Labrador Retriever Life Span – How Long Do Labs Live?

labrador lifespan - how long do labs live

The average Labrador Retriever lifespan is 12 to 12.5 years. Although a recent study suggests that chocolate Labs live shorter lives averaging 10.7 years, so significantly less than black and yellow Labradors. There are many factors that influence lifespan in Labs. These include diet, healthcare and management, and inherited diseases. We are going to take a look at these factors, and how you can influence them to help your dog live longer.

‘Labrador Lifespan was written by our founder, best-selling author Pippa Mattinson. To get Pippa’s weekly free training tips just drop your email into the box below’

Labrador Retriever Lifespan FAQ:

So we’ve answered how long do labs live on average. But this isn’t a guaranteed Labrador lifespan for every dog. Some Labradors live a good deal longer than twelve. But some unfortunately don’t even make it to ten. So what controls how long your Labrador will live? And how can you influence your dog’s life span so you can spend the best and happiest years together?

Watch cute Labrador puppies growing up!

What Controls Labrador Retriever Lifespan?

There are two key categories of factors that influence your Labrador’s life expectancy. And the life span of any dog.

  • One is the genetic information you dog has inherited from his parents.
  • The other is the events that happen to your dog during the course of his life. Through puppy hood to old age. Things like accidents, injury, and disease.

How Long Can A Labrador Live?

Life span statistics for dogs are often wildly inaccurate and based on outdated information. But luckily we no longer need to guess. We can give you accurate Labrador life span information, as we now have data from scientific studies.

Labrador Lifespan Surveys

Two surveys were carried out in 2004 and 2013. The earlier study showed the median age of death in over 500 Labradors was 12.25. The later study gave a median age at death in a group of over 400 dogs as 12.5 years.

A bigger and more recent study published in 2018 looked at over 30,000 Labradors. This one found a median longevity of 12 years in Labradors overall. So the average Labrador lifespan seems to work out at around 12 years.

Is Labrador Lifespan Getting Longer?

But there is some good news. There is evidence that the Labrador lifespan might be increasing. One recent study, although it only looked at 39 dogs, suggested that the average could be getting closer to 14 years. So maybe our original answer to the question “how long do Labradors live?” is changing!

The longest lived Labrador we can find official confirmation for was over 19 years old. And you’ll find plenty of reports in the comments section below of readers’ Labradors living over 15 years. So, can you help your dog to reach these high numbers? Let’s look first at the genes that control how your dog looks and behaves. And which set broad limits to the life span of your Labrador.

Genes & Labrador Retriever Lifespan

Every purebred Labrador inherits a number of Labrador characteristics that he will share with all other pedigree Labradors.

labrador retriever life span

These genes don’t just control his coat color, the shape of his ears, and the length of his tail. They also control aspects of his temperament and susceptibility to disease.

Labrador Body Shape

To some extent Labradors are lucky. They inherit a basically sound conformation or body shape. They don’t have very long spines or short legs that can cause back problems. Their bodies are nicely proportioned and designed for athletic ability – running and jumping.

Labradors have not been bred with shortened faces that can cause breathing problems or small skulls that can damage their brains. Nor do they have excessive skin or a massive amount of fur. This is great because a good body structure makes a dog naturally healthier than a dog with poor conformation.

Temperament and Labrador lifespan

Genes also control some aspects of a dog’s behavior. And his ability to carry out certain tasks, like running and hunting, or fetching things.

labrador life span

Temperament, including tendency to fearfulness, is influenced by genes. But it is also strongly influenced by environment. One study showed that fear and anxiety has a negative effect on life span in pet dogs. And some dogs are euthanased for aggression or behavior problems. So temperament is also a factor to consider when looking at life span.

Some dogs inherit a number of favorable genes that improve their chances of good health – reduced risk of cancer for example. They then pass these favorable genes on to their puppies.

How Inherited Diseases Affect Labrador Retriever Life Span

While Labradors are relatively healthy, there are diseases in the breed that can influence how long a Labrador will live. It will also affect how healthy each dog will be during that lifetime. For some of these diseases, hip dysplasia for example, and CNM, we have tests that can (and should) be carried out on adult dogs before they are used for breeding.

For other diseases, some cancers for example, we don’t have tests. We just know that in some cases, Labradors may be more susceptible than some other breeds of dog. A 2004 study showed that 31% of Labradors die of cancer. Which is slightly higher than the rate of cancer in dogs overall.

Labrador Lifespan and Inbreeding

Like all pedigree dog breeds, there are certain genetic diseases that have become established within the Labrador breed. This is due to breeding between dogs that are closely related. The average coefficient of inbreeding for Labradors is 6.5%. This is higher than the level (5%) at which we start to see the adverse effects of inbreeding in dogs. Another factor influencing longevity in dogs is size. This is another area where Labrador are slightly disadvantaged.

How Size Affects Labrador Longevity

Little dogs live longer than big dogs. This is one of the quirks of nature that we don’t entirely understand. Of course, there are many exceptions to the rule. But in general the longevity of dogs is quite strongly linked to body size.

This is the reverse of what we often find when we compare large species of mammal. The elephant for example, with smaller species – such as the mouse. When we look at individuals within a single species, in this case the domestic dog, being larger seems to be a disadvantage.

As a medium to large dog, size is therefore a limiting factor in the lifespan of your Labrador. In short, the average Labrador is probably never going to live as long as the average toy poodle.

Do Purebred Labs Live Longer?

How long do Labradors live if they’re purebred? The outer limits of your dog’s potential life are also limited to a certain extent simply by the fact he is a pedigree dog. A study published in The Veterinary Journal in 2013 showed that mongrels live on average 1.2 years longer than purebred dogs. This doesn’t mean that your Boxador will definitely outlive your neighbor’s pedigree Lab. It’s all about averages.

lab lifespan

Comparing Pedigree Dogs

When we consider pedigree dogs as a whole, there are differences in longevity between the breeds. Not just in terms of size, though this is important.

There are also differences between different breeds of a similar size. Sometime shorter life spans are linked to poor conformation. Many very tiny dogs have hormone problems, brain problems through skull compression, and a range of other health issues. In comparison, Labrador conformation is pretty healthy.

Let’s take a look now at that topic we mentioned at the beginning of the article. The recent discovery that Chocolate Labs live shorter lives than their black or yellow cousins.

Labrador Retriever Lifespan & Coat Color

For a long time it was believed that coat color had no influence on Labrador life expectancy. With the exception of color dilution alopecia in silver Labradors, it was thought that inherited diseases were not linked to any particular color or type of Labrador.

A recent study of over thirty three thousand dogs has thrown that assumption into doubt. It shows us that black Lab life expectancy and yellow Lab life expectancy is around 12.1 years. While chocolate Lab life expectancy is quite a bit shorter at 10.7 years.

We don’t know exactly why this is yet. But the Chocolates in that study were more prone to ear and skin problems. This included self-inflicted “hot-spots” as a reaction to irritants like fleas. And we don’t know if the two main Labrador ‘types’ differ. So we can’t tell you if English Lab life expectancy differs from American Labs.

