The Labrador Retriever is gentle with children and the elderly. If it is intended as a pet, keep in mind that Labrador puppies are full of energy.
The Labrador Retriever has a stable temperament and adapts to new surroundings easily. It is not an aggressive dog, but will bark to ward off strangers.
The official description of a Labrador Retriever is of a strongly built, medium-sized, short-coupled, dog possessing a sound, athletic, well-balanced conformation that enables it to function as a retrieving gun dog; the substance and soundness to hunt waterfowl or upland game for long hours under difficult conditions; the character and quality to win in the show ring; and the temperament to be a family companion.
Physical features and mental characteristics should denote a dog bred to perform as an efficient retriever of game with a stable temperament suitable for a variety of pursuits beyond the hunting environment.
The most distinguishing characteristics of the Labrador Retriever are its short, dense, weather-resistant coat; an "otter" tail; a clean-cut head with broad back skull and moderate stop; powerful jaws; and its kind, friendly eyes, expressing character, intelligence and good temperament.
Above all, a Labrador Retriever must be well balanced, enabling it to move in the show ring or work in the field with little or no effort. The typical Labrador possesses style and quality without over-refinement, and substance without lumber or cloddiness. Because the Labrador is bred primarily as a working gun dog, structure and soundness are considered of great importance.
The Labrador Retriever coat colours are black, yellow and chocolate. Any other colour or a combination of colours is a disqualification for the pedigree breed. A small white spot on the chest is permissible, but not desirable.
- Black: Blacks are all black. A black with brindle markings or a black with tan markings is a disqualification.
- Yellow: Yellows may range in color from fox-red to light cream, with variations in shading on the ears, back, and underparts of the dog.
- Chocolate: Chocolates can vary in shade from light to dark chocolate. Chocolate with brindle or tan markings is a disqualification.