The Power of Three: Labradors
The most common pure breeds we use on the breeding programme are Labradors, Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds. We’ll be looking at these breeds in more detail over the next few weeks, starting with Labradors.
The Labrador is one of the most popular breeds of dog in the United Kingdom and is a favourite disability assistance breed across the world. It is thought that the Labrador originated on the coast of Newfoundland, where fishermen used a dog of similar appearance to retrieve fish. Its ancestors are believed to be the St. Johns water dog from Newfoundland, which is now extinct.
Labradors make up 32% of our dogs: the highest percent of our pure breed dogs. The Lab’s size and gait makes the breed a good choice for majority of guide dog owners. They are easy to groom, adaptable and are eager to please, being food and toy motivated, making them easier to train. Labradors are happy to settle and sleep when in down time, but ready and enjoy working when requested.
While each breed has its advantages, the Labrador is the most popular breed amongst guide dog schools across the world. The Lab’s quick intelligence, high energy, loyalty, low aggression, trainability and desire to please lend themselves well to the working lifestyle, and are able to serve a diverse group of people.
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