How big can a Labrador Retriever get?

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Labrador Retrievers are known as one of the best family dogs and in fact, the most famous dog breed in America. When I was 8 years old, my parents got our first dog “a Lab”. Over the years, I remember how he grew into such a big boy from an adorable puppy. So if you are also planning to adopt or buy a Lab or already have one, you are probably wondering whether these guys are medium or large-sized dogs or their size in general.

So how big can a Labrador Retriever get?

On average, male Labradors can grow 65 to 80 pounds (29.4- 36.2 kg) in weight and 22 to 25 inches (55.8- 63.5 cm) in height whereas female Labradors are able to grow 55 to 70 pounds (24.9- 31.7 kg) in weight and 21.5 to 24 inches (54.6- 60.9 cm) in height.

Image by Madeleine Lewander from Pixabay 

To put it another way, Labradors can grow into to medium to large-sized dogs. Plus, there is a size-difference between males and females where the male Labs tend to grow a little bigger than females. However, size distinction is certainly a normal phenomenon, not only in dog breeds but in the entire animal kingdom in general.

Also, the sizes mentioned above are based on average. So depending on factors such as lifestyle and health conditions, the size of one Lab can differ from another.

Maybe, your Retriever can surpass its genetic limit and grow into an above-average-sized doggo but at the same time, it can be vice versa too. Just keep that it mind.

The maximum size of a full grown Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever was originally bred to be friendly and loving companion dogs in Newfoundland of Canada but they were also used as working-dogs such as helpers to fishermen by fetching ropes, retrieving fish and hauling nets.

So, Labs were quite the strong creature back then. However, their physical attributes can be seen in the present day Labs as well such as being longer than the dog’s height, muscular and athletic.

In the past, there have been much larger Labradors that are not only bigger than the average size of the present day Labs but more like twice the size of the smallest female Labs in the present. Now, that is extremely big.

That means, their outstanding potential in being really large can also be seen in the Labradors today since it has been passed down through genetics from Lab ancestors just like the physical traits have, such as being muscular and athletic.

The biggest a Labrador has grown, is recorded as 26 inches in height and 64 inches in length from the nose tip to the tail.

However, when it come to the weight, it is ridiculously easy for a Lab to gain weight and become obese, so going above average in weight is a piece of cake for this breed. Today, there are Labradors that weigh around 95 pounds sometimes.

At what age does a Labrador Retriever become full grown?

Labrador Retrievers have quite a rapid growth rate and generally, they reach their genetic limit in height when they are between 8 and 16 months old. However, when it comes to the weight, they can put on more muscle and fat to fill out the frame for 2 to 2.5 years more.  

In other words, Labradors take about 2 to 3.5 years of time to become fully grown in both height and weight.

One thing to keep in mind is that the growth rate physically is different from the maturing rate mentally. Sometimes, a Lab can grow into a mature dog physically but in its mind, the doggo still has not reached its full growth and therefore, it is still a puppy.

It is quite adorable and funny to think that you have a puppy running around in the house in the body of an adult dog. That means the appearance of your Labrador can be somewhat deceiving when determining exactly whether it is mature both physically and mentally wise.

Image by Ryniu1234 from Pixabay

What is the lifespan of a Labrador Retriever?

The average lifespan of a Labrador Retriever is 10 to 14 years and that is if the dog did not get any health complications or injuries throughout its life.

However, there can be exceptions for sure. Any Lab with excellent maintenance and vet-care given by its human can outlive its own average life expectancy.

For example, the oldest Labrador was 27 and 3 months old when it died in 1963. This good boy has been recorded as the 7th oldest dog out of all dog breeds in the world.

So you see, it is certainly possible for your Lab also to have a longer lifespan than 14 years.

