Labradors are a breed of dogs originating from England. They were first registered as a purebred in 1882. There have been many variations of the breed over time, but they all share one thing: their loyalty to their owners and love for people.
The English Golden Retriever (or “G” for short) was developed into what it is today through selective breeding with other breeds such as the American Pit Bull Terrier or the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. These dogs had been bred to fight each other for sport and money. However, when these fighting dogs became too large to control properly, they were no longer useful for combat. So, the G’s were crossed with the standard Poodle, resulting in a smaller dog that could still pull a sled and hunt game effectively.
In the early 1900s, the G/P mix proved successful at hunting small animals like rabbits and squirrels in Alaska where there was little food supply. People started importing them to the United States because they were cheaper than the native dogs. Unfortunately, due to their size and lack of training, they didn’t do well in a home environment. Some people thought that if they just trained them better, then they would become good family pets.
But unfortunately this wasn’t true either; some people mistreated these dogs so badly that they killed several of them during fights.
Finally, a man named Dudley Marjoribanks, the Second Baron Tweedmouth, decided he would try to breed these dogs to be smaller, stronger, and better-natured. He bred his own dog named Fisher with a couple of different dogs that he owned. One was called Judge and the other was called Jane. From these pairings he was able to create a smaller version of the G that was more suitable as a family pet.
He called them Golden Retrievers because of their love for retrieving game for hunters, especially during duck hunting season.
The new breed was an instant success in England. In fact, the very first time a Golden Retriever was brought into a dog show, it won Best in Show! The Kennel Club soon realized that this dog needed its own separate category, so it was given its own class in 1923. It then became the most popular dog in the area.
As the Golden Retriever won more shows, American fanciers became interested in the breed. It was first brought to America in 1919 by John Crane, a feat which was documented in the New York Times. The first Golden Retriever was registered with the American Kennel Club in 1928. However, during these early years it took quite a while for the breed to become popular in America.
It wasn’t until the 1960s when they became common in households across the nation.
In addition to being the most popular dog in England, the Golden Retriever is also America’s favorite dog breed according to AKC statistics. It is currently ranked 23rd in most popular dogs in the world. The Golden Retriever is known as an athletic, friendly, and loving companion. These dogs thrive on companionship and need proper training.
They are also prone to certain health conditions such as cataracts, eye problems, skin allergies, and hip dysplasia.
If you’re looking for a loving, active, and playful dog then the Golden Retriever might be the right dog for you!
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Sources & references used in this article:
- “Well done old half breed woman”: Lydia Campbell and the Labrador Literary Tradition (K Fagan – Papers of the Bibliographical Society of Canada, 2010 – jps.library.utoronto.ca)
- Toward understanding dog evolutionary and domestication history (F Galibert, P Quignon, C Hitte, C André – Comptes rendus biologies, 2011 – Elsevier)
- Age‐related changes in the metabolism and body composition of three dog breeds and their relationship to life expectancy (JR Speakman, A Van Acker, EJ Harper – Aging cell, 2003 – Wiley Online Library)
- Distribution of vertical forces in the pads of Greyhounds and Labrador Retrievers during walking (MF Besancon, MG Conzemius… – American journal of …, 2004 – Am Vet Med Assoc)
- Genomic analyses of modern dog breeds (HG Parker – Mammalian genome, 2012 – Springer)