It’s no secret that Brits love their small dogs. In fact, the cockapoo is one of the most popular dogs in the country. If you live in London, you’ve probably seen plenty of these cuddly little teddy bear dogs bopping down the road—and, given the demands of city living, you might think that small breeds are the only ones we love.
Big dog lovers, never fear! The Labrador retriever is still the UK’s number one favourite dog, and has been since 2015 (if not time immemorial). But the love of Labs isn’t confined to the UK alone: they’ve been top dog in the US since 1991, too.
These statistics will come as no surprise to anyone who’s ever owned a Lab, or pet sat a Lab, or walked a Lab, or just plain met a Lab on the street. These dogs are friendly, playful, bright-eyed and cuddly. They’ll help you on the farm, entertain you in the house—even rescue you from a well if you happen to fall in. Labrador retrievers have so many awesome attributes, it’s hard to pick only ten—but we did it. Here they are: the top ten things we love about Labs!
10. Labradors are beautiful animals
Looks aren’t everything, it’s true, but when you look like a Lab, you brag a little. Strong, sleek and graceful, with big bright eyes and a silhouette that exudes safety and loyalty, it’s no wonder that so many top pet brands use Labs on their labels!
9. Low-maintenance beauty
Yes, Labs just wake up like that! Crazy to think that a Labrador’s beautiful coat is so low-maintenance. Because Lab’s have, historically, been raised to be outdoor working dogs, their coats have adapted to the animal’s needs. The short fur sheds on its own and doesn’t need to be cut. It’s dense, too: unlikely to tangle and in need of a brush and bath here and there. Easy!
8. Best cuddlers ever
You have beautiful dogs, you have cute dogs—and then you have Labs. Their graceful beauty is paired with a love of warmth and closeness that makes them super cute and cuddly. And Labs love to cuddle, no matter the weather, no matter your mood. It’s a great therapy session, clinically shown to reduce stress and anxiety levels. Plus the heartbreakingly cute sigh of contentment as your Lab flops across your lap for a belly rub is priceless.
7. Not only a dog’s dog…
Labs have a top-notch temperament. They’re generally playful and easy-going, but smart, too: they know when it’s time to play and time to back off. Labs’ personality means they get along with basically every type of dog, making it easy to take them to a dog-filled park, or to introduce a new dog into a Lab’s home.
6. …but a family dog, too!
Labs’ even-keeled temper, intelligence and sensitivity also make them the best family dog ever. They are super playful and can tire out even the most high-energy kid. But they’re also loyal and protective; a Lab will guard her pack with her life. A Lab’s caring nature and love for her pack make her a great first family dog. You don’t have to be a kid to learn valuable lessons from a Lab’s love and loyalty, which is why many people who get a Lab for their first dog end up as ‘Labbers for Life.’
This is a synonym for Labrador retriever. Labs originated as working companions for fishermen on the island of Newfoundland; man and dog worked together, relying on each other, in one of the most mentally and physically demanding industries. At the end of the day, the Labs went home with their people and were part of the family. Loyalty, obedience and a need to be part of the pack are deeply ingrained in the Lab’s history. She will never leave your side!
4. The class clown
Besides being super cute and beautiful and loyal, Labs are also hilarious. Just look at their goofy faces! This dog knows how to have fun. Labs don’t take life too seriously, and anyone who’s around a Lab can’t help but catch their contagious sense of humour.
3. Really, really smart
Maybe too smart, in fact. Labs are extremely quick learners; their bag of tricks is much deeper than ‘sit’ and ‘stay’ if you invest the time into working with them. As working dogs, they’re adaptable to even the most challenging tasks, and their natural curiosity makes them eager to learn new things all their lives. You actually can teach old, young, and in-between Labs new tricks.
2. Contagiously high energy
Labs love to get out and go, go, go! Combined with their super-smart and obedient nature, this makes them excel at obedience and agility training. Plus, a Lab’s need for exercise will get you off the couch and outside, ensuring the whole family stays healthy and happy. This is a great breed for anyone who loves outdoor activities.
1. Unconditional love
Friends come and go, but Labs are forever. If none of the other reasons convinced you that Labs are the best dog ever, this one should. A Lab is for life; she’ll never leave your side. Through thick and thin, Labs can sense and understand your emotions, and will always be there to support you. Your Lab is your number one fan!
Labs love the simple things in life: a walk through the park, a cuddle on the couch, playtime with the kids and a tasty snack at the end of a long day. Their kind-hearted, curious, gentle nature and full-spirited approach to life can teach us so much about the world and ourselves. Maybe the most compelling reason that we love Labs so much, why Labs are the best dog ever, is because they can make us better people, simply by being around them.