The History of the Labrador Retriever is a little mysterious in so much that the Labrador Retriever does not originate from Labrador in Canada but rather from nearby Newfoundland. Whatever their origins the history of the Labrador Retriever began in the 19th century when the English aristocracy began to import the dogs from Newfoundland. Known as ‘St Johns’ dogs they would work with the Newfoundland fisherman retrieving lines and lost fish before going home to play with the children of the family.
Labrador lovers of today will recognise their hard working, lovable and eager to please pet from in that description.
Labrador Retrievers belong to the Gundog group.
Labradors come in three colours, Black, Yellow and Chocolate. Their increasing popularity as a family pet has seen breeding numbers increase exponentially. They now account for over 1/5th of all dogs registered with the Kennel Club annually.
Labradors do make good family pets, but many people underestimate the amount of work involved in rearing a new puppy, and quite often, in the early days, give up through exasperation. Do your research beforehand, they can become fabulous family pets, but you get out what you put in, and in the early days, that is a LOT of hard work.
They are a strongly built, a very active dog; with a broad and deep chest and ribs. Labradors are good-tempered dogs, very agile with an excellent nose and soft mouth; they have a keen love of water. They are intelligent, keen and biddable, with a strong will to please. They possess a kindly nature, with no trace of aggression or undue shyness. Labradors are adaptable; they make good support dogs, detection dogs, working dogs as well as devoted companions.
Labradors are essentially a healthy breed.
Hips and Elbows should be scored for dysplasia in breeding stock prior to mating and an annual eye test can detect Hereditary Cataracts and GPRA, GPRA is 100% genetic and so the status of the parent’s eyes entirely affects the puppy’s eyes for the future.
DNA Screening is also available for - prcd-PRA and CNM. The OptiGen prcd-PRA test is a DNA-based test that helps you avoid one form of Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA). PRA refers to a group of diseases that cause the retina of the eye to degenerate slowly over time. The result is declining vision and eventual blindness. Care must be taken with excessive exercise whilst they are puppies.
CNM - Centro nuclear Myopathy (Muscular Myopathy of the Labrador) is a disabling disease affecting Labrador Retrievers that has been described for 30 years. The number of affected dogs varies and frequently depends upon which fashionable studs and dams have been extensively used for breeding. Often a popular Labrador might be a carrier, but it is only discovered after many litters of puppies have already been produced. Recently the numbers of affected litters appears to be increasing. It is possible to test a litter of puppies as soon as permanent identification is established.