If you’ve ever paid a visit to a breeder before or have yourself a few friends who happen to be dog owners themselves, then you may have gotten the recommendation before to get yourself a Miniature Labrador Retriever.
“Miniature Labrador Retriever?”, you probably asked yourself when you first heard about this. “I know all about the Labrador Retriever dog breed, but what’s this Miniature Labrador Retriever you’re telling me about? Does this dog breed really exist or is it purely made up just for marketing hype?”.
If you even asked around about the Miniature Labrador Retriever, you may have received conflicting answers about this dog. Some people may have told you that yes, it does indeed exist and they may even have one themselves at home, while other people may have told you that this specific title is purely marketing hype used by breeders to sell you a Labrador Retriever puppy for a price much higher than they go for in the market.
So, who should you believe?
If answers for such questions are what you’re looking for, then keep on reading as this article will cover everything you need to know about the Miniature Labrador Retriever from start to finish.
Miniature Labrador Retrievers – Are They Real? Or Are They Pure Marketing Hype?
So, the answer to the question you’ve all been waiting for, are Miniature Labrador Retrievers really a “thing”? Or are they pure marketing hype?
As we’ve talked about in several articles before on this website, such as this one about Miniature Siberian Huskies and this one about Miniature German Shepherds, have the word “Miniature” precede any type of dog breed out there, and you’re going to come across a huge amount of controversy almost every time.
Well, Miniature Labrador Retrievers do indeed exist, and you could very well get yourself one of these dogs if you do business with the right dog breeder that’s ethical with their practices and isn’t in it just to rip you off and make a quick buck.
So, while Miniature Labs do indeed exist and are really a “thing” in today’s world, this doesn’t mean that any dog breeder out there claiming to be selling you a Miniature Labrador is indeed doing that.
In an upcoming section below, we’ll be explaining why the majority of dog breeders out there that are claiming to have true Miniature Labrador Retrievers are shady.
What Does The American Kennel Club (AKC) Have To Say About Miniature Labrador Retrievers?
Even though Miniature Labrador Retrievers do indeed exist in the real world and are actively bred for by some breeders, the American Kennel Club (AKC) does not recognize these dogs to fall under the category of the Labrador Retriever breed in any way, shape or form, even when they grow into adulthood and reach their maximum size potential.
In order for a dog to be recognized as a Labrador Retriever dog, they should reach a certain height when adults (usually a minimum of 22 inches for males and a minimum of 21 inches for females), a height that Miniature Labrador Retrievers will never ever reach in their lifetimes due to the way they were bred.
The tallest point a Miniature Labrador Retriever will ever reach will still be 6 inches shorter than a normal Labrador Retriever dog.
What Distinguishes A Real Miniature Labrador Retriever From A Fake Miniature Labrador Retriever?
So, how can you tell whether or not the puppy you’re getting is really a true Miniature Labrador Retriever or not?
Unfortunately, there isn’t any easy way you can go about doing this, and a significant amount of research, questions asked by you to the breeder and document proof is going to be required if you want to be 100% certain you’re getting the real deal.
For example, one of the first questions you’re going to want to ask the breeder you’re dealing with is whether or not they can provide proof with documents that the Miniature Labrador Retriever puppy they want to sell you was indeed the product of two purebred Labrador Retriever parents.
If they’re able to do that, then that’s one huge step in verifying that the puppy you’re looking to get is indeed the real deal.
If they’re not able to do that, then there’s a huge risk that the “Miniature Labrador Retriever” puppy the breeder is trying to sell you was not a product of two purebred Labrador Retriever parents, which means you’re potentially being scammed.
Miniature Labs And Shady Breeders
Dog breeders that aren’t able to provide such proof may have crossbred one Labrador Retriever parent with another parent from another breed that just happens to be tiny in size, just so they can get a tiny sized puppy as a result and market it as a Miniature Labrador Retriever, while in reality it’s not.
