The lab should be a medium-sized dog that should be athletic and have a balanced build. They shouldn't be overly muscled or too slender that they stray away from that athlete visualization. Males can be anywhere from 22 inches tall to 24 inches tall and weigh from 65 to 80 pounds. Bitches should be anywhere from 21 to 23 inches tall and weigh anywhere from 50 to 70 pounds.
The Labradors head should be well-developed and not have any excess skin like large flappy cheeks, large wrinkles under the eyes, or loose lips. The overall head should take on a wedge shape, and their muzzles should fall somewhere in the middle. They are not overly long and slender, nor short and very wide.
The lab's eyes should be on the larger side, and their gaze should be a friendly one. Their eyes can come in black or brown in yellow-colored labs or brown or hazel in chocolate-colored labs. Their eyelids should also have pigment, with black and yellow labs having black eyelids and brown eyelids for chocolates.
The tail is one of the breed's main features and is a pretty big consideration in the standard, which calls for an "otter-like" tail, which should be thicker at the base and tapper down gradually to the tip of the tail. The tail should also be of a medium length and look in proportion to the dog's body.
Faults in breeds might not matter to some, as it doesn't determine the dog's personality. But, if you are looking to get a lab from a breeder knowing what the faults are for a breed and recognizing them can help you pick a good breeder. As if a breeder's breeding stock is mostly out of standard for the breed, it could be a red flag.
The most common fault in the breed is straying from the size requirements. Dogs that are too large or too small might have a tough time completing the originally bred tasks and helps them remain distinct.
Again, the tail of a lab is a big deal. So, tails that curl are too long or too short are considered severe faults within the breed.
Any choppy movement in the dog's gait is a serious fault and is usually a sign that something in that individual is exactly right structurally, and something is disproportionate.
Pink or faded nose colors are also considered faults and undesirable in the breed.
And lastly, eyelids that are pink and don't have any pigment are another fault for the breed.
Color and patterns:
The lab comes in three main colors: yellow, black, and chocolate. A small white spot on the chest is acceptable on the black lab but is not considered desirable.
Labs do also come in other colors, such as red, which is actually an accepted color according to the breed standard as it is considered yellow, as opposed to red as it appears.
There are also silver labs out there. These labs are a variation of the chocolate color created when a chocolate lab is born with two recessive genes. Unlike the red lab, this color is not accepted within the standard and causes some controversy. As two recessive genes, especially when they are reproduced repeatedly, can cause some unintended and possibly negative consequences.
Lastly, labs also come in brindle. Again, this is a color that is not accepted by the breed standard. While a brindle pattern is possible in a purebred lab, it is rare and can sometimes point to the dog being of mixed breeds. Hence, the controversy over it.