Black Lab – A Complete Guide To The Black Labrador Retriever

Black Lab - A Complete Guide to the Black Labrador Retriever

The black Lab is the perfect companion dog. From sporting hunting roots to roles in the community such as support, service and therapy dog work, their intelligence and willingness to please really sets them apart from the pack.

When you weigh up black lab pros and cons you need to consider that the Labrador breed has now split into two types; the heavier set and more relaxed show bred British black Lab dog and the slimmer, driven working American style dogs. Each of these black retrievers has their benefits when it comes to life as a family pet. Labs form strong bonds with their family, but also enjoy meeting people and dogs.


The black Lab is up to 24 inches in height and up to 80lbs in weight. Depending on their ancestors, your black Labrador puppy may be a little smaller in adulthood. Labradors bred for the show ring (known as English Labs in the USA, and ‘Show Labs’ in the UK) have become heavier set in appearance than Labradors bred for hunting and retrieving ability, and for success in field trials. Your hunting or American Lab may have a lighter frame and a strong drive for retrieving.

The lifespan of a black Labrador is 12 years, and some purebred black lab puppies can live even longer given the right diet, exercise and a healthy dose of luck.

How I Fell In Love With Black Labs

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.

I feel 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.

Bred from a fishing companion that has been extinct now for nearly fifty years, this black retriever has been favored by hunters for generations.

Our black Lab, Teddy

Where Do Black Labs Come From?

Your Labrador’s descendants were a now extinct breed known as the St John’s Water Dog. This breed was also the source of the Newfoundland. This fisherman’s companion had a thick coat and looked a bit like a cross between a Border Collie and the modern Labrador.

Two English Aristocrats each owned a St John’s Water Dog and they created a breeding program that paved the way for the 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 with white markings.

How Is The Black Color Inherited In Labs?

You see more black Labs than any other color! The first recorded chocolate Labradors were born in the 1890s, but colors other than black were not popular until the mid 90s. Horribly, for many generations most puppies born with chocolate or yellow coats were euthanized at birth!

Black is what is known in genetics as ‘dominant’. If your puppy has inherited the gene for black coat color from either of her parents, this is the color that her fur will be. Those other shades can appear in future generations though, because a black dog can be a carrier of both chocolate and yellow genes.

Black lab puppy

Black Labs vs Chocolate Labs

For you fan of genetics, here’s the nitty gritty. We’ll start by looking at Black vs Chocolate Lab coat colors. These both come from a pigment called eumelanin. A lot of eumelanin gives you a black Lab, lower levels leads to a chocolate Lab. If you push your brain back to high school genetics, you’ll remember that genetic instructions are packaged in your chromosomes.

Genes come in pairs located on those chromosomes, and those locations are represented by letters. Instructions for eumelanin in your dog’s fur, are found 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. Your puppy gets one gene from each parent.  There are three possible combinations

  • BB
  • Bb
  • bb

So a pairing of BB or Bb will give a black coat. Only bb will give a brown coat. 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 you have just read, BB and Bb aren’t in reality always black, and bb isn’t always brown. Your dog is also affected by another set of genes, at the E locus.

Beautiful black lab waiting for their master

Black Labs vs Yellow Labs

The yellow shade of Labs comes from the e genes. Big E is dominant, and does not affect fur color. But little e is recessive, and, as a double act (ee) it becomes a switch. Two little e genes switch off the B genes that give you a black or brown dog, and leave you with 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:

labrador colors

These combinations show you that a black Lab puppy is the most likely result. They also explain how chocolate and yellow Labs were hidden for decades through selective matings and culling. But there is another twist to the black coat color tale!

Charcoal Labradors Are Dilute Black Labs

Not all black Lab puppies are a rich, jet black, color. Occasionally a Lab is born with coat color dilution. This genetic twist 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.

charcoal lab

Popularity of Black Labs

Black Labs are the most prevalent color, and their popularity remains unchanged in the sporting dog community. Owners of hunting dogs still prefer the black coat, but pet and show owners often show a preference for paler colors. Chocolate and yellow Labs can fetch higher prices from some breeders, not to mention the trend for fox red and silver tones.

Black Dogs Are Harder To Rehome

There is a sad phenomenon in pet shelters, regarding the rehoming rate of black dogs. These pups do not photograph as well, and are not as easy to rehome in person.

Many people don’t want a black dog. Prospective owners pass them by, regardless of temperament, in favor of the brighter colored pups on offer. But these adopters are missing a trick, because dogs with black coats have just as much to offer.

There are two strains of Labrador available from shelters and breeders alike. One bred for the show ring, and the other bred for the field. Although they are both Labs in the true sense, these separate strains have different traits, in terms of body shape and character.

English Black Labs – bred for show

English black Labradors are often preferred by pet homes as well as owners interested in the ring. The English black Lab, has a stocky body, broad head and thick otter tail. It has a reputation for being playful and a little slow to mature. They may reach heavier weights on the scales than working type labs.

