What do Bella, one of the world’s oldest dogs, Marley of the book “Marley and Me,” and Endel, the award-winning service dog all have in common? They’re Labrador retrievers! This may come as no surprise, but Labrador retrievers are America’s number one dog. With friendly eyes and a variety of coat colors, Labs are social creatures that instantly love almost everyone.
Labrador retrievers hail from the eastern part of Canada, in the provinces Newfoundland and Labrador, as descendants of the now-vanished St. John’s Water Dog. In the 1800s, Labs were primarily friends of the fishermen and champion duck hunters. A Labrador’s short, thick, and water-resistant coat was ideal in the icy waters of Canada. The short hair was preferred over the long-haired retrievers to prevent icicles from hanging off the fur.