The study was a very big sample of dogs. So it is likely that the results represent the wider Lab population as a whole.

How Long Will My Lab Live?

Apart from your ability to be selective over the parents of your puppy, genetic factors are largely outside your control.  But as your Labrador grows and matures, there will be life events that happen to him which may influence his life expectancy. Some of these are events that you can control. Let’s take a look at those now.

Accidents & Roaming Impact Labrador Lifespan

Many dogs die each year in accidents. And many of those could have been avoided. Accidents are far more common in dogs that are allowed to spend time outdoors unsupervised.

Fencing your property (or a small part of it) securely will help to prevent your dog from roaming. Plus, training him to come quickly when you call will help you to bring him to you in an emergency.


At one time is was believed that neutering increased life expectancy. One of the reasons that some older studies show a higher death rate for dogs that have been neutered is because if dogs are not properly controlled. Those that have the urge to mate will roam further from home and have more accidents.

Recent studies have however linked neutering to some serious health issues including joint disease and cancer. Both leading causes of illness and death in Labs. The neutering issue is not clear cut any longer.

These two principles – training and control – will help to ensure your dog lives out his allotted years to the full. Recall is fundamental for most Labradors safety. So make sure that you take the time to teach him to come when he is called. Whatever distractions may be surrounding him.


In some parts of the world there are still many serious diseases that kill unvaccinated dogs and puppies on a regular basis. Serious infections and diseases have the potential to kill your dog. But they also have the potential to make him generally less healthy should he survive them. So, where you live, and whether or not you vaccinate your dog may also affect his longevity. Probably the biggest single influence though, that you can control with regard to both your dog’s longevity, and his enjoyment of life, is his bodyweight.

Overfeeding Decreases Labrador Lifespan

Obesity is increasingly common in dogs generally and in Labradors in particular. It is a direct result of overfeeding. Labradors are greedy and friendly dogs that are very good at persuading people to hand over the treats, and to refill that food bowl.

Added to which, many Labrador parents find it hard to judge how much their dog should have to eat. And whether or not he is overweight. We can help you with that. Check out our guide to Labrador weight to make sure your dog is at the right weight for best health.

It’s important that you don’t slavishly follow feeding guidelines on packets. But feed your dog according to how he looks and feels. That article will help you.

Labrador Retriever lifespan
If you have a greedy Lab then you might find a slow feed bowl helpful, like this one

What Do Studies Say?

Studies have shown that reducing calorie intake in dogs, can increase life expectancy by a significant amount. This isn’t really surprising when we consider the health impact of obesity. But it is a message that is being ignored by a great many dog owners.

A study published in 2003 showed that Labradors are capable of maintaining a consistent lean body mass throughout their lives.

Hungry Labrador Eyes!

There is no “tendency to getting fat” in the breed as many people mistakenly believe. There is only a “tendency to eat a lot and be very good at persuading people to provide food”. You have the keys to the food cupboard and you need to resist your dog’s charms.

Keeping your dog slim can help him live a long and comfortable life. It can defer the onset of, and reduce the impact of, conditions like arthritis in older dogs. Elderly dogs that retain their youthful waistline have a more active and happy retirement.

Being firm about the quantity of food that your dog eats each day will also help to ensure you have the benefits of his company for the longest time.

Is Longevity In Dogs Inherited?

Yes, to a certain extent, it is clear that longevity is inherited. In that some dogs will have an inherently higher potential for long life than others. But it isn’t the whole story.

Being a Labrador, being purebred, being a largish dog, all go against your dog when it comes to life expectancy. On the other hand, being athletic, good tempered, and well structured go in his favor. So, for these reasons, the Labrador falls into the medium range of life expectancy when compared with other dogs.

You Can Help Your Labrador Live Longer

There are some dog breeds that are longer lived than our beloved Labs. And quite a few that are much shorter lived.

You can help to influence your dog’s longevity to a certain extent. If you are choosing a puppy, choose his parents wisely. Make sure that they are health tested and bred by a responsible breeder. Look for a co-efficient of inbreeding that is below 5%. Consider choosing a black or yellow Lab. And make sure the parents have great temperaments, and have been well cared for.

Socialize your puppy thoroughly when you get him home. So that he is confident and views the world as a happy, friendly place. Above all, keep your dog slim. Really slim. When you look into those pleading eyes, make sure you don’t give in to your dog’s request for second helpings.

How Long Do Labs Live On Average?

So let’s recap how long do Labs live? On average Labradors live to around 12.5 years, and this life span may be increasing. Some individual Labradors live a good deal longer.

Train, socialize and supervise your dog and make sure he is properly fed and well exercised throughout his natural life. With loving care, a visible waistline, and a little luck, your friend could live into his teens and be with you for many years to come.

The Labrador Handbook by Pippa Mattinson

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More Information

For 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, socialisation and early obedience.

You can buy The Happy Puppy Handbook from Amazon by following this link. If you do, The Labrador Site will receive a small commission which is greatly appreciated and won’t affect the cost to you!

Do you have, or did you have, a Labrador that lived a very long time? Tell us about your Labrador Retriever life span experiences in the comments box below.

References and further reading

  • Adams et al. 2018. Evidence of longer life: a cohort of 39 labrador retrievers. Veterinary Record.
  • Adams et al. 2010. Methods and mortality results of a health survey of purebred dogs in the UK. Journal of Small Animal Practice.
  • O’Neill et al. 2013. Longevity and mortality of owned dogs in England. The Veterinary Journal.
  • Selman et al. 2013. Ageing: It’s a Dog’s Life. Current Biology.
  • Kimberly Greer et al. 2007. Statistical analysis regarding the effects of height and weight on life span of the domestic dog. Research In Veterinary Science.
  • James Kirkwood. 1985. The Influence Of Size On The Biology Of The Dog. Journal Of Small Animal Practice.
  • Kaeberlein et al. 2016. The dog aging project: translational geroscience in companion animals. Mammalian Genome.
  • Speakman et al. 2003. Age-related changes in the metabolism and body composition of three dog breeds and their relationship to life expectancy. Anatomical Society.
  • Study showing that fear and anxiety has a negative effect on life span in pet dogs.
Find out what controls how long your Labrador will live. And how can you influence your dog’s lifespan so that you can spend the best and happiest years together

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. I have owned two yellow Labrador females, both lived past 15 years old.
    The first (Elsa) lived 15 years and 8 months (1993-2009). She was overweight and spayed late in life, around age 7. No significant health issues, but she had weak back legs the last two years of her life.
    The second, Inca, is currently 15 years 6 months old. She has been slim her whole life until the past year. She has had arthritis in one joint since she was very young. Now, it’s in every joint and her back. She was spayed late, at age 7. She had breast cancer at age 12 but surgery removed the lump: it didn’t spread and it didn’t return. We found out nine months ago that she has chronic kidney disease. Diet, subQ fluids, and supplements have kept the CKD low grade and stable. Inca has OD’d on Advil and Rimadyl a total of 3 times when she was younger. Hospital intervention saved her. She’s been getting acupuncture for the past year, which has helped her mobility.
    Inca has mostly not been the only dog, and hasn’t spent much time alone. She gets lots of time in the mountains, running off leash through meadows and forests, swimming in creeks and ponds. I think this last bit has been a big plus. Even today she trots and runs almost the whole way (total distance is about 2.5 miles). She needs help getting up on wood floors, and has some separation if she can’t see us but overall not ready to pass on yet.

