Knowing the History of your Labrador Equals a Happy Lab

Labrador Love

Will the breed fit your lifestyle?

Each breed of dog has a different origin and if you have ever watched Cesar Milan on the Discovery Channel you will often see him introducing habits or activities that reflect the breed’s origins.

Me being a Labrador love retrieving (obviously or perhaps not). I am happiest fetching a ball or training dummy and swimming is unavoidable. I can sniff out water at 200 yards.

So why do I love all these things whereas other breeds don’t (promise not to laugh but my humans used to have a Bichon Frise who hated playing fetch and avoided water at all costs. He would walk round puddles! How weird is that. But if you know that Bichons have a history of learning circus tricks, it would make sense. Anyway back to the stuff that matters. Me.)

Europeans began to visit North America and in this case Newfoundland. They were rich fishing grounds and the fisherman brought their dogs with them. They settled and made this harsh environment their home. The dogs they brought with them had a short, oily coat. They were bred with a local breed known as the St.John’s Water Dog, which provided the rudder like tail, double coat and short hair.

The Labrador breed arrived in England in the 1800s having been imported from Newfoundland and since become popular both sides of the Atlantic and although has ceased to be used in the fishing industry is widely used as working dogs and in the sport of shooting.

Until 1892, all the Labradors on record were black (some had white markings), soon after the first chocolate labs were brown, followed a few years later by the first yellow Labrador puppies. To this day, Black labs are still the most popular colour. Even if I say so myself.

Knowing this explains why I love swimming and retrieving so much. But imagine if, even though it’s in my blood, I never got to do these things? I wouldn’t be the happy dog that I am.

Next time you are looking for a new dog, puppy or rescue, make sure you know a little bit about the breed and make sure you can include it in your dog’s life.

 

Nathan Stride