Why Labradors Love Water so Much?


Labradors have an easy time finding excitement in everything, but they love the outdoors especially, and they get very excited when this comes with their favorite element: water.

Aria (my Lab) gets ecstatic every time she gets near water, whether this is a river, a lake, the sea or the mud. Labradors’ love of water is an inherent part of them. It’s in their DNA.
Their history proves it:


To trace the origins of Labradors we have to go back to the 18th century in a Canadian province called Newfoundland and Labrador. You guessed it, that’s where their name comes from. Yet, Canadians are not the first Labrador breeders. Some English men did that a century later. But to understand Labradors’ love for water we must stay in Canada to meet another dog: the St. John’s dog. The ancestor of all retrievers, including the Labrador Retriever. To know them is to know Labradors.
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St. Johns dog
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St. John’s dogs are extinct. They thrived for centuries in Newfoundland, eastern Canada, where they developed their retrieving skills in a fishing environment. St. John’s dogs were known as water dogs due to their love for water and swimming skills. To back this up they developed water-resistant coat and webbed feet. Traits that Labradors are also known for.

They were loyal dogs, good hunters, eager to serve, good swimmers.. easy to love them if you were a fisherman.

During the 19th century, St. John’s dogs were exported from Newfoundland to England, where they were crossbred with various dogs by some notable British politicians, barristers, and sportsmen that showed interest in them. This led to the retrievers as we know them today (Flat-Coated Retriever, Curly-Coated Retriever, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, the Golden Retriever, and the Labrador Retriever.)

Like their ancestors, Labradors have a long history working in and around water. They are a webbed feet dog breed, which means that their toes are connected by a membrane to help them swim better. Webbed feet dogs are usually bred specifically that way. Labs are one of them.

Labradors’ natural fondness of water is evident today in their interaction with it. Next time your Labrador runs straight to the muddy waters remember that they could not help it. This doesn’t mean that there is something unnatural going on with your Lab if he or she doesn’t show any interest in water. Labradors today, for the most part, are family members rather than working dogs for fishermen. Often they don’t get the chance to familiarize with water. Therefor, it should be expected to develop other characteristics they share with their ancestors, for example, their loyalty.

Don’t hesitate to introduce your Labs to the ocean or a lake/river-even in their early stages-they will probably know what to do. In fact, if you see that your Labrador loves it, make it part of his/her life as much as possible. Swimming is one of the best activities for them. It pleases their inner fisherman.

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