Labrador Lifespan Facts-How Long Do Labs Live?

Labradors are popular dog breeds. They are the perfect addition to active families. When you first welcome labrador puppies to your home, their life expectancy is the last thing on your mind. So how long do labs live?

The average labrador retriever lifespan ranges between 10-12 years. Gene pool, care, and other factors can contribute to the lifespan. However, you have to consider the lifespan of your pup and the potential issues that can impact its health. Thus it becomes imperative to know how long do labs live eventually!

Stages of Labrador Puppies Development

Let’s first understand the development stages of an average labrador. Just like humans, labs also go through different stages of development that impact their body, mind, and other aspects.

Labrador Development Newborns

When a lab is born, it cannot see or hear. So during the initial days, they depend entirely on their mother. Then, after the first two weeks, they start seeing and hearing things. And they also begin interacting more with their mother, surrounding, and others.

After four weeks, the pups socialize further and get used to humans. It would be best never to adopt a dog younger than eight weeks. They must live with their mother and siblings to learn vital skills like interacting with other dogs.

labrador retriever lifespan
how long do labs live

Labrador Puppyhood

Between 8 to 12 weeks, labs will start going to their new homes. While it is an exciting time, it can also overwhelm them.

Begin basic training at around three months of age while using positive reinforcement. Remember that puppyhood can last until your pet is between one and two years of age. You must use this time to discipline your dog with different training methods.


Labs between the age of one and two years are considered adult dogs. So pups will stop growing further in height at one year old.

But they might continue filling until they reach the age of two. These are the two primary years of your dog’s life. They should use this time to stay fit by playing around and walking.

Senior Years

Labs are considered senior dogs after crossing the age of seven years. They might continue to remain healthy and active but can start having health issues like arthritis, hearing problems, and others.

Adult dogs are at an 80% risk of getting arthritis. While they can continue living happy lives, they can have trouble exercising, walking, or jumping. Give them senior wet food fit for their age.

Most Common Causes of Labrador Retriever Death

To know how long a Labrador dog lives, you should continuously take your senior lab to a veterinarian for regular checkups. Some of the most common causes of a lab’s death are as follows.


Unfortunately, when it comes to labs, tumors are prevalent. Female Labradors are more susceptible to tumors than a male labrador, with skin cancer on the legs and chest being standard. While tumors are not always cancerous, there are chances that your senior lab can start having lumps as they start aging.

Regularly consulting a vet is essential as they can help with the proper treatment. Unfortunately, cancer is one of the most common causes of death in labs, so you must be careful in these cases.


Labs are very prone to developing arthritis as they start aging. Arthritis can cause a lot of pain in labs. Though it does not cause death, it impacts their movement.

During the initial stages, you can treat arthritis using painkillers and supplements (consult a veterinarian). However, if it starts impacting the dog’s life where they cannot function their legs, the owner and the veterinarian can consider euthanasia.

labrador life expectancy
labrador retriever life expectancy

Heart Disease

Heart disease can result from multiple factors, including your pet’s diet, genetics, weight, etc. Though you can maintain a balanced diet to reduce the risk, eliminating it is impossible. You should take your pup to a veterinarian immediately if you notice symptoms like coughing, breathlessness, or tiredness.

Kidney Failure

Acute and chronic kidney failure is also highly prevalent in Labradors. Acute kidney failures occur when the dog consumes something toxic, resulting in the shutting down of its kidney.

Chronic kidney failure happens with time and can result from poor dental hygiene. You can reduce the risk of kidney failure by ensuring proper dental hygiene and dog-proofing your accommodation.

Joint and Hip Issues Due to Overfeeding

Labs are highly susceptible to a condition called hip dysplasia. It is a degenerative joint disease that affects over 5% of the complete Labradors. The additional weight that labs have also severely impacts their joints. Even causes elbow dysplasia.

Hip dysplasia occurs because of age or weight, and the labs can find it difficult to run or play once it happens. Therefore, it is critical to maintain the fitness of your lab.


