USES: Their original use in Newfoundland was as a fisherman's companion helping to pull in nets and catch fish that escaped from fishing lines. After they were imported to England and "perfected" as the Labrador Retriever, they became the perfect gun dog. They assisted the hunter in the "retrieval" of game. Their soft jowls made it possible to carry the small game and birds in their mouths without a single puncture to the hunter's catch. Other modern day uses for this extraordinarily adaptable, highly trainable breed include: tracking, watchdog, police work, narcotics detection, guide for the blind, service dog for the disabled, search and rescue, sledding, carting, agility, field trial competitor and competitive obedience. It is no wonder they are the most popular breed in America!
HEALTH PROBLEMS: Hip and elbow dysplasia, PRA, mast cell tumors, osteoarthritis and eye disorders.
INTERESTING INFO: Even though they have short hair they ARE shedders! Be prepared for that short, fine hair to accessorize any outfit. They, like the Golden Retriever, have two types: the English (or show) lab, a more mellow breed with shorter legs, stockier body and a slower metabolism. The other type is the American, or field, Labrador. These have longer legs, a longer body and a higher metabolism. Labs absolutely must be an integral part of the family with their "pack leader" willing to do the work to be the "pack leader"or labs can become bored and destructive.
If you are looking for the perfect jogging companion your children can grrow up with and are willing to put in the work necessary (basic training and getting him/her a lot of exercise and love), the Labrador Retriever may just be the breed you have been looking for.