Weight and Height Chart of Labrador Retrievers as they grow

Weight and height chart of male Labrador Retrievers

AgeHeight (Inches)Weight (Pounds)
4 weeks4 – 7”3 – 7 lb
8 weeks7 – 9”8 – 18 lb
Three months9 – 11”16 – 30 lb
Four months11 – 14”30 – 38 lb
Five months14 – 16”35 – 43 lb
Six months16 – 18”40 – 53 lb
Seven months19 – 20”50 – 57 lb
Eighth months20 – 22”55 – 62 lb
Nine months21 – 23”58 – 67 lb
Ten months22 – 24”61 – 70 lb
Eleven months22 – 24”64 – 75 lb
One year22 – 24”68 – 80 lb
One and half years23 – 25”72 – 80 lb
Two years24 – 25”75 – 80 lb

Weight and height chart of female Labrador Retrievers

AgeHeight (Inches)Weight (Pounds)
4 weeks4 – 7”2 – 7 lb
8 weeks7 – 8”6 – 15 lb
Three months9 – 10”12 – 24 lb
Four months10 – 13”25 – 30 lb
Five months13 – 15”30 – 35 lb
Six months15 – 17”35 – 40 lb
Seven months18 – 19”40 – 45 lb
Eighth months19 – 21”42 – 50 lb
Nine months20 – 22”45 – 55 lb
Ten months21 – 23”48 – 60 lb
Eleven months21 – 23”50 – 65 lb
One year22 – 24”53 – 70 lb
One and half years22 – 24”55 – 70 lb
Two years23 – 24”55 – 70 lb

Behavioral characteristics when a Labrador Retriever is growing healthily

  • Shows tenderness with Family
  • Affectionate to kids
  • Friendly with other dog pals
  • Friendly towards strangers
  • Constantly, playful and energetic personality
  • Love to play games with you
  • Easy to be trained and learn and obey commands fast
  • Outgoing and even-tempered
  • Highly intelligent and agile (Which is why these guys are great hunting dogs as well)
  • Quite sensitive (The slightest change in your behavior towards the doggo can affect its mental state)
  • Sheds quite a lot
  • Drools moderately
  • Not difficult to groom
  • If trained well, the dog can howl (Sometimes, may howl spontaneously without any training)

But what if the Lab is not feeling happy and is sad or stressed about something?

  • Could wander off
  • Get hyperactive
  • Might try to attack smaller animal all the time
  • May get a bit aggressive
  • Start chewing things in the house (Definitely shoes)
Photo by Ilia Kondratiev on Unsplash

How to make sure your Labrador Retriever grows into its maximum size HEALTHILY?

The healthiness and good growth of your Labrador majorly depend on you and how much time and resources you can spend on the dog. Actually, Labs are not extremely high maintenance dogs but still, they require a specific amount care both emotionally and physically,

As the pet-parent, it should be your main concern to ensure healthy growth for the dog and avoid any health issues along the way (While of course, showing lots of love and attention)

So, here are the main three aspects you should pay attention to, when raising a Labrador to reach its maximum size:

  1. The diet
  2. The exercise
  3. Prevention of diseases to ensure no harm to a healthy growth

01 – The Diet

Labrador Retrievers are utterly in love with the activity “eating”, they never get enough of it. That is exactly why you need to put more effort into managing the types of foods and the amount of foods, your Lab eats which should be based on its age, activity level and current size.

By ensuring a good diet, not only your dog will lose the risk of being obese and getting other health complications, but also become able to reach the maximum potential in growing.

Moreover, it is best to feed the doggo both dry and wet foods since it can provide a sutable balance of high quality protein, carbs, fats and micro-nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and omega 3 fatty acids.

High in protein, moderate in carbs and fairly low in fats would be a great balance.

The food amount

When it comes to determining the food amount, it is best to do it with calories rather than cups because a number of calories can give you a precise idea as to how much the dog is eating and then depending on the purpose such as to lose weight, gain weight or maintain, you can easily and conveniently change the intake accordingly.

Generally, an adult Labrador that is moderately active and healthy, is able to eat between 1000 and 1300 calories.

However, that intake changes according to the age, the gender and activity level of your Lab like I said above.

On average, 15 to 20 calories per pound of your Lab’s weight is needed to maintain a healthy weight range for the doggo.

So let me give you an idea of how to determine calorie intakes:

  1. A male puppy that is 4 months old and weighs 34 pounds on average, needs 510 to 680 calories
  2. A female puppy that is 4 months old and weighs 28 pounds on average, needs 420 to 560 calories

I got these calorie intakes by multiplying the male and female Labs’ average weight (in pounds) by 15 and 20 (To get the calorie range)

  • Let’s say for example, if we take the female Lab, it weighs 28 pounds. So I multiplied it by 15 and then, 20. After that I got the calorie range for the dog which is between 420 and 560.
  • You see if the female Lab is not that active, its calorie intake can be close to 420 but on the other hand, if the lab is really active, its calorie amount can be close to 560.
  • That means based on the activity level of the dog, you can multiply the weight by a number between 15 and 20.

