10 Best Labrador Retriever Breeders in the USA (2023)

Labrador retrievers are one of the more popular breeds for a family pet because of their ideal temperament. They are also great choices for hunting or working dogs because of their high intelligence.

There are both American and English Labrador breeds to choose from when deciding on a companion. The difference between these lines falls in the reason you are looking for a puppy. American Labradors are typically the ones you would choose when you want a family pet, while English Labradors are bred for a purpose, including hunting or working tasks.

Finding a reputable breeder is essential, so you know that you will be getting a healthy animal that you will not have problems with years later. It is important to know what to look for in a breeder when deciding on your next purchase of a companion.

Some factors to consider when exploring labrador retriever breeders are:

  • Have complete health checks and health tests for all animals
  • Take exceptional care of the breeding animals and all litters
  • Are open to and can answer all questions
  • Provide complete support after purchase
  • They are well knowledgeable in the breed
  • They are very selective about where they place their puppies
  • Do not rehome the puppies until at least eight weeks of age

You must be satisfied with the breeder you choose to be certain that your puppy is coming from a place where they have been well-cared for. Make a list of questions or concerns you may have before visiting a potential breeder. This way, you are more equipped to make a solid decision on your companion.

Why Choose A Breeder?

You may question why you should choose a breeder rather than someone who just had a litter of puppies in their home. Why would you want to spend a great deal more money on a family pet that is AKC registered if you don’t want to breed or show them? There are numerous reasons why breeders are a better choice.

Puppies that you find on community listings may look healthy and are significantly cheaper, but they come with risks. These puppies may have their first immunization shots and a checkup from a local vet, but they will not have a complete DNA health check of the parents to ensure the absence of any genetic traits.

It is a roll of the dice when you choose puppies that do not come from proper bloodlines. You may get a dog that will cost you thousands of dollars in vet bills and even have a shorter life span. You may think that you are saving money by not using a breeder, but you could spend that money, and thousands more, later on down the road if your dog has health issues.

Breeders are very selective about the homes where the puppies go. They closely monitor their breeding females and will not overbreed them as many recreational owners may do with their pets. They will often take back your dog if, for any reason, you are unable to care for them, helping to keep the animals out of local shelters.

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We have selected the ten best labrador retriever breeders in the USA so you can compare their facilities or breeding practices and make an informed decision on where your next beloved pet will come from.

1. Michigan Elite Labradors

Operating in Wheeler, Michigan, they have been in business since 2014. With 13 breeding females and three males currently, these English Labrador litters are carefully planned and spaced accordingly. There is a waitlist for available puppies.

Available anytime before and after adoption, they care about where the puppies go. Once approved, you will belong to their Elite Family, which has an annual reunion each year of any past litters. It is a large labrador community that is welcoming.

A member of the Bred with HEART (Health, Education, Accountability, Responsibility, Tradition) American Kennel Club program, they employ health testing and provide a 2-year hip and elbow guarantee, as well as a lifetime health guarantee against hereditary labrador diseases.

2. Iowa Pointing Labs

Located in Knoxville, Iowa, they specialize in training and breeding both American and English Labrador retrievers. They offer four types of training for puppies and dogs, depending on age and need. Whether you want a hunting dog or a loyal companion, Iowa Pointing Labs can help get your pup prepared for you.

They include a 26-month guarantee on the purchase of your puppy or dog to ensure that you are entirely satisfied. All litters have both parents listed and the grandparents of each side to ensure high breeding standards.

Being an American Kennel Club Breeder of Merit, Iowa Pointing Labs has been maintaining exceptionally high standards for over 10 years. These puppies do sell quickly, so contacting them ahead of time with a preference for color, sex, and age range is recommended to get on the list for an upcoming litter.

3. Empress Labradors

Empress Labradors lies on 5.5 acres of land near the Stateline of Illinois and Wisconsin, but its English labrador puppies end up all over the United States. Focusing on only the three pure colors of labs, yellow, black, and chocolate, they will not have silver or dilute genes from their litters.

They are an American Kennel Club Breeder of Merit and also provide handling services. They include 12 males and seven breeding females, and all of the Empress labradors have complete health checks and screening. They do have puppies each year that are donated for service purposes.

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Visits are not available for puppies before five weeks of age, they must be vaccinated, and you can arrange one puppy playdate before they are placed in your home. Older dog visits are only set up ahead of time after securing a deposit.