  2. We had a chocolate lab named Samson that we had to put to sleep on February 13, 2016. He lived to be 14 years and 4 months old. The last 3 years of his life were rough because he had stomach problems and lost alot of weight. So for 4 months I fed him boiled chicken and white rice to put weight back on, which he did. Then I put him back on a different dry dog food.When he was around 11 years old he started having seizues once a month. We visited the vet and then changed to a different vet because we were not happy with the first one. We finally diagnosed that the seizures were coming shortly after giving him his heart worm pill. He never had seizures in his lifetime up until around 11 years old. We took him off the heart worm pill and the seizues stopped after about a month or two until all the medication got out of his system.
    We went above and beyond taking care of him in the last 2 or 3 years of his life. He started to have some skin issues which we had to put medicine on. We even put drop cloths and plastic down in our downstairs den because he started having accidents. His last mornig living, he could hardly get up and lost strength in his legs very suddenly and his eyes started going back and forth. That morning my husband and son took him to a 24 hour vet that was opened and had to put him to sleep.
    In April of 2016 we brought a female chocolate and a male black American labradors home 2 weeks apart from each other. Our daughter got married the end of October 2016, so it was nice to have them around. Our son is still living home with us.They will both be 4 years old in February 2020. They keep us busy!

  3. Hi to everyone! I am really sorry to all who have lost their precious Labrador companion. It is good to hear from the ones who have had a good long life with their Labrador’s. It’s very refreshing to hear and positive for all who own a Labrador themselves. Especially when they say that their lifespan is roughly 12 years old. I myself have a chocolate Labrador called buttons. She is 15 years and 2 months old. She is in extremely good health, but we have just discovered a lump like a mass, tumour on her belly. She is still an active dog but I know she is getting arthritis in her legs cos I can see the lumps. If u go to touch it, you can tell it pains her. Her back legs are stil good but she has become slower and sleeps a lot. I rub an anti inflammatory on her legs which seems to help her especially if I go to take her for a walk. She is loosing her hearing now and looks like she has cataracts in her eyes. She still has a good appetite and plays with my black Pug who is 15 months old. It’s amazing to see that she still has life in her for her age. She is an amazing loving dog who I got for my son for his birthday age 7. We discovered that when we went to buy her she shared the same birthday as my son 9th June. My son is an only child and is now 22 years old. No way did we think we would’ still have her today. It’s amazing that we still have her. Today I will be taking her to the vets to get this lump checked. I am sure it’s a Tumour cos of her age. She has shown no ill signs and still has he4 appetite. I am dreading going just in case they say the words that it’s kinder for her to be put down. Me & my son are devastated. She has been in our family a very long time. Two years ago when she was aged 13 y, she got that disease where she had to have her wound removed. I caught it straight away and rushed her to vets. She would of died if I hadn’t acted quickly. It was caused through her never having a litter and being neutered. I never knew this could happen. That’s the only time she been to the vets in her life except when she was a puppy and having her vaccinations. We have been very lucky. I thought they would of said she too old but they did operation and she sailed through it all. I hope when we take her to vets they can remove the lump. I not hopeful but am at the same time. I don’t want her to suffer in pain and will do whatever is best for her. Not for me! It would be selfish to keep her alive if she suffering. I am hopeful and will keep you updated on my return from vets today.

    • I started to find lumps on my lab each year as he got older which were nothing more than fatty deposits. They are very common in labs as they age. Since your lab still has a good appetite and energy, there is a very good chance the lumps will be benign. Good luck, I am hoping for the best.

  4. I just lost my chocolate lab today, he was 14 years and 8 months old. He went peacefully in the backyard, he had some arthritis in his hips but you would never have guessed he was going to cross the rainbow bridge today he greeted me this morning with his typical tail wagging big smile, and gave me my morning kiss. My heart is broken but he will always be with me.

  5. We have an 8 year old pure bred black lab who just started peeing in the house. She’s never done this before, now three times in less than a week. We took her to vet, her blood work and urinalysis we’re both negative. No idea why this is happening. She’s lost weight too. Ideas anyone experienced having these same symptoms?

    • Believe it or not my daughter who is a registered dietician, diagnosed our American black lab. He was leaking and she said he’s not eating enough food becuase he is VERY active. When I started giving him a little more food and spanning it to 3 meals a day instead of only 2 times a day, he stopped leaking. He will be 3.5 years old in August and we have a female American chocolate lab that will also be 3.5 years old in August.

      • My lab cross has always been an extremely healthy dog and is now 14 but I believe his time is coming to an end. He is never in pain but has trouble breathing my family believe he may have cancer in his throat. Although it is sad his time is almost up I am so glad he could live a happy and healthy 14 years.

    • Kidneys?
      Did you add a new pet or change her environment?
      Or, it’s common for spayed females to develop incontinence due to low estrogen. You can give her supplements for bladder control. The vet can also prescribe a medication. Try the non-pharmaceutical natural herbal supplements (look for ones with soy to replace estrogen).

  6. We lost our almost 9 y/o chocolate boy two weeks ago. He was fine one day and ill the next. He refused a treat, then his dinner, and didn’t want to drink. He had a little mushy poo, but nothing too concerning. The main issue was his rapid breathing. We let it go overnight to see if he felt better in the morning. In the morning, he didn’t want to walk down the steps to go outside and just hung his head when he stood at his water dish. We took him to the ER. There, they could barely get a pulse on him. The vet said he had fluid in his heart and abdomen. She drained it, and then began a diagnostic xray. The xray showed a tumor on his heart and many matastices in his chest cavity. She believed it was hemangiosarcoma. We were in shock! He still had a spark in his eyes, so we took him home knowing that we probably only had a few more hours with him. During the day, his breathing picked back up again. He barely wanted to move. He lifted his head and looked me in the eye and I knew it was time. We took him to a nearby vet to cross the rainbow bridge. Although it was terrible, we never left his side. I know we did the right thing, but it was very devastating. I thought it was something simple like the hot temperatures outside, or gastrointestinal upset. Looking back, he did show signs like being very exhausted when returning from doggy daycare, but like I said, I just thought it was the heat. In my research, treatment for hemangiosarcoma doesn’t give much more survival time, so even if we had known earlier, I don’t know what we could have done. Until we meet again Baby Boy.

  7. Just lost our dear Lab Yogi. What a wonderful companion. Always with the wagging tail. We miss him dearly. He made it 12+ years and he went from romping around with his stick and ball on Friday to deathly ill on Saturday. Drank a lot of water and then would throw it up immediately, all day. Called the vet and he said it sounded like organ failure (liver?) we didn’t take him in because the vet looked at the videos we sent him and said there is really nothing he could do except put him down. He went on to say he didn’t think he was in any pain so we decided to just keep him with us and make him comfortable. He passed at 12:30 am with all of us sitting with him. It was tragic. still brings tears to my eyes just thinking of him. We really miss him.

