If you are looking for the perfect dog to bring home as your pet, you might want to consider getting a Labrador retriever. After all, the Labrador retriever is the most popular pet in the United States – and for good reason! The Labrador has a long history of being a faithful and easy-going pet that is highly intelligent and trainable. What more could a pet owner want from a dog?

The History of the Labrador Retriever

According to the American Kennel Club, the Labrador retriever was the top ranked breed in 2007. The Labrador retriever was originally a native to Newfoundland. In the early 19th century, the breed was brought to Britain by fishermen, and later made its way to the United States. It is believed that the breed originated from the St. Johns Water dog and it is closely related to the Newfoundland. The Labrador Retriever is currently the most popular dog breed in the US, the UK, and Poland.

These first Labradors were not bred to be companions. Rather, they were bred to serve as hunters. As time passed, however, the Labrador’s skills were put to other uses. In fact, it didn’t take long before Labradors were used assist the handicapped as guide dogs. Thanks to the easy temperament and train ability of Labradors, they are also used as therapy dogs to help provide comfort to residents in nursing homes and children suffering from emotional and physical disabilities. Since Labradors have an extraordinary sense of smell, they are also used by the police and the military to help track down weapons, drugs, criminals, bombs and people who have been buried from natural disasters.

Recognizing the Labrador Retriever

Labrador retrievers are medium-sized dogs that with short, dense fur. The fur of a Labrador retriever may be either yellow (and related shades), chocolate or black. Most Labradors weigh somewhere between 55 and 80 pounds and stand anywhere from 21 to 24 inches in height.

Though most people are able to easily recognize a Labrador when they see one, many do not realize that retrievers are also great swimmers. This is partially due to the fact that they have a special webbing between their toes as well as a water resistant coat. In addition, Labradors are also avid hunters and have very friendly and outgoing personalities.

Keeping a Labrador Retriever as a Pet

Due to their outgoing nature, Labrador retrievers make great pets. Many do tend to be a bit hyperactive, however, which can potentially be frightening to small children. Therefore, while Labradors are good-natured and gentle pets, you should exercise caution before bringing one home as a pet if you have young children at home. In addition, while Labradors can easily share a home with other dogs, it is best to introduce them to the other pets at an early age because Labradors do have a tendency to be jealous.

Labrador retrievers are excellent pets that are well-suited to any household. Just be certain to give your pet plenty of opportunities for exercise and to give it plenty of love and affection and you will be certain to have a healthy and happy companion for years to come.