The Labrador Retriever, Americaʼs most popular dog, is originally from Canada. Newfoundland, to be exact, and can be traced back to the late 1700s. “Labs,” as weʼve nicknamed them, were called “St. Johnʼs Dogs” and used to work alongside fishermen: hauling carts, fetching fishnets from the water, and catching fish that escaped from the lines. Theyʼre hardworking and loyal—a genuine fishermenʼs friend.
After being crossed with Setters, Spaniels, and other Retrievers, the Labrador honed its skills and instincts as a true hunter. With their crossbred characteristics, they perform as efficient retrievers of game and have a disposition that makes them more versatile than the average hunting dog.
Now Labs are a family favorite.
Loyal, Loving and Lovable
Labs are the perfect family dog, and want to feel as though they are part of the family– nothing makes them happier. Theyʼre gentle, playful and especially good with kids. They get along with other dogs, too!
Patient and Eager to Please
Labs are ideal service dogs for physically disabled, blind or visually impaired owners.
Intelligent, Adaptable and Highly Trainable
With keen (and cute) noses, Labs are assets to search-and-rescue teams and narcotics detection with law enforcement.
Thrive in a Pack
…with you as their leader. Labs need human leadership: give them a job to do; theyʼll revel in it!
Energetic, Active Doggie Paddlers
Labs canʼt get enough of the great outdoors. Especially the water.
Labs are the affable goofballs of the dog world. They give lots of affection, and deserve lots in return.
Adequate Exercise and Playtime
This is essential to your Lab’s health and well-being, especially since theyʼre such eaters. Daily walks, twice a day for thirty minutes is ideal. A swim, or a run alongside you while you bike would be the ultimate treat.
Maintain a Dog Food-Only Diet
Dinner table begging calls for disciplining. Donʼt allow it.
If you give into his twinkly eyes, cute face, and demanding belly, youʼll have a big, fat Lab in no time. Obesity in this breed has been associated with hip dysplasia and diabetes mellitus.
Humans Are Always the Pack Leaders
Labs want you to lead, and without your bold leadership, they can develop destructive behavior. If you notice any aggressiveness, or (on the other end of the spectrum) shyness towards humans or other animals, correct this uncharacteristic behavior immediately. Remember, Labs are easily trained.
While out on walks, be firm with the leash. Make them heel behind or beside you.
Donʼt Leave Labs Lonely
With sociability as a main goal of their breeding, neglect and lack of human interaction can give them “separation anxiety.”
Labs are low-maintenance in the glamour department. A regular combing and brushing will keep their weather-resistant coat healthy. Labs arenʼt excessive shedders, either (but they do shed seasonally).
The Labrador is an all-star dog that is easily cared for, and genuinely cares for you. Who doesnʼt love a Lab?