The Labrador Retriever, often abbreviated to Labrador or Lab, is a medium-large gun dog from the United Kingdom that was developed from imported Canadian fishing dogs. The Labrador is one of the most popular dog breeds in a number of countries in the world, particularly in the Western world.
A popular disability assistance breed in many countries, Labradors are frequently trained to aid those with blindness or autism, act as a therapy dog, or perform screening and detection work for law enforcement and other official agencies. The breed is best known for their obedience, loyalty, and playful composure. Additionally, they are prized as sporting and hunting dogs. Ancestors include a breed used in Newfoundland as fishing dogs, that would help in bringing in the fishing nets and recapture escaped fish.
In the 1830s, the 10th Earl of Home and his nephews the 5th Duke of Buccleuch and Lord John Scott, imported progenitors of the breed from Newfoundland to Europe for use as gundogs. Another early advocate of these Newfoundland fishing dogs was the 2nd Earl of Malmesbury, who bred them for their expertise in waterfowling.During the 1880s, the 3rd Earl of Malmesbury, the 6th Duke of Buccleuch, and the 12th Earl of Home collaborated to develop and establish the Labrador Retriever breed. The dogs Buccleuch Avon and Buccleuch Ned, given by Malmesbury to Buccleuch, were mated with bitches carrying blood from those originally imported by the 5th Duke and the 10th Earl of Home. The offspring are the ancestors of all modern Labradors.