4. Simpson’s Labrador Retrievers

Sitting on 10 acres in Red Bud, Illinois, Simpson’s Labrador Retrievers specialize in breeding American labs. These puppies fit well as family pets or as working dogs, available only in the original three colors of yellow, black, and chocolate.

Currently, there are 10 breeding females with one male stud. They do utilize studs from other AKC Registered kennels for breeding purposes. All animals have health clearance checks and have lifetime breeder support. Visits are not permitted until eight weeks of age to prevent any health complications.

Deposits are recommended for upcoming litters to secure a spot, and you need to fill out a questionnaire for eligibility.

5. Smoky Mtn Labradors

Smoky Mtn Labradors operates in Knoxville, Tennessee breeding some of the best English Labrador retrievers in the United States. With five breeding females and one sire, Moose, the litters are exceptional. Moose is an AKC Grand Champion and is available for stud purposes.

All puppies have a full health check and come with a guarantee covering hip and elbow problems. Visits are not currently available before pickup times, but they do offer frequent photo updates while you wait.

To continue their exceptional bloodlines, they keep one extraordinary puppy from each litter. There are limited spots each year, so deposits are essential to get on the list for upcoming litters.

6. Dawson Labs

Sitting on 1.5 acres just north of Kansas City in Claycomo, Missouri, Dawson Labs have been breeding English labs since 2008. With three females on-site, only two are of breeding age currently. They have one sire on site but have an offsite program of past puppies for later breeding purposes.

Enlisting in disease testing and health check practices ensure that all of their puppies will be free of numerous genetic disorders. The available health guarantee is only valid for puppies that continue their preset nutrition and vitamin regime set by Dawson Labs.

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Visits are welcome to become socialized with your puppy before you take them home. If you cannot care for your animal at any time after they leave, you are free to return them to Dawson Labs.

7. Hunters Point Kennel

Since 1992 in Marshalltown, Iowa, Hunters Point Kennel breeds yellow, chocolate, and black pointing labs on nine acres of land. With their 16 breeding females and seven males, there is a large variety to the bloodlines.

Coming with a 26-month health guarantee, they ensure you get the best hunting dog or family companion possible. You may keep a dog that shows a condition and are eligible for a replacement puppy of equal breeding value without cost with proof of sterilization. If you breed your dog before 24-months of age, the health guarantee is void.

Hunters Point Kennel enlists in several jump-start exercises for stimulation, temperament equalization, feeding training with pistols, and bird introduction over the course of several weeks.

8. Horizon Labradors

Residing in Hart County of northern Georgia, Horizon Labradors has been operating since 2001 on 60 acres. Their AKC labradors come from long lines of champions and are available in the traditional three colors of yellow, chocolate, and black.

They have 10 each of yellow and chocolate females and two black females that are for breeding. With four yellow and two chocolate males in their breeding program, this aids in diverse bloodlines for future litters.

All puppies come with a health guarantee, but for validity, they must be using NuVet Plus Vitamins until 26 months of age. If any Hip Dysplasia issues are apparent, you will be eligible for a replacement puppy of equal value or will have to pay the difference for a puppy of higher value.

9. Silver & Charcoal Kennels

Greenwood, Mississippi, is home to Silver & Charcoal Kennels, operating for over two decades, providing some of the most popular silver, charcoal, red, white, and champagne-colored labrador retrievers.

Six males and six females make up the breeding lines at Silver & Charcoal Kennels, giving an exceptional variety of colors for litters each year. Deposits are required for upcoming litters and sell out quite quickly due to their uncommon coloring.

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Each puppy comes with a 24-month health guarantee against genetic defects as long as the puppy has been taking NuVet vitamins during the first 24 months of age. This guarantee ensures that you will receive a replacement puppy at no cost if diagnostics show any health problems.

Yearly, they will donate one or two puppies to a veteran suffering from PTSD to help aid the transition home.

10. Snowy Pines White Labs

Snowy Pines White Labs sits on 120 acres in the Ozark Mountains. Here is the perfect space to breed and raise exceptional white English Labrador retrievers.

Using very attentive staff in a state-of-the-art facility, they breed and train puppies from their 22 females and five males of exceptional bloodlines. This ensures the best demeanor in your new companion from their litters.

Belonging to the Bred with Heart Breeding program of the American Kennel Club, you will be certain that your new friend will be healthy and all animals are appropriately taken care of. You can set up a time to visit the breeder anytime by making an appointment.

