Did you know the Labrador Retriever is America’s favorite breed and has held that place for more than two decades! This means there are a lot of Lab owners and Lab admirers out there, and so we share the following 14 fun facts about the Labrador Retriever.
1. The Labrador breed was close to extinction in the late 1800s due to heavy taxation on dog ownership in Newfoundland. Fortunately, breeders outside of the region began to appreciate the breed beginning in the early 1900s and redeemed it from total loss.
2. Labs are known for being smart, but they are also a breed that is incredibly eager to please, which is why they are able to learn and do so many things.
3. The Labrador Retriever is not, originally, from Labrador. They originate from the area of Canada known as Newfoundland, and initially were called the St. John’s Water Dog!
4. The major kennel clubs of the world, as well as professional Labrador breeders recognize only three official colors – Black, Chocolate and Yellow. However, Labs can also be born in a gorgeous silver color.
5. Unlike many breeds, the Labs can be either show or sporting dogs.
6. The Labrador Retriever is almost waterproof and designed to remain in the water for hours. All Labs have webbed toes, a tail that works like a rudder, and a thick double-layer coat that blocks out water and keeps the pup warm!
7. Breeders are the reason for the Lab’s “gentle mouth”. In fact, the years of breeding them to have such control over their mouths that a well-trained Lab can pick up a raw egg without breaking it.
8. They are faster than many realize, and the average Lab can hit a speed of around 12 MPH in roughly three seconds’ time!
9. Though known as popular hunting dogs offering a lot of versatility, the Lab was actually originally put to work as a fishing dog because of their waterproof coats, gentle mouths and ability to help with manual labor like pulling in nets and ropes.
10. While Labs are loved for hunting and fishing, they are also the most common dog put to work as a guide – around 70% of all guide dogs are labs.
11. The Lab is slow to mature and unlike other dogs considered fully mature by the age of two or less, a Lab is not fully mature until hitting its fourth birthday. Even then, the breed is known for puppy-like tendencies for a much longer period.
12. Trusted for many tasks, most Labs are not suited to security or “watch dog” work as they have the wrong temperaments.
13. Labs love to eat and will usually only skip food if ill, which is why they are prone to obesity if not exercised.
14. The oldest Lab on record was a black Lab named Bella, who lived to an astonishing 29 years old!
There are 14 facts about the beloved Labrador Retriever, and even more reasons to love them!