About the Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever Features

•Very reliable, well proven breed as for many years have been our number 1 in the UK as a family pet

•They do just love food which makes training easy as long as started as young as possible is positive, encouraging and consistent

•Highly intelligent and strong and so love a job to do which is why they are popular in the shooting world

•Generally loving in nature and just want to please so make great family pets

•Very respectful so as long as trained well will perform for youngest and oldest members of the family

•A sociable breed so generally are great mixers with other dogs

•Short hair and do shed so a little extra hovering will be needed

•A visit to the groomers may help at “shedding” times of the year to help lose their coat quicker

•They for strong bonds which is why they make perfect family pets but they are also a bred they can be left home alone

•As long as produced from good/ health checked parents generally have few health problems


The Labrador Retriever, as the name suggests, was originally bred for a specific purpose which was to retrieve nets for fishermen and the fact they have webbed paws makes them extremely strong and able swimmers. The breed was later used to retrieve game when birds were flushed out and shot by hunters which often took place in challenging environments which included watery marshlands.

The breed originates from the coastal regions of Newfoundland and is thought to have been created by crossing St John’s Water Dogs with other smaller breeds of water dogs and possibly Mastiffs, a breed introduced to the country by Portuguese fishermen in the 16th and 17th centuries. The St John’s Water dog is also an ancestor of the Newfoundland, a dog that is closely related to the Labrador with the Lab being the smaller of the two dogs and having shorter coats whereas the Newfoundland is the larger dog and one that was used to haul carts back in the day.

Labradors were first introduced into the UK in the late 1800’s by the Earl of Malmsbury and Col Peter Hawker. Both men developed a keen interest in the breed and arranged for a selection of dogs to be imported to the UK. Many Chocolate Labradors are decendants of a Labrador Retriever called Buccleuch Avon, a dog that was gifted to the Duke of Buccleuch in Scotland in 1890 by the Duke of Malmsbury. Another dog called Malmesbury Tramp owned by Countess Howe, is among the main ancestors of the modern Labrador Retrievers we see today.

Breed numbers fell in Newfoundland for a combination of reasons, but thanks to the efforts of the first and second Earls of Malmesbury who, through their careful breeding programmes, continued to develop and improve the breed in the UK where they were to become some of the most highly prized as gundogs in the field.

Today, the Labrador Retriever remains the fourth most popular breed in the UK and for good reason, they are reliable, trustworthy and incredibly loyal making them the perfect family pet and companion to share a home with and they are notably extremely good when they are around children.

Interesting facts about the breed

  • Are Labrador Retrievers a vulnerable breed? No, they are among the most popular both in the UK and in other countries of the world
  • There is some thought that Labrador Retrievers might have been called St. John’s dogs or they may have been called Lesser Newfoundlands. Other people think the breed was named after the Portuguese word “lavradores” or the Spanish word “labradores” which when translated means rural/agricultural workers. There is a village in Portugal called Castro Laboreiro where herding dogs are very similar looking to Labrador Retrievers too
  • Liver and golden Labs were known to exist way back in 1807 when they were referred to a chocolate or butterscotch-yellow coloured dogs
  • The first yellow Labrador to have been recognised was a dog named Ben of Hyde
  • Chocolate Labs became popular in the thirties
  • Gold and fox red Labradors were bred to reestablish the colours by breeders in England using Balrion King Frost and his grandson Wynfaul Tabasco, a dog responsible for being the biggest influence in re-establishing the colour fox red in the breed
  • All chocolate Labradors can trace their origins to eight bloodlines