Wednesday, May 9, 2012

From Nell to Avon To Sarge

   The modern breed of Labrador Retrievers originated from the island of Newfoundland, Canada. The founding breed, the St. John's Water Dog, was first bred in the 16th century. The breed was a random mix of Portuguese, English, and Irish working dogs. They were important for fisherman by helping to pull in nets and retrieving ropes. This is the reason why Labradors love water so much. The St. John's Water Dog had white paws, muzzle, and chest which are common in lab mixes and are responsible for the few stray hairs in pure breeds. Because of their loyalty and hard-working personality Labradors were valuable assets to fisherman.

  Nell, a St. John's water Dog-1856
 A number of St. John's dogs were brought over to England where they became known for their sporting and waterfowl hunting. The Earl of Malmesbury who bred dogs for hunting on his estate was instrumental in the breeding of the Labrador. His first St. John's dog Buccleuch Avon was the foundation dog of the modern Labrador. While he was going past the docks he saw a St. John's and immediately made arrangements with traders to export them over to England. The skills of the first Labradors that he devoted his entire kennel to the breeding of Labradors.

Buccleuch Avon the founding Labrador 1885