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The Retriever is a type of gun dog that, as the name would suggest, retrieves fallen game for a hunter. Retrievers were trained to bring back the birds or other prey without damaging the corpse and have also been bred with soft mouths to further minimise potential damage. Some of the more famous Retriever Breeds are the Poodle, Golden Retriever and the Labrador Retriever. These dogs tend to be of a medium to large size and come in a range of different colors, shapes and coat styles. Today Retrievers are used as guide and assistance dogs as well as beloved family pets.


Retrievers are loyal dogs who are protective of their owner and affectionate towards their families. They are highly intelligent and eager to please which makes them quite easy to train. They are also highly obedient and good-natured. Retrievers, once socialized, bond well with children and other dogs and pets making them prized family pets. Whilst they make good watch dogs, often barking at strangers, their sociable nature makes them poor guard dogs, despite their strength and athleticism.

  • Height, Weight

    Height: Dogs 22-24 inches (56-61cm) Bitches 21-23 inches (53-58cm)

    Weight: Dogs 60-75 pounds (27-34kg) Bitches 55-70 pounds (25-32kg)

  • Health Problems

    The Retriever can be prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, PRA and eye disorders.

  • Living Conditions

    Can be apartment dogs, but are much more suited to larger households that include an average sized yard or garden.

  • Exercise

    The Retriever is very athletic and needs a lot of attention and exercise on a daily basis. Around two hours of solid exercise each day should be enough for the energetic dog. Exercise can range from a long walk to a jog or a run. Retrievers will also enjoy time off-leash to play retrieving games such as fetch.

  • Life Expectancy

    About 10-12 years on average. In some cases Labs can live up to 15 years.

  • Litter Size

    7-12 puppies. 8 puppies on average.

  • Grooming

    The Retriever's coat is of short to medium length and requires no trimming. Brushing the coat once a week should suffice and keep it in top condition. The coat requires very low maintenance although it can have moderate shedding when moulting.

  • Group

    Gun Dog, AKC Sporting

  • Recognition


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