The origin of the breed
Representatives of the breed got their name in honor of the peninsula Labrador, located in eastern Canada – this is obvious. Such conclusions will be erroneous, the peninsula is not related to Labrador retrievers.
Data on the origin and name of animals varies. One by one, for the first time learned about the breed in the XIX century, others testify to the mention of it in 1435, and still others say that exact information about the origin is not available to this day.
The third version gained the most popularity. According to her breed Labrador Retriever was first mentioned in the XVIII century. She was bred on the island of Newfoundland, local fishermen became breeders.
People needed an unpretentious dog who could stay in the water for a long time and participate in the rescue of fishermen if their boat turned over. For these purposes, local dogs, similar to the current Pointer, and large black dogs, which are valuable in the eyes of fishermen because of their endurance and mobility, were crossed. The resulting offspring turned out to be of medium height, with strong bones and short hair. Litter differed black color, developed sense of smell and a very specific character.
Breeders decided to work further, not satisfied with the result of their own activities. The animals turned out to be characteristic, although they possessed an excellent scent. The work began to boil again, eventually turned out the dogs, called the small Newfoundland or the dogs of St. John. Initially, there were only black Labrador retrievers.
The modern name of the breed was much later, and still people can not pinpoint what it is connected with. There is an opinion that the dogs were called Labradors, without fully understanding the geographical place of their origin. Another hypothesis is about the name in honor of the natural stone labradorite, painted black. Finally, supporters of the latest version tend to the Portuguese, because in their language there is the word “Labrador”, translated as “toiler”.
At the beginning of the 19th century, representatives of the dog breed were brought to England. Hardy, agile and mischievous, Labradors loved by James Harris – a politician with a count title. Sir Harris became involved in the development of the breed, but how remains a mystery.
According to the “Big Encyclopedia of All Breeds of Dogs”, modern Labradors are obtained by crossing Aborigines with retrievers, poodles and setters. According to the version supported by the majority of breeders, James Harris was categorically opposed to spoiling a primitive breed, adhering to inbreeding for future generations.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Labradors were taken to America, where the breed quickly became widespread. Despite the love of the labrador retriever from the nobility, the English Kennel Club recognized her only in 1903, and the American in 1917. As for the breed standard, it was compiled in 1905.