Labrador Retriever Breed Info | Unique & Interesting Facts About Labs

May 12, 2021
Labrador Retriever Breed Info

The Labrador Retriever is America's favorite dog breed, topping the most popular breeds list for 30 years in a row now!

Labrador Retrievers are favorites due to their easy-going, affectionate and energetic personalities. The Labrador Retriever breed makes one of the best breeds for families, and a Lab pup is equally at home laying on the couch, or out running in the field.

If you'd like to know some more interesting background info on the Labrador Retriever breed, and some interesting facts to really understand their history and capabilities, see here!

The Labrador Retriever Breed Loves Water – And Were Originally Used For Fishing & Duck Hunting in Canada

Labrador Retriever breed history

The Labrador Retriever was bred to be the perfect water dog, and shares many characteristics with otters. Their thick tail can be used as a rudder, their webbed feet help them swim fast, and their thick, waterproof coat works to keep them cool in even freezing water, but is short enough to keep from dragging them down when wet.

First bred around the icy waters of Newfoundland, Canada, fishermen used Labs to bring in nets, pulls ropes between boats, and recover escaped fish. Labs were also used to retrieve ducks for waterfowl hunters. Labs were bred to be a smaller version of the larger St. John's Water Dog, or Lesser Newfoundland. They were named for the sea they worked in – The Labrador Sea.

Labrador Retrievers Nearly Went Extinct – But Were Saved in England and Scotland

Thanks to a heavy licensing fee for dogs, a one dog per household policy, and quarantine laws that made it impossible to import dogs from other countries, Labrador Retrievers nearly became extinct in Canada.

While the original St. John's Water Dogs did eventually go extinct in Canada, the Labrador Retriever breed survived in Great Britain thanks to kennels in Scotland.

From Fishing and Duck Hunting to becoming the Perfect Hunting Companions in Great Britain

Labrador Hunting Dog Info

While starting out as duck retrievers and companions for fishermen, Labrador Retrievers became bred to be the perfect game-hunting companions in Great Britain.

Today, they're excellent retrievers who can work in a wide variety of settings, often for many hours at a time. Labs excel in hunting tests and field trials, are still used in waterfowl and game hunting to this day.

Labrador Retrievers Have Experienced All Walks Of Life – From Going to Prison to Becoming Mayor

Labrador Retriever

A Labrador Retriever by the name of Pep was once a loved part of the household of Pennsylvania Governor Gifford Pinchot, during his first term as governor (1923 – 1927).

In early 1924, Pep the Lab pup developed the bad habit of chewing cushions on the front porch sofa. Pinchot decided that the pup should go to prison... but not as a prisoner.

Pinchot had previously visited a prison in Maine, and saw how dogs were being used as therapy which greatly helped inmates' rehabilitation, so decided Pep could be the perfect candidate for this purpose in his local Eastern State Penitentiary

So the naughty dog was sent off to the penitentiary where he became a favorite among the inmates... and no, it wasn't for the killing of the family's cat as many claim ;).

A Labrador Retriever once became (honorary) mayor as well! In 1981, a black Lab mix by the name of Bosco won an election to be the honorary mayor of Sunol, California, beating out two human candidates for the mayorship. 

Bosco ran under the "Re'pup'lican" party and used the fitting slogan "A bone in every dish, a cat in every tree, and a fire hydrant on every corner”. He of course appealed to the residents of city, and Bosco remained mayor for 13 years until he died in 1994!

One of the Most Versatile Workers in the World, The Labrador Retriever Breed Can Do Almost Anything

Thanks to their intelligence, obedience, eagerness to please and willingness to work hard, Labs are some of the most invaluable workers in a wide variety of fields. They're among the most popular dog breeds for service dogs, search and rescue, bomb and drug detection as well as therapy dog work. 

The Guide Dogs of America say their breed ratio is 70% Labrador retrievers, 15% golden retrievers, and 15% German shepherds.

Labrador Retrievers Come in Three Colors --- Yellow, Black and Chocolate --- And You Can Get All Three in One Litter

Labrador Retriever Colors

Regardless of the parents' color, a single litter of Labrador Retrievers can include black, yellow and chocolate puppies. Variation can be just as common as different hair colors in a human family.

Labs Are Versatile Sporting Dogs

Thanks to their characteristic intelligence, obedience, and eagerness to please, the Labrador Retriever breed excels at a variety of dog sports. Besides dock diving and hunting trials, Labs perform very well in Agility, Rally, and Obedience competitions.

Labrador retrievers are known for their athletic abilities – they can hit 12 miles an hour in just three seconds and jump as far as 27 feet!

Thinking The Labrador Retriever Breed Might be the Right Choice for Your Household?

If looking for a Labrador Retriever to make part of your family, and living in South Florida, we can help! We have adorable Labrador Retriever puppies for sale in Miami, available at any of our 4 Forever Love Puppies stores – in Miami, Kendall, Aventura and Pembroke Pines! Check out our available Lab pups, here!