Why is the Labrador Retriever called that? The history of the Newfoundland dog breed in Canada

Because the race of Labrador Retrievers does it have this name? It's simple: they have something to do with it Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labradorthe land of origin of these dogs, their great ability to retrieve objects (hence the nickname Retriever, “to retrieve”) and the count of Malmesburywho would be the first to coin the term in 1887 in one of his letters.

The Labrador Retriever is a medium-sized dog with a massive build, with a sociable and docile character and a good temperament. The breed and the name “Labrador Retriever” spread among the mid-nineteenth century el'beginning of the twentieth century straddling Canada and the United Kingdom. The dog breed itself, in fact, has its origins on the island of Newfoundland (in English Newfoundland), located in the Atlantic Ocean off the northeastern Canadian coast. The territory was a British colony and became part of Canada only in 1949.

The race progressively differentiated from other breeds of dogs in close contact with humans and in a context of relative isolation. The inhabitants of Newfoundland, in fact, largely fishermenthey used dogs to recover The caught fish escaped networks and tools such as oars or equipment, whether on the shores of the island, or directly on ships or at sea. This is the reason for the nickname Retrievers (literally “retriever”): the Labrador, like other breeds (for example the Golden Retriever), is a so-called retriever.

labrador retriever colors

On the island of Newfoundland, the dogs most skilled at swimming and retrieving objects were progressively selected (unconsciously, without a precise plan) to accompany the sailors. In particular, a race gradually emerged, that of the so-called St. John's water dogs (i.e. of San Giovanni), so useful to fishermen that they were also imported into United Kingdomat least since 1830. The ships who brought the dogs to England started from coasts of Labrador (the Canadian region located next to the island of Newfoundland), so the English assigned the eponymous Labrador to the breed.

It was in the United Kingdom that some English nobles created a breeding and selection process more reasoned and targeted which led to the emergence of the Labrador Retriever breed. The first recognized Labrador in history was born in 1885He was called Buccleuch Avon and belonged to Earl of Malmesbury. Attention: even if today we are used to associating Labradors above all with the light yellow-brown colour, the first Labradors had the black fur. The first specimen with the coat clear was born in 1899 and he was called Ben of Hyde. Labradors with colored coats chocolatehowever, they only began to spread in the first half of the 20th century.

Buccleuch Avon, the first Labrador Retriever in history (1885)

The Kennel Club English (the oldest dog club in the world) officially recognized the Labrador Retriever breed in 1903. The latter subsequently received further official recognitions around the world, with relative standardization. There is therefore no difference between Labrador and Labrador Retriever: they are a single breed.

Nowadays Labradors are widespread almost everywhere as companion animals, particularly in Western countries. Furthermore, thanks to their empathy and swimming skills they are trained as assistance, rescue and water rescue dogs.

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