  8. My baby (HUMPHRIES) is 15. Got alot of arthritis but we r pushing through. He still is my companion always there to greet me when I come home from work. Alot of old age creeping in on him, blindness, deafness. But he is with me still. Don’t want to put him down yet, still got get up and go. I know the day is coming and my heart is full of sadness.

  9. My black Lab just missed his 15th birthday and died today. Words can not describe the devastation I am feeling. He was recently diagnosed with diabetes about 7 months ago. At that time it did not look positive, but I stayed vigilant and nursed him back to almost full strength relative to a very senior Lab. He actually improved his mobility while still enjoying food, play, and of course cuddling. At that age I knew he was at the tail end of his lifespan, but I had hope after he lost weight from the insulin and seemed to catch another wind so to speak I would be one of the lucky posters that had him til 16 even 17. Sadly, out of the blue as it always seems with a death he was hit with Bloat and literally died very fast before I even got a chance to get him help. As he aged he would pant after going outside to use the bathroom and it would just pass. It was not a problem before and the vet indicated that would be normal now for him. After going online to try and diagnose what was going because this occurred at 2am, I came to realize how serious bloat can be and should be treated as a very serious time sensitive emergency. He died at home unexpectedly even for his age. He left a huge void in my home now. Hopefully his story will help someone if their pet encounters that serious medical condition and run to emergency care within minutes of noticing the bloat symptoms. I am trying to figure out what I could’ve done, if anything to avoid the tragedy. His death is so fresh right now, couldn’t even imagine having another dog. If and when I get another dog I would love another Lab, but I want to rescue a dog to help with the over crowded shelters. I would also consider an older Lab, but after this feeling of loss not sure if I would get one that does not have as much time as possible. This dog had more spirit, heart, strength, and compassion than I can possibly convey accurately. I lost a part of me today.

  10. My Yellow Labrador Dede is 14.5 years old, she has been a substitute child for me since I lost my Son age 15 in a car accident.
    Her fur on her back is growing in patches and she has a few dried scabs on her back, she has arthritis, her back legs are wobbly. She sleeps a lot, but is not over weight I have been feeding her with raw carrots and the last few years she is on the dry kidney failure food.
    She has been my Rock! always protects me when we are out. I have good memories of us swimming together in the sea! But now I can only take her to a flat sandy beach where she will just sit and watch and enjoy the fresh air. She is my first dog and going to be my last, no other dog will replace her! And I couldn’t live with the guilt of getting another dog! … cat will be affected big time because he loves her!

    • Hi Lorraine, my Choccy girl is 14 years and 10 months and like your Dede loves still to go to the beach, she like your girl has helped me through several bereavements and the link to loved ones is so important, I would encourage you to consider that just maybe another dog could be as great. When my “Bean” was a puppy, she spent a few hours with an acquaintance who had just lost his Lab and who said he could never have another, when I went to collect her he was a new man, had decided to get another Lab and never looked back. There is always still love after life 🙂

  11. Our beautiful lab Ollie will be 13 tommorow .On 1st September 2017 he was given a prognosis of 3 months? after being diagnosed with having cancer in several places? (he had a anal gland removed previously that was cancer,he was then was monitored for enlarged glands) The chemo we started him on to prolong his life (for twelve months or so approx) made him really ill his legs went he could not get up and he developed D and V so after only two doses we stopped and decided to enjoy what time we had with him .I started him on tumeric, multi senior vitamins and salmon oil daily. Plus a diet of fresh chicken and veg with a few of his normal james well beloved kibbles. He still has a treat daily .I am outstared untill he gets it .21 months later he is still enjoying life running around after his ball like a puppy,eating well and looking good .Our vet has no answers he just said treat him like a normal dog?I wondered if I should inform the consultant oncologist at the hospital on how he is doing?maybe he will have an answer for us ?either way we do not care as long as we have our beautiful gentle boy with us,he will be having a party tommorow given by us with all the love in the world.

  12. I’ve had a chocolate lab that lived til he was 17 years old!!! He wasn’t a skinny lab but he wasn’t over weight either….he was built. I have a black lab, he is 13.6 years old and when he was a pup he liked to bite ppl when theywalked in but the only thing wrong health wise with him is arthritis. He is the grandfather to my 2 black 11.3 month old labs. Which 1 is very shy while the other is very outgoing. Out of my black labs none of them ha e been neutered yet, however I have thought about neutering the very active lab pup, bc I’ve heard it calms them down, but after reading this I think I’m opting out of doing that and just let him be his happy self!!!

  13. Our Annie is entering her 16th year, mind you she’s showing her age but she still enjoys food and love from us and our other dogs who like to kiss her ear! Annie is really my daughters baby but with working and school and a second floor apartment Annie came to stay with me in a 1 level house and fenced yard. Her spirits and health has improved a lot but I also think that years of fresh fruits and vegetables from as I made my health shakes is one of the reasons she’s still around. Broccoli, carrots, zucchini, apples, cantaloupe and watermelon rinds. Being a food addict, counter surfer we lost dozens of bagels, chops and cakes till we wised up. So to replace that I substituted apples and carrots. She gobbles up anything..even medicine, which reminds me I should mention that when I take my fish oil capsules she happily waits for hers. It’s heart warming to see her age gracefully but I do get weepy when she has moments that are coming on more frequently. She’s been a companion, protector and a wonderful family member.

  14. I Always find it hard to understand why the bigger dogs live shorter lives in general,My Aunt had lots of different labs over the years all reaching around 12 years and with each one being heartbroken at loosing them,Except for one where she brought a kc registered pup and his gut was twisted and he died still a puppy They are definatley one of the best dogs to have and one of the most popular breeds in the UK

  15. My male yellow lab is 15 1/2 years! My kids are 19 and 22. He has kept us company and played with us for most of their lives. He is still happy and going strong although he has just started to be slightly incontinent and has a little arthritis. But so do a lot of people when they are his ‘age’.

  16. Hi.
    Our lab, Buddy, turns 17 next month! He’s certainly in his twilight months, but still alert and mobile.
    Buddy joined our family as a puppy, long before we had children. Our four kids have had him around their entire lives, and love him to pieces!
    Buddy’s a beautiful and much loved member of our family, and the best friend we could have asked for.

  17. My beautiful yellow lab. A pedigree 15 yearold called Itsumi he is deaf now and has bad sight he has also started having fits but the medication helps with those. He’s a lovely dog very quiet never barks and perfect around children. In his youth we went on daily very long walks and runs I always monitored his eating carefully even pulling food out of his mouth that he’d scavenged during a walk. Now he is weak on his back legs and it is hard to watch him struggling to get up but he doesn’t appear to be in pain. He has been a huge support to me through very tough times in my life it will be hard to say goodbye x

  18. Today is my Drakes 13th birthday! We celebrate it every year. His hearing is going and has some problems seeing but he still can act like a puppy at fleeting moments. He gets a small walk daily and we watch his weight and snacks. Most of the day he sleeps – but he fill our house with a quiet presence that makes home our home. I thank God for our beloved pet Drake and celebrate his birth today ❤️

  19. hi great info, love my labby. ive had dogs all my life but like you, my dog is the best I have ever had now11. I tend try not to over run him. is that good? if he brings his ball to me and drops it, I will play with it, good or bad?

