Taken fron CKC Breed standards  January 2011

Retriever (Labrador)

Origin and Purpose

The Labrador Retriever originated and developed on the island of

Newfoundland as an all purpose waterdog and functional retriever. The

breed was preserved in England after anti-dog legislation almost

decimated the breed in its homeland. The breed is noted for its love of

retrieving and water, for its excellent nose, soft mouth, intelligence and

biddable temperament. Extraordinary versatility allows Labradors to

excel as hunting, service, and therapy dogs; in search and rescues; in drug

and bomb detection; as family companions, and in performance and

field events.

General Appearance

Medium sized, strongly built, compact, short-coupled, powerful, athletic;

broad in skull; broad and deep through chest and ribs; broad and

powerful over loins and hindquarters. A water resistant double coat,

otter tail, and sound temperament are essential breed characteristics.

Proportion and Size

Proportions: Distance from withers to elbow approximately equal to

distance from elbow to ground; length from point of shoulder to point

of rump very slightly longer than height at withers. A well -balanced

dog is the ideal.

Size: Ideal height at withers: Dogs 22 ½ - 24 ½ inches (57 - 62 cm);

Bitches 21 ½ - 23 ½ inches (54 -60 cm). Weight commensurate with

height and with the breed’s function as a medium sized, powerful,

active retriever. Approximate weights: Dogs 60-80 lbs (27.27-36.36

kilos); Bitches 55-75 lbs (25-34.09 kilos).

Coat and Colour

Coat Distinctive Feature: Outer coat short, straight, although a slight

wave down the back is also correct; dense without feathering, giving

fairly hard feel to the touch; soft, dense weather-resistant undercoat.

Color: Wholly black, yellow or chocolate. Small white spot on chest

permissible. Yellows range from light cream to fox red with variations in

the shadings on ears, under parts, hocks, and down the back. Chocolates

range from light sedge to dark chocolate.

Pigmentation: Black in blacks and yellows; brown or liver in chocolates.

Pigmentation fading to a lighter shade in yellows not to be penalized.

Canadian Kennel Club Official Breed Standards


January 2011



Head and Skull: A kindly, gentle expression is characteristic of the

breed. Skull broad with defined stop; clean-cut without fleshy cheeks.

Muzzle of medium length, powerful, not snipey. Muzzle and skull on

parallel planes and of approximately equal lengths. Nose wide; nostrils

well developed. Eyes: Medium size, expressing intelligence and good

temper; almond or diamond shape, not round; color dark brown or

hazel. Ears: Medium sized; hanging close to head and set rather far

back. Mouth: Jaws and teeth strong; scissor bite.


Clean, strong, medium length, good reach; set into well-placed



Forequarters: Shoulders long and sloping. Forelegs well boned and

straight from elbow to ground when viewed from either front or side.

Legs of medium length, not short. Pasterns: Strong, short, sloping

slightly from the perpendicular. Feet: Compact, round, medium sized;

well arched toes; well developed pads.


Chest of good width and depth; well-sprung ribs. Brisket extends to the

elbows. Straight, level topline. Loins wide, short-coupled and strong.


Well developed, great power, not sloping to tail; well turned stifle. Hocks

well let down; cowhocks highly undesirable.

Tail Tail Distinctive Feature: Very thick towards base, straight, gradually

tapering towards tip, medium length, free from feathering, but clothed

thickly all round with thick, dense coat, giving ‘‘rounded’’ appearance

described as ‘‘otter’’ tail. Tail may be carried ‘happily’ but not at more

than a 35-degree angle with the back. Tail an extension of the topline and

balances the dog.

Gait Gait/Movement: Free, effortless, powerful, covering adequate ground

with good reach and drive; straight and true in front and rear. Tending to

converge at higher speeds.

RETRIEVER (Labrador)