Even worse off, some people would be completely convinced by a breeder’s “word” that they’re buying the real deal, only to find out as the years go by that the supposedly “Miniature Labrador Retriever puppy” they bought has grown up to be the size of a normal Labrador Retriever dog during adulthood, and realize that they’ve paid a premium fee for thin air when it’s way too late after many years have gone by and the breeder they’ve done business with is nowhere to be found.
If anyone has ever told you that a Miniature Labrador Retriever differs from a normal Labrador Retriever dog in anything other than size, be that personality, character, temperament, likes and dislikes, etc .. then you should know that that’s completely false.
Some people even go as far as claiming that Miniature Labrador Retrievers are a different dog breed altogether from Labrador Retriever dogs, which is just beyond ridiculous.
The only thing a Miniature Labrador Retriever differs from a regular Labrador Retriever dog that we’re all familiar with is size and nothing else but size, apart from the fact that Miniature Labrador Retrievers are more prone to suffer from health problems than normal Labrador Retrievers.
Miniature Labradors And Dwarfism
It’s widely believed that many Miniature Labradors, just like the case is for any dog from any breed out there labeled as “miniature”, have such limited growth because of a biological condition they have that’s referred to as “dwarfism”.
And, research shows that this dwarfism condition is caused either by the practice of inbreeding dogs or by certain gland defects in the body.
This is very useful for anyone looking to buy a Miniature Labrador Retriever to know because what you may think is an adorable puppy that’s worth every single cent of the premium fee you’re paying for them because of the fact that they’ll always stay small, may very well be a terrible investment because you may be paying top dollar for a puppy that has a medical condition that not only severely limits their growth potential, but also plagues them with all sorts of health problems that will show up after some time.
And, of course, shady breeders will never tell you any of this because they’re simply in it to make a quick buck and move on to the next target.
Do You Really Want A Puppy That Has Been Actively Bred To Be Tiny In Size?
A very important question you should be asking yourself before looking for a Miniature Labrador Retriever is, do you really want a puppy that has been deliberately bred to be tiny in size?
If your breeder is able to prove to you that the Miniature Labrador Retriever they want to sell you was born so tiny in size by rare chance after being born to two purebred, normal sized Labrador Retrievers parents, then that’s completely fine.
But, do you really want a puppy that was born to two parents that were selected by the breeder because of how abnormally tiny in size they are?
By selecting two undersized dogs of any breed and breeding for a Miniature puppy as a result, there’s a huge risk that the puppy will be born with a whole host of health problems that they’re going to suffer from throughout their lifetime, which, by the way, usually doesn’t last very long in such situations.
Labrador Retrievers are more prone than other dog breeds to suffer from specific health problems during their lifetimes, and these problems are going to be amplified if a dog was bred specifically for abnormally small size.
Here’s a list of some of the most common health and physical problems that Miniature Labrador Retrievers are very likely to noticeably suffer from during their lifetimes.
- Hip and elbow dysplasia
- Eye problems
- Very fragile bones
- Very weak muscular system that renders them unable to perform most physical activities without getting even minor injuries
Conclusion – Is A Miniature Labrador Retriever The Right Dog For Me?
To sum this entire article up, it’s really up to you to determine whether a Miniature Labrador Retriever is really the dog for you, or if it’s better for you to go with a normal Labrador Retriever dog that isn’t abnormally small in size.
If the problem is that you’ve got very limited space around the house and aren’t able to properly care for a dog the size of a fully grown Labrador Retriever at home, then it’s understandable that you’d think about going with a miniature version of this dog instead, given how much less space it needs and takes around the house.
However, you should always remember that before taking the decision to add a Miniature Labrador Retriever to your household, make sure you’re doing business with a reputable dog breeder that is able to provide you documents that prove the Miniature Labrador Retriever puppy you’re getting is indeed an offspring to two Labrador Retriever parents, and they have proper health clearances that can prove the puppy isn’t at a great risk of life-threatening health problems because they’ve been bred for tiny size.
If we were to have a final say in this, though, our advice would be for you to forget about looking for a Miniature Labrador Retriever and just look for a regular Labrador Retriever puppy that’ll grow old by your side, as that’s the way nature intended for these dogs to be.