  20. We were the proud parents of a 9 year old Black English Lab, which GOD blessed us to keep from a puppy at 14 weeks,his birthday was 02/23/2019,and we had to put him down on 02/25/2019,It was the hardest thing that I ever had to do,but with GOD’s help is the only way that we are getting though this.We loved that dog so much,it’s no words to explain.Now I am trying to crochet a stuffed one as close as I can to him, his name was Sampson So let my apology be excepted to every one out there who has suffered a lost,I.m so sorry.

    • I am so sorry for your loss. We lost our yellow lab, Yakir (means gentle and dear) on Feb 9 th 2019. he was 10 1/2 urs. old. I miss him so, so much. We also had to put him down due to bone cancer. It was the hardest thing for me too.

  21. I got to learn a lot about them now. Now I know their life span and everything else that I need to know. Thank you to the person who made this article, it really helped a lot. If I need anything on black labs I will resort to this article.

  22. My registered black American Lab, Echo Chilliwack Trofast, (just Echo for every day) is the best pet of my life. She is turning 13 and is still a happy enthusiastic girl. She has hip displasia and at about 11 years, it became difficult for her to move and she was in obvious pain. I now give her flax seed oil ( for the omegas), glucosamine HCl/chondroitin and Robaxecet every day. She went from being sluggish and whimpering constantly back to her usual bouncing happy self.
    Last year, she stopped eating and could hardly breathe. Our vet diagnosed laryngitis-paralysis and prescribed thyroid medication and almost immediately she was back to her happy self. She still has a little breathing impairment but eats well and still loves life. She is the sweetest dog I ever met and I love her deeply. I hope I get a few more good years with her.
    To anyone contemplating getting a lab puppy, I can say that you won’t regret it and will never get a more wonderful friend. Labbies are wonderful.

  23. My darling chocolate boy, Rolo, celebrated his 16th birthday last Sunday, complete with cake and candles! He is in excellent health and goes for two or three (sometimes four) walk a day with his “siblings”, two 18 month old Labs – a black girl called Hannah and a yellow boy called Sam who are indeed siblings. He’s truly the world’s most amiable, gentle soul.

  24. My incredible, beautiful, loyal and kindest best friend ever was taken from me way too soon. She was only 2 years and 6 months. Within a couple weeks she went from being a fit healthy young dog to passing away. She got the worst most aggressive form of leukaemia she could have possibly got. It was so cruel, and without a doubt the most painful thing I’ve ever been through, I still feel it everyday. I’m terrified of going through that’s again, even though I rebounded and got myself another little black lab. It was the biggest shock of my life, and there was no ‘fairness’ in it. We will never know the cause, I have speculations but we just don’t know. I know her biological mother is healthy and well, I don’t know about her siblings. I carry some of her ashes in a necklace locket around my neck always, and always will.

  25. I have a yellow purebred lab and she is currently 14 and 1 month. My husband and I are sad because she is to the point where we are afraid we might have to make a hard decision. My lab , Layla, has had a great but very spoiled life. Layla has been our baby since she was 6 weeks old but now at 14 she has trouble getting up, walking, controlling her bathroom habits, and her hearing is going. I hate to have to make the dreaded decision but we want to do what’s best for her. I wish we could have her forever but the time we had and still have has been such a wonderful journey. Layla is 1 of my husband and I’d fur babies. I cannot have children and until we adopt a human child we have made our furry ones our fur children lol.

    • Your Layla has lived a long life for a yellow lab. She’s blessed to have loving parents like you and your husband. Sorry that you’re dealing with what we dealt with in the past year.

      We had to put to sleep our 14.5 yr old Yellow Lab, Haddie, a week ago. She slipped her disc at the age of 5 but was still able to take walks until 2 years ago. Then her condition got worse last year after her companion for 13 years died of cancer last October (our male Havapoo dog). This year, my husband had to carry her to go potty outside then 2 weeks ago she wasn’t able to get up any longer and can barely walk without assistance. We found her laying on her poo and pee several times in the mornings. She’s lost her appetite also. We thank God for the time we had with her. I’ve been crying some nights. It helps that we adopted a rescue Havanese/Shih Tzu dog last November who turned out to be our comfort dog but we’ll never forget about our Haddie and Caleb.

      We had both cremated privately and their ashes were placed in 2 separate wooden box with paw prints, lock of hair and a certificate. I’m glad we did this. Take care! Time does heal and it helps if you rescue another fur baby. God bless.

  26. For all of you who have lost your beloved labs, I am deeply sorry. My yellow lab, Lakota Sioux Wind Chaser, is 10 years, six months. We are ONE and I don’t want to imagine her passing. She and I have made a pact. We will die together. She really understands this. I am an elderly person but I sure don’t feel it! I am also a widow and she and I are alone in this big house. That’s really OK with both of us. Actually, it’s better than OK!

    I want you to know I kept my lab mix too long. It was hard on her but there was just too much love between us. It was my mistake. Please allow your labs go to the Rainbow Bridge when you and your vet agree it’s time.

    • I just had to put down my beautiful four legged angel yesterday afternoon. Her name was Annie and she was the kindest, happiest and most loving dog I’ve ever had. She was a Beautiful black British lab and my service dog. She had just turned 10 years old last month and was very active and healthy throughout her entire life, up until 2 months ago when she was diagnosed with a chronic spinal cord disorder that paralyzed her from her waist down. It was really painful for me to see my baby suffer like that and made the decision to stop her pain and suffering. She helped me so much throughout the years, especially with my ptsd that I developed after serving in the military. I know that when I pass onto the other side, she will be right there at the gates, waiting for me to throw the ball for her once again.

    • I have a loving black female lab, Shadow, who is 9 years old. She is beginning to gray under her chin and above her eyes, and I was hesitantly researching an average span – so pleased to see that it looks likely she has quite awhile to go! She has always been more on the lazy side, even as a puppy. She loves to chase squirrels but other than that likes to hang out and snuggle. She will pretend like she wants to go outside – go to the door to ask out, and when you go to open it, she rushes to take your seat. Enjoys car rides and boat rides. She doesn’t eat much, but she is getting overweight because she isn’t very active these days. (kids have graduated and moving in, not many kids running around out here anymore).

