The Labrador retriever has long been known as one of the most lovable dogs in the world. It also has the title of being the most popular family dog, especially for families with children. There are many fascinating little tidbits of information about the Labrador retriever that many probably don't know. They are also referred to as Labrador or just simply "Lab". In fact, they are so popular and well known that when people say, "I have a Lab", everyone knows exactly what is meant.
When the Labrador retriever first came to be, it came from the Newfoundland dog and St. John's Water Dog and was called either St. John's Dog or the Newfoundland. The name was later changed to Labrador retriever. Originally, the Labrador retriever was bred to be used as a retriever and bird dog in water for waterfowl hunting. Hunters would shoot their fowl by the water and the Labrador would go in the water and retrieve it. To this day, the Lab loves water and being in water.
There have been some famous Labrador retrievers in the world. One such dog, Endel, is a yellow Labrador retriever that has caught the eye of the media due to his bravery and intelligence. After much training, Endel became an assistance dog for Allen Parton, and ex-Royal Navy Chief Petty Officer, who was in a wheelchair. When Allen was hit by a passing car and knocked out of the wheelchair in 2001, Endel pulled him to the recovery position, covered him with a blanket, retrieved his cell phone and went to a nearby hotel to get someone to come to Allen's aid.
Endel is the recipient of many awards such as the Blue Peter Badge and the PDSA Gold Medal for bravery and dedication to duty. He was also named "Dog of the Millennium" by Dogs Today magazine readers. Endel has many talents such as being able to respond to over one hundred instructions, loading and emptying the washing machine, putting in and removing a card in the ATM machine and putting it back in Allen's wallet. This Labrador is certainly an incredible animal, and a fantastically dedicated pet.
There is also Jake, a black Labrador retriever, who risked his won life by going through the smoke-filled debris at the World Trade Center to look for survivors. Jake also helped search for victims from Hurricane Katrina.
The Memphis Mad Dogs had a black Labrador named Alien as their mascot. Alien would run on the field after each kickoff and bring back the kicking tee. He was the highlight of many games.
The Labrador has also been crossed with a poodle to create what they call a "designer dog": the Labradoodle. This unusual mix has pleased many dog owners.