There’s no denying that Labrador Retrievers are one of the most versatile breeds in the canine world. We constantly see them as adorable family pets and as service dogs.
But did you know that size is a considering factor for canine jobs and pet owners?
Reading: When are labs fully grown
If you want to know if this purebred size works for you, keep reading and find out using our Lab growth chart.
Overview: A Few Fun Facts about the Labrador Retriever
Labrador Retrievers, initially labeled as the perfect gundog, have a lot of great features, both in appearance and temperament.
When it comes to their looks, it’s best to know that there are a few differences between the English and American Labs.
But all Labradors have a water-resistant coat that comes in three colors: black, chocolate, and yellow.
Labs have been America’s top dog breed since 1991. Some love them for their physical qualities, while others enjoy their gentle yet goofy personality.
What we recommend, though, is that you also think about a dog’s size. All puppies are cute, but this retriever falls into the medium- to large category.
They may not be a contender on the Top 10 largest dog breeds list, but we’re sure that you have an idea of what’s too big for your home and your overall lifestyle. You have to decide what’s acceptable to you.
Average size: How big will my Lab get?
According to the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) breed standard, a male Labrador has a height of 22.5 to 24.5 inches (57 to 62 cm), while females are around 21.5 to 23.5 inches (54 to 60 cm) tall.
Wondering “how long until Labs are fully grown”? They can reach their adult height anywhere between six to twelve months of age.
Still, it’s possible for some of these dogs to fill out until they reach two years old.
Read also: Is there a Mini Labrador?
What is a good weight for a Labrador?
According to the American Kennel Club, Labradors should be between 55 and 80 lbs (25 – 36 kg).
This doesn’t mean that there aren’t purebred Labradors that go over or under this range. It’s just the desired parameters that your dog will be judged against in the show ring.
There is also a slight size difference between male and female Labs. Males should be between 60 – 80 lbs (27 – 34 kg) whereas females should be between 55 – 75 lbs (25 – 32 kg).
The Ultimate Labrador Retriever Puppy Growth Chart by Weight
Puppies, just like human babies, have certain milestones they should reach as they grow.
In order to make sure that they are growing well, we have prepared a Labrador weight chart as well as detailed what to expect for each chapter of their lives.
If you have found yourself asking, “how do I know whether my Labrador is on the right track?” well, you’re in the right place.
Labrador Retriever Female Puppy Weight Chart LBS & KG
Labrador Age Female Lab Average Weight 3 months 20-26 lb (9-12 kg) 5 months 35-49 lb (16-19 kg) 7 months 40-55 lb (20-25 kg) 9 months 48-62 lb (22-28 kg) 11 months 53-66 lb (24-30 kg) 13 months 55-68 lb (25-31 kg) 15 months 55-70 lb (25-32 kg)
Labrador Retriever Male Puppy Weight Chart LBS & KG
Labrador Age Male Lab Average Weight 3 months 22-26 lb (10-12 kg) 5 months 33-49 lb (15-19 kg) 7 months 51-59 lb (23-27 kg) 9 months 57-68 lb (26-31 kg) 11 months 62-75 lb (28-34 kg) 13 months 64-77 lb (29-35 kg) 15 months 64-77 lb (29-35 kg)
Labrador Retriever Puppy Growth and Development
Large breed dogs gain weight and grow rather rapidly in their first year. They also develop certain skills at approximately the same time.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a Black Labrador or a Yellow Lab, their development will not deviate too much from the following:
0 to 2 Weeks Old Labrador Retriever
This is referred to as the neonatal stage. Puppies at this age are entirely dependent on their mother. They are born without teeth, vision, or hearing.
A new puppy cannot regulate its own temperature and will need the mom to keep them warm. The mother Lab will also stimulate them to eliminate and eat their waste to keep her nesting area clean.
2 to 4 Weeks Old Labrador Retriever
Around their transitional age, puppies will begin to respond to the world around them. Their teeth will also start coming in and they’ll be able to eliminate them without mom’s help.
Most Lab puppies will have their eyes opened at 2 weeks of age, and their ears will begin to open around this time too.
4-Week-Old Labrador Retriever (1 Month)
At the 4 week mark, your puppy will start recognizing routines and people. This period can be called the awakening of senses, as they are growing to be more conscious and inquisitive.
There shouldn’t be any extreme changes or sudden noises because it could negatively impact the puppy’s development and traumatize them.
It’s imperative that they stay with their mom because it’s when they start to pick up doggy behavior and learn their manners from their littermates and mother.
They will start to try mama dog’s food and it’s also the start of the socialization period.