Diabetes among puppies is rare, but it can happen. Therefore, it is always best to get complete details about the pup’s health history from the breeders, as this can be inherited.

Similar to humans, diabetes can result in many further implications. It all comes down to the balance between insulin and glucose. In addition, your dog’s diet, genetics, weight, and inflammatory skin can increase the chances of diabetes.

Bloating and Flipped Stomach

Labs love their food and will only stop eating if you make them. This puts them at severe risk of gastric issues. Overeating results in excess gas in the stomach resulting in bloating. A swollen stomach can impact the nearby blood vessels and tissues.

Moreover, it can block blood and oxygen from the other parts of the body. So, you’ll need to take extra care of what your dog consumes throughout the day.

Labrador Retriever Lifespan Compare to Other Dogs

So how long can a Labrador live, and how does the labrador lifespan compare to other dogs? Small animals have a shorter life span than larger animals in the animal kingdom. But this is the reverse when it comes to specific animals and dogs.

A large dog breed like the Labrador grow faster than smaller dogs. So breeding for large dogs can be the reason behind the shorter lifespan. While Labradors have a shorter lifespan than other smaller dog breeds, they enjoy a similar lifespan to other large breed dogs.

Effect of Inherited Diseases on Labrador Retriever Life Span

While Labradors are usually healthy, they often can inherit diseases in their breed. This can impact their overall lifespan and every dog’s health during its complete lifetime.

Diseases like hip dysplasia can be inherited, and thus before breeding, you should go to a veterinarian and conduct tests to understand your pet’s health. Many diseases are more prevalent in Labradors than in any other breeds.

For example, cancer is one disease that has a higher occurrence in Labradors than in other dogs. This is primarily attributed to the inheritance of cancerous cells.

Labrador Retriever Lifespan and Inbreeding

Like any other dog breed, many genetic diseases are prevalent in labs. This is owing to breeding between closely related dogs. A recent study shows that the average coefficient of inbreeding within labs is over 6%. But the level at which we start seeing adverse effects of inbreeding is 5%.

Another major factor that impacts the lifespan of dogs is their size. And labs being bigger, have a slight disadvantage compared to other dogs.

Effect of Size on Labrador’s Lifespan

Though there are exceptions, little dogs usually live longer than bigger dogs. So, in general, the lifespan of dogs depends on their size. Therefore, size is a critical limiting factor in determining the lifespan of your lab. So, in general, an average size lab will have a relatively shorter lifespan than a toy poodle.

So How Long Do Labs Live If It Is Purebred?

For pedigree dogs, the upper limit of their lifespan is very limited to an extent. A recent study published in The Veterinary Journal shows that purebred labs live 1.2 years less than mongrels. Note that these are averages and might be different in each case.

Pedigree Dogs Lifespan Comparison

Pedigree dogs have different lifespans across breeds. Their lifespan doesn’t only vary in size, but there are other critical factors.

Dogs of the same size but different breeds will also have different lifespans. Many small dogs have hormone problems and issues in their central nervous system, resulting in a shorter lifespan. The conformation in labs is pretty healthy and thus positively impacts the lifespan.

how long do labrador retrievers live
yellow lab lifespan

Impact of Coat Color on Lifespan

Here you learn the answer to how long do yellow labs live or how long do lab mixes live? For a long time, there was a perception that coat color influences the lifespan of the labs. It was a common belief that inherited diseases impacted particular colors or types of labs.

However many recent studies prove that the life expectancy of the yellow and black lab is higher than that of chocolate labs. Chocolate coat labradors are more prone to skin conditions and hearing issues.

Overfeeding Decreases Labrador Retriever Lifespan

Obesity and an increase in the size of the labs is a common reason behind early labrador death. This is directly linked to overfeeding by the pet parent. Labs are friendly and greedy dogs who like having multiple treats by persuading their pet parents.

