10 Fun Facts About Labradors, Like They Almost Went Extinct!

They're hard to top: say hello to the ever-popular Labrador Retriever!

Labrador Retrievers are among America's favorite breed! Labradors are regularly named America's most popular dog breed, having done so from 1991-2020, according to the American Kennel Club — It is easy to see why! If you know a lab, you know how affectionate, fun-loving, and easily trainable these dogs can be. They're right at home playing with the kids or heading out into the woods for a hunting trip.

Labs are lovable and hardworking, but how much do you really know about these high-energy working dogs? Here are 10 fun facts about Labrador Retrievers, our country's favorite water dog and most popular breed.

Fun Facts About Labrador Retrievers

1. The Labrador Retriever was inducted into the AKC Registry in 1917.

2. Labradors aren't from Labrador. They are from Newfoundland, Canada, even once having the nickname: The St. John's water dog...

3. Silver Labradors exist, but aren't recognized by breeders or kennel clubs. Labs' official coat colors are Chocolate, Yellow, and Black.

4. The world's oldest Lab was 29 years old. Her name was Bella.

5. Their "gentle mouths" are a result of being bred as bird dogs for so long.

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6. "Show Labs" are often thought of as English Labs, and "Field Labs" are called American Labs. However, they are all the same breed of Labrador Retriever — They can be show or sporting dogs!

7. Labrador Retrievers are not necessarily good watchdogs...

8. Labs have a double coat to protect them from icy waters; they're almost water-resistant and have webbed toes!

9. They originally helped fishermen in Newfoundland retrieve fish and collect lines and nets in the water.

10. Labs almost went extinct in the late 1800s, when Newfoundland put a heavy tax on households with more than one dog to limit their numbers. The horror!

Labrador Retrievers are one of the most recognizable breeds of dogs. Even people who aren't dog lovers can recognize a Lab! They make great therapy dogs, service dogs and guide dogs, gun dogs retrieving upland game and fowl, search and rescue dogs, and are the best all-around family dog. Their health problems are similar to most large dogs, such as German Shepherds. They are susceptible to hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia and progressive retinal atrophy. Dog owners also see diabetes as a serious problem if your Lab suffers from obesity.

And remember, a bored Lab is a destructive Lab. Make sure you give your buddy daily exercise!

From Black Labs to Chocolate Labs to Yellow Labs, the Labrador breed makes the perfect best friend. Visit the Labrador Retriever Club of the United States for more information!

Have a Golden Retriever or Black Labrador running around at home? Share them with our Wide Open Pets Instagram!

This article was originally published October 23, 2019.

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