5 AMAZING FACTS About The LABRADOR
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The first fact today is that Labradors are one of the most intelligent dog breeds alongside other breeds like German Shepherd’s and Border Collies. This quality means that they are at the top of the list for the most popular service dogs. In America it is estimated that 70 percent of guide dogs are Labrador Retrievers. They assist those with mental and physical health difficulties, plus they are police, military, rescue and detection dogs. Did you know that one of the most highly decorated dogs in the world is a Labrador called Endal? He was a service dog who received worldwide media coverage and he even took on the role of animal ambassador for service dog charitable work. Endal was born with a lifelong debilitating joint condition which did put into question whether he’d be good enough to qualify, but he defied the odds and, due to the breed’s incredible problem-solving abilities and intelligence, he fully qualified and actually became one of the most famous assistance dogs in the UK due to his many achievements. One of which included being the first dog to put a human being in the recovery position, covering them with a blanket, getting their mobile phone and going to get help once the person had regained consciousness – he did this all without any training for this situation. He was awarded the PDSA Gold Medal (an animal bravery award). A Labrador’s intelligence and desire to please are a couple of the main reasons for their success as service dogs. Fact number two - Labrador Retrievers are great swimmers. This is because Labradors have webbed toes helping them to swim fast. Also, their thick tail, which is often referred to as an “otter tail”, it is rudder-like which helps with their balance, speed and strength. Their coat has two layers: a short, thick topcoat and a water-resistant undercoat meaning they can swim happily even in cold water, like those in Newfoundland where they were first bred to help fishermen and used in duck hunting. Not only are they fast swimmers, but their sprinting ability is pretty impressive too! Did you know that Labradors can hit 12 miles an hour in just three seconds? This is another trait that made them such good hunting dogs. Leading on from our second fact, fact number three is that Labradors are purpose-bred hunting dogs. As I said before they started out in duck hunting and then when they were brought back to England in the 1800s they were then bred as game hunting companions. They work in a diverse amount of environments like game hunting and waterfowl hunting. Labrador Retrievers are intelligent dogs, they are eager to please and so are willing to work hard. Although, you may have heard that this breed can be pretty laid back, they were bred to work which meant running and swimming – if they don’t get a good amount of exercise they can get very restless and this is when you’ll start to notice behaviours that show they have a lot of energy stored to release! Our fourth fact is that Labradors actually have an extremely high pain threshold. This is one of the qualities that makes them so good for search and rescue work and working in the military. However, this does mean that it can be a lot harder to spot any issues than other breeds. So this is a really, really important thing to be aware if you are a Labrador owner! Now for our last fact, number five – two very different famous Labradors… The first being a Lab named Pep. In 1924 this poor Lab was sent to prison – which may sound like some sort of joke or myth, but it is supported by the prison records – after having killed the cat which belonged to the Pennsylvania Governor’s wife. Clearly, she was very upset by it all and had Pep sent to prison for life without parole – during the course of his ten years as a prisoner, Pep became very good friends with the prison warden. The Governor himself stated that he sent Pep there to be a mascot for the prisoners. Now, the second Lab was a Lab named Bosco who was elected to be the honorary mayor of Sunol in California in 1981 beating two other human candidates for the job. Bosco remained mayor there until he passed in 1994.