Many lab parents find it challenging to understand the amount of food their dog should eat. Furthermore, they need to be made aware of their overweight dog. Check your pet’s weight and monitor their diet. It would be best if you didn’t feed your dog as per the food packets’ guidelines. Instead, prepare a diet for your dog as per its nutritional requirements.

yellow lab life expectancy
labrador lifespan

How to Maintain Quality Of Life?

No one wants to lose their furry pets. But to ensure they have a happy, healthy, and prolonged life, you should take proper care of them as dog parents. Several things are within your control, which can help reduce the risk and increase your lab’s lifespan.

1. Choose a Reputable Breeder

When you are going to get a lab, there is no doubt that you will be excited. But in this excitement, many people forget to take care of one crucial step. Only choose the right breeder with information about any potential inherited diseases your pet might have.

Regarding labs, they can inherit many conditions like eye issues, Cushing’s disease, heart problems, and muscle diseases. When you go to a breeder, try to get all the available information, including the dog’s health history and the possibility of any diseases.

Best Labrador Breeders in Maryland, Texas, Colorado, and California right here.

2. Maintain Your Dog’s Ideal Healthy Weight

As highlighted, one major factor that directly impacts the life expectancy of a lab is its size. You should continuously monitor and overview their diet so your fluffy partner can maintain the ideal weight.

You can consult a veterinarian to find the right balance for your lab’s diet and get a proper diet routine. Moreover, choosing an age-appropriate diet is critical as the lab’s body needs the correct nutritional values.

Like humans, a labrador retriever needs all the nutrition to stay healthy. However, when it comes to Labradors, less is more. You can feed them once daily, satisfying their body’s nutritional requirements.

3. Exercise — But Don’t Overdo It!

Like humans, dogs also need to exercise regularly to stay fit, healthy, and active. However, exercising regularly is critical to monitor your lab’s weight.

Be careful not to overdo it. There are many instances where too many exercises result in additional strain on their joints. Labs are bigger and hence are at a higher risk of harming themselves while exercising because of their weight.

There are many cases where young pups are born with EIC or exercise-induced collapse.

4. Add Supplements to a Healthy Diet

Unfortunately, while the formulated dog food usually contains everything their body might require, nutrition is not that simple. Every dog is different, and their nutritional requirements might be complex. Therefore, you should use a supplement to approach their condition from all angles.

It will help in ensuring that your dog gets everything that you need. Moreover, it will prevent your pet from any health disorders while keeping them healthy and happy.

life expectancy of labrador
lab life expectancy

5. Vaccination

Vaccinating your pet should be of the utmost importance to you. Unfortunately, across the globe, many serious diseases still result in the death of adult dogs and lab puppies. Therefore, keeping your dogs unvaccinated can adversely impact them and make them susceptible to severe conditions.

These infections can even lead to the death of dogs and affect the health of labs, contributing to a lower lifespan. So no matter where you live, not getting your pup vaccinated can also result in a shorter lifespan. However, it is one of the factors within your control, and thus you should take action soon.

6. Neutering

There was a common perception that neutering helps increase lab life expectancy. Moreover, there is a different school of thought that dogs who get neutered have a higher death rate. Recent scientific studies have shown that neutering results in significant health issues like cancer.

It can result in the death of the lab, thus cutting short the long life of your dog. You must ensure that you train and control your dog generously, so they live their lives to the fullest. A proper recall mechanism is something that can help them extensively.

Moreover, you should ensure they respond to you every time you call them, no matter the distractions. The concept of neutering and its impact on Labrador’s life expectancy is still unclear, owing to various schools of thought. While it reduces the chances of unwanted pregnancy, particularly in young dogs, it can adversely impact their lives.

life expectancy of labrador retriever
life expectancy of a labrador


Can A Labrador Retriever Live To 15?

Though the chances of a lab living to 15 are difficult as labs usually have a lower average life expectancy, it is still possible in some cases.

