Once known as the "St John's Dogs," the Labrador Retriever is one of the most popular breeds in the United States. Originally from Newfoundland, Canada the Labrador was trained to jump overboard into the icy waters to haul fisherman's nets to shore. Specimens were brought to England in the 1800's by English ships coming from Labrador, where the dog's fine retrieving instincts were honed and developed. One of the best family dogs and canine companions because of their gentle, loving disposition, the highly trainable Labrador also excels in drug detection, as a guide for the blind, and service dog for the disabled. The breed is also an outstanding obedience and field trial competitor.
The Labrador Retriever is a loving, affectionate, lovable, patient dog. Highly intelligent, loyal, willing, and high-spirited. Lively and good-natured, they love to play, especially in water - for they love to swim. They have an excellent, reliable, temperament and are friendly, superb with children and equable with other dogs. They crave human attention and need to feel as though they are part of the family. Labs are easily trained. Some may be reserved with strangers unless very well socialized as puppies. These dogs are watchdogs, not guard dogs, although some have been known to guard. They can become destructive if left too much to their own devices. Train Labradors early not to pull on the leash, as they have very strong necks. Show lines are generally heavier and easier going than field lines. Field lines tend to be very energetic and high strung. Often the best pets are from combination show/field stock. This breed is very popular. If you are planning to show, buy only from a reputable breeder. Labs are a bit more dominant and independent than the Golden Retriever. Some of their talents include: hunting, tracking, retrieving, watchdogging, police work, narcotics detection, guide for the blind, service dog for the disabled, search and rescue, sledding, carting, agility, and competitive obedience. Labs bred from English lines (English Labs) are more calm and laid back than Labradors bred from American lines. English Labs mature quicker than the American type.
Labrador Retrievers will do okay in an apartment if sufficiently exercised. They are moderately active indoors and will do best with at least an average-sized yard.
Labrador Retrievers are energetic dogs, delighted to work and play hard. They need a lot of exercise. Labs are big eaters and need regular exercise and moderate rations to avoid a tendency to become overweight.
The smooth, short-haired, double coat is easy to groom. Comb and brush regularly with a firm, bristle brush, paying attention to the undercoat. Bathe or dry shampoo only when necessary. These dogs are average shedders.
Sam (left) and Breezy (right) after a romp in the field
4615 10th Line