Follow the ‘Breed a Week’ Blog which will be bringing you interesting facts and Top Tips on a specific breed every week. We will also be recommending products from our range which would be great for your dog if you need inspiration!
Week 1: The Labrador Retriever.
‘When God made Labrador Retrievers, he was showing off.’ – Unknown.
The Labrador, although arguably the most beloved and quintessentially English breed there is, actually originated in Canada. They are one of the most recognised breeds out there and come in three colours: black, yellow and chocolate. From the Gundog group their bred purpose was to be dogs that retrieved prey – commonly birds which would fall where the shooter couldn’t see them.
Known for their lovable nature they make fantastic family pets but mostly terrible guard dogs (due to their un-territorial nature).
Labradors, whilst originally being bred for retrieving, have also developed a modern day purpose. They are the most popular breed to be used as dogs for the blind.
- The reason chocolate is the rarest of the breed’s colourings is because (due to unpopularity before the 20th century) chocolate Labradors were often culled at birth and were nearly completely bred out of the breed. It is only recently they have started to become so popular. Now the chocolate colour, across all breeds in fact, is in extremely high demand.
- Up until the 20th century the only colour acceptable for show Labradors was black.
- Labradors are very prone to weight gain since they will eat just about anything you give them!
- The Labrador retriever was originally called a St John’s dog (having originated from St Johns- the capital of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada). They started as fisherman’s companions, helping to haul in the nets and retrieve fallen fish. They were bred with webbed feet and some Labradors still have this feature.
- Due to their history, the Labrador actually originates from the same dog that the Newfoundland does.
- Although the kennel club only recognises the colours black, yellow and chocolate there is talk of a new colour of Labradors; silver. It is actually a dilution of the chocolate Labrador and extremely controversial.
- In a Tatler article ‘Town vs Country’ the Labrador is the breed for everyone; the black for old country money, chocolate for new country money and yellow for old town (The newly trendy Labradoodle is the dog for new Town money.)
- The Labrador has been used for canine characters both on screen and in books for years. Examples include Marley from ‘Marley & Me’ Genevieve from ‘Madeleine’ and Lauth from ‘An Incredible Journey.’
Top Tips and recommendations:
Exercise and treats: Due to their tendency for over eating it is a good idea to give your Labrador plenty of exercise. A wonderful item to help with this is the Chuck It Launcher* which enables you to give your pouch a thorough workout without the fear of getting too tired yourself! The Deer Antlers* would also make an ideal treat since they’re very durable, last a long time, are good for teeth and don’t add to your dogs weight.
Grooming: With their short double water resistant coats Labradors don’t need much grooming. Hair cuts are not required but bathing is necessary. And due to their notorious shedding a good brush, the furminator* tool is very handy for helping to remove dead and unwanted hair.
Plus if you’re looking for a good Labrador themed gift, our ‘Wagging Tails’ Labrador Clocks* are wonderfully unique and stylish.
*All recommended products can be found at our branches