Kind, friendly and outgoing, the Labrador retriever’s irrepressibly sweet disposition and effervescent personality are as integral to the dog’s nature as the famous “otter tail” is to his body. The maturation rate of these puppies falls in the middle of the road. Labrador retrievers typically reach adult heights between their 12th and 18th months. Most continue filling out and muscling up until they’re 2 years old. Your Lab has an estimated life expectancy of 12 to 14 years.
The American Kennel Club’s standard for a fully grown adult male Lab calls for a height of 22 1/2 to 24 1/2 inches tall at the withers. He should weigh between 65 and 80 pounds. The female should grow to between 21 1/2 and 23 1/2 inches tall and weigh from 55 to 70 pounds.
Always enthusiastic and often over-exuberant, your Labrador pup probably won’t mature mentally until he’s at least 3 years of age. Just because the young dog resides in an adult body doesn’t mean his brain has caught up. This puppy mentality commonly overrides the young Lab’s better senses, fanning the impulsive flames of his extreme friendliness to the point of creating a potential menace in a fur coat. Fortunately, the highly intelligent and eager-to-please Lab responds quickly and favorably to firm, gentle handling and non-violent, reward-based training.
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