By Andrew Fischer

How much should a Labrador Retriever weigh?

In this article we will have a look on how much your Labrador should weigh. 

Labs may fluctuate in weight throughout their life. However, it’s quite important that they maintain an optimal weight according to their age. A healthy weight cuts the risk of developing various health issues and increases your Lab’s life expectancy by up to 30 months. You can see the optimal weight range in the tables below. 

Labrador weight depends on many factors like health, type, diet and age. On average adult male Labradors weigh around 70 lb and female Labradors weigh around 65 lb. 

Weight figures can be misleading

Even if two dogs weigh the same, one of them may be obese and unhealthy and the other may be physically fit. Why is that?

Muscle is much denser than fat. This means muscle occupies less volume in the body compared to fat. If you look at ten pounds of muscle and ten pounds of fat side by side, you will see that the fat takes up much more space.

So even though a dog with more muscle might weight more, they will be considered for more healthy than one that weighs less but has a lots of fat. That’s why you should take your dog’s appearance into consideration when deciding whether they’re healthy or not. Weight by itself is not sufficient.  

Ideal Labrador Weight

A healthy Labrador should have a slight waistline and be quite energetic.

Ribs shouldn’t be visible but you should be able to feel them if you press along your Lab’s sides. Ribs should be covered with a slight layer of fat. 

The abdominal tuck behind ribs should be visible. Waist and ribs should have a healthy proportion from above.

The neck shouldn’t be thick and fatty.

Labrador puppy weight table

Puppies have a lot of growing to do so it’s sometimes difficult to maintain their weight at a healthy level.

The first 6 months of a dog’s life is the time when their weight increases very quickly. During the first 6 months an average Labrador puppy will gain 2 pounds for each week of their life.

If you want to have a rough idea of how much a Labrador puppy should weigh at different stages of their life, you can find the answer in the table below. 

Age (in weeks) Weight
8
11 lb (5 kg)
9 (2 months)
13 lb (5,9 kg)
10
15 lb (6.8 kg)
11
17 lb (7.7 kg)
12
19 lb (8.6 kg)
13 (3 months)
21 lb (9.5 kg)
14
23 lb (10.4 kg)
15
25 lb (11.3 kg)
16
27 lb (12.2 kg)
17 (4 months)
28 lb (12.7 kg)
18
30 lb (13.6 kg)
19
32 lb (14.5 kg)
20
35 lb (15.9 kg)
21
37 lb (16.8 kg)
22 (5 months)
39 lb (17.7 kg)
23
41 lb (18.6 kg)
24
43 lb (19.5 kg)
25
45 lb (20.4)
26 (6 months)
46 lb (21 kg)

As you can see in the table above Labrador’s weight rapidly increases in the first 6 months of his life. During this period, the puppy will gain around 2 pounds each week. 

Only focusing on weight isn’t very reliable. You should also test your dog’s body condition and appearance to check not only if they’re at an optimal weight, but also at an optimal fat/muscle ratio.

A healthy Labrador puppy should have a slight waistline and you should be able to feel their ribs with minimal pressure.

Adult Male and Female Labrador weight chart

Bear in mind that the weights below are only indicative. A healthy fit dog will have much more muscles and therefore may weigh more than a fat one of similar body proportions.

Labrador Age Avg. Female Weight Avg. Male Weight
7 months
40-55 lb (18-25 kg)
50-60 lb (23-27 kg)
8 months
46-60 lb (21-27 kg)
53-64 lb (24-29 kg)
9 months
48-62 lb (22-28 kg)
55-68 lb (25-31 kg)
10 months
51-64 lb (23-29 kg)
60-73 lb (27-33 kg)
11 months
53-66 lb (24-30 kg)
62-75 lb (28-34 kg)
12 months
53-68 lb (24-31 kg)
62-77 lb (28-35 kg)
13 months
53-68 lb (24-31 kg)
64-77 lb (29-35 kg)
14 months
55-71 lb (25-32 kg)
64-79 lb (29-36 kg)

These ranges are influenced by several factors like age, health, activity levels,  gender and breed. If your dog falls within these ranges, then they probably have an optimal weight. 

If your Lab doesn’t fall within these ranges he can still be completely healthy. Some Labs may be taller (and thus heavier) or differently bred. The table above only shows an average range for an average Labrador. 

The best way to make sure whether your dog has a normal healthy weight is to get them checked by your veterinarian. He will be able to take all important factors into consideration before deciding whether your Lab has a normal weight or not. 

Labradors usually stop growing after they are about 15 months old. Changes after the 14th month are minimal, that’s why I didn’t continue the list.

If your Labrador isn’t falling into the average weight range even after a year, don’t worry since they’re not done growing until they are 2 years old. Some breed might not even reach the expected weight if they to a leaner breed or petite parents.

Factors Affecting Weight In Labradors

There are many factors that can influence your Lab’s healthy weight. These include size, breed, gender, age and health. With all these factors, it’s only natural that every dog has a different optimal weight levels.

Let’s have a look at how some of these factors impact the weight of your Labrador. 

Colour

Chocolate and white coat colour originate from England. Therefore, chocolate and white Labs are more likely to be show-bred than field-bred. Both of these colours usually have a higher than average weight.

