The Labrador Retriever. Active, friendly, outgoing, and one of America's favorites. You see that face and that sunny demeanor, and you know you're looking at a Lab. But do you know where the Lab actually originated? How about what's so special about their feet?
Find out these fun facts, and more, below.
1. The Lab is actually from Newfoundland.
Despite its name, the Labrador Retriever did not actually come from Labrador, but from Newfoundland. The Newfoundland area was populated with small water dogs that, when bred with Newfoundlands, produced a breed referred to as the "St. John's water dog," a prototype for the Lab of today.
2. They're a versatile hunting dog.
What's the Lab's bred-for purpose? Hunting! Labs were brought to England in the 19th century and refined into a sporting dog for waterfowl and upland game. The Lab became a popular hunting breed in America after World War II.
Photo courtesy of Debra Mengel, AKC Breeder of Merit
3. They love water and retrieving.
As if it's any surprise, the Labrador Retriever usually loves to swim and retrieve. The Lab is extremely athletic, with tons of energy and stamina. Because they love water so much, Labs often make great candidates for dock diving.
4. The Lab is incredibly popular.
If dog breeds were winning superlatives, the Lab would win "most popular," for sure. The Labrador Retriever has been the most popular breed in America for a record-breaking 26 years. And we can understand why—you just have to love these friendly, easygoing dogs.
5. They're great workers.
While the Lab is in the Sporting Group, they're also fantastic workers, often having a variety of different jobs, from family companion to search-and-rescue dog. Labs are excellent guide dogs, narcotic detection dogs, therapy dogs, service dogs, and more. They're also perfectly content to be your very best friend at home, as well.
6. They come in three colors.
The beautiful Lab comes in three distinct colors: yellow, black, and chocolate.
7. The Lab is made for water.
The Lab is built for swimming. This breed has a sleek, waterproof coat, webbed feet, and an otter-like tail. Not to mention, they're adorable as seals when they swim.
8. They love to please, and they excel in dog sports.
Labs are intelligent, willing to please their owners, and respond very well to positive training. Because of all these facts, Labs are excellent sports participants. They can get involved in anything from rally, to agility, to flyball.
Looking for a Labrador Retriever? Or have one and want to show the whole world how much you love them? Find Labrador Retriever puppies on AKC Marketplace. And for some awesome Lab swag, check out our breed-specific products on the AKC Shop site.