  27. I read the article, but I didn’t see much of anything, about diet,except obesity. I was a Labrador Retriever Breeder and have had many Chocolates and Blacks, and most of them lived to 15+years, of age. The oldest were 17 years, of age. They were well bred dogs and were fed a raw diet. Genetics play an important part, in lifespan, and well bred dogs generally have fewer health problems, but I now have a 17 year old rescue Labrador who has been fed raw food, for the last eight years. He was a mess, when he came, to us. He had an orange coat, a curled up tail and his ears were horribly infected. He was treated, by a Veterinarian, and with the raw food, and medication, his ears cleared up, his coat turned a gorgeous dark chocolate brown, and his tail straightened out, to look more like the traditional otter tail, of the Labrador breed. A second rescue Chocolate, with bad ears, smelly, greasy coat, pyoderma, (bacterial infection of the skin that is very common in dogs. Lesions and pustules), and horrible itching/scratching, is now completely cured of her allergies, just by feeding a proper diet. Raw feeding gets the same look that used to be reserved, for someone who said they were vegetarian. Eventually, it caught on. I can’t understand why people think the only thing dogs can eat, is dog food. It’s full of fillers, grains and oils that dogs don’t need and can’t fully digest. Dogs need meat. Dogs need variety. Dogs need real food. It stands to reason, that a dog that suffers from allergies will be treated, but not cured, and will have been prescribed potentially harmful pharmaceuticals, like steroids, and antibiotics. All they need is real food. My dogs thank me, and I’m grateful they want to stick around so long. Food allergies and drugs shorten a dog’s life. Proper food can give them great health, and a longer life, with you.

  28. My black lab/sharpae Isabell will be 13 in December. She is loosing her sight and hearing which makes her skiddish. When we walk close to her we try to make a little noise, so she doesn’t freak out and try to struggle to find purchase on the hard wood floors when she bolts up to get out from under foot. She’s been the best dog I’ve ever had. She now is a diabetic check dog for my mom. When mom’s blood sugar is low, Isabell let’s me know. She’s been panting alot lately, but hasn’t had any incontinence. She’s big but not overweight according to the vet. My kids and I have had her since she was 3 1/2 months old. I’m worried about how my kids are going to take it when she passes. She trained me so well, I was taught to notice all her little signs from when she wanted snuggles, when she wanted a walk, when she limped just a touch when we ran that told me she and I over did it. I never had to guess what she wanted or needed. She’s not gone yet but I feel her pulling away from me, knowing my princess, ( don’t tell my daughter) she wants to protect me and the kids.

  29. My mixed Lab made it to 13.3 years she had a knee brace from 12-13 but did not need it anymore. She would still drag me up to the office for a treat which was a long walk for her, she never gave up. Even that last night when she couldn’t get up, she did and made it to her bed. A hour and a half later I came home alone, I knew it was coming but we just were at the Vets and he said whatever your doing keep it up but it was her time and she went very peacefully

  30. We just had to put my loving 15 year old black lab down today. She was the sweetest, best dog we could have asked for. We are crushed and have a hole in our hearts. She lived a long life with lots of adventures and love but it is so hard to say goodbye and tears are streaming down my face. Labs are wonderful dogs and we were so blessed to share in life with our sweet Bagheera.

  31. Hi to all the Labrador lovers and deepest sympathies to those who have had to say good bye to their dearest and most loyal family member. My husband and I welcomed our golden Labrador Ben into our family when he was just 8 weeks old. He is everything we could have asked for and more. Ben is now just over 14 and a half years . In the last few months he has slowed down incredibly. He sleeps a lot , his eyesight has deteriorated and his hearing is worsening. However his sense of smell is fully intact. Ben has never been a barker as such but in the last few months he barks a lot especially if he thinks he is on his own. I believe he is very scared to be left alone and fortunately as my husband and I are self employed allows us to ensure he is never alone. However he continuesto bark if he is in the next room although all doors are open free for him to roam. We have no children so Ben , although he has soared past us both in the age category, he is our baby. I know the day is drawing near and I know he has had the best life but I am dreading that final stage. Any tips on helping me to help make his last stage of his incredible journey any bit easier then they would be greatly welcomed.
    Thank you .

    • My Jack Russell terrier was 15 when we made the decision to euthanize. Now we have a 15 month old lab that’s why I found your post. The decision was difficult as she had good days and bad days and I did get some books from the library on the subject of when to euthanize and mourning (I recommend Jon Katz book “Going Home Finding Peace when Pets Die”). She was suffering from canine cognitive disorder (basically dementia) and she had a special kidney diet and arthritis. But it was the dementia that caused her fear, insecurity and confusion at times. I think if I had been at home, I would have kept her longer but there were some incidents. One being that while she was alone, she got stuck in a dining room chair, and ended up having an accident. It was very sad to watch her decline in that way. It is a very individual decision where you have to really consider your dog’s emotional state and when the bad days get worse or outnumber the good days, it is time even though it hurts. I hope this helps!

    • Just know, Furmama, you gave this Baby the BEST. Probably better than most people on this planet. Ben will be at the pearly gates, running and playing and awaiting you! This I know….
      My baby girl, Garnet, is now 13. Blue-hue from glaucoma, slow in the hips. Cosequin has been a lifesaver and that old girl can still wiggle out to pee pee. She was groomed and is smiling like a puppy. I love her so. Got her when she was 3 months old from the pound. She is my BEAUTY POUND PUPPY.

      I am proud to know such a caring, loving person as yourself. Be at Peace. God is great. D O G is G O D backwards!! Love from Fort Worth (Cowtown)

    • Funnily enough my golden lab is called Ben!. Just keep being there for him and reassure him. I hAve lost 4 labs and it’s hard. It sounds like you have given him a wonderful life and still are. It’s hard when you see them getting older and you can’t stop the passage of time.

  32. We had a a black Lab, Dougal who was beyond any dog I’ve ever known. His sense of fun, mischief and rudimentary understanding of how to make me laugh was incredible. He even learned how to grin with his bottom teeth. I adored that dog. Died of cancer before his 8th birthday. Everyone who liked dogs adored him. We’ve just got a new Lab, Hamish, this is the first night, he’s been howling and is very bitey. I have high hopes that love and play will bring out the best in him.

  33. I had a sweet yellow lab, Ginger, but she did not make it past 8 years, as her liver gave out. She also was having seizures when she was a pup, but I could not give her up, back to the breeder, as I was so in love with her. Obsessed with food, she became overweight which I can only blame myself for that. She was such a comfort for my 3rd daughter after losing her older sister to cancer. I now have a chocolate lab, 6 months old, keeping him on a strict diet, no snacks, lots of walks. Just love him to bits.

    • Our lucy friel turned 16 yesterday praise the lord thi girl continues to amaze us always been a chunky girl and doesn’t shy away from any treats she a Dudley (light brown pinkish noes love them) cbd oil has helped

  34. My Black Lab lived to 13 years old. He was a great dog until the day we had to put him down. He had good eyes, hearing, and teeth. His hind legs started to give out on him and he developed a constant pant the last couple years. He was a fairly big male that stood pretty tall for a lab. Will remember him forever.

  35. Our Pruebred Female Lab has just turned 17. She has been a very healthy dog all her life and has only showed some age related issues in the last year. Not sure how much longer we will have as the vet visits are becoming more frequent. Mainly arthritis, sight and hearing issues but also some episodes of severe agitation. We have been very lucky to have her so long.

