A Breed Standard is essentially a ‘blueprint’ describing the desired traits of each breed of dog. The Labrador Breed Standard was first drawn up by the Kennel Council in 1916. It originated in the United Kingdom.
The Labrador Breed Standard describes the ideal characteristics, temperament, appearance, structure, type and movement, and ensures that the breed is fit for function with soundness essential.
The Standard guides breeders in their breeding programs to produce dogs that are considered correct and true to standard. A dog that does not meet the Breed Standard should not be bred from as this dog’s deviation from the standard means it is not contributing to the improvement of the labrador breed.
Breeders assess their young dogs and usually keep the dog they believe has the most correct structure. The puppy will be raised, shown, and re-assessed as an adult. If it meets the breed standard and has exceptional qualities that will contribute to the overall gene pool of the breed, this dog may be considered in the breeding program.
Some of the characteristics common to labradors can be found on the About Labradors page and within the Breed Standard.