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Breed Standard of Retriever (Labrador)

FCI Standard for Labrador Retrievers

The Federation Cynologique Internationale is the World Canine Organization.  It includes 79 members and contract partners (one member per country) that each issue their own pedigree and train their own judges.  (The Philippines is a member country). 

The FCI makes sure that the pedigrees and judges are mutually recognized by all the FCI members.

The FCI recognizes 331 breeds.  Each of them is the "property" of a specific country.  The owner countries of the breeds write the standard of these breeds (description of the ideal type of the breed), in co-operation with the Standards and Scientific Commissions of the FCI, and the translation and updating are carried out by the FCI.  These standards are in fact the reference which the judges base themselves when judging in shows held in the FCI member countries.

Every member country conducts international shows as well as working trials, results are sent to the FCI office where they are input into computers.  When a dog has been awarded a certain number of awards, it can receive the title of International Beauty or Working Champion and titles are confirmed by the FCI.

In addition, via the national canine organization and the FCI, every breeder can ask for international protection of his/her kennel name.

Eventually, the FCI keeps a list of all the judges appointed by its different members.

The owner country of the Labrador Retriever is the United Kingdom.  As such the FCI follows the breed standard of the The Kennel Club.  This standard was approved by the FCI general assembly on the 23rd & 24th of June 1987 in Jerusalem.


General Appearance:  Strongly built, short-coupled, very active;  broad in skull;  broad and deep through chest and ribs;  broad and strong over loins and hindquarters.


Characteristics:  Good-tempered, very agile.  Excellent nose, soft mouth;  keen love of water.  Adaptable devoted companion.


Temperament:  Intelligent, keen and biddable, with a strong will to please.  Kindly nature, with no trace of aggression or undue shyness.


Head and Skull: Skull broad with defined stop;  clean-cut without fleshy cheeks.  Jaws of medium length, powerful  not snipy.  Nose wide, nostrils well developed.


Eyes:  Medium size, expressing intelligence and good temper, brown or hazel.


Ears:  Not large or heavy, hanging close to head and set rather far back.


Mouth:  Jaws and teeth strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.


Neck:  Clean, strong, powerful, set into well placed shoulders.


Forequarters:  Shoulders long and sloping.  Forelegs well boned and straight from elbow to ground when viewed from either front or side.


Body:  Chest of good width and depth, with well sprung barrel ribs.  Level top line.  Loins wide, short-coupled and strong.


Hindquarters:  Well developed, not sloping to tail;  well turned stifle.  Hocks well let down, cow hocks highly undesirable.


Feet:  Round, compact;  well arched toes and well developed pads.


Tail:  Distinctive feature, very thick towards base, gradually tapering towards tip, medium length, free from feathering, but clothed thickly all round with short, thick, dense coat, thus giving 'rounded' appearance described as 'Otter' tail.  May be carried gaily but should not curl over back.


Gait/Movement: Free, covering adequate ground;  straight and true in front and rear.


Coat: Distinctive feature, short-dense without wave or feathering, giving fairly hard feel to the touch;  weather-resistant undercoat.


Colour:  Wholly black, yellow or liver/chocolate.  Yellows range from light cream to red fox.  Small white spot on chest permissible.


Size:  Ideal height at withers;  dogs 56-57 cms (22-221/2ins);  bitches 54-56 cms (211/2ins).


Faults:  Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.


Note:  Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.


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