    • Please Donna , where did you get your dog ? We lost our dog recently(one month ago) at 13 due to coushing disease and heart failure ( after 3 years of daily treatment) .It is a big tragedie for us . I am 65 and i hope to get a dog who ‘ll live at least 15 years . ( may be we pass beyond together ) .I cannot imagine life without a dog .
      Our splendid chocolate lab ( not the latest one) died at 8 years due to the most horrendous hemangiosarcoma…..
      We are loking for a new pup , it is so hard to take a decision ! Thanks , Val

    • Yes you are lucky. My choc. Lab has had diabetes for about 3 years and now they think she has mesothelioma. She is on prednisone for that. She had one chemo treatment but we don’t want to keep getting chemo when they are not sure she has cancer. She had cataracts which we had surgery for. She can now see again. But her back legs are giving out and it has become harder for her to control her bowels. Btw she is 12. So yes you and your pet are lucky !

  36. We lost our English black lab two weeks ago at age 13 1/2, he took a nap and passed away quietly in his sleep. He was an exceptional companion. It’s hard to type this because we’re all still expecting to see him every morning.

  37. I well my grandparents had a black lab named Howard he was 15 years old last summer when we realized he was passing and he quit walking and kinda just layed there he had arthritis but it only effected him in the winter well the day he died I was home alone bc my grandparents both work and well me and Howard grew up together we are the same age and so when he was not wanting to get up I put a blanket under him and tried to pack in into the grauge and well him weighing about as much as me it was hard so I had to call my aunt for help Howard has never had any problems he was healthy and very strong he lived on the farm and ran all the time he was a great dog the day he passed he was laying in the grauge and it was pouring rain (the reason I brought him in there) he had goo in his eye so I got a warm wash cloth and gently cleansed he eyes and brushed him bc I knew he wasn’t going to make it long I gave him food and water he ate a little so I went inside a few hours later I go out he looks at me and lays back down so I go back in well an hour later I go out and well he was gone sadly I had to tell my grandpa who’s dog it was and my nana and it was hard but 4 months before that we got a lab puppy named Kingston he was the sweetest and smartest thing ever and his paws were huge he was healthy and followed Howard everywhere well kingston also played with our boxer Millie and they ran all the time well after Howard died Kingston kinda was the big dog and he was just sweet well sometime in August I think the first week of school my bus driver told me I needed to get my papa bc my dog had been hit and well I had to leave but I wanted to stop and get him out of the road but he was dead upon impact and of course I can’t get off the bus but my grandparents were right behind me to get him and he never goes to the road. He would go to the horses and in the field but not in the road but this time he did and some heartless person hit him and kept going and it hurts me bc he would be such and amazing dog /// and well today my boyfriend txt me and his 6 year old lab died and it hurts me to know they don’t know why beau is healthy and I just seen him 2 days before and he ran up to me and wagged his tail and was happy and my bf said he was fine and showed no signs of anything till today they brought him inside bc he is a inside outside dog he pretty much lives in side tho but they brought him in and he normally will run to the hall where they have a baby gate to keep him (his room) and he didn’t want to he wanted back outside and not long after they said he was dead and it hurts me to know that we didn’t know he was sick or something to help him before this happened

  38. I can understand your pain.As i too lost my GSD Bruno on 25 th May..I am shattered..I feel his presence every where..I too have a fawn lab Ginger and a mongrel Pie .They too are missing their bro Bruno.They have become absolutely silent.i would suggest you to adopt another Lab .Try to find your loved one in the new pup.Else it’s impossible to carry on.Anupriya.

    • Thank you for yr kind words. I’m so sorry for yr loss, but I’m so glad you have 2 other little hearts still with you.
      I will do exactly as you say and look for my boy in another pup or rescue.I won’t be able to stop myself doing that. And If they are half the dog he was, I will be happy….

  39. My lovely lab boy, my heart and soul passed away aged 18 yrs and 3 months on 26th may in my arms. I’m so bereft, I don’t know if I will ever get over it. I’m in tears as I write this and have not eaten or got out of bed since. All I have done is been on this website and numerous other petloss, adoption, puppy sites and anything Labrador related, cried and slept.
    He had no health issues except for arthritis and sore ears when younger. He was the most loving boy.
    For approx the last year he stopped wanting to go out, even though I had a special carry harness so I took the load, but amazingly he was still the same happy, funny, barking, eating, stretching, snoring, farting(!) dog. He told me when he wanted to go toilet so I could put pads down for him, if he wanted help to to move to another of his fav spots, if he was thirsty, hungry, wanted to be where I was. And I loved him so much, I would do anything for him.
    My house is empty now, I’m empty. I can’t kiss or stroke his gorgeous head a million times a day. I can’t rub my cheek against his, I can’t play with his ears I can’t rub his nose or hold his paws, rub his chest or prepare his dinners every day.
    Its heartbreaking and soul destroying and I cant see a way out.
    How do I come home to an empty house without him here? We used to do everything together, I took him everywhere. Even when he stopped walking, he would be wherever I was, on the sofa with me, or in the kitchen while I was cooking, in the bedroom when going to sleep. He was the first thing I looked at in the morning, the last at night, with lots of kisses hello & good night of course.
    We understood each other and I loved him so much.
    I think my only hope is to get another lab puppy and start again because I can’t stand the pain.
    That’s what a Labrador does to you, gets into yr soul and becomes part of you. Oh my beloved boy.

    • I was brought to tears reading your story. I am very sorry for your loss. It has been six months since our beloved Maggie left us at 12 years. She was a once in a lifetime dog and my best friend, as yours. I look at her pictures every single day, knowing one day we will be reunited. It is an agonising process, I know. At three months we brought a new Labrador into our lives, Brandy, and she is a wonderful companion with her own unique personality. I think Maggie would approve for us not to be so sad anymore, though I will never ever forget the most loving furry companion I ever had.

      • Thank you for yr lovely words. It means so much. I’m happy to see you have another lab after your dear loss. it’s heartening to read that, and it seems alot of lab owners do the same. They are irreplaceable and unique. I cry & breakdown every day but to get another dog would be the greatest tribute I could pay him, because he showed me so much love in 18 years, he showed me how special dogs are, especially labs. There’s no other dog for me. I’m secretly hoping he comes back to me as another lab. Foolish I know. But it’s so hard to think I won’t see him again. Your story gives me hope as you now love another dog but can never ever forget Maggie.

    • I can understand your pain.As i too lost my GSD Bruno on 25 th May..I am shattered..I feel his presence every where..I too have a fawn lab Ginger and a mongrel Pie .They too are missing their bro Bruno.They have become absolutely silent.i would suggest you to adopt another Lab .Try to find your loved one in the new pup.Else it’s impossible to carry on.Anupriya.

    • I am so very sorry for your loss, and I know it doesn’t help for me to say that you had a tremendously long, happy, and enriching relationship with your pup. For the same reasons that there is nothing like a Lab, there is nothing more painful when they leave us. I lost my Black Lab about six weeks ago after he was beset by a very aggressive cancer out of nowhere — he had just turned 11 a short time before his passing. My other Labs have lived about 13 years/9 months, 13 years, 13 years/8 months, and 15 years/3 months. I feel cheated this time. It has been very painful losing my walking and swimming partner. Thankfully, I still have a Yellow Lab at home who is also in his senior years. In due time, you will decide on the right time and place to search for, and find him again, and he will become a part of your life as he had done before. Until that time, take care of yourself, and plan for that future time when he will rejoin you.