Final Thoughts

There are many breeders around the United States, so finding one you are comfortable with is important. If you are at a facility and do not feel at ease with their practices or methods, you can and should walk away. It is your right when deciding on a new family pet or working animal.

You will be sure to get a healthy animal that has been well taken care of when you choose a labrador retriever from one of these 10 breeders. These animals are treated as part of the family, and they truly care about where the puppies will be living as they grow. Getting a lab from a reputable breeder means that you will have peace of mind that your dog will be healthy now and for years to come.

These AKC registered animals are an investment for your family. By spending the time and money researching breeders and finding the right puppy for you, there will be no surprises later as your dog grows and matures.

FAQs

Who is the No 1 dog in Labrador Retriever? ›

The Labrador Retriever holds the top spot, and this friendly favorite has been No. 1 since 1991. Below, find ranked annual lists of AKC-recognized breeds.

How do I find the best Labrador puppy? ›

The puppy's coat should be 1 solid color, such as black, chocolate brown, or golden-yellow. The exception is a small patch of white on the chest. If the puppy is any other color, there's a good chance that it's a mixed breed pup.

What are the 3 types of Labrador Retrievers? ›

Strictly speaking, there are only three different types of Labrador color: black Labs, brown Labs (usually referred to as chocolate) and yellow Labs. In practice, there is a wide range of shades of yellow Labrador color, from palest cream to richest fox red.

Which breed of Lab is the smartest? ›

For example, black labs are highly regarded as a working dog, so as a result, are generally thought of as being the most intelligent and quick learners.

Which gender of Labrador is best? ›

Female Labrador Retrievers are generally quicker to train and housebreak, stick close by your side, and gentle around children. On the other hand, male Labrador Retrievers are more playful and goofy, more demanding of attention, and more social with other pets and people.

Which color Labrador is the calmest? ›

More yellow Labs have been bred to be therapy and service dogs, which means they have been bred for calmness.

How can you tell if a Labrador is good quality? ›

There are three main methods you can use to determine if your dog is a purebred Lab. These are a visual assessment, a DNA test, and pedigree papers. Visual assessments are the least accurate, as they only compare a dog to the official breed standard.

What color Lab is easiest to train? ›

All colors of Labradors are easy to train, but chocolate Labradors do have a reputation for being more disobedient than their yellow or black cousins. However, there is much debate among breeders and Lab owners about this reputation.

Which colour Labrador has the best temperament? ›

Yellow Labradors are well known for a variety of roles, but perhaps best of all for being Service Dogs. They are nice tempered, easy to train and full of love.

What color Labs are the best? ›

When it comes to the best labrador colour, the general rule among the shooting fraternity is that black is good, yellow acceptable, but chocolate is strictly for the show bench. Black has always been the dominant colour in the shooting field and in trials.

What is the best age to get a Lab? ›

8 weeks old is the ideal time to bring your puppy home, during the previous week at a push, but certainly no earlier. You may wish to bring your puppy home earlier than 8 weeks, but for all the reasons above, you should avoid this entirely.

What is a blockhead Labrador? ›

Block head Lab is a description applied to Labradors from conformation or show type breeding lines. They are also known as English Labs, although they don't have to come from England. Block head Labs have broader heads than dogs from working lines, with a shorter muzzle and more pronounced brow bone.

What is the most popular Lab breed? ›

For 2021, the Labrador retriever took the top spot, marking the sweet canine's 31st consecutive year of ranking first on the list. "The versatile, family-friendly Labrador Retriever has solidified itself as America's dog," Gina DiNardo, and executive secretary with the AKC, said in a statement.

Which is calmer Labrador or Golden Retriever? ›

The main difference between the Labrador Retriever vs the Golden Retriever is that the latter is slightly calmer in temperament. They will prefer a more tranquil and relaxed environment after daily exercise. The Labrador Retriever is much more energetic and boisterous.

Which Lab is the most hyper? ›

Chocolate Labs are the least common main color of Labrador Retriever, and the hardest to breed for. They have a reputation (not always deserved) of being the most rambunctious, hyper, and extremely energetic Lab.

What do Labs love the most? ›

If you are not sure what your Lab likes most, try one of the following 3 things most Labs love more than anything.
  • #1 – Eating. While almost all dogs like food (it's why positive reinforcement training works well), Labradors are definitely foodies. ...
  • #2 – Swimming. ...
  • #3 – Social Outings.

