Labrador: breed history and origin
There is no clarity about the history of the Labrador breed. It is only known that until the 18th century. This breed was unfamiliar to Europeans.
In the photo: Labrador Salma (owner Anna Lisnenko)
According to one version, the birthplace of the breed is Newfoundland Island near Canada.
The first written mention of these mysterious dogs is found in the Marigold sailing report in 1593. It speaks of amazing black-colored dogs, inferior in size to the greyhound and following their masters on the heels. According to the description, they strongly resemble modern labradors.
Fishermen living in Newfoundland engaged in coastal fishing. In the course of the history of the breed, Labradors not only perfectly helped in fishing, but also often saved the lives of their owners. Going on a long voyage, the Newfoundland fishermen took a couple of dogs with them to the ship. Usually they were called Wave and Surf.
Mariners were convinced that Labradors were the key to a happy voyage. And it was not just superstition. If the ship crashed, the dogs pulled ashore a rope along which all people climbed. Slow sailors animals simply transported on their land.
Dr. Michael Woods, the Canadian owner and breeder of Labradors, is convinced that the Viking dogs who arrived there in 1000 BC took part in the formation of the breed. e., and Basque dogs, which were on the island from 1500 to 1700. Excavations carried out by archaeologists in the village of Porto Chua confirm this assumption.
Some researchers note that two lines of dogs developed on the island - large and small. Big Newfoundland - a large dog with long hair and a strong build, was used by local residents to bring firewood to their homes. Small Newfoundland is a medium-sized dog with a short, stiff, non-water-repellent coat. This species was known under various names: St. John's Lesser, Newfoundland Lesser, or even Labrador.
In 1830, herring catchers brought these dogs to England. There began their breeding and a new stage in the history of the breed Labrador.
In 1870, by breeding with dogs of other breeds, in particular with pointers, a Labrador-Retriever breed was formed. Through rigorous selection, the British got a hardy and powerful breed. The main objective of the dogs was the supply of game.
There are several versions regarding the name "Labrador". It can be explained by the proximity of the island on which these dogs appeared with the Labrador (they are separated only by the Bell-Isle Strait). Perhaps the name comes from the Portuguese word "labrador", ("hard worker"), because the representatives of the breed are distinguished by their endurance and performance. But if you remember that initially the dogs were black, then another assumption appears. There is a black mineral with a bluish tint called Labrador.
Fawn and chocolate labradors were later bred.
Labradors-retriever were recognized as a separate breed by the English Dog Club only in 1903. The American club registered the breed in 1917.
In the USSR, representatives of the breed appeared in the late 1960s. The first dog was brought from India.
In the USA and England, Labradors are the second most popular. The most famous nurseries are located in England, so every breeder tries to equal the English standards.