      • I’m so sorry that you lost yr beloved Labrador at just over 11yrs. I truly understand that you feel cheated. I have just burst into tears again after reading yr words. It’s so painful ,I cry everyday. My heart is so broken. I’m sure it was agonising for you because of the cancer. I know I was lucky, my boy tried to stay for as long as he could, but oh I miss him so. And I also admire you so much for all the labs you’ve had in yr life, it’s wonderful! Thank you so much for saying about finding him again. That’s something I haven’t stopped thinking about alot. I keep asking him to come back to me.

    • I totally understand you pain. I lost my yellow lab Ireland 3 weeks ago at the age of 12. I am a totally mess. I loved that dog with my whole heart and sole. She went every where with me. I don’t know what happened to her, she was barely sick. I took her to the vet to have her glands expressed and they told me they found some blood in her stool. They prescribed an antibiotic just in case of infection. After several days she started vomiting in the middle of the night. A few days after when I put her on her lead in the morning she didn’t want to come in. When I went outside to get her – her back legs collapsed. I immediately took her to the vet he thought she injured her back legs. He prescribed an inflammatory. 3 days later she died. My heart died along with her. I miss her so much. My house is so empty without her. I don’t think I could ever love another dog like I love her.

  40. Our 12.5 year old Choc. Lab. just died in our arms yesterday. We kept him slim, he was strong, active and happy with good eyes, ears and teeth. We brushed his teeth every other day. He had very little hip stiffness, no apparent arthritis. But Osteosarcoma got him. His rear leg broke on 12/20 and he came limping up to me. I tried to find the thorn in his paw but to no avail. He galloped ahead to the house on 3 legs as I prepared to take him to the vet. The vet was astounded, as were 3 other vets following him. “Usually they are in so much agony… you can’t put them down fast enough”, but our brave boy didn’t seem to care, running around on 3 legs until the broken one was turned to mush by the cancer and had to be amputated about 2 months later. We got 4 1/2 months more with him after that initial break… a nice long good-bye. The cancer finally made him a paraplegic just 3 days before he died and incontinent just a few hours before he died. I snuggled with him all day, fed him lots of treats… fillet mignon, bison, chicken, peanut butter, and chocolate! He could finally have chocolate… LOTS of chocolate. He was alert and happy when the vet arrived. It’s still very raw. We miss him so much. I just wanted to tell his story… 12 1/2 and who knows how much longer if that cancer hadn’t shown up.

    • Thank you for sharing about your sweet boy. Sounds like he was so very brave and well loved and cared for in those 12 years. I am so sorry for your loss. How wonderful to have had those extra months to love and spoil him. I know just how much that time means, as we have been in that position and loved and lost three of our senior babies in the last four years. It’s awful. We got them all as puppies and were blessed to have them so healthy for many years and only have to visit the vet for checkups. Now time is running short for our fourth senior girl, she’s a yellow lab almost 14, and she is my heart. They all are. They each have their distinct personalities and traits and special quirks that you miss so much. But my Sydney is as sweet as they can possibly come, she is just so special. One of those once in a lifetime dogs. I understand all about treasuring every single moment with them. She has had several scares and slowed down so much recently, although she can still catch a frisbee like nobody’s business! She started going on our beach vacations with us some years ago after we finally got serious about searching, and searching and searching, for a “large dog” friendly rental. Oh how I wish we could’ve spoiled her at the beach her whole life! She just returned from her fifth trip and I can’t even put into words the obvious joy she feels being in the water and the soft sand on her toes. And the joy I feel watching her “in her element” we call it, is indescribable! We truly have twice as much fun having our babies on vacation with us!
      Anyway, your words touched my heart as I can relate so well to that kind of love…..and loss. Don’t wait too long to give your love away again to a new friend. It really does help you to heal when you are ready, and you will fall in love all over again. I highly recommend rescuing from your local shelter. Where I live, there are even full labs in shelters and litters of puppies on a regular basis:( May God bless and heal your heart!

  41. my English lab is 14 years old. The first time she went to the vet by me, the vet was surprised how calm she was. He told me to breed her!! She loves to eat. Shes overweight primary because my hubby feeds her too much, and buys fried chicken liver and gives to her. Shes not taken to the vet very much because I never leave their without paying AT LEAST 150.00. I know I am truly blessed with her, I love her dearly. Someone once said, “YOU HAVENT REALLY LIVED UNTIL YOUVE LOVED A COMPANION DOG ALL ITS LIFE, AND WATCHED IT DIE IN YOURE ARMS” I guess I will someday soon have LIVED!!

  42. I have the most awesome long haired black lab. 12 years old. 80 pounds not an ounce of fat on him. Still acts like a puppy. No table scraps ever ever ever. Long walks every day of his life.
    Vet says he is a perfect physical specimen.
    He is not a food mooch. He eats / grazes as he wishes. Only dry food. Never had any canned food.
    He will still chase and retrieve tennis balls. Jumps into the truck and into the back seat without any trouble whatsoever. Swims like a fish at the beach.
    Always—> All his shots up to date.

    Sweet gentle creature. Loves kids.

    I may be kidding myself but this 12 year old Pup appears to be in such great shape- I think he has many years left.

    If you get a Lab Puppy- please follow the steps above. They have worked fabulously for my Woofa.

  43. My male pure bred choc lab lived to 13 1/2. He collapsed one day and was told at the vet’s he’d had some episode heart atrack? and his organs were shutting down. They made him comfortable and he passed away with e hugging him. My female (his cousin) is still alive and can still run around and is just over 14.5. I always controlled both dogs’ diets. They both have (had) lipomas but luckily nothing particularly large or anything interfering with movement. They’re just a little lumpy! I can only hope when she passes on, she makes the “decision “ like my male did. I have had to do that in the past with other dogs and I hate it, even knowing it’s for the best.

  44. My purebred female, black Labrador is 13 years, 4.5 months old. She has allegies to corn which developed at age 2. I have been feeding her dry food formulated for dogs with corn allergies. She eats her food wet, especially since age 7. She also gets supplemented with additions like a cooked egg, or sardines, bones and all, added to the beef and brown rice or chicken and brown rice formulas. She gets her daily ration, currently 3.5 cups divided into two meals. Her blood work done on 4/14/18 shows all major organs are functioning very well. She has a strong heart, no abnormal sounds. She weighs between 85 to 88 pounds, that sounds heavy, but she is a large Lab with a wide, boxy frame and a blocky head. She does have a visible waist from above. Her age is starting to show in that her albumin, red blood cells and white blood cell counts are lower than average, suggesting that she is not as thrifty as she was a year or two ago in absorbing nutrients. She has sprouted several benign lypomas and some skin tags. She does have arthritis in her hips and knees, which we treat with pain meds on an as needed basis and we help her navigate stairs, up and down. I hope to have her a year longer, or maybe two with blessings from above. I am not ready for her to leave us yet.

  45. My loving Labrador great Dane mix ‘Tessa’ lived up to 20 year… unfortunately her hips gave in yesterday and we had to put her down today.
    She had a long and happy life. I will mis her till the end of time.