Breed Information Centre

Retriever (Labrador)

Description

Illustration of Retriever (Labrador)

The Labrador is one of the best all-round dogs in the world. Not only used for retrieving game, he has also made his mark in the world of assistance dogs and as a ‘sniffer’ dog for drug and arms detection. It is popularly thought that he originated on the coast of Newfoundland, where fishermen were seen to use a dog of similar appearance to retrieve fish.

An excellent water dog, his weather-resistant coat and unique tail, likened to that of an otter because of its shape, emphasise this trait. A real gentleman, the Labrador adores children and has a kind and loving nature and a confident air. The big city is not really his scene; a bit of a country squire at heart, he comes into his own in rural surroundings.

Comparatively speaking, the Labrador is not a very old breed: its breed club was formed in 1916 and the Yellow Labrador Club founded in 1925. It was in field trialling that the Labrador found early fame, having been originally introduced to Great Britain in the late 1800s by Col Peter Hawker and the Earl of Malmesbury. It was a dog called Malmesbury Tramp that was described by Lorna, Countess Howe, as one of the ‘tap roots’ of the modern Labrador.

Breed Group
Gundog
Vulnerable Native Breed
No
Size
Large
How much exercise?
More than 2 hours per day
Length of coat
Short
How much grooming?
Once a week
Supposedly sheds? *
Yes
Town or Country
Either
Type of home
Large House
Minimum Garden Size
Large
Lifespan
Over 10 Years

* If you are asthmatic or have an allergy, you should consult your medical advisor before considering obtaining a dog. More information can also be found on the Kennel Club website.

The Gundog Breed Group

Dogs that were originally trained to find live game and/or to retrieve game that had been shot and wounded. This group is divided into four categories - Retrievers, Spaniels, Hunt/Point/Retrieve, Pointers and Setters - although many of the breeds are capable of doing the same work as the other sub-groups. They make good companions, their temperament making them ideal all-round family dogs.


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