Different types of Labrador -we compare English and American Labs

American Black Labs – bred to work

American black Labs are slimmer, less excitable, with more drive. They reach the same height, but their heads are less broad and their tails lack the otter quality possessed by their show companions. In contrast to the playfulness of their show bred cousins, American Labs have a stronger drive to retrieve and hunt.

black labs are loving dogs, and make great hunting companions

English Black Lab vs American Black Lab

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 your time for training sessions is limited, a more laid-back Lab, from show lines, might suit you better.

Black Lab Characteristics

The different Labrador strains have many features in common. A well muscled, balanced, body shape with legs and spine in healthy proportions. Intelligence, a willingness to cooperate and an outgoing, happy personality are traits shared across the breed.

Mismarked Labs with a white toe or spot on the chest occasionally appear but they are usually solid in color. The Lab has a double coat, providing warmth and waterproofing, webbed paws and a rudder like tail. And with practice, Labs are excellent swimmers.

Grooming and Coat Care

Your Labrador Retriever has a short, easy care coat, that will shed heavily at times. Mud can be rinsed with a garden hose, and a weekly groom with a stiff brush will help reduce the hair on your carpets, floors, and furniture. Some Labs have quite a strong smell and need the occasional bath!

Unless you walk a lot on hard surfaces, you’ll need to trim your dog’s nails. I use a grinder, but clippers will do the job too. And if you are feeding kibble, cleaning your dog’s teeth will help prevent dental decay. 

How Big Do Black Labs Get?

The growth rate and eventual size of your black Lab puppy once adult, will depend partly on whether they are from American or English lines, partly on their diet and nutrition, and partly on the size of their parents. 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 heavyweight end of the spectrum, and the American nearer to the lightweight end.

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

Black Lab Temperament

Labradors are renowned for their friendliness. There are downsides to this. Your sociable friend is more likely ask a burglar in for breakfast, than to chase him down the street. And friendly dogs at the dog park may want to greet every person or dog they come across.

Their bouncy nature can also lead Labs 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 sent flying.

Are Black Labs Smarter?

There’s a bit of a myth in the sporting dog community that intelligence has been prioritised in black colored labs in a way that it has not, in chocolates and yellows. 

It’s true that to get recessive colors like yellow and chocolate you need to make some breeding choices based on the parents color. But responsible breeders will still focus on factors like temperament and trainability. And almost all Labs are highly trainable, and responsive pets. 

Training and Exercising Your Black Lab

Running, swimming, hiking, tracking, retrieving and even dock diving are all popular activities for adult Labradors. Your full grown Lab will need a good daily workout to maintain fitness and health.

You can exercise your dog 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. And retriever training will help keep your dog under control and out of mischief.

Training is an essential requirement for any large, powerful dog, Labs are no exception. Your dog needs to be able to walk on a loose leash, sit and wait quietly in one place for a while, and greet visitors with all four feet on the floor. You’ll find information to help you in our training section.

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

Black Lab Health

The top priority when bringing two lab lines together should always be health. The best way to avoid health problems is by purchasing a puppy whose parents have good health test results. This won’t guarantee that your pup will be fit for life, but will stack the odds in your favor.

Joint and eye issues are recognized problem areas in Labs. Hip and elbow dysplasia are common Lab complaints. This condition ranges in severity. Adult dogs can have x-rays to assess their joints, and be given a score for their joint health. Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is an inherited eye disorder causing blindness. To avoid your puppy suffering from PRA 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, any future mating would need to be to a dog that was Clear. A general eye exam each year is still necessary for all breeding stock, as there are other eye conditions for which we do not yet have genetic tests.

A Complete Guide to the Black Labrador Retriever

How To Find A Black Lab

The best way to get a black Lab puppy is from a responsible breeder. There are few regulations around dog breeding so you need to take some precautions to avoid puppy mills. Many breeders advertise online now, and some puppy mills have attractive websites. Choose a breeder that specializes in Labradors, not in multiple different dog breeds, and prioritizes temperament. Do not put down a deposit before meeting the mother dog and the litter at their home. The mother dog should be relaxed and happy to meet you, and for you to meet her pups.

Choosing The Right Breeder

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. Good breeders are usually active members of your regional Labrador Club.

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

Ask the breeder for 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, PRA, or another genetic disease, be sure to check that the other parent tested clear. Ask to see the parents’ pedigrees if they are Kennel Club registered. To ensure good genetic diversity avoid multiple repetitions of the same names in your dog’s family tree.

The Labrador Handbook by Pippa Mattinson(paid link)
black labrador puppy

Good breeders ask lots of questions because they care about the homes their pups go to, and will be willing to provide answers to your questions too.

For more information on Labrador breeders and picking your puppy, check out this article: Choosing the Right Dog.

Rescuing a Black Lab

Rescuing your dog is a great thing to do if your circumstances are right. Especially a black dog, as this color can be hard to rehome. Reputable rescues will match you to the right dog, and find a good fit for your family. Our guides will provide more help and information:

Old Black Lab

Some of the most rewarding dogs to rescue are seniors. Elderly Labs are often calm and  quiet, happy to lie by your side, and take short walks each day. 

