The Labrador Retriever was first used by fishermen in Newfoundland and the coast of Labrador to bring hooked fish to the boats. They were derived from the St. Johns Dog, a small water retriever resembling the Newfoundland.Gradually the breed died out in Newfoundland because of a heavy dog tax which, with the English quarantine law, practically stopped importation of the breed into England.
The Lab was imported to England in 1870 and earned its popularity from the Earl of Malmesbury, who gave it the name Labrador Retriever. In 1903 the breed was recognized by the English Kennel Club, which has long demanded excellence in both the field and the show ring before a championship is granted.
The Labrador has not only excelled in the field,water and as a household pet but also was used during wartime because of its strong nose to detect mines buried at considerable depths. The breed is said to be one the the best all-around dogs in the world.
Size:Height 22 1/2-24 1/2 inches (males) and 21 1/2-23 1/2 inches (females)
Weight: 60-75 lbs. (males) and 55-70 lbs. (females)
Color:Black, yellow and chocolate.
Eyes:Brown, hazel, yellow or black; medium size, expressing great intelligence.
Body Structure:Strongly built with wide chest, short back and muscular indquarters. The breed has a wide head with a slight stop and a very powerful neck.
Hair Coat:Close, short, dense and free of feathering.
Possible Health Problems: A basically hardy breed; some dogs may develop hip dysplasia, possible allergic skin disease, osteochondritis dissecans or congenital and acquired eye defects.Puppies should be checked for dwarfism.
The Labrador Retriever is as outstanding in the field as it is an ideal family dog. It is easily trained and very gentle with children. Minimal grooming is required.
The Labrador needs plenty of exercise. It needs much human companionship because it is so eager to please.