The popular Labrador Retriever has proved his worth in a huge range of roles, from gun-dog work to assistance work to competitive sports.
There are actually two types of Labrador Retrievers: the American one is tall and slender while the English one is stockier. They have a broad head, close hanging ears and a short, smooth coat. The most popular colours are yellow and black but they also come in chocolate, 'fox red' and even silver. Their webbed feet and otter-like tail make them excellent swimmers.
They originate from Newfoundland where they worked helping fishermen. They were brought to the UK in the 1800's where they were crossed with other breeds to improve their retrieving skills.
They are naturally loyal, loving, patient and eager to please. Their trainability makes them a good choice for a family dog but also makes them excellent assistance dogs for a range of disabilities. They love to play, especially in water. Their natural tendency is to be reliably friendly to all: strangers, other animals and they are normally excellent with children. They love to work so are happiest when given a purpose. They also love exercise, and as they have a tendency to put on weight, a good daily walk is important.
Their short coat is easy to maintain and they tend to shed little but regularly. They are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, PRA, mast cell tumours and eye problems.