National Labrador Retriever Breed Council

Labrador Retriever Breed Standard

The Labrador Retriever Breed Standard

Download the pdf document as provided by the ANKC


Group: Group 3 (Gundogs)


General Appearance: Strongly built, short coupled, very active; broad in skull; broad and deep through chest

and ribs; broad and strong over loins and hindquarters.

Characteristics: Good tempered, very agile (which precludes excessive body weight or substance).

Excellent nose, soft mouth, keen love of water. Adaptable, devoted companion.

Temperament: Intelligent, keen and biddable, with a strong will to please. Kindly nature, with no trace of

aggression or undue shyness.

Head And Skull: Skull broad with defined stop; clean cut without fleshy cheeks. Jaws of medium length,

powerful not snipey. Nose wide, nostrils well-developed.

Eyes: Medium size, expressing intelligence and good temper; brown or hazel.

Ears: Not large or heavy, hanging close to head and set rather far back.

Mouth: Jaws and teeth strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. Upper teeth

closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.

Neck: Clean, strong, powerful, set into well-placed shoulders.

Forequarters: Shoulders long and sloping. Forelegs well-boned and straight from elbow to ground when

viewed from either front or side.

Body: Chest of good width and depth, with well-sprung barrel ribs (this effect not to be

produced by carrying excessive weight). Level topline. Loins wide, short-coupled and


Hindquarters: Well-developed not sloping to tail; well turned stifle. Hocks well let down, cowhocks highly


Feet: Round, compact; well-arched toes and well-developed pads

Tail: Distinctive feature, very thick towards base, gradually tapering towards tip, medium

length, free from feathering, but clothed thickly all round with short, thick, dense coat,

thus giving 'rounded' appearance described as 'Otter' tail. May be carried gaily but

should not curl over back.

Gait/Movement: Free, covering adequate ground; straight and true in front and rear.

Coat: Distinctive feature, short dense without wave or feathering, giving fairly hard feel to the

touch; weather resistant undercoat.

Colour: Wholly black, yellow or liver/chocolate. Yellows range from light cream to red fox. Small

white spot on chest permissible.

Sizes: Height:

Dogs 56 - 57 cms (22-22.5 ins) at withers

Bitches 55 - 56 cms (21.5 - 22 ins) at withers

Faults: Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the

seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its

degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog, and on the dog’s ability to

perform its traditional work.

Notes: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the



Last Updated: 12 Feb 2010