What is the rarest Lab breed? ›

What Is The Rarest Labrador Color? As Dudley Labradors are considered among Yellow Labradors, Chocolate Labradors are actually the rarest color Labradors, though they do occur almost as frequently as Yellow Labradors. Black Labradors are roughly twice as common as the other two colored Labradors.

What color Lab sheds least? ›

All colors of Labrador shed the same, whether chocolate, black or yellow. Coat color has no impact on the amount of shedding or grooming required. It's a complete myth that one particular color will shed more or less than another. All Labs have the same characteristics, no matter their coat color.

Are female Labs more aggressive? ›

Female Labs are not typically dominating or aggressive, like their male counterparts, but they only exhibit aggression towards other female dogs. Similarly, female Labradors will only bite other female dogs.

What color Labs have the least health problems? ›

New research found that chocolate-colored Labrador retrievers don't live as long as black or yellow Labs. They're also more prone to ear infections and skin diseases.

What color Lab lives the longest? ›

Chocolate Labrador Retrievers have a significantly shorter lifespan than their black and yellow counterparts, according to the results of the largest study ever done of the breed in the UK. The median lifespan for chocolate Labradors is just 10.7 years, 1.4 years shorter than black or yellow Labradors.

What color Lab gets the biggest? ›

Labs weigh 55 to 80lbs, and one UK study found that chocolate Labradors weighed, on average, 3lbs more than black and yellow Labradors. But the biggest determiners of a Labrador's size and looks are their sex, and whether they come from show or working lines.

Do Labradors know you love him? ›

Yes, your dog knows how much you love him! Dogs and humans have a very special relationship, where dogs have hijacked the human oxytocin bonding pathway normally reserved for our babies. When you stare at your dog, both your oxytocin levels go up, the same as when you pet them and play with them.

Are Labs good left alone? ›

Labradors can be left alone for no more than 4 hours as they can have separation anxiety. Lab puppies should be left for even less – one hour for each month of age – again up to 4 hours. Labs should certainly not be left for 8 hours or all day as they'll become destructive and anxious.

Which is better Labrador or Labrador retriever? ›

There is no real difference between Labrador and Labrador retriever. Both the terms refer to the same dog breed, officially known as Labrador retriever. People often use the short and handy term Labrador to call Labrador retrievers.

At what age does a labrador calm down? ›

Labs don't start “settling” down until sometime between two and four years of age. A few labradors are quiet and sedate from early puppyhood onward, and a few others are bouncing puppymaniacs until well into old age, but by and large, you can expect to see mental maturation happening between two and four years of age.

Are male or female Labradors more affectionate? ›

Personality. Both male and female Labs are loyal, gentle, kind, and intelligent. Of the few differences in the sexes, males are usually more playful and goofier, more attention-seeking, and more social with people and other pets. Some males may have a higher drive to please their owners.

What age can Labs be left alone? ›

Puppies under six months of age shouldnt be left alone for more than two hours. After six months, you can start leaving your dog on its own for longer amounts of time. Eventually, with proper training and the right home conditions, a Labrador can stay home alone for about eight hours.

What age are puppies most difficult? ›

Stage 5: Adolescence (6 – 18 months) This can be the most difficult time during a puppy's development – adolescence. Your cute little puppy is becoming a teenager and will start producing hormones which may result in changes in behaviour.

What age is a Lab a senior? ›

Labradors are a good average barometer of large breed dog. Their typical lifespan is about 12 years so they would enter their senior years at 8 to 9 years old.

What are the 2 types of Labrador Retrievers? ›

There are two types of Labradors, the English Labrador and the American Labrador. The English bred Lab comes from English bred stock. Its general appearance is different than the American bred Lab. The English bred Labs are heavier, thicker and blockier.

What two breeds make a Labrador? ›

The Labrador breed dates back to at least the 1830s, when St. John's water dogs bred by European settlers in Newfoundland, were first introduced to Britain from ships trading between Canada and Poole in Dorsetshire. These were then bred with British hunting dogs to create what became known as the Labrador Retriever.

Is American or English Lab better? ›

The differences between the two Labs goes deeper than height, coat and shape, however. Breeders' and breed clubs' consensus describes British Labs as calmer, quieter, softer and less active as opposed to the American Labs generally being more active with higher energy and greater drive.

