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Interesting Facts About the Labrador Retriever Breed

The Labrador Retriever is a lively and fun-loving breed that makes a wonderful family pet. But there is so much more to know about this breed aside from its friendly personality. Below you will find a list of some of the most interesting facts about this breed that you may not have known!

  1. Labs are one of the most popular dog breeds. According to American Kennel Club (AKC) statistics, the Labrador Retriever is consistently ranked as the top most popular dog breed in the United States. The Lab has taken the top slot for the past three years, beating out other popular breeds like the German Shepherd and the Golden Retriever.
  2. The Labrador Retriever is one of the smartest dog breeds. While Labs are primarily known for their friendly personalities, they are also one of the smartest dog breeds out there. Labs are rated among the top ten most intelligent dog breeds and they are able to learn and understand a new command with fewer than 5 repetitions.
  3. Labrador Retrievers are built to swim. The Lab has a thick double coat that is designed to repel water and to keep the dog warm in cold weather. Not only is the Lab’s coat designed for water, but they also have a uniquely shaped tail (often called an “otter tail”) which helps them to maneuver in the water.
  4. The name doesn’t tell the whole story. Given the name of the breed, you might expect Labrador Retrievers to hail from the Labrador region of Canada. In reality, however, this breed was developed from the St. John’s water dog which came from the island of Newfoundland.
  5. Labradors are one of the fastest breeds. While they are primarily known for their friendly personalities and excellent swimming and retrieving skills, Labrador Retrievers can also run very fast. This breed is incredibly agile and they can reach a sprint at 12 miles per hour in just three seconds flat.
  6. One litter can produce a variety of colors. It doesn’t matter if you breed two same-colored Labs to one another, a single litter of Labrador Retriever puppies can include all three colors – black, yellow, and chocolate. Two genes are responsible for the coloring of the Lab’s coat so their genetics for color are similar to those for hair color in humans.
  7. Labradors make excellent guide dogs. Because the Labrador Retriever is such a gentle and trainable breed, they are commonly used as guide dogs. This breed also excels in other uses such as therapy dogs and search and rescue dogs.
  8. Your Lab might be able to sniff out cancer. All dogs have powerful noses but the Labrador Retriever’s nose is particularly strong – strong enough to sniff out and identify cancer cells in the early stages of development. Labs can detect cancer by smelling the patient’s breath, stool, or blood.

Now that you know a little bit more about what makes the Labrador Retriever so unique, you may be thinking about getting one for yourself! As wonderful as this breed is, however, you need to be aware that getting a dog is big responsibility so be sure to do your research and make sure you can commit to caring for your dog throughout his entire life before you buy a puppy.

Photo credit: ots-photo/Bigstock

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