Let’s have another look at Category number two of our Gundog; that is the Labrador Retriever. A first-class gun dog, in the UK Labradors are the ideal dog to have as a guide for the blind, and make the ideal companion. Easy to train with little repetition. For the autistic, they are great therapy dogs. Law enforcement love working with them being highly intelligent and gentle in nature. Because of the dog’s aptitude to please its handler the Labrador Retriever excels as part of a search-and-rescue team, or in drug detection with law enforcement.
Gundog – Labrador Retriever – History
The Labrador ‘s career has had three distinct phases. It began as a fisherman’s dog in Newfoundland, trained to bring in the nets through perilous, icy waters. This was probably the breed known as the St John’s Newfoundland.
Newfoundland fishermen, bringing fish to England, also sold off their dogs, and in its new home the breed developed as a gundog. The name “Labrador” coined in 1877, by an early devotee of the breed, the Earl of Malmesbury. More recently the Labrador has become one of the best-known companion dogs in the world and the dog most favored as a guide for the blind.
The main reason for the Labrador’s success as a pet is its personality. The dog as good temperament, amiable, loyal and utterly reliable with children. Because these dogs are so easy-going there is a tendency to think that they can adapt to almost any lifestyle. Labrador’s do need a fair amount of exercise to stay in trim. Let them swim regularly, for their love of water as an inescapable part of their past.
Head: A broad skull, powerful jaw and pronounced stop. Eyes: Brown or hazel, of medium size, with an intelligent, kindly expression. Body: Strong-looking, with a broad, deep chest. Ears: Set well back and hanging close to the head. Coat: An important feature. Short, hard, dense and waterproof, with no waves or feathering. Coat color should be solid, preferably black or yellow, although a white spot on the chest is acceptable. Tail: The “otter tail” is unique characteristic of this breed. Fat at the base, tapering to a point, it’s covered in short, thick fur.