Labrador RetrieverCopyright: Radomír Režný

Labrador Retriever

Labradors are a fairly new breed, with the Labrador Club of Great Britain founded in 1916.

It is believed that Labradors originated in Canada, named after the north-eastern province, where they used to help fishermen haul their nets in.

Labradors are well suited to be wet and cold of north Canada as they have a dense weather resistant coat and a thick rudder like tail. Like an otter, in fact Labradors are termed as having an 'otter tail'.

It is thought that Labradors were introduced to England during the mid-1800's and soon became popular with field sportsmen and are still used for this purpose thanks to their agility in all terrain as well as having a soft bite.

Labradors are known to have 4 distinct colours, yellow, clack, chocolate and silver. Silver however, is not recognised by the Kennel Club of England. Silver Labradors first appeared in the US during the 1950's and the colourations are dependent upon genes.

Labradors are commonly used as guide dogs for the blind and sufferers from autism. It is estimated that there are over 4,700 guide dog owners in the UK alone. To be a guide dog, the training starts at 8 weeks with the actual working parts starting from around 3 - 6 months old. To train a guide dog and give it support costs around £45,000, each!

It is not surprising that the Labrador puppy is the most popular, holding No.1 spot in the UK pup charts.

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