When you look at a Lab, you should see a strongly built, medium-sized dog that is sound and athletic, with a stocky, muscular body. The well-built Labrador can hunt and retrieve waterfowl and upland game for hours on end under difficult conditions, and his character and quality are good enough that he can compete in the show ring, as well as be a family companion. Ideally neither too leggy nor too squat, adult males weigh 65 to 80 pounds and stand 22.5 to 24.5 inches at the withers (shoulder); females weigh 55 to 70 pounds and stand 21.5 to 23.5 inches. The characteristics that distinguish the Lab from other retrievers — and other dogs in general — are a short, dense, weather-resistant coat; otter tail; clean-cut head with broad back skull and moderate stop; and kind, friendly eyes.
There are three distinct types of Labrador Retrievers. The English type is a square-faced, thick-set dog with the Lab's distinctive otter tail. The American show dog type is taller and thinner with a longer face. The field trial type, bred strictly for working ability, can look like the English or American show type or may fall somewhere in between.