Meet the Labrador Retriever
Our handsome Tail Wagger of the Month is Buster Fillmore! 5-year-old Buster is a Labrador Retriever, the most popular breed in the United States since 1991.
Just like Buster, this selfless breed moves to the front of the pack because of their eagerness to please and willingness to learn. With charming and sweet temperaments, they are a favorite breed for service dogs; excel in search and rescue; make excellent therapy dogs; and, of course, make devoted family dogs. With such helpful natures, don’t expect to adopt a watchdog! The Labrador Retriever will likely greet an intruder happily and lead him to your hidden treasures.
Coming in brown, yellow and black, Labrador Retrievers require regular grooming to keep their water-resistant coats in tiptop shape. Their love of both water and the outdoors make them great hunting partners, and they need plenty of exercise to keep them feeling and behaving their best.
The Labrador originated in Canada during the 1700s. Back then they were known as the St. John’s dog after the capital of Newfoundland and spent their days helping fisherman pull in nets, fetching ropes and catching escaped fish. But when they were crossed with Setters, Spaniels, and other Retriever breeds, their reputations were established as great retrievers with excellent temperaments. They caught the attention of English sportsmen and crossed the pond around 1830, becoming a favorite breed of the Earls of Malmesbury – the first to refer to the dogs as Labradors.
While they may be America’s most popular dog now, the breed disappeared in Newfoundland due to government restrictions and tax laws. Leading up to their disappearance, families were allowed to have only one dog, females were highly taxed so they were culled from litters. This practice led them to go nearly extinct by the 1880s, but the Malmesbury family is largely credited with saving the breed. By the 1920s and 30s, British Labs were being imported to the United States and their popularity surged after World War II.
Buster lives up to his breed and has been a popular pup at Wagging Tails since his first visit in 2010. He loves making himself heard in the Glam Slam room when he joins us for Playdays, and always brings a smile to our faces during overnight stays and grooming sessions. Congratulations, Buster!