The Labrador is the world’s most popular dog

The Labrador History

The Labrador is the world’s most popular dog

The Labrador History

The Labrador History

The Labrador is the world’s most popular dog, beloved by families and royalty alike for years, being one of the world’s most versatile breeds, seen in any and all fields from guide dogs to search and rescue, they really can do it all.

The Labrador has been the faithful companion to some of history’s most notable figures, from presidents and prime ministers to musical icons like Frank Sinatra and authors like Roald dahl. Although nowadays a Labrador is partial to curling up on the sofa it didn’t start this way, it actually originates from a largely cold and often times inhospitable place.

The complete origin of this breed encompasses many different parts of the world, such as Canada, Portugal, and Britain. British settlers took their hunting dogs of the time to Newfoundland, around the same time the Portuguese were making use of the areas for its rich harvest of cod, when these Portuguese fishermen set sail back to England with their hauls of cod, they took permutations of the breed back with them, with the first reported sightings of the Newfoundland dog in England taking place in the mid-1800s

A Fisherman's Friend

The Labrador is a direct descendant of the St John’s Dog, these dogs were described as at home in the water as they are on land, specialising in retrieving ropes and nets, and were even known to dive into the water to retrieve any fish that had slipped from their hooks. These dogs worked in tandem with fishermen and were considered as much a part of the process as the fishermen themselves.

The Earl of Malmesbury was the first to give the official name Labrador to the breed after playing an important role in importing them over to England for the first time.

The St Johns Dog had a dense, oily, and waterproof coat, perfect for venturing into the water and as are today’s Labradors, completely oblivious to the cold and happy to swim in exceptionally icy conditions.

A Popular Dog By Far

Despite the popularity of Labs in the 19th century, a dog tax caused the breed to drop in numbers in Newfoundland especially, because of this the labs that remained were bred across multiple other breeds to preserve the line, thankfully this worked, and we now have the amazing breed we have today.

In 1903 the Labrador was officially recognised as a breed by the English Kennel Club, following this throughout the 20s and 30s England saw a massive influx of labs, so much so that the majority of today’s labs can be traced back to them.

As the world transitioned into the modern era, many people found that there’s more to the Labrador than the typical hunting and fishing traits, traits that made them suitable as indoor household pets, patience is a virtue after all.

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