A comfortable bed with some memory foam to support aging joints, and a ramp to help them in and out of the car are small concessions for the pleasure of giving a grey haired old dog chance to be part of a family again.

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


  1. My brother’s black lab is so full of energy. He loves being pet by strangers and often stands in the middle of the park just gazing at other dogs and people walking by. I was reading a book about the three drives of a dog ‘pack-mentality,’ prey mentality, and defense mentality. But Milo is still young. He gets kind of aggressive when a member of the pack walks by, but his doesn’t chase squirrels, and does some jumping around when feeling defensive. Anyway, so lucky to have him.

  2. We have an english black lab and we got him at 4 months for free off of an old friend who had struggled to sell him as he was the runt of the litter and was very small, they then entrusted him to us and he got very big quick! He is a very healthy and quite a chunky boy now. He weighs nearly 60 lbs so he is quite a big dog, he has had good training as he used to eat everything. When they do that it’s a good idea to only feed them from a bag on walks so they learn to stay neer you until you can have set meal times for them. He is a very friendly dog and is incredibly loyal, but with a good enough bark and nerve to stay put and frighten off a bike theif the other year! Great dogs and would always recommend one!

  3. Hi! This article was very interesting and well written. My family are adopting a female black lab puppy in about a months time. We are all very excited and we bought The Labrador Handbook recently and I can tell it’s going the be very useful! Great article and website.

  4. I have a 3 year old male black lab, he is the sweetest boy! Still not yet mature, the vet is asking about neuter him. I worried that it would stunt his maturing fully. Also I don’t want his playful silliness to change?? Please help I’m torn about what I should do, what is best for him. Morty is his name and I love him bunches!!

  5. Excellent well written and highly informative article on an amazing dog breed.I had to tell my 2 year old baby Onyx that he is a descendant of the now extinct St. John’s water don’t have any children of my own and don’t plan on having any but he is great with my 4 year old niece(though he gets excited and ends up knocking her on her butt at times but he is quick to apologize as he licks her face).he is great with my 12 year old nephew as well who wrestles around and plays fetch with him.Onyx is my baby and follows me like a second shadow.when it’s warm outside I take him to the lake as he loves the water and enjoys swimming with me.he also loves to go hiking and camping with me.he is my best friend and is the best dog I’ve ever had..for anyone considering getting a black lab,I highly recommend it,they are absolutely incredible dogs

  6. I have a rescue “black lab”. Just curious if that is really what she is. Full black coat, webbed paws, beautiful coat, narrow head and small… 14 weeks and 12.5oz. She was the runt of a litter that all died due to malnutrition. At 8 weeks she was a little over 5lbs when we got her. Would love to hear your thoughts!!

  7. My black lab is old he is 13 years old and is slower and more calm. He likes to eat cat grass and hunt mice. He is a huge shedder thats why we keep him outside but we give him daily play time. He does not like baths but will stay still if you give him lots of attenstion. He loves to be petted and cuttled. He’s a attenstion seeker! Is there any advice to help a dog live longer It would really help!

  8. We adopted a black lab mix at 8 mos. Her name is blue bell.We also call her snow bell,chewy bell ,running bell and whatever suits her fancy.She is an amazing soul and has a great love of learning.Bell is one of the great loves of our life.

  9. Here is one for you. We have a female black lab mated with lab x golden retriever who was yellow. Our recent litter of 9 (1 stillborn) now 6 due to fading puppy syndrome comprises of all males, 3 black, 2 yellow, 1 chocolate. Amongst that 1 black is a mismatch and 1 yellow is a Dudley! This is a fabulous site so thank you for all the info.

  10. Great article. Very informative and helpful. Only complaint, you need to fix the date of The World Trade Center attacks. It was 2001, not 2011.

  11. He needs something to keep him busy and satisfy his need to chew. I would recommend a stuffable Kong toy. They are pretty much indestructible if you get the right size for his weight. Also, it sharpens their brains as they are trying to figure out how to get the treats out.

  12. My Zena is the love of my life. She is the first big dog I have ever had. My husband and i drove almost 4 hours to get her when she was only 3 months old and we had only been together about 4 months. She will be 5 years old this next December. She is the best dog i have ever had and i would not trade her for the world. She is always stubborn and keeps me on my toes but she is a SUCCESSFUL deer trailing dog. I could not be any happier with her.

  13. 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.

  14. 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 !

  15. 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

  16. 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!!

  17. 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!

  18. 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!!!

  19. 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!!

  20. 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

  21. 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…

  22. 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.

  23. 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!

  24. 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.

  25. 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 .

  26. 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.

  27. 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 ?

  28. 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 ✍️✍️✍️

  29. 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.

  30. 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.,

  31. 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.

  32. 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??

  33. 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

  34. 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 ????

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. 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.

  38. 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!

  39. 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.

  40. 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.

  41. 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