11 Reasons Labrador Retrievers Are the Perfect Family Dog

Written by Alanna Davis
Published: March 19, 2024
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Let’s face it, there’s a reason why the adorable Labrador Retriever was voted America’s favorite dog breed for three consecutive decades. This breed has no shortage of wonderful qualities that dog lovers just can’t get enough of. Individuals who have owned Labrador Retrievers will tell you straight away that these dogs truly live up to the hype. Let’s explore 11 reasons why Labrador Retrievers make the perfect family dogs!

1. Labrador Retrievers Are Outgoing and Friendly

best dog breeds - Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers are famously gentle-natured and kind.

©New Africa/Shutterstock.com

While some dog breeds aren’t big on meeting new people, the lovable Labrador Retriever makes friends wherever they go. This breed plays well with strangers and they fare well in high foot-traffic households. They have outgoing personalities and express friendly curiosity when interacting with new people for the first time.

2. Labrador Retrievers Are Utterly Devoted to Their Families

Boyfriend and Girlfriend Tease, Pet and Scratch Super Happy Doggy, Have Fun in the Stylish Living Room

On average, Labrador Retrievers usually live to be between 10 and 13 years old.


All dogs are loyal, but few can match up to the utter devotion that Labrador Retrievers give to their families. While some dog breeds are more aloof and independent, Labrador Retrievers live for their loved ones. These dogs enjoy few things more than snuggling, playing, and spending time with their owners. If you’re looking for a dog breed that thrives on companionship, look no further than the Labrador Retriever.

3. Labrador Retrievers Are Easy to Train

Dog, Dog Biscuit, Candy, Indulgence, Eating

The Labrador Retriever was voted America’s favorite dog breed for 31 years straight until 2022 when the French Bulldog took the crown.

©Chalabala/ via Getty Images

Some dogs are easier to train than others, and the Labrador Retriever is among the most straightforward of breeds. These dogs are quite intelligent and even new dog owners should be able to train them fully at home with no complications. In fact, many Labrador Retrievers look at training as an opportunity to further bond with their owners. These dogs thrive on positive reinforcement and encouragement, so be sure to affirm them verbally and give them treats as rewards along the way.

4. Labrador Retrievers Are Safe Around Young Children

Pet dogs

Many children love Labrador Retrievers because of their high energy levels.


While some dog breeds have tendencies to play rough or become protective, the Labrador Retriever is generally docile and sweet. In fact, one of the best qualities that this breed displays is its gentleness towards children and infants. Many families state that this attribute was their main selling point when deciding which dog breed to welcome into their home.

5. Labrador Retrievers Are Full of Life

Dog Park Series - Lab with Woman

Labrador Retrievers also help keep their owners active.

©4 PM production/Shutterstock.com

When it comes to Labrador Retrievers, one thing is certain: this breed loves to play! Although their high-energy levels can be exhausting for some owners, other people just can’t get enough of their lively spirit. Labrador Retrievers have high exercise needs which can be met by taking them on walks, playing games, or exploring their backyards.

6. Labrador Retrievers Are Low Maintenance

Happy dog in mountains

A full groom once every two months is fine as long as your Labrador Retriever isn’t participating in activities that get them very dirty during their day-to-day life.

©Chalabala/iStock via Getty Images

Unlike certain dog breeds that have long hair that is difficult to maintain, Labrador Retrievers are very easy to groom. Owners should brush the fur of their Labrador Retrievers about once per week. Bathing your lab can happen less frequently, and many groomers recommend a full wash about once every two months. Although this might seem too infrequent, it’s actually not good to bathe this breed too often as overwashing may contribute to a build-up of dandruff.

7. Labrador Retrievers Make Excellent Service Animals

Types of Service Dogs

You should never approach or pet a Labrador Retriever who is on duty.


As we stated above, Labrador Retrievers are friendly, docile, trainable, intelligent, and loyal. All of these qualities combine to create one of the breeds most well-suited for service dog life. Labrador Retrievers have found success becoming seeing-eye dogs, hunting companions, and emotional support animals. In fact, there are few roles that this breed can’t fill. If you’re looking for a service animal, the Labrador Retriever should definitely be in your consideration.

8. Labrador Retrievers Are Generally Healthy

Little cute girl with dog

Purchasing pet insurance can help protect the health and well-being of your Labrador Retriever.

©Vasyl Dolmatov/iStock via Getty Images

Unlike other dog breeds, the Labrador Retriever is regarded as healthy. This breed is not predisposed to a number of health conditions, and if properly taken care of, some can live into their teens. Despite this, prospective owners should be aware of certain health conditions that may affect their dogs. According to the American Kennel Club, “A condition called exercise-induced collapse (EIC) can occur in some young adult Labs; a DNA test allows breeders to identify carriers and plan breedings to avoid producing the disease. Like other large, deep-chested dogs, Labs can develop a life-threatening stomach condition called bloat. Owners should educate themselves about the symptoms that indicate this is occurring, and what to do if so.”

9. Labrador Retrievers Get along With Other Pets in the Home

Food for Labrador Retrievers

Families who enjoy visiting dog parks and other public spaces will be thrilled with how well Labrador Retrievers get along with other pets.


In addition to being very friendly and curious with humans, Labrador Retrievers also love to spend time with other animals. This breed is typically friendly to all animals, no matter how big or small. That being said, if you have birds, bunnies cats, or other dogs, there’s little concern that a Labrador Retriever won’t accept them. In fact, it’s very likely that your lab will be thrilled they have another companion to hang out with.

10. Labrador Retrievers Are Well Mannered

Yellow Labrador Retriever

An understimulated Labrador Retriever may become destructive.


Some dog breeds have a reputation for damaging furniture or items in the home. However, Labrador Retrievers will not display these qualities if properly trained and socialized from an early age. This typically happens when dogs aren’t given proper outlets or opportunities to burn out their high energy levels. As long as you make sure your dog has their own toys and meets their exercise goals, it’s unlikely that they’ll tear up your household.

11. Labrador Retrievers Adapt to Your Lifestyle

Woman hugs and holds her black labrador retriever dog in front of the Grand Teton National Park mountains in Jackson Wyoming as the dog licks her face

Labrador Retrievers have the ability to mesh well with a number of different family dynamics.


While some families are highly active and outdoorsy, others prefer the comfort of their own homes. Luckily, Labrador Retrievers often reflect their owners in behavior and personality. If you’re the type of person who enjoys hiking and staying active, your Labrador Retriever will be happy to join you in those endeavors. On the other hand, if you’re more the type to sit inside and curl up with a good book, you can count on your lab to cuddle up right next to you.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/gorodenkoff

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About the Author

Alanna is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering insects, animals, and travel. In addition to writing, she spends her time tutoring English and exploring the east end of Long Island. Prior to receiving her Bachelor's in Economics from Stony Brook University, Alanna spent much of her time studying entomology and insect biology.

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