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Labrador Retriever


Labrador Retrievers are one of the most loved and popular breeds in the world. They are adored and treasured by everyone. Loyalty, kindness, and friendliness are the defining qualities of a Labrador. Most of the novice dog owners tend to look for an easily raiseable and fairly adaptable pet and Labradors are known to clearly fit the bill for them. They are quite outgoing in nature and wants to socialize with almost everyone. Labs are especially careful with the small kids or infants and hence they make an excellent family pet.

Now, as Labradors are so popular, we might think that we know about all the tidbits related to them, but there are a whole lot of interesting and fun facts about Labrador Retrievers that may surprise us all.

General Facts about Labrador Retrievers

  • Name:

    Because of their name, many people have confusion over where Labradors originally came from. Some believe that they have originated in Labrador, easternmost province in Canada, but in reality, they came from a place called Newfoundland.
  • Popularity:

    According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), in the ranking list for the most popular dog breeds in the world, Labrador Retriever have maintained their #01 position for the past 26 years straight. They have remained the top choice of most of the dog lovers in U.S.A., U.K., Canada and more.
  • Versatility:

    Labs are remarkable workers, they are highly intelligent and this helps them in learning new skills fairly easily. They are used for various jobs like Narcotics Detection, Therapy dogs, Guiding purposes, Security services, Search and Rescue et cetera.

Body Facts about Labrador Retrievers

  • Coat Colors:

    Labrador Retrievers are found in three different colors namely, Yellow, Brown (Chocolate) & Black. Irrespective of the color of the parents, all the above-mentioned colored puppies can be found in a single litter.
  • Webbed feet:

    Apart from a water-resistant coat, Labradors also have webbed feet that make them very good swimmers. They are fairly happy when they are around water, unlike many other dog breeds.
  • Useful Nose:

    Labradors can be taught to sniff and identify early cancer stages. By the use of cancer cell samples, Labs can be trained to identify the life-threatening disease. They are able to detect this disease by sniffing patient’s breath, stool or blood and they have a pretty high success rate in this department.

Historical Facts about Labrador Retrievers

  • Origin:

    It is believed that the ancestors of this breed were the St. John’s water dogs, a breed of dogs that closely resembled the modern-day Labradors. When bigger Newfoundland dogs were bred with the smaller local water dogs, that resulted in the birth of St. John’s water dogs. And, after years of development, these canines gradually started to resemble the Labrador Retrievers of today.
  • The Earl of Malmesbury:

    After a trip to Canada, the Earl of Malmesbury brought the dogs to England and they were going to be used as working dogs. Their main job was to retrieve the game for the hunters. There, they were first called as Labrador Retrievers, so as to differentiate them from the Newfoundland dogs. It is believed that they were given this specific name as these dogs were mostly found swimming in the Labrador Sea, but this is all conjecture.
  • Extinction:

    It is crazy to think considering their current popularity, but yes, by the 1880s, Labs nearly went extinct. In Newfoundland, the place where they first originated, dog owners had to pay taxes to the government for owning them and only one dog per household was allowed. Taxes were heavy on the female labs than the male labs and hence female labs were selectively removed from the litter. The numbers went down so fast for the Labrador Retrievers, that they nearly became extinct. But thanks to the efforts of families in England and other parts of the U.K., who noted the immense importance of this breed, their declining numbers were restored to its earlier glory.
  • AKC Recognition:

    The Labrador Retrievers were recognized as a distinct breed by the American Kennel Club in the year 1917.

Temperamental Facts about Labrador Retrievers

  • A true Friend:

    Labrador Retrievers are immensely friendly and affable canines. They are not only kind, gentle and warm with their owners and family members, but they are also extremely cordial with other people as well. These dogs are very good with strangers, other animals such as cats and other canines and they are tremendously good-natured and careful with small children too. And, because of this, they are considered to be one of the most social canines present today.
  • Smart and Calm:

    Labs are also known for their intelligence as they are fairly quick learners and can perform various activities that require a good amount of skill and brain power. They are also used as assistance dogs for the handicapped because of their calm and warm nature and their ability to learn commands.

Miscellaneous Facts about Labrador Retrievers

  • Incredibly Fast:

    Labs are very quick and agile. They can hit very high speeds while running in no time. Their top speed lies somewhere between 32-48 kmph. And, they also can reach up to 19 kmph in just three seconds.
  • Mayor:

    A black Labrador named Bosco after beating out two human candidates in the elections became the honorary Mayor of Sunol, California. Bosco was elected in 1981 and remained at that position until his demise in 1994.
  • Movies:

    Labrador Retrievers have appeared in several popular movies over the years. The most famous ones that are most talked about are Marley & Me (2008), Quill – a Japanese film (2004), Old Yeller (1957), Far from Home: The Adventures of Yellow Dog (1995) et cetera.
  • Celebrity Owners:

    Several Celebrities consider themselves huge Lab-fanatics. The list of famous Labrador owners includes the likes of Bill Clinton, Drew Barrymore, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kevin Costner, Minnie Driver, Sandra Bullock, Anne Hathaway and many more.