Certainly one of our favourite dogs here at the Arundell Arms, (if you follow us on Facebook or Twitter you will have seen our Basil guarding the orders before Royal Mail collects!) we think the faithful Labrador makes for a great working dog and, of course, beloved pet. We even have a whole range of accessories featuring our best friend, and it seems you're mad about your labs too, based on our Christmas orders for this range.
So we thought it would be fun to publish a collection of weird and wonderful labrador information, learned from years of ownership. Maybe if you have any further gems you could post them for us? We'd love to find out new things about our canine pals!
- What we now consider a Labrador was first brought to England from Newfoundland around 1820, and were bred by the Earl of Malmesbury. Impressed by their skill and intelligence witnessed on a fishing trip, he devoted his entire kennel to breeding them.
- The breed that our Labradors come from is the Lesser Newfoundland, more often known as the St John's Water Dog. Our modern Labradors were so named because they 'retrieved' in the Labrador Sea as waterfowl hunters and fishing dogs.
- The first yellow labrador on record was born in 1899 with a darker, golden colour than we currently think of today. The vogue for lighter yellow and cream shades engineered by selective breeding happened largely in the 20th century. Chocolate labradors emerged in the 1930's.
- Fully grown male labradors weigh 29-41kg (64-90lbs) with females a respectable 25-32kg (55-71lbs). Labradors love eating and this combined with a sedentary lifestyle can cause them to pile on the pounds. Anything over 100lbs is considered obese by the American Kennel Club. Labradors should stand at 21 - 25 inches (55-62cm)
- There are two main lines of labradors; Conformation and Field. Conformation (also known as 'English', 'Show' or 'Bench') tend to be shorter, stockier, fuller of face and with a calm nature. Field (also known as 'American or 'Working') are bred to be taller, lighter and with a thinner face and longer nose.
- Labradors usually shed twice annually, although this does depend on the individual dog! More temperate climates see them shed more regularly throughout the year.
- Labradors have webbed toes, which accounts for their excellent swimming ability. This also helps them in freezing conditions, stopping the cold snow from balling up between their toes.
- Labradors have a great sense of smell and an accurate tracking ability, making them excellent hunting and detection dogs.
- Widely acknowledged as the most popular dog, their gentle and even temperament makes them a fantastic member of any family, even those with children or elderly members. They are often used as assistance dogs to great effect.
Don't forget to check out our range of Dog Gifts online for loads of products featuring not just the lovable labrador but other types of dogs too.
We hope you enjoyed our facts learned about Labradors, don't forget to let us know if you have any to add! You can let us know by commenting below, or catching us on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.