7-Week-Old Labrador Retriever
The socialization period ends around the 7-week mark.
It’s especially important for them to be exposed to humans between 5 to 7 weeks. Try to spend some time with each puppy daily, so they get used to being handled.
Also Read: When do great danes stop growing
They should not be removed from their litter for more than 10 minutes at a time as this could cause them to miss out on important life lessons.
Mama dogs will teach her pups some discipline and dogs that are taken from their mom before this age often suffers from behavioral issues.
8-Week-Old Labrador Retriever
Their second socialization period starts at this point. You should handle them often and can begin basic training. Treat your puppy gently, with no harsh discipline.
Your 8-week-old Lab puppy will be able to start sleeping through the night and have better control over their bowel movements.
Potty training can be introduced at this age, but you should avoid bringing them to crowded places.
Most puppies get their first vaccination before heading to their new homes.
You should keep your new puppy away from other dogs until they complete their vaccinations to prevent them from contracting infectious diseases like distemper or parvovirus.
At this age, puppies should be fed 4 small meals a day. Knowing how much to feed them is key, you should check out our best dog food for Labs guide to learn more.
3-Month-Old Labrador Retriever
The juvenile stage starts at the same time as the ranking period. Your puppy will begin to test you in order to figure out what their position is in the family.
Puppies at this age might ignore commands they are familiar with. You might want to avoid playing games like tug of war where it might teach them it’s okay to challenge your authority.
Some dogs might start nipping. To combat this, direct them to chew appropriate toys instead. Be patient with them and keep reinforcing positive behavior because they will grow out of it soon enough.
4-Month-Old Labrador Retriever
At 4 months old, your Lab might reach new levels of rebelliousness. They are still establishing their role in the pack and might assert their dominance over little children or pets.
You can start incorporating other activities like obedience or agility to divert their attention and to help them understand their role in the family better.
6-Month-Old Labrador Retriever
The puppy’s adult coat and face will start to develop, and your pup will start looking like a miniature adult dog.
Some dogs will go through another fearful stage at this age. You can help them through it via desensitizing them and being kind and understanding. They are still puppies at this age, after all.
They should not be forced to face their fears in hopes they will get used to it. Appropriate exposure with lots of praise, attention, and treats will do the trick.
1-Year-Old Labrador Retriever
Upon reaching the one-year mark, your Labrador should have already reached sexual maturity. They will have grown into the dog they are meant to be and will have a consistent personality.
They should also have settled into a routine and know their place in the family.
Following a UK study, Labs grow into their adult weight by their 1-year-old birthday. If they are at a healthy weight, you shouldn’t expect them to grow much bigger.
Mentally, Labradors will stay a puppy till they are 2 or 3 years old, but some never really do grow up. Don’t be surprised when your Lab grows into an old puppy!
If you are looking for a similar breed that’s calmer, you might want to look into the Golden Retriever instead.
8 Things You Should Know About Your Labrador Retriever’s Growth
1. How to weigh a Labrador?
Weighing your dog is a good way to keep track of its growth.
It might be harder than it sounds because it’s hard to fit a full-grown Labrador on a bathroom scale, although you can pick your dog up and deduct your weight to figure out your Lab’s weight.
A less strenuous and stressful way to weigh your dog would be to buy a weighing scale for dogs and weigh them regularly.
You can incorporate this into your dog training and reward them every time they stay still on a scale.
There are reasonably priced pet scales on Amazon but if you do not have a budget for a dog weighing machine, you can get your dog weighed at the vet.
Weight vs. Appearance
Weight alone is not the best way to measure a dog’s health. This is because muscle weighs more than fat. A chubby-looking Labrador might have the same weight as a lean and strong Lab.
You can use weight to assess your puppy’s weight gain, but you might want to also incorporate other means of assessing their fitness.
Testing Physical Appearance
There is a system called BCS or Body Condition Scoring that allows owners and health providers to assess whether their dog is at a healthy weight from a glance.
There are 9 levels, with the 1st level representing extreme emaciation, level 5 being optimally fit, and level 9 being life-threateningly obese. To give you an idea of what each level entails:
- Level 1 – Severely Underweight No discernible fat or mass, with rib and tail bones protruding and severe abdominal tuck
- Level 2 – Very Thin Very minimal to non-existent fat or mass, with visible ribs and spine, sunken abdominal tuck
- Level 3 – Thin Little to non-existent fat and slight mass, with visible ribs and pelvic bones, sharp abdominal tuck
- Level 4 – Underweight Little fat, with a noticeable waist and clear abdominal tuck, can feel the ribs easily
- Level 5 – Ideal Weight Slight fat, with a clearly defined waist and visible abdominal tuck, can feel the ribs
- Level 6 – Overweight A slight excess of fat, with an undefined waist and abdominal suck, cannot easily feel the ribs
- Level 7 – Heavy Extra fat, with no waist and little to no abdominal tuck, ribs are difficult to feel
- Level 8 – Obese Extreme fat, with no waist or an abdominal tuck, cannot feel the ribs
- Level 9 – Severely Obese Excessive fat on the neck, spine, tail, and abdomen, with an indiscernible waist
If your Lab is around level 4 – 6, you can make slight adjustments to their diet.
