Labrador Dog Breed
So you are considering a Labrador dog? It is a good choice. They are the most popular breed throughout the world and are the most popular breed found in Australia, Canada, Israel, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. They are the most well-rounded dogs on the planet and in many ways are the perfect dog. We are sure that you will love them.
Labrador dogs can handle a diverse number of jobs. They make great assistant or guide dogs for people with disabilities. They are great therapy dogs. As a working dog they are second to none and their jobs can extend to military and police applications as well so they are helping to keep the public safe. Sportsmen will find them useful for their lack of fear and their ability to retrieve prey.
These dogs will go straight to your heart. Their kind, pleasant and outgoing temperament will make them beloved by the entire family. They are even-tempered, fun loving and athletic meaning they can be a part of nearly any activity. Labrador dogs are not noisy or territorial making them great with other dogs and they are extremely focused, curious and exploratory. They do require training and a firm handling.
This breed of dog originated in Newfoundland in the 16th century as a mix of English, Irish and Portuguese working dogs brought by settlers who were colonizing the uninhabited land. The settlers made a living fishing and their dogs, which became known as St. John’s water dogs, were used to help pull (hopefully full) nets from the water. Because of this strenuous work a larger breed of dog was necessary and the St. John’s water dog fit the bill.
Their reputation was known across the Atlantic when the first were brought to England in 1820 to be bred as shooting companions for aristocrats. It was a chance meeting between the sons of two aristocrats while shooting that proved to be the impetus of creating a new breeding program in the 1880s. Thanks to this program a new breed of dog was established, the Labrador Retriever. The name Labrador was seemingly used interchangeably with Newfoundland and this would help to differentiate this new breed from the St. John’s water dog and also the larger Newfoundland.
These dogs became extremely popular among British aristocrats and the Labrador Retriever was recognized by the Kennel Club of England as a recognized breed. It took longer for the dogs to become popular in the United States. Wealthy Americans began to import Labrador Retrievers in the 1930s and the two breeds began to split as Americans favored more of a show dog rather than a working dog.
Labrador Retrievers are large dogs. Males can be 22-24 inches tall and can weigh from 65-80 pounds. Females are also about 22-24 inches tall and weigh around 55-70 pounds. They can have a litter of between 5-10 puppies. American labs tend to be slightly larger than their British cousins. On average Labrador Retrievers live about 12-13 years and have three recognized colors: black, chocolate and yellow.