Black Lab – A Complete Guide to the Black Labrador Retriever

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Black Lab - A Complete Guide to the Black Labrador Retriever

The black Lab is an iconic dog with a big personality. The original Labrador Retriever, black Labs remain the most popular of the Labrador colors.

All black Labs are part of the Labrador Retriever breed, which falls within the Gundog group of dogs. Black Labs grow to between 21.5 and 24.5 inches tall at the shoulder, weighing up to 80 pounds as an adult. They are popular for their even-tempers, and are known for being friendly, affectionate, and active.

A black Lab will live to around 12 years old on average. Black Labs have the same health, exercise and grooming needs as any other Labrador.

More About Labs and Black Labs

Are you looking to find out more about your wonderful black Lab? Do you want to know where black Labs came from? What makes them so special?

This is an in-depth guide to the black Labrador. Black Labs are the most popular black dogs in the world. Find out why and discover whether a black Lab puppy is right for you.

Where Do Black Labs Come From?

You’d think that a dog named ‘Labrador’ might come from Labrador, wouldn’t you? But as you may have heard, black Labs are descended from the St John’s dogs of Newfoundland, Canada.

You may have heard that Labrador Retrievers were discovered in Newfoundland, working alongside hardy fishermen and taken to England in the 1800s where they were developed into the breed we know today.

In fact, their story goes back farther than the hardy Newfoundland fisherman’s friend. It’s now clear that the ancestors of black Labs were brought to Newfoundland by British fishermen in the first place. This probably happened in the 1700s.

You can read more about this fascinating history in our article: Where Do Labradors Come From

A Complete Guide to the Black Labrador Retriever

Changes to the Black Lab

The black Labs that worked in the icy northern waters were not quite like the dogs we know today. Some had longer coats and even more upright ears.

Many St John’s dogs had white markings on their black coats, from the odd white sock to large patches of white.

Even today, it isn’t uncommon to find a tiny white spot tucked away low down on the chest or under the paw of a purebred black Labrador Retriever.

Black lab puppy Sadly, when yellow or chocolate Labrador retriever puppies were born, they were unwanted and often disposed of. They certainly were not allowed to breed.

Why Is Black the Most Common Color for Labradors?

Black Labradors are the most commonly found color in this popular breed of dog, but this is not due just to Labrador owners’ color preference.

Genetics dictate that far larger quantities of black Labradors are born than yellow or chocolate Labradors.

Beautiful black lab waiting for their masterThis is because in a Labrador, black is the dominant gene for coat color.  Whereas the genes for brown and yellow coats are recessive and won’t be expressed in the presence of a black coat gene.

So How Do Other Coat Colors Happen?

A Labrador Retriever will only have a chocolate coat if he doesn’t have a black coat gene. And a yellow coat only occurs when the dog has two yellow coat genes.

Sound complicated? Take a look at our color inheritance article for an easy way to understand coat genetics in Labradors. We even provide handy charts to help you work out the likelihood of Labrador puppies having black coats given different colored parental combinations.

Black Lab Temperament

Just like his yellow and chocolate friends, the average black Lab has an outstanding temperament.

The black Lab personality is typically loving, lovable and brimming with enthusiasm. Black Labs will never tire of your company. They’ll go anywhere and do anything as long as you are with them.

Loving and lovable, the black lab is always ready for a game!If he has any flaws, it is that his bouncy exuberance as a youngster may cause problems for those who are not too steady on their feet.

Adolescent black Labs need to be well supervised around toddlers just learning to walk or elderly persons who may be unsteady on their feet.

Black Lab Health Issues

Although black Labs have no health issues due specifically to their color, Labrador Retrievers, in general, have some health concerns you should be aware of.

The most common of these is Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD). Dysplasia is caused by an improperly formed joint. Development of CHD is based on a combination of genetic and environmental factors. The condition can also affect a dog’s elbows or shoulders.

Responsible breeders look for and try to avoid passing the genetic component of dysplasia to the next generation of puppies.

Healthy Diets

Feeding your Lab a healthy diet in appropriate portions to maintain a healthy weight is an important factor. Similarly, an appropriate amount of regular exercise is important, but too much exercise can trigger or worsen dysplasia.

Your veterinarian can provide diet and exercise recommendations appropriate for your Lab.

Read more about this condition and what you can do to prevent it here.

American Black Labs Versus English Black Labs

The black Labrador has long been the darling of the hunting and shooting community.

These beautiful dogs in their handsome, shiny ‘wash and go’ coats can be found busily retrieving ducks, pheasants, rabbits and geese in many parts of the world.

black labs are loving dogs, and make great hunting companionsMany of the black Labs you see working as hunting companions were specifically bred for fieldwork. These dogs are often referred to as American Labs and are very popular.

Working vs Show Labs

But not all black Labs are from working lines, plenty of show-bred Labradors are black as well. You may hear them referred to as English black Labs. Despite the labels, the difference between them is one of role and purpose rather than country of origin.

Black Labs from work or show lines will have different statures. Show (English) black Labs have broader heads and wider chests.

The two lines also have different temperaments. Black Labradors bred for show or as pets tend to be slower to mature, with a more playful personality, and are less likely to run off after wildlife!

You can read more about the difference between English and American Labs in our article: English Lab – Your Guide To The English Labrador Retriever

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 right, 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.

Should I Buy a Black Labrador Puppy?

When you decide to take on a puppy, the most important thing is to choose one that will grow into a happy, healthy and well-tempered adult. But first, you want to be sure that you are in a good position to bring a black Lab puppy into your life and home.

Because black Labradors often come from working lines, you need to consider which type of Lab is best suited to your family before purchasing a black Lab puppy.

