When looking at Labrador puppies, there is more to consider than simply choosing the color you like best, or finding the cutest one out of the bunch. Every dog has a certain standard that explains the characteristics that distinguishes it as a breed.
To ensure the Labrador puppies you are interested in, are healthy happy Labradors, here is a brief outline of the Lab standard to give you an idea of what to look for:
Head – Large head with broad skull and a defined stop.
Ears – A Labs ears rest close to the head, but far from the face. They are not heavy or large and are the perfect compliment to their features. Labrador puppies with healthy ears have light pink skin on the inside and there should be no foul odor, scabbing, etc.
Eyes – Labs have large round, dark or hazel eyes. The eyes have black rims, and have an alert, friendly and intelligent look. A Lab puppy’s eyes should be clear and not tearing.
Nose – A Labrador has a black, wide nose with distinguished nostrils. Nostrils should be free of mucus.
Mouth – Labrador’s have strong jaws that are equipped with two rows of white teeth that form a perfect scissor bite. The upper teeth slightly overlap the bottom.
Body – A Labrador is endowed with a strong chest that is well developed. His ribs are well sprung and his back is level. They are well proportioned and balanced.
Tail – A Lab has a medium sized tail that gradually tapers at the tip and is thick at the base. The tail looks smooth and is coated in fur. There should be no feathering. The tail is either carried in line with the back or slightly up. It should never hang down, or curl over the back..
Legs – Labrador have strong boned forelegs and well developed back legs with turned stifles. Both sets of legs are strong and straight. They do not turn out or in.
Feet – Labrador puppies have round and compact feet. Their pads are well developed and toes arches. Their feet are straight and do not turn in or out.
Gait – The Labrador should have a balanced and carefree walk. Puppies will naturally be awkward. However, you should still take the time to observe how Labrador puppies you are interested in move. You may notice that they favor one leg or paw. This could be a sign of defect.
Coat – A Labrador’s coat is his most distinctive feature. A Lab has two coats: the undercoat, which is unseen and water resistant, and the topcoat, which is dense, short and straight. The coat has not wave or curl and should feel rough when touched. When buying a puppy, make sure they have no bald patches.
Color – Labrador Puppies are available in three different, solid colors: Yellow, Chocolate and Black.
Skin – A Labrador should have smooth skin this is without blemishes, scabs or bumps. The skin may be pale pink, brown or spotted.
Since the Labrador puppies you are seeing may yet to show signs of the breed standard, make sure you take a look at their parents so you get an idea of what they will look like when they are older.