Greetings from me, Chopper. The next installment in our series on your best friends features the Labrador Retriever. This dog is extremely popular in the United States and Canada. You often hear of them referenced by color—black, yellow or chocolate.
The Labrador Retriever originated in Newfoundland in the 1500s. Newfoundlands were bred with water dogs to create a sporting dog, which was later exported to England. The dog’s webbed toes and built-in “raincoats” made swimming a cinch, forming the perfect assistant for fisherman. Labs were skilled at fetching during hunts as well. They earned the name ‘Labrador Retriever’ because they would retrieve from the Labrador Sea.
Lab Temperament and Play Style
There’s a reason Labs are much beloved. They’re affectionate, outgoing, friendly and good with kids. The Lab is your all-American family pet who typically does well as on only pet or in a home with other dogs. These pups are very athletic.
Labs are very outdoorsy. Short hair means messy play is easy, so trips to the swimming hole won’t leave them caked in mud for weeks. Eager to help, Labrador Retrievers are great hunting and fishing assistants, search and rescue dogs, and assistance pets.
Don’t let this dog’s easygoing nature fool you into thinking he’s a relaxed housemate. The second half of the name is ‘Retriever,’ which means fetching toys top the list for this fetching fiend. They also need mental stimulation, meaning puzzle toys are fantastic when your Lab’s done with athleticism for the day.
Playtime Notes for the Labrador Retriever
Labs need a lot of exercise. They’re great at motivating all members of the family to get off the couch and go for a walk multiple times a day. While they may be cuddle buddies at bedtime, they have too much energy to keep them indoors all the time.
Don’t forget they were bred to be energetic for their hunting and fishing tasks. They’re swimmers. Make sure your swimming pool has a fence that this smarty pants can’t penetrate. With playtime, lean into his urge to run and swim with the Beco Fetch Bundle or Cycle Dog floating toys.
Because they’re so adventurous, make sure your Lab is trained to come when called. You should also you microchip this buddy.
Your Labrador Retriever Best Friends
We wanted you to tell us about your best buddies and you did! One thing we’ve learned from you is that Labs are lovers! For those interested in adding a Lab to your pack, here’s what parents have to say about their fur babies.
Duke and Blue are pack mates. Duke “LOVES to play fetch with Mom and his younger brother, Blue. He loves kids and other dogs too!” Meanwhile, Blue “LOVES to play more than anything! He's a sweet, slobbery dog whom is afraid of loud noises.” (by Kara Jones @karajones255)
Max is a young pup who “loves his brothers and cousins more than anything. He loves to play in the water at the beach and have fun!” (by Kara Jones @karajones255)
Naaru is a “service dog in training for some very unique disabilities. He is taking it all in typical Lab stride.” (We suspect he’s loving every minute of it. by Peyson @naarutheeddog)
Dublin is described as a “once in a lifetime dog. Always up for adventure or a nap. Everything great you hear about the breed all in one happy creature :)” (by Morgan @m_cubed_)
Until next time--