Perhaps the Labrador’s most distinctive trait is its desire to please. Despite this, he is also a suitable watchdog who wants to protect against intruders. He has a gentle nature and is devoted to his family. His well-balanced nature, his intelligence, and his exceptional patience and kindness towards children make him an excellent family dog.
Labrador Retriever Temperament & Character
For example, he can run and frolic with the children all year round, fetch flying frisbees in the city park and sit comfortably with the family by the open fireplace in the evening, and, incidentally, impress as an excellent hunting dog.
They are very friendly in nature, and free from aggression, which also makes living with other dogs or other pets much easier. Their efforts to please everyone are striking – and this also makes living with them a lot easier.
These characteristics are also the reason why Labradors are ideal for beginner dogs. They are easy to handle and eager to learn and bring a lot of fun to the family. They are almost unbeatable at retrieval and when that takes place in or near the water you have the happiest dog in the world. The owners of this breed value their Labrador Retriever for their good nature and friendliness. Aggressiveness and sharpness are foreign to them.
They are also not shy and adapt very well to their surroundings. They are also friendly to strangers, always curious and open-minded. Although the Labrador has a strong natural disposition for marking and retrieving the game, it does not stray or poach. He is alert, but never aggressive and therefore not an outspoken protection dog.
He also has good nerves and does not fight with other dogs. He is cuddly, cheerful, and easy to train. All this, therefore, makes him a dog that is well suited for beginners. However, he needs close contact with his family. His size and his breed-typical lifestyle as an athletic, active dog also make it necessary that he gets enough exercise, daily exercise, and preferably a task so that his health is not damaged in the long term.
This is another reason why Labrador is better off in the country than in a city apartment. As an excellent swimmer, he never goes past any body of water in summer or winter without taking a long swim. The breed standard describes the ideal Labrador as being slightly longer than it is tall. He should have a muscular, robust body shape.
Its tail, also known as the “otter tail”, is covered with thick, short hair, and there must never be any feathering under the tail. The character traits of the Labrador Retriever have evolved due to its primary use in hunting. There it was always important that the dogs could wait patiently and had to behave calmly and with strong nerves even during intensive and loud hunting.
The Labrador Retriever is a British dog breed that is recognized by the FCI and is listed there under FCI Group 8 in Section 1 and Standard 122. The Labrador’s roots lie on the east coast of Canada, but not – as the name might suggest – on the Labrador Peninsula, but on the mainland. It is not known with certainty where the first Labrador came from, but it is believed that a black water dog known in Newfoundland as St. John’s Hound is one of the Labrador’s direct ancestors.
In the 19th century, these dogs found their way to England. Fishermen had brought them from Canada and they were called “Labradors” because they came from the Labrador area.
Breeding began immediately in England under this name. The addition “Retriever” came into being around 1870. “To retrieve” means to bring back, and it is precisely this characteristic that is particularly well-developed in Labradors. The suffix “Retriever” refers to the breed’s unusually well-developed retrieval ability.
The task of these dogs was to bring back fishing nets from the sea, but also to bring back fish that have been washed away. On land, they were often used for hunting. At that time, one of the main occupations of the nobility was to hunt. It was quickly recognized that this new breed of dog was predestined to work at these events.
Origin of the Labrador Breed
Canada’s fishermen and hunters used water dogs as early as the 17th century. Depending on their geographical origin, these dogs were called Newfoundlands, St. John’s dogs, or Labradors, although it should be noted that Greenland used to be called Labrador.
In addition to retrieving, they were trained to pull fishing nets through the freezing water. These early dogs were mostly of moderate size, carried a gene for spotting, and carried the tail high. Although there was no systematic breeding, they were the ancestors of today’s modern breeds such as the Newfoundland, Landseer, Labrador, Flat-Coated, and Chesapeake-Bay Retriever.
At that time, fishermen, trading, and research ships crossed all the world’s seas and every ship had at least one dog on board. It has been proven that these ships’ dogs often interbred with the local dogs that roamed the harbor area. At the beginning of the 19th century, some retrievers came with fishermen from Newfoundland to the west coast of Great Britain. In addition to the fish, some dogs were also sold there.