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 puppies can be overlooked because the color is deemed too normal, but remember that your puppy’s coat is just a color and black Labrador Retrievers are just as wonderful as their yellow and chocolate counterparts.

Finding a Black Labrador Puppy

Black Labs are so popular that you won’t have any difficulty finding a puppy. Many perfect and adorable black Lab pups, like this one, are born every year.

Finding your perfect black Lab puppy isn't hard, but there are things you need to know!It is possible for a litter bred from a yellow dog and chocolate female to produce at least some black puppies due to the dominant gene for a black coat.

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!

Not all puppies are born healthy or destined to have the classic, perfect Labrador temperament. So, you do need to choose your puppy with care.

If you are looking for a black Labrador puppy you should go about it in the same way you would if you had no color preference.

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.

Black Lab Rescue

Alternatively, you may be willing to consider adopting a black Labrador from a rescue or animal shelter.

There are a number of breed rescues that specialize in Labs, and there are always black Labs in them, waiting for homes.

One way to find your black Labrador dog is via an animal rescue shelter. Find out more in this articleSometimes people worry that an older dog will have problems, but that isn’t necessarily the case.

Some black Labradors find themselves homeless because their owners have fallen on hard times, divorced or died.

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.

Why Are Black Labs More Likely to End Up in Rescue Centers?

There are several theories about why black Labs are more likely to end up in rescue centers, and why black dogs can be overlooked when people come to choose their new friend.

If there are more black dogs in the population overall, more are going to end up in rescue centers than their differently colored counterparts. Once there, they become subject to what is known as ‘black dog syndrome.’

This simply refers to the fact that black dogs are common and therefore less likely to catch the attention of potential new owners.

Is There Truth to This?

There is no evidence to suggest that the black Lab personality makes then less adoptable  or problems behaviorally that would make them more likely to be rehomed.

Some rescues specialize in helping black dogs find new homes, assisting them in overcoming this unfair bias against them.

Remember, if you want to rescue a Labrador then your decision as to which dog to bring home should not be based on the dog’s color or looks but upon their personality.

Matching an adult dog to an owner is not straightforward and requires thought and planning. A responsible, caring rescue society or shelter will help you with this.

How Do You Train a Black Labrador?

Basic obedience training for your Labrador should not differ because of coat color, and at The Labrador Site, we recommend that you use the most recent information on dog training methods to decide which you would like to use.

You will find it helpful to follow Pippa’s Five Stages of Dog Training to give your black Labrador the best chance for success.

Does Their Background Influence Training?

Black Labs are slightly more likely to come from working backgrounds, 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 gundog work.

Other than that, his coat color should not affect how you train him.

Regardless of whether you want to work with your dog, gundog training can help your black Labrador stay happy and healthy as well as becoming a better-mannered member of the family.

Black Lab Exercise

All Labradors need regular exercise and entertainment, and your black Lab is no exception.

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

Exercise at Home

If you have a fairly large back yard, you can even give him a good workout without having to leave your own property.

Find out more about how to exercise your black Labrador Retriever here.

As dogs with intelligent personalities, black Labs will get a lot of out of working with their minds as well as their bodies.

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

And you can find some simple ways to entertain him when the weather is bad here.

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.

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.

Your Elderly Black Lab

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 bouncy, and more inclined to spend the day in bed than bouncing up and down by your side.

Helping Aging Labs Stay Comfortable

Some medical problems may also appear, such as arthritis and a decline in vision and hearing.

Although many changes like this are simply a result of old age, it’s still worth taking him for a quick checkup by the vet if you notice changes in his behavior or suspect that he might be in discomfort.

There are lots of ways you can help your aging black Lab to stay comfortable too. You can find out all about giving him the best support you can in this article on Caring For Your Older Labrador.

The Labrador Handbook by Pippa Mattinson

Summary

The black Labrador is one of the most common dogs in both the UK and the USA, but this does not mean he is boring or dull. On the contrary, his joyful enthusiasm for life, and the kindly, intelligent black Lab personality are what has made him one of the most popular dogs on earth.

black labrador puppyThe Labrador owner’s devotion to this wonderful breed is a reflection of what a great dog he is.

We love our black Labs and we hope that you do too. If you want to read more about them, check out our guide to the Labrador’s lifespan!

This article has been updated for 2019.

Do you have a black Labrador? Why not tell us all about him in the comments section below!

More Information on Puppies

The Happy Puppy handbookFor a complete guide to raising a healthy and happy puppy don’t miss The Happy Puppy Handbook.

The Happy Puppy Handbook covers every aspect of life with a small puppy.

The book will help you prepare your home for the new arrival, and get your puppy off to a great start with potty training, socialization and early obedience.

The Happy Puppy Handbook is available worldwide.

References

Kerns, J. A., et al., Exclusion of Melanocortin-1 Receptor (Mc1r) and Agouti as Candidates for Dominant Black in Dogs, Journal of Heredity, 2003.
Newton, J. M., et al., Melanocortin 1 Receptor Variation in the Domestic Dog, Mammalian Genome, 2000.
Buzhardt, Lynn, DVM, Genetics Basics – Coat Color Genetics in Dogs, VCA Hospitals.
Pet MD, Hip Dysplasia in Dogs
American Kennel Club

44 COMMENTS

  1. 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

  2. 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!!

  3. 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!

  4. 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!!!

  5. 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!!

  6. 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

  7. 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…

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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 .

  12. 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.

  13. 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 ?

  14. 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 ✍️✍️✍️

  15. 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.

  16. 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.,

  17. 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.

  18. 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??

  19. 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

  20. 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 ????

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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!

  25. 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.

  26. 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.

  27. 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

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