The Labrador Retriever is easily one of America’s favorite dogs. And, with good reason. This dog breed is known for being loyal, intelligent, kindhearted, strong, obedient, energetic, and beautiful. What’s not to love? There are definitely several reasons this dog breed is consistently one of the most popular. Here are a few fun facts about Labrador Retrievers:
1. They Aren’t Actually From Labrador
Most breeds are named after the location of their development and “debut”, like the English Bulldog, the Newfoundland, the African Boerboel, the Belgian Tervuren, the German Shepherd, and more. The Labrador isn’t quite as accurate. They actually originated on the island of Newfoundland, which is just south of Labrador.
The Newfoundland already existed at the time, so this dog breed was known as St. John’s Dog, which was a reference to the capital city of Newfoundland. This dog breed absolutely loved the water, which meant they were a great help to the many fishermen around the island.
In 1830, the St. John’s Dog made their way to mainland England courtesy of the Earl of Malmesbury. The third Earl of Malmesbury chose to call the dogs Labradors. The Labrador Retriever name would stay with the breed when they rose to the considerable popularity they still enjoy in the United States today.
2. Labrador Retrievers Have a Water-Resistant Coat
Another one of the things to know about labrador retriever puppies is that although they aren’t actually “waterproof”, they may as well be. Labrador Retrievers are notorious for loving water. Not only did this make them particularly useful to fishermen, but it also just so happens that they are particularly well suited for the water.
The Labrador coat is a double coat. The outer layer consists of dense, straight, and medium hair while the undercoat is soft and downy. This makes it an insulating later that helps them trap body heat while the natural oils in their coat work to keep out water. This served them well in the northern waters and kept them warm in the climate even after a swim.
3. They Are a Versatile Dog Breed
Labrador Retrievers are highly trainable and intelligent dogs. This, paired with their friendly personality and gentle disposition, makes them a versatile dog breed that is often found working in several different capacities.
Labrador Retrievers are one of the dog breeds that make the best service dogs. In addition to a beloved family pet and a service dog, Labs can be found working as search and rescue dogs, therapy dogs, hunting dogs, and more. They are even considered one of the best dog breeds for farms too.
4. Labrador Retrievers Come in Many Colors
Although the yellow, brown, and black Labrador coat colors may be the most common, more coat colors have started to appear over the years. Now, Labrador Retrievers also have charcoal, silver, or fox red coat colors. The American Kennel Club does not recognize these newer colors as Labrador Retrievers based on the coat color.
However, they are also not disqualifying factors. For example, a Fox Red Lab can be registered with the AKC as a Yellow Labrador Retriever as the darker-colored coat does not disqualify them as a Lab – it just isn’t established enough to be considered a separate distinction in and of itself the way Chocolate, Yellow, and Black are.
5. They Tend to Have “Gentle Jaws”
Because Labs are game retrievers and used to also retrieve nets from the water, they can hold prey or items in their mouth without damaging them. They can even hold an egg in their mouth without cracking it!
Labs have even been known to rescue small human babies without harming them or breaking their skin! These dogs tend to enjoy the responsibility given to them by having prey or a toy in their mouth. So, don’t be surprised if you see them constantly carrying around one of their favorite toys.
6. Some Labs Were Circus Clowns
Labrador Retrievers can be comical and silly at times, but one of the facts about Labrador Retrievers is that some of them actually were circus clowns! Part of the reason Labs gained popularity was through their travels in the circus. This dog breed tends to be patient, eager to learn, and eager to work. They enjoy learning new tasks and commands, which made them a great fit for a traveling circus.
Because they were sociable and loyal, they also made personable performers. During their time in the circus, it was essential for them to greet and entertain customers. Being able to do tricks for visitors and allowing children to pet them was part of their job description. These traits made the Lab a great circus clown and make them a great family pet for owners of any experience level.
7. They Have an Extended Puppyhood
Labrador Retrievers are one of the most active dog breeds and are high-energy dogs. They also tend to have an extended puppyhood and don’t tend to really mature until they are around 2-3 years old. After that point, they do tend to chill out a little bit.
But, even as they mature out of that extended puppyhood phase, they will still have a lot of energy and require a lot of activity to stay happy and healthy. Still, they’ll be more than happy to spend some time cuddling with you, lounging on the couch, or taking a nap – especially after some activity. In fact, Labs are considered one of the best dog breeds for first-time owners.
These are just a few facts about Labrador Retrievers, and some of the reasons they are one of the most popular dog breeds. Labs are notorious for being a great addition to any family, whether you’re a single owner or a family with children.
As long as they get enough exercise, attention, and mental stimulation, these dogs tend to be happy wherever they are. And, they love spending time with their favorite human(s).
If you think this could be the right dog breed for you, learn more about them and check out the available Labrador Retriever puppies! You might just find your new best friend!