from an animal shelter and feed him Hills Science Diet. I have an apple tree, so he also gets a sliced apple mixed in with his portion. He also love peas, beans, carrots, and a bit of slightly cooked broccoli set aside from my portion. Goes crazy for homemade chicken soup, cooked chicken without bones. My dear departed Dad told me that chicken bones splinter and can puncture the gut. I am aware there is another school of thought to feed uncooked Chicken wings, but I would never eat any chicken raw, even fresh from the butcher shop or grocery store’s meats department. So far, so good . . . My 10 month old black Labrador is like a fartin’ snorin’ baby needing a diaper change, just as I enter a sound sleep. I wake to big sloppy tongue or paws on my face. They are such loyal, lovable, seemingly always happy creatures. Hard to imagine he was given up for adoption. Lucky me.

  25. I had a black lab he passed April 7 th 2016 I could not ask for a more wonderful loving dog. How we miss him so very much. He name was Semper Fi . My husband was a former Marine. Always faithful as everyone knows it means and my sweet Semper was that.

  26. We have had three yellow labs and two chocolates. The chocolates are both female and we prefer them to all the others. They are more personable and are more playful. One is six years old and the other is 10months, they are mother and daughter-we kept one from the litter, cause my son and husband wanted to keep one. She has been spoiled like no other dog we have had, she is almost like our third child. Probably easier to train than a child though, she is very smart!

  27. i have a black lab hes called bear, he follows me everywhere and as hes not allowed upstairs he sits by the gate and waits, he has a friend that we meet out on our walk every day hes called archie hes a golden lab 2 years old, they have the best fun ever i think they would be happy to spend the whole day together if they could. aprt from the amout of fur i clean up every day bear is a very special boy to me, hes my best friend he cuddles up next to me on the sofa every evening he follows me round when gardening he nicks all my strawberries of the plants but i wouldnt change it. i love him.

  28. I’ve have 3 dogs, one of whom is a 4 year old black lab named Raider. He is honestly an wonderful friend. He LOVES to play fetch with me throwing a tennis ball until he is all tuckered out. Once he’s had his play he really mellows out and likes to lay on the cool tile floor panting to cool off. He gets very antsy when he hasn’t had his fetch yet so I try to play outside two to three times a day. He is such a kind gentle dog that likes to lick a lot haha. When he wants something, like to play fetch or out to go potty, he’ll walk up and lick your elbow or whatever skin you leave exposed which is so funny to me. Raider is so good of a dog I recommend black labs to anyone with a heart for animals.

  29. My 14 week old black lab, Loki, is amazing and fun and a teacher of patience. Lol
    For the past 3 weeks he has developed white spots on his fur. He is also constantly scratching himself. How can I ease his situation.
    I know that the dry air in the house must be playing a huge part.

    • Could be a possible allergy to his food? Lots of info on line about dogs being allergic to grains in kibble etc
      Do you give him treats? Check out the ingredient list if you do. So many nasties in the most popular brands….
      Or allergy to flea or tick treatment you may have given him? They are full of poison, once again check out online.
      I have been a dog owner for over 20 years and am still learning. In fact I have recently started making my own treats and have changed my dogs’ food too. Good luck

LEAVE A REPLY