Bo is a Labrador Retriever mix! Keep reading for more information on one of my favorite breeds, the Lab!
Labs are waterdogs actually from Newfoundland, not Labrador as one might expect. Small water dogs were bred with Newfoundlands to create Labrador Retrievers, although they were called St. John’s Water Dogs at the time. Early Labs were used alongside fisherman. They would jump into the water to retrieve fish that fell off the fishing line or they would pull large fish nets. Labs are well suited for swimming because of their water repellent coats and webbed paws. Their jobs also progressed to include duck retrieval during hunting. Here’s a video of a lab retrieving a duck!
Labs made their way out of Newfoundland to England in the early 1800s. The Earl of Malmesbury was quite fond the breed, so he helped Labs gain popularity. The Earl is also responsible for shifting the name from St. John’s Water Dog to what we know today, the Labrador Retriever. Since then, their popularity has continued to increase and they are currently the most popular breed in America.
|Life Expectancy||10-12 years|
Given the history of Labs, it makes sense that they are very energetic dogs. They need lots of exercise, and they are prone to acting destructive if they do not receive enough exercise. Although Labs will be fine with traditional means of exercise, your Lab might be more happy if you pursue alternate means of exercise including swimming, hunting, or obedience classes. Labs also make excellent search and rescue or service dogs! If you feel compelled to have a great bonding experience with your dog while also helping society, you can consider being trained with your dog as a volunteer to partake in some of these service activities!
Endal is considered to be the most decorated dog in the world! Endal was a service dog who assisted Allen Parton who has many disabilities following his service in the Royal Navy. This extremely helpful Lab gained attention in 2001 when Parton got knocked out of his wheelchair when a car drove past him near a hotel. Endal sprung into action pulling Parton into recovery mode, getting his cell phone out, covering him with a blanket, and barking at the hotel staff until they provided assistance. For his dedication to service Endal won countless awards! He is only the second dog to win the Gold Blue Peter Badge which is given to those who demonstrate the highest levels of courage. He was also given the highest award available to animals, the PDSA Gold Medal for Animal Gallantry and Devotion to Duty. A book, and a later a movie, were created to share his story with the world.
Thanks for your service Endal!
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