Such as the following:

15 or 16 * the weight in pounds = A Lab that is barely active

17 * the weight in pounds = A lab that is moderately active

18 or 19 or 20 * the weight in pounds = a Lab that is highly active

Do you get the pattern now? Actually, it is simple once you learned it but remember these intakes are averages. So, depending on your Lab’s lifestyle, age, weight and activity level, you have to improvise the calorie amount accordingly (I just had to emphasize this a few times since it is really important).

Type of foods

As I already mentioned above, both dry foods such as dog-foods and wet and raw foods such as human-foods should make up the diet of your Labrador.

The reason for this is that, dog-foods mostly contain a lot of carbs and it lacks other essential nutrients and micro-nutrients (Of course, It depends on the dog-food brand but in general that is the case)

But with mixing up the diet with both dry dog-foods and fresh-human foods, you will be able to add all the crucial nutrients that are high quality to the diet.

Here are some of the best dog foods to feed your Labrador:

  • Taste of the Wild High Prairie.
  • Gather Free Acres Organic Free Run Chicken.
  • Purina Pro Plan Large Breed Adult.
  • Nutro Ultra Adult Dog Food.
  • Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete.
  • Orijen Original Dog Food.
  • AvoDerm Large Breed Adult Dog Food.
  • Canidae All Life Stages Multi-Protein Formula.

Here are some of the best Human foods (raw and fresh foods) to feed your Labrador:

Meat and FishVegetablesFruitsDairyOther
ChickenCarrotsApplesMilk (Dog milk available in market)Rice
RabbitBroccoliStrawberriesPlain yogurtCooked white rice
TurkeySpinachRaspberriesCheeseCooked pasta
Beef ribsCeleryPeaches Plain white or brown bread
Lamb ribsGreen beansBlueberries Peanuts
Pork trottersPeasPears Cashews
Venison ribsPumpkinMelons  
Organ meats such as livers, kidneys and heartCooked potatoesBananas  
SalmonSweet potatoesCranberries  
Eggs  CornPineapple  
  • Meat, fish and eggs are great high quality protein sources   
  • Vegetables and fruits are great simple and complex carbs with a lot of micro-nutrients
  • Dairy products are safe to feed your Lab but definitely, in moderation. Also, Some Labradors can be lactose intolerant. Therefore, first try giving a bit of cheese or yogurt and see how the dog reacts and then decide whether to feed dairy products to the dog or not
  • Rice and Pasta are good complex carbohydrate sources
Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

Nonetheless, the first essential thing of a diet is to comprise it of both raw and dry foods in moderation to give a good mix of nutrients.

Secondly, the amount of foods must be determined accordingly.

If you do these stuff properly, rest assured, your Labrador retriever will only have a faster and healthier growth.

02 – The Exercise

On average, an adult Labrador Retriever needs approximately 80 minutes of exercise a day but that is if the dog is healthy and moderately energetic .

So, obviously, for how long a dog should exercise for, changes based on the dog and its activity level.

  • If your lab is extremely energetic and hyper, about 45 minutes of exercise is more than enough.
  • But on the other hand, if the doggo is the relaxed type that is not much active, then around 1.5 hours of exercise is optimal.
  • And lastly, as I already mentioned above, if the dog is moderately active, about 80 minutes of exercise would be great.

Here are activities that Labs love doing

  • Game of fetch
  • Long walks
  • Accompanying you on hikes or bike rides
  • Swimming (Some Labs even love retrieving things from the water such as a ball)
  • Hide and seek with the dog
  • Hide and seek with treats (you hide a treat in the house or yard and let the Doggo find it by walking/running and sniffing around)
  • Let the dog play with other dogs in the Dog Park
Photo by Mitchell Orr on Unsplash

03 – Prevention of diseases to ensure no harm to a healthy growth

Although, genetics play a significant role in determining what kind of diseases a dog could have, there is a higher chance, you can prevent your doggo from getting any disease with sufficient vet-care and maintenance.