What matters most is that you must ensure that you provide them with a healthy diet and follow the tips above to prolong their lives as much as possible.

how long does a labrador retriever live?

If you want to know how long can a labrador retriever live, labs under good conditions can live between 10 to 14 years. The average lifespan of Labradors is 12 years.

But that depends on many factors, including their health condition, size, excess weight, and genes. In addition, some dogs might have musculoskeletal disorders that can reduce their lifespan.

What Is The Most Common Cause Of Death In Labrador Retrievers?

The most common causes of death in labrador retrievers are cancer and musculoskeletal disorders. There are many other possible causes of death in dogs, like kidney disease, heart disease, central nervous system disease, parvovirus, and trauma. Cancer is prevalent in labs and the leading cause of their death.

At What Age Is A Labrador Considered Old?

A Labrador is considered old on average at the age of seven years. While they remain healthy and active in subsequent years, they might exhibit health issues like hearing, arthritis, or tumors. Regular health checkups of your lab can ensure that they stay in their best condition without health problems.

How Long Do Black Labs Live?

The good news is that the black Labrador’s average lifespan is between 10 and 12 years. Black labs are healthier and have fewer major health issues than other breeds like yellow Labradors. However, while black labradors are healthier, chocolate labradors are prone to major health scares.

How Long Do Pitbull Labs Live?

On average, pitbull lab mixes live between 10 to 15 years. However, they are also big and thus prone to health conditions that affect medium-sized dogs.

Are Labs Vulnerable To Any Genetic Disorders?

Like other living beings, labs are also vulnerable to genetic disorders. For example, many large breeds are prone to Hip Dysplasia, which is highly common among labs.

Moreover, young pups also can get EIC or exercise-induced collapse, which is also genetic. The best way to avoid this is by thorough investigation with the breeder and routine visits to a vet.

Who Is The Oldest Known Lab?

While the average lifespan of labs is around 12 years, the oldest Labrador in history is known to have lived for 27 years and three months.

Adjutant, born on 14 August 1936 and died on 20 November 1963, is the oldest known lab. The lab lived in England, United Kingdom, and is a Guinness World Record holder. He is one of the oldest dog when it comes to labs.

What Color Lab Lives The Longest?

If you want to know how long do yellow labs live or what color lab lives the longest, then you should understand that the median age of death of a chocolate labrador is 10.7 years. It is 1.4 years shorter than the median lifespan of a yellow or black lab. Thus, a yellow or black lab lives the longest.

Do Female Labs Live Longer?

The labrador lifespan male vs. female is quite close and similar, but with few exceptions. Both genders live for around 12 years of average years. But some actions, like showing affection, following their heat cycle, and others, can help you extend the female lab’s lifespan.

Final Thoughts on lab dog lifespan

It can always be challenging to say that final goodbye to your lab. The best reward and consolation for you will be the best life you can give your labrador. Use the tips to assist your lab in living a healthier and longer life with the best health conditions.

Looking after your lab and knowing common health problems they might face can help you provide them with the best care and veterinary medicine on time.

Moreover, tracking signs and symptoms can also ensure that you can diagnose issues before things get worse. So follow these tips for your lab to have a long and healthy life expectancy.

Author Profile

Sarah Sheikh
Sarah SheikhProduct Reviews Specialist and Cofounder
Labradors have an extraordinary capacity for love and companionship, and my mission is to help you unlock their full potential. Hi there! I'm Sarah, a proud contributor to Labradorandyou, the go-to online resource for all Labrador Retriever enthusiasts. As a lifelong owner and avid admirer of these remarkable dogs, I bring a wealth of knowledge and hands-on experience to our readers.

One of my strongest beliefs is in the power of positive reinforcement training. I'm truly passionate about helping our readers build strong, positive relationships with their Labradors. Whether you're a first-time owner or a seasoned Labrador enthusiast, I aim to provide you with the resources and guidance to cultivate a bond that will endure a lifetime.