What is the number one dog in 2022? ›

In 2021– 2022, there were an estimated 69 million American households with at least one dog. That's a lot of wagging tails! In terms of individual breeds, the Labrador Retriever is once again America's most popular dog.

What kind of Lab lives the longest? ›

Dogs with yellow or black coats live about 10 percent longer than their chocolate counterparts, according the study, published in Canine Genetics and Epidemiology on Monday. The median longevity for all labs is about 12 years, while the median age for chocolate labs was 10.7.

Is a lab smarter than a Golden Retriever? ›

They have some differences in terms of their intelligence, with Golden Retrievers being the fourth most intelligent breed and Labrador Retrievers the seventh most intelligent dogs. So think about your needs and how you want to train each dog before making a decision.

Do Labs or Goldens bark more? ›

No matter what breed of dog you get, you will need to get used to barking. The good news is that neither goldens or labs are very serious barkers, although goldens may have the slight edge here.

Do Labradors bark a lot? ›

The answer to the question “do Labrador Retrievers bark a lot?” is an emphatic no. Generally speaking, Labrador Retrievers aren't an especially “barky” breed of dog. Labs were bred to be gentle, easily socialized dogs. With the right training and reinforcement, Labrador Retriever barking is not a big issue.

Who is the most famous Labrador? ›

Police, military, rescue and detection dogs

Jake, a black Labrador who became a national canine hero after burrowing through "white-hot, smoking debris" in 2001 during the September 11 attacks in search of survivors at Ground Zero. He helped search for Hurricane Katrina victims in 2005.

What breed is number 1 dog? ›

But what do the statistics say? The American Kennel Club has used registration data to compile the list of 2021's most popular breeds. As always, the Labrador Retriever tops the list — this time for the 31st year!

Are there 2 types of Labradors? ›

Today the Labrador comes in two varieties: the American (tall and lanky) or English (short and stocky). Both American and English ancestries present all three color versions—black, blonde, and brown.

What is the rarest color of Lab? ›

Chocolate Labrador

The rarest of the three major Labrador colors, the Chocolate Lab is beautiful and adorable with a deep brown, chocolate-colored coat.

Which Labrador has the best temperament? ›

Yellow Labradors are well known for a variety of roles, but perhaps best of all for being Service Dogs. They are nice tempered, easy to train and full of love.

What is the rarest Lab dog? ›

What Is The Rarest Labrador Color? As Dudley Labradors are considered among Yellow Labradors, Chocolate Labradors are actually the rarest color Labradors, though they do occur almost as frequently as Yellow Labradors. Black Labradors are roughly twice as common as the other two colored Labradors.

Which color Lab is the most hyper? ›

Chocolate Labs are the least common main color of Labrador Retriever, and the hardest to breed for. They have a reputation (not always deserved) of being the most rambunctious, hyper, and extremely energetic Lab.

What is the prettiest Lab color? ›

When it comes to the best labrador colour, the general rule among the shooting fraternity is that black is good, yellow acceptable, but chocolate is strictly for the show bench. Black has always been the dominant colour in the shooting field and in trials.

Who is the most loving dog breed? ›

Here are 16 of the most affectionate, cuddly, human-loving dog breeds:
  • 01 of 16. Bulldogs. John Fedele/Getty Images. ...
  • 02 of 16. Labrador Retrievers. ...
  • 03 of 16. Brussels Griffon. ...
  • 04 of 16. Staffordshire and Pit Bull Terriers. ...
  • 05 of 16. Newfoundland. ...
  • 06 of 16. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. ...
  • 07 of 16. Chihuahuas. ...
  • 08 of 16. Bichon Frisé
21 Jun 2022

What are the top 3 dogs? ›

Top 10 Dog Breeds in America
  • #1: Labrador Retriever. The Lab makes its 30th straight appearance as the number one breed. ...
  • #2: French Bulldog. ...
  • #3: German Shepherd. ...
  • #4: Golden Retriever. ...
  • #5: Bulldog. ...
  • #6: Poodle. ...
  • #7: Beagle. ...
  • #8: Rottweiler.

How can I tell if my Lab is purebred? ›

Pedigree papers or a DNA test are the best way to tell if you have a purebred Labrador.

Why are black Labs the best? ›

Black Labrador Retrievers are known for their friendly, athletic, and outgoing personalities. They are loving and patient with family and strangers, and are full of playful energy and a joyful zest for life. Black Labs do great with children of all ages so long as they are properly socialized at an early age.

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