Last Updated on November 11, 2023 by Linda Richard
It’s well-known that smaller dogs live longer. This can feel unfortunate if you want a lab. So, what is the black lab average life span, and how to extend it? Do these dogs have a “good” lifespan that’d make them a nice companion for you and your kids? Or are labs one of those breeds that pass away frustratingly soon?
Below, we’ll go over the black lab average life span, what affects it, how it compares to other breeds you may be wondering about, and how can you best extend your dog’s life.
Table of Contents
What Is The Black Lab Average Life Span?
Most kennel clubs cite 10 to 12 years as the average life expectancy of black labs. This falls pretty in line with what you might expect from a healthy breed of that size. Besides, if you feel that 12 years is not that long, keep in mind that this is just the average.
If you get a healthy pup from a reputable breeder and if you take good care of it, chances are that your lab will surpass the 12-year average by at least several more years. There are labs that live for as long as 20 years and some go even beyond that.
Is There A Difference In The Life Expectancy Of Black Labs Compared To Other Labs?
Not really. The only physical difference between black, yellow, and brown labs is their coat’s color. There are some differences in what each type is most commonly taken for too. Black labs are usually preferred for hunting, yellow labs – for guide dogs, and brown labs for pets. However, even that difference in their “profession” doesn’t lead to any statistical difference in each color’s life expectancy.
How Long Do Black Labs Live Compared To Other Popular Breeds?
Black labs and Labradors, in general, are the most popular pet dog breed in the world right now. However, they have quite a bit of competition too. So, how does a lab’s lifespan compare to that of the other popular pet breeds?
- French Bulldogs average 10 to 14 years
- German Shepherd Dogs live up to 9 to 13 years, although many GSDs are bred with poor health and their average is closer to 7 to 10 years
- Golden Retrievers have a lifespan of 10 to 12 years
- Bulldogs reach 8 to 10 years on average
- Poodles have an impressive average life expectancy of 12 to 15 years
- Beagles also reach 12 to 15 years on average
- Rottweilers live up to 8 to 10 years
- German Shorthaired Pointers have a great life expectancy of 12 to 14 years
- Dachshunds have a great average of 12 to 16 years
Who Is The Oldest Known Lab?
The famous Labrador Adjutant was born on 14 August 1936 and passed away on 20 November 1963. This makes for a total lifespan of 27 years and 3 months – more than twice the breed’s average life expectancy!
Of course, Adjutant is an exception to the rule and you can’t realistically hope your lab will live up o 25+ years. However, it’s not all that uncommon for labs to reach 20 years of age with the right care.
Health Problems That Can Affect The Black Lab Average Life Span
What is the average lifespan of a black lab depends on a lot of factors, but the biggest piece of the puzzle is the dog’s health. Some of them can be avoided with good care, others are a matter of finding a healthy pup from a reputable breeder that offers health certificates, and there’s always a bit of luck involved. But, to give you some idea s to what you should look out for, these are the most common health issues that may affect your lab’s life:
- Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
- Patellar Luxation
- Eyelid Entropion
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
- Hot spots
None of these are guaranteed and most of them can either be avoided or mitigated with the right care and breeding practices. So, this long list isn’t meant to dishearten you but just to give you an idea as to what you should watch out for. Labs are quite healthy overall, especially with the right care.
10 Tips For Helping Your Dog Surpass The Black Lab Average, Life Span
Labradors are quite a healthy dog breed which is a big part of why these dogs are so popular. However, that health is conditional on a lot of factors you’d want to pay attention to. Where you get your pup is a big part of it but so is how you raise and look after it. Here are the 10 main things to keep in mind:
- Find a good reputable breeder who’d give you a health certificate for your Labrador
- Avoid accidents such as knocks, falls, choking, electrocution, poisoning, and so on by pet-proofing your home
- Don’t skip your dog’s vaccinations and booster shots
- Two routine vet visits a year are strongly recommended even if your dog looks healthy
- Weekly dental hygiene is important as a lot of issues start from the mouth
- Neuter or spray your lab to not just be responsible but for the many health benefits too
- Always make sure your lab is well-hydrated, especially in the summer, on walks and hikes, and in the car
- Two 30-60 minute trips to the dog park a day are a must for any lab
- A few hours of yard time and/or indoor playtime are also a must
- Feed your lab well and with high-quality food
So, What Is The Black Lab Average Life Span, and What Does It Mean For You?
12 years may not sound like much but with good care and a bit of luck, you can easily have a lab in your life for up to 16, 18, or even 20 years! This is more than excellent for such a large breed as many other similarly-sized dogs will have significantly shorter lives. This is a huge reason why Labradors are such amazing family pets.
Read more about: Meet The Dudley Lab – A Yellow Labrador With Pink Nose