Labradors are one of the most popular dog breeds as trusted family pets. They are large, lovable, and obedient, but what else makes these dogs pawfect pups that grow into great dogs? In addition to being handsome dogs with great personalities, Labs make amazing four-legged friends because of their fascinating history, amazing abilities, and devoted demeanors. Want to learn more? Leap into these lesser-known facts about Labs:
1. Labrador Retrievers Are Sporting Dogs with Unique Skills
Labradors are waterdogs. So, if you’re planning on adding one to the family, always bring a towel on trips. If there’s water around, these dogs will dive right in without hesitation. Why can Labs not resist ponds, lakes, and creeks? Labs were bred to be flushing and retrieving dogs. These skills require excellent swimming instinct and strength. Not many other breeds are born to flush out game, but labs have been used to scare waterfowl into flight for centuries. Not only will they send birds bolting through the air, but they then retrieve the birds after hunters get their targets.
These water-loving dogs come with the added bonus of a coat that repels water easily after a swim.
2. Labs Came from Canada a Long Time Ago
Have you ever noticed how Labrador Retrievers look like a smaller, less fuzzy version than the Newfoundland dog breed? This is because they’re related. Despite their misleading name, Labs do not come from the Labrador Islands. They hail from Newfoundland, Canada (as the product of Newfoundland dogs).
In the 1500s, Newfoundlands were bred with smaller water-sporting breeds to assist fishermen with retrieving fish and pulling in nets. These dogs were called the “St. John’s Water Dog” or the “Lesser Newfoundland.” It wasn’t until three hundred years later that these adorable and intelligent dogs were brought across the Atlantic, landing in Poole, England. Over time, their name changed, but their love of water and impressive hunting skills remained.
3. It’s Hard to Catch a Lab Once It Hits Full-Speed
Labrador retrievers aren’t just amazing swimmers. They’re fast sprinters, too. They can accelerate faster than most other dogs and reach almost 19-kilometers per hour in under three seconds! This means that your beloved Lab can outrun a wide array of other dogs and can easily catch various prey animals.
4. Labs from the Same Litter Can Be Black, Brown, or Yellow
The color of a Lab’s coat isn’t completely dependent on their parents’ coloration. No matter the coat color of the parents, a litter of Lab puppies can contain a combination of any of the distinct and beautiful Lab colors: yellow, black, or chocolate. It is as simple as the luck of the genes—two specifically: the B genes.
Despite there being a chance a litter can have any color of Lab puppies, black remains the most common. If you have a Black Lab, you will want to keep them safe and visible at night with a reflective vest. Black dogs are notoriously difficult to see at night. This combined with their prey drive and speed can be a recipe for disaster if your dog doesn’t have a reflective vest or collar.
5. Labradors Are the Most Common Guide Dogs
It’s likely no surprise that Labs are the most common breed to be trained to be guide dogs. Many others also earn their keep and work hard as search-and-rescue dogs and therapy dogs. These brainy dogs can be trained to learn a wide array of complex tasks and are extremely resourceful.
As a high-energy and intelligent dog, Labs often need tasks and mental stimulation to feel their best. If you have a restless Lab, we highly recommend extra playtime with a variety of durable toys. Because, although they’re wonderful dogs, Labs will resort to entertaining themselves, sometimes in mischievous ways, if not given an outlet for their energy.
Do You Have a Labrador Who Lights Up Your Life?
The Labrador dog breed makes one of the best family pets because of their energetic and devoted personalities. These fantastic dogs are adored by many for good reasons. We hope you if have a Lab, you’ll give your doggo a few extra hugs and playtime today!