A fully grown miniature Lab is a smaller version of a standard Labrador Retriever. However, there is some controversy surrounding the breed. Some claim miniature Labs are a specialized breed, while others claim they are the product of selective breeding using two small Labrador parents, says Labrador Retriever Guide.com.
Standard Labradors are 21-24 inches in height measured at the withers, the first part of a dog's back just below the neck. Miniature labs, however, are about 6 inches shorter. But the difference ends there with one exception. As a breed, Labs suffer from eye, hip and other bone problems such as Canine Hip Dysplasia, in which the ball of the leg bone and socket of the hip do not exactly match. Miniature Labs often have these same problems but to a greater degree than their full-sized counterparts.
Miniature Labs are identical to the full-sized breeds in color, whether black, chocolate or yellow, and have the same temperament, making them affectionate and even-tempered. Either size Lab is an excellent family dog, claims Labrador Retriever Guide.com.
Known as working dogs, Labradors are used for hunting and tracking as well as being trained as helper dogs for the disabled. Miniature Labs have the advantage of a slighter smaller size, making them ideal for those living in smaller apartments or those who simply don't want a large dog.