So, knowing what kind of diseases your Lab could have is the first step. Then, detecting a health issue as soon as possible is the second step.

To do that, before anything, you have to learn to identify the symptoms of those possible diseases which is why you need some basic knowledge about the health conditions and their symptoms.


This is not a disease or a disorder but more like an unhealthy physical state. Labradors are obsessed with eating more and more and more and more. Thus, they gain weight and ultimately become obese.

That means the dog eats more foods than it needs and also, does less exercise than it requires to maintain a healthy weight. It is pretty obvious and partially your responsibility. Actually, it is fully your responsibility as the pet-owner and the doggo’s best friend. So make sure he/she does not overeat since you are the one that feeds him/her.

Instead of giving extra foods and constantly, hand-feeding due to being a victim to the Lab’s cuteness and puppy eyes, just control your tendency and replace that desire with more cuddling and playing. After all, it is for the doggo’s own wellbeing.

The symptoms of this condition:

  • Appearance of being overweight (Obviously)
  • The dog is being less active
  • Low tendency to jump, run, climb stairs
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Weighing more than the healthy weight range for the dog’s age
  • Sagging abdominally
  • Panting excessively
  • You can not feel or see the Lab’s ribs, spine and waistline.
  • The dog will need help getting in and out of a car

As you can see, these are just quite apparent indications that your Lab is obese or overweight but what these can tell you is that sooner or later, the dog will have to experience many server diseases and suffer a lot.

Health issues such as heart diseases, diabetes, cancer, hypertension, osteoarthritis and joint problems are those outcomes. Eventually, the lifespan shortens and the worst which is the death could happen. Thus, no healthy growth or achieving maximum size whatsoever.


Cancer is one of the main causes of death in senior dogs in general. Unfortunately, Labradors are also prone to this disease. However, the best and only way to save your dog from Cancer is to first detect it as soon as possible.

Previously, what I said about being able to identify symptoms plays the main role in this case and this is a great example to it. If you detect the Cancer and do the diagnosis and treatments ASAP, there is a high chance you can save the doggo quite easily.

The symptoms of Cancer:

  • Swelling quite abnormally
  • Bleeding out of nowhere
  • Struggling to breath
  • Losing appetite
  • Barely eat
  • Continuously limping
  • Losing stamina
  • Wounds, blisters and bumps that do not heal
  • Weight loss
  • Foul-smell coming from the dog’s mouth

Once, these symptoms are detected, seek veterinary help quickly. So that the vet can give your Labrador the proper treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.

Heart Disease

This is a typical disease, you can see that Labradors are prone to. Mostly, older Labs have a higher risk of having one. Common heart diseases can be mitral valve dysplasia, arrhythmic, dilated cardiomyopathy, and heartworm disease.

The symptoms of Heart Diseases:

  • Being fatigue
  • Constantly coughing
  • Losing appetite
  • Being swollen
  • Difficult to breath
  • Weight loss
  • Fainting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Being restless when sleeping

Nonetheless, Tricuspid Valve Dysplasia is the most common heart disease out of all. This condition mostly impacts the male Labs. The disease is caused by the valve on the heart’s right side being defective.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for this health issue currently but veterinarians usually prescribe diuretics to help the dog soothe fluid retention and also, will advise you to not make the dog exercise much since that can put a lot of pressure on the heart.

Plus, do not worry, Labs who have this diseases have been able to live normally like other dogs but if the condition gets worsened, the worse case scenario would be congestive heart failure but still, there is a chance, the dog can be saved with high-tech medical treatments and live a decently long life.

However, unless the dog has one of these heart conditions, it actively can exercise. Therefore, ensure your Lab does plenty of activities for exercise, eats healthy wet and dry foods and drink a lot of water to prevent getting a heart disease in the first place.

Elbow and Hip Dysplasia

Joint issues to Labradors are not uncommon. These disorders make the joints cause a lot of pain which makes it extremely difficult for Labs to walk normally or move at all for that matter.

Hip Dysplasia is a typical condition in most large-sized dog breeds. The hip joint is worked as a ball and a socket and when that ball and socket have not developed properly and therefore, do not fit right, they rasp and grind instead of smoothly sliding. Thus, eventually, the joints get to a point of not being able to function at all.

