Escape to the Country
Where Did Labrador Retrievers Actually Come From?
Learn how labrador retrievers were introduced to Britain to work alongside dukes and other prestigious members of society!
In America, labrador retrievers are some of society’s most beloved and coveted family dogs. They are known for their sweet and goofy dispositions, loyalty to their families, their eagerness to please, and overall adorableness. But in the United Kingdom, the British people have recognized an intelligence and willingness to work in labradors since they were introduced to the country in the 1830’s. On this episode of “Escape to the Country,” learn how black labs came to Britain and have spent more than a century as reliable gun dogs for members of the British elite.
Now, we can’t say we're surprised that black labs make such wonderful gun dogs. Not only are they highly intelligent, but the word “retrieve” is literally in the name labrador retriever. If you haven’t heard of a gun dog before, it’s a dog that is trained to assist hunters in finding and retrieving game. They are sometimes referred to as bird dogs, as they are usually retrieving fowl such as quail, dove, or duck. For a dog who loves to learn, run, and fetch, it’s basically a dream job.
However, gun dogs aren’t the only role a labrador can play! With their intelligence and sharp senses, labs can work in a variety of fields. For example, labrador retrievers are often used as police dogs and can be trained to sniff out bombs and illegal drugs. Meanwhile, their sweetness and loyalty allows them to be excellent therapy dogs, seeing eye dogs, and perform other tasks required by disabled handlers as service dogs. But no matter whom or how they serve, any labrador retriever would probably say that his most important job is being man’s best friend.