Lilly Brush

Dog Breed Profile: Labrador Retrievers

All About Labs

In 2020, the Labrador Retriever was ranked the #1 most popular dog breed in the U.S. for the 30th year in a row! Each year, the American Kennel Club lists dog breeds in order of popularity throughout the country. Time and time again, Labs have topped the list. These loveable dogs are loyal, friendly, and kind, and have quite a history! 

Contrary to popular belief, Labrador Retrievers originated in Newfoundland in the 1500s. The breed name’s origin is misleading, however, as the name originated in Canada, leading many to believe that the breed also originated there. 

During the 1500s in Newfoundland, Labs were commonly known as fisherman’s dogs. They trained to help with tasks such as pulling in fish nets or jumping into the waters to retrieve fallen fish. Their water-repellent coats and strong paws made them perfect for the job! 

It wasn’t until the 1800s that the breed began expanding across Europe, beginning with England, as the dogs became known for their skills in hunting and retrieving. 

From the Lilly Brush Community 

Today, Labradors are still a faithful and eager breed, although their relationships with humans have changed quite a bit. While they’re still great dogs to take fishing and hunting, they’re extremely loyal and make great family pets. 

To learn more about household labrador retrievers, we asked our community of Instagram followers for insight into their lives with labs! 

Are Labs well-behaved, or mischievous? 

apollo_choc_lab: Both. Mischievous but very trainable. Labs are wild and crazy for about the first 3 years.

monster.mackk: I would say they are generally well-behaved and easy to train. Of course, they all have their quirks and may be mischievous at times… like stealing things around the house 😂

farley_the_labrador: Labs are like most other dogs. If they aren’t given enough physical and mental stimulation, they will find other outlets for their energy. This can lead to mischievous behaviour if left unattended. They are very loving dogs and are very eager to please. 

rosie_lab_life: I believe labradors and all dogs are well behaved if the boundaries are put in early. Apart from the general chewing things etc that all pups go through, Rosie is a good girl. She likes to chew things up so we cater for this with old boxes and stuff that she can explore.

What should someone know before adopting a Labrador?

apollo_choc_lab: They are big dogs. Very loyal. Labs need a companion and a family, they aren’t good backyard dogs. 

monster.mackk: Before adopting a lab, it’s extremely important to understand that they are high energy and require a lot of exercise. They need the mental stimulation, and when they don’t get it is when they may act out. Do not get a lab if you just want a lap dog to sit around and be lazy with (of course they love to cuddle, but after they’ve been worn out).

farley_the_labrador: Labs are not couch potatoes. They require a lot of exercise and stimulation. They were bred for hunting and retrieving, which means living an active lifestyle. Be sure you’re capable of providing adequate exercise before bringing home a Labrador Retriever. 

rosie_lab_life: Labradors are very very loving and love to have your attention. They love to cuddle and are extremely loyal. Labradors can be very food motivated, so beware you’re not leaving food around! They will find it! They will eat it! On the other hand, good high value food is very good at teaching heel walking and other skills. 

What can Lab owners do to be the best dog parent possible? 

apollo_choc_lab: Train, train, train. Trained labs with clear boundaries are much happier. Also, keep a strict feeding regimen. Labs tend to overeat and can gain weight which is unhealthy for the pup. 

monster.mackk: Exercise them, bring them on doggy dates, take them on hikes, let them swim! The more socializing the better. 

farley_the_labrador: Attend training classes with your dog. It’s important to learn how to work as team and build a strong bond. This will help you learn how to set them up for success and how to manage unwanted behaviours.  

rosie_lab_life: I’d say to ensure you have time to give them. Ensure you have decent insurance, as the bills can be very pricey. If not insurance, have a set amount put away. 

What makes Labradors unique from other dogs? 

apollo_choc_lab: Labs have a very high drive to please. Loyal beyond loyal and are the absolute best family dog, hunting dog, working dog. It’s a breed that can do it all. 

monster.mackk: Labs are super loyal and smart. You can train them to do anything, whether it be random tricks or learning how to hunt (they’re “retrievers” for a reason!).

rosie_lab_life: Labradors are very willing to please. They are good at reading people’s moods and emotions. Rosie can tell if a person/dog  is a dog person/dog or not. She also is very good at being gentle with the younger pups.

Is there anything else you think people should know about Labs? 

apollo_choc_lab: If you get a Lab, be ready to give it your heart. ❤️

monster.mackk: If you’re looking for a dog that will be your shadow, make you laugh, and be the best cuddler, labs are the way to go!

farley_the_labrador: They are very loving dogs and are very willing to please. They are quick learners and enjoy learning. They are great adventure dogs as well!rosie_lab_life: I’d say go for it! Open your heart to a lab or two and you will never have a boring day. Rosie lights up the room.