Labradors are a well-balanced and versatile breed, adaptable to a wide range of functions as well as making very good pets. As a rule they are not excessively prone to being territorial, pining, insecurity, aggression, destructiveness, hypersensitivity, or other difficult traits which sometimes manifest in a variety of breeds, and as the name suggests, they are excellent retrievers.
Labradors have a reputation as a very mellow breed and an excellent family dog (including a good reputation with children of all ages and other animals), but some lines (particularly those that have continued to be bred specifically for their skills at working in the field rather than for their appearance) are particularly fast and athletic. Their fun-loving boisterousness and lack of fear may require training and firm handling at times to ensure it does not get out of hand – an uncontrolled adult can be quite problematic.
The steady temperament of Labs and their ability to learn make them an ideal breed for search and rescue, detection, and therapy work. Their primary working role in the field continues to be that of a hunting retriever.