Works of art
| Group: Sporting
Breed Family: Retriever
In spite of its name, the Labrador Retriever is indigenous to the Canadian province of Newfoundland, rather than the area of Labrador.
Believed to have been imported to England in the early nineteenth century, the Earl of Malmesbury is known to have imported several early examples of the breed. Not always known as Labradors, the breed got its name from the Earl, who in 1887 wrote, "We always call mine Labrador dogs, and I have kept the breed as pure as I could from the first I had from Poole, at that time carrying on a brisk trade with Newfoundland. The real breed may be known by its close coat which turns the water off like oil and, above all, a tail like an otter."
The Kennel Club first recognized the breed in 1903. The breed has continued to be actively worked in the field, in addition to becoming a popular pet and show dog. It has dominated Retriever field trials worldwide and has been used extensively as a guide fog for the blind, and as a search and rescue dog.