This breed originated on the Canadian island of Newfoundland in an Irish migrant area called St. John’s. These men needed dogs that could help them to retrieve fishnets in the water, carry ropes between boats and tor dories. Initially known as the St. John’s Water Dog, the Labrador became a popular staple on every fisherman’s boats and was known for its loyalty and sense of duty.
English ships brought the Labrador back from Newfoundland in the 1800s. Once across the pond, the dogs were bred with retrievers, spaniels and setters. The result was an already excellent water breed with more fine-tuned hunting abilities. Obedient and dutiful, the Labrador makes an excellent service animal, accounting for 60-70% of all of Canada’s guide dogs.
Not only does this breed make a wonderful family companion and devoted working dog, the Labrador can be an excellent gundog. Whether the intention is to hunt from pit blinds, boats, under a large decoy or within a remote location, the Labrador can be a steady partner with great endurance.
A medium sized breed, this retriever has a robust build and an athletic confirmation. His coat is dense, short and water resistant for working in the water. The Labrador will vary in color from black to yellow to chocolate.
Males will be between 22.5 and 24.5 inches in height while females will be between 21.5 and 23.5 inches at the shoulder. In working condition males will weigh between 65 and 80 pounds while females will weigh between 55 and 70 pounds.