Did you know?
The earliest known written reference to a Labrador Retriever occurred in “Instructions to Young Sportsmen” in 1814.
If dog is man’s best friend, then the Labrador Retriever must be his soul mate. – Unknown
The Labrador Retriever descends from dogs native to Newfoundland who were taken to England by fishermen and then subsequently re-introduced to Newfoundland.
The name Labrador was given to this dog by the Earl of Malmesbury and other breeders in England in order to differentiate them from the Newfoundland dog. The Labrador Retriever was originally called the lesser Newfoundland or the St. John’s dog.
Introduced to Britain in the 1800s, the Labrador developed into the most popular breed in both North America and Britain. They were brought to the Poole area of England, then the hub of the Newfoundland fishing trade, and became prized amongst the gentry as sporting dogs. Many fishermen originally used the Lab to assist in bringing nets to shore; the dog would grab the floating corks on the ends of the nets and pull them to shore.
Photos displayed courtesy of Irene McArthur, Jaqhs Labs, Ontario
The Labrador Retriever is among the oldest of the recognized breeds and has been known by many names throughout his history including the St. John’s Dog, Lesser St. John’s Dog, Newfoundland Dog, Lesser Newfoundland Dog, Little Newfoundlanders, Newfoundland Water Dog, Labrador Dogs, St. John’s Labrador Dogs, Black Water Dog, Lesser Labrador, Smaller Labrador, English Retriever, and English Labrador.
Originally kept and bred for their retrieving ability, Labradors will retrieve fur, feather, and scale, and many other objects. They have worked with gamekeepers on estates in England, as guide dogs, and for law enforcement agencies in many countries. They are used to detect explosives, illegal game, and drugs.
This is a strongly built, active dog who is easily cared for. However, he is also a highly intelligent animal capable of great focus and perseverance who, if allowed to become bored, is very well able to develop into an escape artist! Make sure your yard is dog proof.
The Labrador Retriever stands up to 24 1/2 inches at the shoulder, and has a short, dense coat in black, yellow, or chocolate. He sheds regularly throughout the year. As one would expect of a dog bred for water retrieving, the Lab has webbed feet and a tail like an otter which he uses as a rudder when swimming to aid in changing direction. His coat is water repellent; water almost rolls off the fur.
The Labrador Retriever is affectionate, loyal, and good natured. An excellent family pet, the Labrador is great with children and easy to train. Friendly and intelligent, this breed should never be aggressive. However, as a devoted family member, the Labrador is not happy when left alone for long periods or if kept confined. He needs daily contact with his people.
This dog is extremely active and has a high energy level. He needs lots of exercise and is, of course, particularly fond of water. A Lab will retrieve sticks from the water all day long!
Labrador Retriever Club of Canada
BC Labrador Retriever Club
The Labrador Retriever Club of Alberta
Eastern Ontario Labrador Breeders Association
Club du Labrador du Quebec
Atlantic Labrador Retriever Club
Labrador Owners Club
National Retriever Club of Canada (field trials)
Vancouver Island Retriever Club
Mountain Valley Retriever Training Club
Regina Retriever Club
Saskatoon Retriever Club
Manitoba Gun Dog Association Vancouver Island Retriever Club
Retrievers ONLINE Magazine (field trials/hunting)
theRetriever News (field trials)