Labradors are very intelligent dogs. They have a natural curiosity which they use to their advantage when training puppies. Labradors are also good at learning new things quickly and efficiently. Some of the most interesting facts about Labrador puppies:
• Labradors reach maturity between 8 months and 1 year of age (2 years in some areas).
• A Labrador puppy weighs approximately 2 pounds at birth and grows to be about 5 pounds by 6 months of age. By 12 months of age, the average weight of a Labrador pup is 7 pounds.
• At 3 weeks old, a Labrador puppy will weigh about 10 ounces. By 9 weeks, the average weight of a newborn Labrador is 15 ounces.
By 16 weeks, the average weight is 22 ounces and by 18 months it’s 30 ounces!
• A Labrador puppy will not become too big or too small until he reaches his adult size.
• The average life span of a Labrador is 14 years.
Ages and Stages in Labradors
The ages of Labs vary depending on where they live and what breeders do with them. Some labs are born smaller than others so there are different sizes in each litter.
They have different growth rates and some lab puppies grow faster than others. However, by looking at a lab’s physical features and the way it acts, you can tell what age it is, even if it is still fairly young. This information on Ages and Stages of Labrador puppies can be found in full here.
When looking at a litter of lab puppies, you will find that they are all different sizes and colors. They also behave differently from one another.
The first thing you should do upon bringing a new lab puppy home is to find out how old it is. As much as you might like to, you can’t play with it all day long, or else it will get tired easily and not want to play at all. Also, it will be easier to train a young lab.
A lab puppy’s first week is spent mostly sleeping and eating. During this time, it should not be handled too much, or it will get scared and start biting.
There is not much that can be done in this age range, but just letting it get used to its new environment. Be sure to keep the crate or pen clean at all times so that the puppy doesn’t mess itself.
Ages 1 to 3 Weeks
In the second week of its life, the lab starts to open its eyes and walk around. It is much more lively.
At this time, it can begin training. Teach it simple commands such as “sit” and “stay”. Of course, it won’t always obey you at first, but keep trying and it will eventually understand. This is also a great time to start socializing it. Take it outside in the yard and on short walks. Stop and talk to people, so it will get used to the sound of your voice.
Ages 3 to 6 Weeks
In the third week of its life, the lab can now walk and run, but it may still fall often. You should try to let it get its energy out by playing with it a lot.
But be careful, because it may nip or bite when playing. At this age it is extremely cute and will melt the hearts of everyone who sees it. Your heart will also be filled with joy as you see how your lab is growing up so fast.
Ages 6 Weeks to 3 Months
At six weeks of age, your lab will weigh about 2 pounds and will grow to 10 pounds in about 3 months time. During this period, your pup will become very active.
It should have its second set of shots before seven weeks and will require more exercise. At this time, it can begin learning simple tricks. It can also go on short walks, but must be kept on a leash at all times as it is still young and curious.
Ages 3 Months to 5 Months
During the fourth month of a lab’s life, it will grow rapidly, getting ready for its adult size. It should weigh between 50-70 pounds at this point.
It will also become more playful and active during this period. At five months of age, it can be taken to a groomer for the first time.
Ages 5 Months to 7 Months
The maximum size for a lab at this age is 70-80 pounds. The ears will also stand up by six months and will perk up even more when the pup is alert.
The eyes will change from their puppy color to that of an adult’s and the teeth will also become visible. A lot of growth takes place during the sixth month and your lab will look less like a puppy and more like a dog. Teeth will start to appear, and they will need to be brushed, or they will begin to decay.
Ages 7 Months to 9 Months
Between seven and eight months, your dog will grow rapidly again. It will probably put on 10 pounds or more, and its adult hair will begin to grow in, though the color may still change some when it is older.
It will also get a lot more active and playful. It will want to play for longer periods of time as well. At this age, it can learn more complicated tricks and you can even teach it some basic obedience commands, such as “sit” and “stay”.
Ages 9 Months to 11 Months
If your dog is male, it will probably begin to lift its leg and mark its territory by nine months. It may even try to mount your leg!
Female dogs usually start this behavior a bit later, between 10-11 months. Your lab will grow rapidly during this period and will weigh between 70-80 pounds. Its coat will also become very full at this point and the adult color should be apparent. It will begin to calm down a bit as it matures, but will still want to play.
Ages 11 Months to 12 Months
During the twelfth month, your lab will weigh between 80-90 pounds and will be very active. It should have its permanent adult teeth by this time.
It can probably learn most basic commands and can be trusted off leash, as long as it has been trained well. Take care with strong winds as its ears are still fragile at this age and a too-hard tug might tear the cartilage. Its bones are also still growing and are more prone to injury at this age. At fifteen months your lab is officially an adult and full grown. Its weight will probably settle between 85-95 pounds.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Hereditary myopathy in Labrador retrievers: a morphologic study (RE McKerrell, KG Braund – Veterinary Pathology, 1986 – journals.sagepub.com)
- An evidence-based decision assistance model for predicting training outcome in juvenile guide dogs (ND Harvey, PJ Craigon, SA Blythe, GCW England… – PloS one, 2017 – journals.plos.org)
- Diagnostic accuracy of canine scent detection in early-and late-stage lung and breast cancers (M McCulloch, T Jezierski, M Broffman… – Integrative cancer …, 2006 – journals.sagepub.com)
- Hereditary myopathy in Labrador Retrievers: clinical variations (RE McKerrell, KG Braund – Journal of Small Animal Practice, 1987 – Wiley Online Library)
- Age‐related decline in divided‐attention: From theoretical lab research to practical real‐life situations (S Fraser, L Bherer – Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive …, 2013 – Wiley Online Library)
- Improving puppy behavior using a new standardized socialization program (H Vaterlaws-Whiteside, A Hartmann – Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 2017 – Elsevier)
- The Labrador Handbook: The definitive guide to training and caring for your Labrador (P Mattinson – 2015 – books.google.com)