Golden labrador retriever with a friendly personality and tongue out.

Labrador Personality and Profile: Top Dog Breeds in NZ


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At the very top of the top dog breeds in New Zealand, Labrador Retrievers are a firm favourite with Kiwis across the country. And it’s easy to see why. That Labrador personality is impossible not to love. Plus, they’re a family-appropriate dog choice.

To celebrate the most popular dog in the country, we thought the faithful Labrador deserved a spotlight of their own. Let’s find out a little bit more about these amazing dogs.

Labrador personality and physical profile

Labrador Retrievers not only have amazing temperaments and fun personalities, but they’re attractive dogs too. Read on to find out a little bit more about what makes this dog breed so special. Both physically and personality-wise.

Just don’t start comparing their list of winning qualities to that of your partner.

The dog will win, hands (paws?) down.

part of labrador personality is the way they love to swim like this brown lab

The Labrador personality

Without a doubt, one of the main reasons that Labs are so popular is their incredible natures. The Labrador Retriever personality is coveted by all kinds of dog owners, even if a Lab isn’t the perfect match for their individual circumstances.


A Labrador Retriever is clever, friendly, goofy, and all-around loving. Generally, Labradors are quite high energy and tend to be spirited. In the puppy phase they might chew destructively if they’re not kept busy.

What most people love about their Labrador Retriever is that they’re not only useful as working dogs, but as family dogs too. They’re one of the kindest dog breeds out there, which is key if you have young children or babies.

Hint: if you do have a young family, a pet Lab might be a really good idea! Read our article to find out why children growing up with pets experience more benefits than kids who grow up without them.

Water loving

Part of the Labrador personality is their love for water. Anyone who has a Lab will attest to the fact that they’re in and out of swimming pools, lakes, and rivers before you’ve had a chance to blink.

Did you know that their coat is double-layered and water repellent? They’re basically custom-designed to adore swimming, even in cold weather. Originally, the Labrador’s job was to bring in fishing nets from cold waters in Newfoundland, so this makes sense.

Given our love of the coast, with so many of us residing nearby, our lifestyle suits Labs’ water-loving ways.


People also love how trainable their Labradors are. They’re an amazing pet if you want to teach them to do tricks, try some agility, or just be able to go to the beach with a dog who is well-behaved and listens.

Obviously, you’ll still need to put in the work to train your Labrador Retriever properly. But at least the genetics are in your favour, unlike some famously disobedient, hard-to-train breeds. Sorry, chow/beagle/bulldog owners…

never pet an assistance dog because they are working

Psst …Is reading about the Lab’s personality making you wonder which dog (or cat) YOU may be at heart? Find out what pet you are and share it with your friends, by clicking below:

The physical characteristics of a Labrador

In addition to the amazing Labrador personality, these dogs also have good looks going for them. There’s a reason that labs are often on the front of calendars and are consistently crowned the top dog breed in New Zealand. Whether they’re yellow, chocolate, or black, Labradors are undeniably beautiful.

Labradors are very active dogs. Because they were bred to work, they require exercise and stimulation to be happy and manageable. Labradors will love you forever if you take them on daily walks and indulge in a bit of fetch or tug of war whenever you have a spare 10 minutes. They thrive on activity and play.

However, they’re also prone to weight gain. You do have to be careful not to overfeed them, even when they attempt puppy-dog eyes. But luckily you can run off some of the calories with them during your daily exercise sessions.

A typical Labrador will measure around 55-62cm in height and weigh around 25-36kgs (read more on dog size here). Whether they’re male or female makes a difference with both.

They reach their adult height quite quickly; normally by 12 months old and have a typical lifespan of around 10-12 years.

Fun Labrador facts

You probably already knew Labradors are technically called Labrador Retrievers. And now you know that they’re practically half duck and half dog.

But did you know any of these other cool facts about the breed?

  • They have very gentle jaws. Supposedly, labs can hold an egg in their mouth without breaking it. This challenge went viral online and while a lot were successful, remember that the egg could be a choking hazard. Just rest assured that labs have very gentle mouths.
  • They’re fast! Usain Bolt better watch his back, because a Labrador’s top speed is around 48km/ph. Plus they have a lot of stamina, so they make great morning run buddies.
  • You can get more than one colour per litter. In fact, a litter of Labradors could have all three colours.  
beautiful chocolate labrador with a fun personality

A beautiful Labrador personality needs pet insurance

We loooove how goofy and high-spirited Labradors are. But it does come with some…challenges. Labradors are famed for eating things that they shouldn’t, and those vet bills can be hefty.

Why not check out our pet insurance? That way, if your Lab decides that a shoe would make a good lunch, you don’t have to worry about the cost of treatment.

The sooner you invest in a pet plan, the broader the range of cover they get – especially when they’re still a puppy.

Having dog insurance helps the answer to speedy, stress-free vet treatments be a ‘yes’. Get a quick quote below.

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