The symptoms of Hip Dysplasia:

  • The dog barely does any activity
  • Low range of motion when moving
  • Losing muscles of the thigh
  • Swaying
  • Do not want to walk, jump, run or rise
  • Scraping in the joints when moving

When a Labrador is suffering from this condition, there are pain-relieving medications you can give the doggo to soothe the pain. also, doing exercises that put pressure on the joints are not the best but swimming is a great exercise to do while having Hip Dysplasia and to relieve the pain.

However, another factor is to not let the dog become overweight since more weight equals more pressure on the joints. Ultimately, that can make the condition severe.

Elbow dysplasia occurs when the bones that the elbow joint is made up of, are not developed well and therefore, do not fit properly. Thus, it gets painful in the forelimb when the dog trying to move normally.

The symptoms of Elbow Dysplasia:

  • Stiffness or limping when moving especially after doing an activity
  • Less excitement to go for walks or play with you
  • Elbows being swollen and puffy
  • The Lab will start to point its front paws outwards while holding the elbows at an abnormal angle

If Elbow Dysplasia worsens, the dog can end up having arthritis and loose bone chips which will make the dog almost unable to walk.

However, both Dysplasia types are partially due to the genetics of the dog and as these two conditions are not entirely curable, you have to make sure to keep them under control by not letting the dog get overweight and do activities that have a high-impact on the joints.

This does not cause pain to every dog as a symptom, so unless the dog appears to suffer from the pain, do not give pain-relieving drugs. As you can imagine, this is a matter of controlling the condition. So that the dog can walk and move normally. First, just seek veterinary help before anything and then, proceed with controlling the condition.


When we say we feel bloated, it is simply a feeling of being too full with foods. With time, that uncomfortable feeling goes away and we come back to feeling normal again but to dogs, being bloated is not the same.

Bloat occurs in dogs when their stomach gets filled with gas, foods and fluid, followed by twists. These twits put a lot of pressure on the organs around. A Lab can get bloated with no warning. It rapidly worsens as Labradors are fast eaters.

The main cause of this condition has not been found yet but the best way to avoid your dog from getting bloat is to make sure he/she does not eat or drink too fast or overeat or exercise and do any activity right after eating. Let the dog rest for a while before doing an activity.

The symptoms of Bloat:

  • The stomach being swollen
  • The dog tries to vomit but can not
  • Restlessness
  • Drooling excessively
  • Looks distressed
  • Rapid breathing or panting
  • Collapsing
  • Struggle to stand

Once you notice these signs, go to the vet’s office immediately. The vet will give treatments to keep the dog hydrated and relieve the gas in the stomach in order to stop the bloat from getting worse.

However, if it is too late for those treatments and the stomach is already warped, surgery is unavoidable to save the Lab.  


Allergies are common health complications in all dogs but unfortunately, Labradors are more prone to them than other breeds. These allergies can be caused by many things such as fleas, pollen, foods and mold.

The symptoms of Allergies:

  • Liking the paws a lot
  • Scratching
  • Flaky and dry skin
  • Ear infections
  • Hair loss (Not all the time)
  • Minor infections due to too much scratching
  • Diarrhea
  • Swellings on the face, lips, ears, earflaps and eyelids
  • Vomiting
  • Sneezing

You can give the dog some temporary relief from scratching and infected areas of the skin by using some anti-inflammatory drugs such as corticosteroids but the best course of action is to get the Lab to an vet ASAP and get the proper treatments.

Final Thoughts

Labrador Retrievers are some of the best family dogs and protectors in the world and these guys grow into medium to large-sized dogs. Male Labs usually grow a bit larger than Females which is a normal occurrence.

Labs approximately take 2 to 3.5 years to be fully grown and within the first 8 to 16 months, these dogs reach their full height but for the rest of the time, they put on muscles and fat.

Labradors have a lifespan of 10 to 14 years. However, with good maintenance, the dog can even live longer than 14 years sometimes.

Image by AlkeMade from Pixabay 

However, when raising the dog right to grow into its maximum size and live longer, there are 3 aspects to pay attention to which are the diet, activity levels and preventing possible health complications.

In other words, your affection, attention and care will keep your four-legged pal healthy and happy. So ultimately, the doggo can become a healthy full-grown Lab with greater longevity.

Featured image credit: Image by Ryniu1234 from Pixabay 

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