Written by Senior Editor Peter Gehr
The Labrador Retriever: America’s No.1 choice for best puppy is at the top of the list for a reason. Not only is it one of the most friendly of dogs, but this is a breed that loves to please, in fact, is so eager to please it can be overwhelming. The nature of this breed comes complete with built-in loyalty, energy, and a whole lot of love.
One of the best dogs I ever owned was a “Lab,” and he became more than just a member of the family, in fact, we were convinced that he felt he literally was a member of the family. Truth be told, I’m convinced he believed he was just another human in the house. It wasn’t until we got 3 other dogs, Springer Spaniels, that he realized he was a dog. It took some time for him to come to this realization, but since he was “top dog” he endured the identity crisis with dignity.
Labrador Retriever: America’s No. 1 Choice for Best Puppy
Labrador Retrievers, originally from Newfoundland, were initially used in work alongside fisherman, helping to pull in nets and catch fish that escaped from fishing lines. After being crossed with Setters, Spaniels and other Retrievers, the Labrador Retriever honed its skills as a true retriever. From this point in the breed’s history, “Labs,” as they are affectionately called, were bred primarily to perform as an efficient retriever of game, with a stable temperament suitable for a variety of activities beyond hunting.
An ideal sporting and family dog, the Labrador Retriever thrives as part of an active family or as a trusted hunting companion. A double-coated breed which sheds seasonally, regular grooming keeps his coat at its water-resistant best. Because of his even temperament and trainability millions of Americans own a Labrador Retriever as a pet.
True Labrador Retriever temperament is as much a hallmark of the breed as the “otter” tail. The ideal disposition is one of a kindly, outgoing, tractable nature; eager to please and non-aggressive towards man or animal. The Labrador has much that appeals to people; his gentle ways, intelligence and adaptability make him an ideal dog.
The Labrador Retriever is a strongly built, medium-sized, short-coupled, dog possessing a sound, athletic, well-balanced conformation that enables it to function as a retrieving gun dog; the substance and soundness to hunt waterfowl or upland game for long hours under difficult conditions; the character and quality to win in the show ring; and the temperament to be a family companion. Physical features and mental characteristics should denote a dog bred to perform as an efficient Retriever of game with a stable temperament suitable for a variety of pursuits beyond the hunting environment.
The most distinguishing characteristics of the Labrador Retriever are its short, dense, weather resistant coat; an “otter” tail; a clean-cut head with broad back skull and moderate stop; powerful jaws; and its “kind,” friendly eyes, expressing character, intelligence and good temperament. (Original article here)
The Labrador Retriever: America’s No.1 choice for best puppy, and continues to be year after year, and it’s really easy to believe that it will continue to be forever. Having owned this breed and experiencing the bond that stays with me to this very day, the Lab is an excellent choice for any age group, family size and situation. This is a dog that is used as an assistance dog, guide dog, guard dog, military dog, and most of all, is seen in more homes than any other breed as America’s household pet of choice. The Lab is an incredibly friendly and kind-hearted creature that will bring joy to your life and home. Of course, it does require input and training, and because of his energy level as a puppy, in fact, he will continue being a puppy for most of his life and will therefore need lots of stimulation and exercise.