Labrador Retriever - NSSF Let's Go Hunting

Labrador Retriever

Originally from Newfoundland, NOT that other province in Canada, the Labrador Retriever started out as a helper to fishermen who’d migrated from England in the early 1800’s. Their strong swimming ability was used to retrieve fish that fell off hooks, haul ropes across harbors and pull in nets, among other chores. That love of water also made them ideal duck and goose dogs and the word soon spread across the Atlantic when bird hunting became the sport of kings.

English nobility quickly glommed onto the breed, with the first reference to Labs being in a hunting book published in 1814. The breed was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1917. While accepted AKC colors include black, brown and yellow, there are also breeders developing “silver” and “fox” (red) Labs. Often paired with pointing breeds in the uplands, some hunters like Labs to do the flushing and retrieving after pointers have located birds. Every dog has the instinct to pause before pouncing and that’s being honed by breeders of pointing Labs. Easy going, biddable, upbeat personalities, and a strong all-around hunter, it’s no wonder the Labrador Retriever is America’s favorite dog.

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