Page created 9/5/2013 Thursday. Page modified 04/25/2015.
My personal beliefs and personal observations to help identify pure breed Labrador Retriever puppies. This is link #1 from my Home page.
All picture references can be found at .

Below are helpful hints to help insure you are getting a pure breed Lab puppy.

1) Labs have two coats of hair. There is a very short, very thick, and soft under coat, whose thickness can depend on the outside temperature, and a longer courser outer coat. See the litter from CoCo 7/6/2012, the very first picture. Notice the very heavy thick undercoat and also the longer hairs sticking out. Some of the adult dogs will show a little wave in their hair on there back just before the base of the tail. I usually do not take pictures from the top but it shows a little on Dufas picture 6801 almost half way down. It shows up more if the dog is wet.

2) As puppies they will have short stubby legs. see Blondie's litter of 11/21/2013, picture 7675-375 about 1/3 the way down on the right and CoCo's litter of 7/6/2012, number 5509-375 about 2/3 of the way down. The legs will become slimmer as the dogs grow to full size.

3) As puppies they should have a very thick tail at the base and be evenly tapered to the end. As adults the taper is only in the last 2" of the tail. The tail should be round all the way down with no feathering for puppies and adults. For puppies see Miss Vader's litter of 12/27/2012, picture 8649-375 about 2/3 of the way down. For Adults see Blondie 7686-375, 80% towards bottom of page for a classic Lab tail. Sometimes the tail will become slimmer the last 2/3 for a while but most usually return to the classic tail. The thick base of the tail was bred into Labs so the dog could be brought back into the fishing boat by grabbing the skin on the neck then grabbing the tail to hoist out of the water. Most present day Labs are too large to pick up this way as people started preferring larger dogs as pets and the labs have been bred to produce a larger dog. The Labs are no longer used much for fishing but water foul hunters still have to have a smaller Lab because it is extremely difficult to get a 100-140 pound WET Lab back into a hunting boat. Lexi's previous owner was getting complaints that the dogs he was supplying to the hunters were too big and they could not get them back in the hunting boat. He kept Lexi because she was the runt of the litter and therefore expected smaller dogs but her puppies grew to be bigger than all the others. So goes all the ideas that small dogs have small puppies. He ended up giving Lexi to me with her papers and she was my first and best registered Lab. Thanks Lynn.

4) Very Important: Colors; There are only three (3) Lab colors that can be registered, Black, Yellow, or Chocolate. The new non standard so called "Red" or Fox Red" are simply color varitations of Yellows. " Silver or Silver Tip , whose pedigree is questioned by some, and all the rest of the above must be registered as Yellow. See CoCo's litter of 12/31/12 about 1/2 way down or the last picture of Blondie's litter of 11/21/2012 where you can see the Chocolate belly on the Chocolate, the Black belly on the Black and the Pink belly on the Blond. Yellows or Blonds can have a color shade variations over their body but it should still be a Blond type color. The Yellow color variations can be from a pure solid white to a dirty blond color but not on the same puppy. The shade variations can be seen in Taka's litter of 6/7/2013, picture 270-375-T near bottom of the page. The variations of Blond colors on an individual puppy should be small, not from white to dark blond. Also see 8891-T-375 near the bottom of Miss Vaders litter of 12/27/2012 for a good example of the varying blond shades. Blacks should be solid Black- even the skin, foot pads, toenails, nose, and lips, everything but the tung and eyes. Chocolates should be solid Chocolate- even the skin, foot pads, toe, nose, nails, and lips, everything but the tung and eyes. Note: All puppy eyes are some shade of Blue when they are born. THEY WILL CHANGE. Adult labs do not have Blue eyes. The eye pigment is the last thing to change about puppy coloring . Click Blondie's first litter of 5-2-2012 to see pictures 664 and 663 and their descriptions, almost 1/2 way down the page to determine eye color, eyelid color, nose color, lip color, foot pad colors and, claw color. Click on Lexi and Blondie to see the two Blond ( Yellow ) types as adults. It will be around day 3-5 of puppy age before I can tell if the Blond puppies pink nose and foot pads will turn Black.

5) Very Important: Markings; Labs should be a SOLID COLOR. Pay particular attention to the tip of the tail and the end of the toes, this is where the first white colors usually appear on non pure breed labs. There should be no white or color change on the Blacks or Chocolates.The only acceptable place white should appear on any of the three colors is a small patch of white on the chest no bigger than a cigarette pack when the dog is full size but even this is undesirable to most people.

6) The parents should have the lab crown on the top of there head. See the first picture of CoCo on my home page. Hers is very prominent. The crown shows very well on a 24 day old Lab puppy at Taka's litter of 6/7/2012, picture 9973-T-375, on the right, 1/3 the way down the page and Taka's litter of 6/7/13, the last picture 286-375-T.

7) Ears: The ears should lay flat against the head. See the nine pictures near the top of my home page.

8) Weight: A well fed Lab puppy can weight up to or more than 10-1/2 pounds at 6 weeks from a normal size litter of 6-12. I had one Male weigh 11 pounds and 14 onces, almost 12 pounds, from a litter of three from CoCo. See the litter from CoCo 7/6/2012, the very first picture and description. There are some puppies that will weigh less and some runts will be close to half of that but there is usually only one runt per litter. The litter average weight at 6 weeks old, ( not counting the runt - see CoCo's litter of 12/31/2012 - picture 8397-375 ) should be between 8-10 pounds. You may want to take a fish scale and a plastic grocery bag with you to get an idea of the puppy weight. Some people prefer the runt as they are usually more active where as the bigger puppies may be more laid back. The last picture on Miss Vaders 5 puppies of 12/27/2012 , 8898-375 is a weight chart on her 5 puppies to compare for each weeks weight up to 5 weeks. It can be printed out for a reference when you look at a puppy. A small Female usually stays small. But the present tallest dog in the world is a Male Great Dane, named George, and was the RUNT of the litter. George died in 2014. Estimating the final weight of a Male is very risky. I have had several runt Males that grew to be the biggest in their litter.

9) You can highlight this page, right click and copy it, Then open MS Word, right click and paste to word. Then you can highlight in Word to only print what you want which will save ink, Then the print can be referred to while looking at a puppy or the referenced web pictures. This makes it easier to find the reference pictures on the web page. You can also take the print out with you for a reference when you go look at a puppy, especially the weight chart.

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