Click here for some history and characteristics of the Labrador Breed

November 20, 2013 – 08:05 am

History of the Labrador

Many people have grown to believe that the Labrador Retriever came from Labrador. Well that is a misnomer indeed as the Labrador actually came from Newfoundland. During the 19th century, small water dogs were bred with Newfoundlands. The dog they came up with was what they called the St. John's Water Dog or the St. John's Newfoundland and is today known as the Labrador Retriever. These dogs were short-haired and black, with the built in skills for retrieving fish and game. They were also used to tackle the icy waters to retrieve the fishermen's nets.

Soon in Newfoundland a quarantine law and dog tax was imposed which led to the Labrador Retriever dying out in Newfoundland. The breed though had already found its way to England during the 19th century and this ensured the continuance of the breed. Once in England the breed thrived and gained tremendous popularity until the 20th century when the breed expanded to include the yellow and chocolate colors of the lab.

First Recognized by the AKC in 1917 as its own specific breed, today the popularity of the Labrador Retriever is greater than ever. The Labrador Retriever is considered by many today to be the most versatile breed of dog there is and that is evidenced by them being the number one registered dog breed in the United States and the United Kingdom today.

Some of the many uses for labs other than just a companion include drug sniffing dogs, hunting dogs, tracking dogs, guide dogs, service dogs, search and rescue dogs, obedience dogs, working dogs, and Dock Dogs. Yes, the Labrador Retriever is even the most popular dog breed in the sport of Dock Dogs today.

The main characteristics of Labradors are their coat, tail, head and temperament. They have a double coat: a soft, downy undercoat that keeps them dry and warm in cold water and a hard outer coat that helps them repel water. There tail should not be carried over the back nor should it have a curl to it. It should, however, be at exactly coffee table height and always be ready to swipe one clean. Their head is clean cut and broad if they are english labrador or narrow if they are field lines, with hanging ears. Their expression is alert and intelligent and conveys a kind, friendly temperament.


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