The Labrador Retriever actually orginated in Newfoundland, not Labrador, where it was used to bring in fish from the rough waters of the North Atlantic. When not braving the high seas, these hardy dogs could be found hauling logs, retrieving waterfowl and scavenging for dinner, a remarkable versatility that remains a hallmark of the breed today.
Labs have long been prized for their abilities as devoted hunting companions. Bred to work alongside humans, the Labrador adapts extremely well to family life and will happily retrieve tennis balls or the morning paper with equal enthusiasm. Although energetic outside, most labs are happiest living inside with their families and usually enjoy the company of children and other pets.
Labs are renowned for changing allegiances at the drop of a hat, making them ideal candidates for adoption but less than ideal guard dogs. It is this easy-going nature that is the defining characteristic of the breed. In rescue, we see dogs of all three colors and in many sizes and shapes, yet the Labrador temperament is unmistakable. The versatile Labrador excels at many activities and may be seen today hunting in the field, guiding the blind, assisting the disabled, performing search and rescue work as well as competing in obedience, conformation, agility, flyball and frisbee.