History of the labrador

Originating in the North East corner of Canada.

inteligent design

250 years of finessing

The history of the Labrador goes back at least 250 years, and as a breed they first began appearing in the North East corner of Canada, in and around a town called “Labrador” (hence their name!). In those early days, they were used exclusively by fishermen.

The Arctic waters of the North were far too cold for any human to venture into, even in the Summer, and often fishermen were left with lines, traps and nets in the water that they couldn’t grab and bring back into their boats.

So these hardy, strong, double coated, water loving dogs would jump straight into those sub-freezing waters and retrieve the lines and nets, bringing them back to the boats where the fisherman could haul them up.

Natural retriever 

The fisherman

The Labrador was invaluable to these fishermen, but early, wealthy English visitors to the Canadian wilds quickly saw how they could use this natural, retrieving, instincts of the Labrador for Gundog purposes. They began exporting the Canadian dogs to England, cross breeding them with already established Gundog breeds, such as the Golden Retriever and Flat Coat Retriever, to develop the Labrador that we know of today.


Birth of the Labrador we know

So, the origin of the Labrador type of dog is Canadian, but those early dogs bore little resemblance to the modern Labrador of today. The Labrador, as a Gundog and Retriever, was an English development, which is why many people consider them to be an “English” breed of dog. Calling them English is not wrong, as they did become a “Retriever” in England, but calling them Canadian isn’t wrong either…

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