Black and yellow Labradors  can be either field bred or show-bred. Those that are show-bred also tend to have a higher than average weight. In other words, the weight of an English black Lab will be at the higher end of the range and of an American black Lab will likely be at the lower range. 

Fox red Labradors are usually American and tend to be thinner in build and lighter in weight.

Breed

We also need to take into account that English and American Labs are very different.

ENGLISH LABS are show-bred. They usually have a stocky appearance and you can expect their weight to be around 62 – 70 lbs for a female and 70 – 80 lbs for a male. In other words they are likely to be at the upper end of the range in the table.

American Labs are field-bred. They are working dogs that tend to have a naturally lean body. American labs tend to weigh on the lower end of the spectrum.

Exercise

The activity level of your Labrador plays an important role in maintaining a healthy weight.

Less active dogs use fewer calories and are more likely to eat because they feel stressed and bored. 

Dogs that get enough exercise have a better capacity to burn up calories and stay slim. 

How to weigh a Labrador

If you try to put weight on a very thin dog or help your Labrador to lose some weight it’s a good idea to check your dog’s progress with regular weighing.

If you’ve tried weighing your Labrador on a regular bathroom scale before you probably know how tricky it can be. They tend to move around a lot which makes it almost impossible to accurately measure their weight.

If you try to weigh a small Labrador you can weigh yourself on a bathroom scale first and then weigh yourself again whilst holding your Labrador. Subtract the two numbers and you will have a pretty accurate estimate of your pup’s weight.

If you can afford it, you can also buy a scale specifically designed for weighing dogs. 

Another option you have is to weigh your Lab in a vet clinics. They usually have one scale directly in the waiting room.

Underweight Labs

Being too much underweight may have many negative health effects on your Labrador. Emaciation in Labs may substantially reduce their quality of life.

If you have a suspicion that your Lab might be seriously underweight, your vet should be the first port of call.

As a rough guide, Labrador puppies weigh around 2.2 lb (1 kg) for every week of their lives. A 18% variation around this number is normal. If your dog falls outside this range he may still be healthy. Anyway it’s recommended to check with your vet to put your mind at rest.

Common reasons why a Labrador might be underweight

  1. FEEDING ERRORS are a common problem. If you don’t provide your Lab with enough calories in general, he will not be able to cover his energy requirements. This happens especially to dog owners who have highly active dogs that burn more calories than they consume. 
  2. INTESTINAL PARASITES such as worms and Giardia feed on whatever your pup eats so they can easily starve your dog of nutrients.
  3. DISEASES are another possible cause of underweight in dogs. They can affect your Lab’s appetite and reduce their consumption. Since most illnesses usually fix themselves within few days, your pooch should regain his appetite quite quickly. If the loss of appetite continues, visit your vet.
  4. TUMORS are known to cause an increased calorie and protein requirement.
  5. WRONG DOG FOOD is another common cause of underweight in dogs. Food that is of poor quality or not suitable for the breed can lead to a loss in weight.

Obesity in Labs

Canine obesity is one of the fastest growing health concerns affecting dogs today and can occur in Labradors of all ages and types. It’s estimated that around 45% of dogs are overweight.

Labrador obesity is a quite common issue. Labradors are unfortunately amongst the breeds with the highest obesity rate. 

Labradors have a never-ending appetite that is caused by their POMC (Proopiomelanocortin) gene. This gene is altered in Labs and doesn’t correctly signal the dog when they’ve eaten enough. 

The first rule is to avoid overfeeding your Lab. 

If you’ve not been overfeeding your dog, a rapid gain in weight may be a cause of a health issue. If you notice a rapid weight gain, it’s best to consult your vet. He’ll be able to diagnose the specific health issue.

How to assess if your dog is overweight

One of the most reliable ways to assess if your Lab is overweight is to check their shape and body proportions.

While a Labrador’s ideal weight will vary between different subbreeds of Labradors, a healthy shape will be similar for most of them. 

If your Lab is overweight you may notice that their ribs cannot be easily felt if you press along their side. Overweight labs tend to have a thick and fatty neck and a rounder face. 

Also, they may get out of breath easily and be reluctant to play and go for walks.

 

Obesity in Labradors can lead to a ton of health issues

Overweight Labradors can suffer from the same health problems that overweight humans do, including heart disease, breathing difficulties and diabetes.

Obesity in dogs can reduce their quality of life and cost you a fortune in medical bills.

Obesity can lower your Lab’s life expectancy by up to 2.5 years.

Excessive body weight puts extreme stress on your Lab’s joints and can affect your dog’s risk of hip dysplasia, ligament rupture and arthritis.

All the excess weight can also negatively impact your Lab’s respiratory health. Breathing difficulties may make your dog lazy, which can lead to further weight gain.

Overweight Labs are also resilient to the effects of the hormone insulin. This makes it much more difficult for them to regulate blood sugar levels and can lead to canine diabetes.

Because Labradors have the POMC gene that doesn’t correctly signal when they’ve eaten enough, it’s your responsibility to keep them on their recommended diet. The first step you can do is to cut down any excess food and treats you’re giving your Lab. Also, give your dog more exercise. This will improve his cardiovascular health and strengthen his bones and muscle.

Changing your Lab’s diet may also help to achieve an optimal weight. Before reducing your Lab’s daily intake you should consult your veterinarian. He will take into account all factors and propose a weight loss plan for your dog.