Also Read: How long do bulldogs live
However, if they are outside of that spectrum, you might want to consider seeing a specialist as your dog might have some underlying health issues.
2. Health issues that can influence a Lab puppy’s growth
Obesity can shave up to two years off your Lab’s lifespan. It can also cause lots of health problems such as joint problems, respiratory or heart diseases, and even cancer.
The bad news is that Labradors are prone to obesity due to their genetics. A large portion of the Labrador population has a malfunctioning POMC gene that stops them from being full.
Even without the condition, Labs are notoriously greedy! Look at Midnight eating in her dreams:
Hyperthyroidism and Insulinoma are disorders that can cause unexplainable weight gain.
3. How to help overweight Labs lose weight?
If they are suffering from certain disorders, you will need to treat them first.
If they are simply being fed too much, remove any excess calories from their diet by cutting down treats (including table scraps!) and carbs.
You can also encourage them to move more through exercise, play, or work.
4. How to help underweight Labs gain weight?
Being too thin is also unhealthy, especially if your puppy is still growing. Weight loss or not being able to gain weight can be caused by worms, illness, or a lack of calories.
Active dogs will need to be fed more than those that lead sedentary lifestyles. What you can do is increase their intake and monitor their growth rate.
If they don’t seem to be packing on the pounds, you should bring them to the vet for an assessment.
Read also: 19 Best Dog Foods for Labs
5. When do Labradors stop growing?
One of the most asked questions on FAQs is when are Labs done with their growth.
Puppies generally gain 2 lbs (1 kg) a week from birth until they are 6 months old. After that, their weight gain tapers off slowly.
Most people think that dogs mature at the same age, but small dogs like a Terrier or a Pomeranian might reach adulthood at 9 months of age whereas a Great Dane might fully mature at 3 years of age.
For a Labrador, it’s often somewhere at the 12 – 24 month mark. It has been noted that they reach their full height at 1 year of age, and their adult weight at 2 years of age.
6. What is the best age to spay/neuter a Labrador Retriever?
Another commonly asked question is when to fix their male or female Labradors.
The general consensus is that you should fix your dog around 6 months, but there are new studies to suggest that early neutering might create more problems for your dog.
Another specialized study suggests pet owners to neuter or spay after 37 weeks. This prevents excessive growth that can aggravate hip or joint problems.
7. Will my Lab still grow after being neutered?
Depending on when your dog is neutered. If it is neutered prior to sexual maturity, there’s a good chance it will grow taller than normal.
If it is neutered after sexual maturity, it will most likely have already reached its adult size and will not grow any taller.
However, most neutered pets gain weight much more easily due to a decrease in sex hormones. This will cause their metabolic rate to slow down so you should adjust their diet accordingly.
8. Differences between variations of Labrador Retrievers
English Labs are show dogs that are bred to be more heavyset. Therefore, they can be slightly on the heavy side. As for American or working dogs, they are generally more athletic and lighter.
Gender also plays a role in their weight, with females nearing the lighter end of the spectrum and males being on the heavier side.
While color itself doesn’t play a part in how heavy your Labrador weighs, most Fox Red Labs are American Labs and therefore smaller. Chocolate Labs and White Labs are usually bred for the show ring.
It is entirely possible to have an English Fox Red and vice versa for all other colors. However, a Black Labrador’s growth progression shouldn’t be that much different from a Chocolate or Yellow one.
Read more: English Lab vs American Lab
Keeping Your Lab healthy for life
When your pup reaches adulthood which is 24 months of age, it is still possible for him or her to gain additional weight.
Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security because your dog’s growth curve has tapered off.
Leading a healthy lifestyle will keep your pup healthy. Make sure to stay on top of their veterinarian appointments, and don’t let them turn into couch potatoes.
Also Read: Do you bathe or groom a dog first
Further reading: Additional puppy growth chart guides
- Golden Retriever Growth Chart
- Chihuahua Growth Chart
- German Shepherd Growth Chart
- Husky Growth Chart