How To Know If Labrador Retriever Is Purebred: Owner’s Guide


You may be curious about your furry friend’s lineage if you’re a proud Labrador Retriever owner. You might have one question: “How to know if Labrador Retriever is purebred?”

In this article, we’ll dive into the world of Labradors and explore ways to determine if your dog is purebred.

We’ll also discuss the importance of knowing your Labrador’s pedigree, the differences between purebred and mixed-breed Labradors, and some fun facts about this beloved breed. So, let’s jump right in!

The History of Labrador Retrievers

Labrador Retrievers have a rich history that dates back to the early 19th century. They originated in Newfoundland, Canada, and were initially bred for their skills as working dogs, particularly in assisting fishermen.

Labradors have always been known for their intelligence, strength, and friendly demeanor, which has made them a favorite breed worldwide.

Labradors were introduced to the UK in the early 1800s, where they gained popularity among hunters and nobility. British breeders worked to refine the breed, which led to the establishment of the breed standards we know today.

As we explore how to tell if your dog is purebred, it’s essential to have a solid understanding of these breed standards.

Fun Fact #1: Labradors were originally called "St. John's dogs" or "Lesser Newfoundland dogs" before they were known as Labrador Retrievers.

Breed Standards for Purebred Labradors

To determine if your Labrador Retriever is purebred, it’s essential to understand the breed standards established by kennel clubs such as the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the United Kennel Club (UKC).

These standards outline the physical appearance and temperament expected of a purebred Labrador.

Physical Appearance

Purebred Labradors have distinct features that set them apart from other breeds. These include:

  • A strong, muscular build
  • A broad skull and powerful jaws
  • Medium-sized, expressive eyes that are usually brown or hazel
  • A thick, tapering “otter” tail covered in dense, short fur
  • A dense, weather-resistant double coat that comes in three main colors: black, yellow, and chocolate

Temperament and Personality

Labradors are known for their friendly, outgoing, and eager-to-please nature. They are intelligent, trainable, and excel in various activities such as hunting, agility, and search and rescue.

A purebred Labrador should be good-natured, adaptable, and sociable.

Now that you know the breed standards for Labradors, you might wonder, “How can I identify an original Labrador?”

The next section will discuss different methods to verify your dog’s purebred status.

To learn more about Labradors and their intelligence, check out our articles on how smart are Labrador Retrievers and how smart are Chocolate Labradors.

Fun Fact #2: Silver Labradors are a rare variation that has recently gained popularity. However, their purebred status remains controversial among some breed enthusiasts.

Checking for Purebred Status

So, you have a Labrador Retriever and want to determine if they’re purebred. Here are some methods you can use to verify their lineage:

Pedigree Papers

One of the most reliable ways to confirm your Labrador’s purebred status is by obtaining its pedigree papers. A pedigree is a document that outlines your dog’s family tree, typically for at least three generations.

Reputable breeders should provide you with these papers upon purchasing your dog.

DNA Testing

If pedigree papers aren’t available, you can opt for DNA testing. Companies like Embark and Wisdom Panel offer dog DNA tests that can help you determine your Labrador’s ancestry.

These tests can also provide insights into your dog’s health and potential genetic risks.

Consulting Breed Experts

Another way to determine if your Labrador is purebred is by consulting with breed experts, such as veterinarians, breeders, or experienced Labrador owners.

They can help assess your dog’s physical appearance and temperament, comparing them to the established breed standards.

Remember that while these methods can provide valuable insights, no method is foolproof. It’s important to focus on your dog’s overall health and well-being, regardless of its purebred status.

Why Does It Matter?

You might wonder why knowing if your Labrador Retriever is purebred is essential. Here are a couple of reasons:

Health Concerns

Purebred dogs, including Labradors, may be more prone to specific health issues due to their genetic makeup. Knowing your dog’s lineage can help you be more aware of potential health risks and take appropriate preventive measures.

For instance, Labradors are predisposed to conditions like hip and elbow dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, and obesity.

Behavioral Traits

Understanding your dog’s breed can help you better anticipate its behavior and temperament. This knowledge can assist in providing appropriate training, socialization, and care for your furry friend.

Labradors are known for their high energy levels, intelligence, and eagerness to please, which can be helpful when planning their exercise and mental stimulation routines.

Purebred vs. Mixed Breed Labradors: Pros and Cons

As you learn more about your Labrador Retriever’s pedigree, it’s essential to understand the differences between purebred and mixed-breed Labradors, along with their respective pros and cons.

Purebred Labradors:


  • Predictable physical characteristics and temperament
  • Easier to identify potential health concerns
  • May excel in breed-specific activities or competitions


  • Higher risk of breed-specific health issues due to a limited gene pool
  • May be more expensive to acquire from reputable breeders
  • Overemphasis on purebred status can lead to unethical breeding practices

Mixed Breed Labradors:


  • Greater genetic diversity, which can lead to fewer health issues
  • Unique appearance and personality traits
  • Often more readily available through adoption or rescue organizations


  • Unpredictable physical characteristics and temperament
  • Less likely to excel in breed-specific activities or competitions
  • May be more challenging to identify potential health concerns

Ultimately, whether you have a purebred or mixed breed Labrador, what matters most is providing them with a loving home and proper care.


Determining if your Labrador Retriever is purebred can be an exciting journey that helps you better understand their heritage, health, and personality.

You can gain valuable insights into your dog’s lineage by examining breed standards, pedigree papers, DNA testing, and consulting with experts.

However, it’s essential to remember that whether your Labrador is a purebred or mixed breed, their health, happiness, and well-being should always be your top priority.

Each dog is unique and deserves love, care, and attention, regardless of their pedigree. So, cherish your time with your furry companion and enjoy the wonderful bond you share.

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