The labrador retriever is certainly the most popular gundog
in the United Kingdom and, arguably, throughout the world. The
breed was developed in Britain from dogs that were brought
back from Newfoundland by fishermen. Those Newfoundland dogs,
in turn, had developed from hunting dogs taken there from
Europe by fishermen and other settlers.
Three main colours are recognised - black, yellow and
chocolate - although the black labrador and yellow labrador
are the best known in shooting circles. Some chocolate labs do
make good gundogs but they tend to be under-represented in
Labradors are often claimed to be the easiest
dog to train for gundog work and, for this reason they are a
wise choice for the beginner. They are undemanding, good with
children and usually of a placid, trainable disposition so
they make ideal family pets as well as splendid hunting dogs.
On a formal driven pheasant shooting day,
labradors tend to make up the bulk of the dogs being employed
by the pickers-up - the men and women employed by the shoot to
retrieve shot game. Similarly the majority of Field Trial
Champions in trials designed for retriever breeds are labs.
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