Labrador is believed to have originated from Newfoundland, which is now part of Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada. It’s believed that settlers from England brought dogs with them when they landed on the island in the late 15th century. The climate in this area is brutal, and it’s likely that a good hunting dog that could swim and was impervious to the cold waters would be quite an asset in such a harsh environment.
The dog we know today as the Labrador Retriever probably descended from these early dogs, as those assets we’ve already covered – webbed feet, short, waterproof coat, swimmer’s tale – became highly coveted, and the dogs that displayed the best of those traits were selected and bred. The AKC blood lineage can be traced back to 1878. The London Kennel Club recognized the Labrador in 1903. The AKC registered the first Labrador in 1917. Many English dogs were introduced after World War II. These dogs laid the foundation for the American breed of Labrador.