The Labrador Retriever is a compatriot of the Newfoundland, and although they have played an important part in the evolution of the Flat-coated Retriever, one of the most important sporting dogs in Britain, they have never succeeded in attracting much attention to themselves.
The Labrador is a sort of Smooth-coated Newfoundland in disposition and character, and a Flat coated Retriever in appearance. Their names indicate their origin. The breed first made its appearance at those maritime towns in England that were engaged in the fishing industry with Newfoundland. There is no question about this breed being one of the most intelligent of all dogs, lending themselves promptly to all useful purposes. They are extremely courageous and industrious, and are unsurpassed for amiability and faithfulness. Their rough-and-ready appearance indicative of endurance, and their keen powers of scent were at once recognized by sportsmen, but they have not attracted the attention of the fanciers, and the breed is in practically the same position that it was over half a century ago.
There is no club for the Labrador either in this country or in England; consequently there is no fixed standard. It is, however, generally agreed that it should follow closely the standard for Flatcoated Retrievers, with the exception that the Labrador should be slightly smaller in size and lower on leg. The head should also be thicker and the muzzle squarer. The coat should be as smooth, also shorter and denser. The Labrador runs to light eyes. This should not be considered an objection. The Labrador is frequently used for out-crosses on Flat-coated Retrievers that have been too closely inbred.