"The Black Labrador Retriever" by Josh Abney

Essay by bigdaddyjHigh School, 12th grade January 2003

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To understand the origin of the Black Labrador Retriever, it almost requires a study of the history of Newfoundland. Whalers and fisherman knew this so called "Newfoundland" as early as the fifteen century. The Labrador retriever originated on the cold reaches of newfound. This small water dog worked for the fisherman. The fishing boats could not come close to shore and it was the dog's task to swim in the icy water, dragging the full fishnets to the men on shore. The Black Lab performed many other useful services for the fisherman. For example, they could gather up fishing nets and carry ropes between boats. There are even stories of Black Labs saving crew members from drowning. Black Labs were natural retrievers - even then.

The main characteristics of Labradors are their coat, tail, head and temperament. They have a double coat: a soft, downy undercoat that keeps them dry and warm in cold water and a hard outer coat that helps them repel water.

Their tail, described best as an otter tail, is thick at the base and tapers to a narrower point. It should not be carried over the back nor should it have a curl to it. It should, however, be at exactly coffee table height and always be ready to swipe one clean. Their head is clean cut and somewhat broad, with hanging ears. Their expression is alert and intelligent and conveys a kind, friendly temperament.

Their best feature is their temperament. They are happiest when they are with you. Labs are retrievers and will bring you things they find laying about your house or yard. They tend to be quite patient with children and wonderful family dogs. They are not guard dogs. They may bark protectively, but will generally not act more...