The Labrador Retriever has consistently been named the front runner on annual lists of the most popular American breeds. In fact, labs are so popular that they even have their own pet vacation on January 8th!
In celebration of National Labrador Retriever DayWe got some fun bits and pieces about our tail-wagging pals!
Labrador Retriever Trivia
Lab coats are available in black, chocolate, and yellow. Black is the most common color for a lab coat, while chocolate is the rarest.
Laboratory enthusiasts can visit a picture of their favorite dog (as well as that of a Newfoundland) at Harborside Park in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, the province of Canada where both breeds originated.
Although the average lifespan of a Labrador Retriever is between 10 and 12 years, a Labrador Retriever named Bella, who was adopted by the RSPCA, celebrated 29 birthdays – that’s 203 in dog years!
King Buck, a National Champion Retriever, was the first Labrador Retriever to appear on a U.S. postage stamp in 1959.
Laboratories in the spotlight
Here are just some of the dog figurines that the Labrador Retriever depicted on the large and / or small screen:
dickens – “What the hell?” If you’re a fan of the British crime game Grantchester, you’ll recognize the frequent exclamation from the rectory, Mrs. Maguire, who inspired the black Labrador Retriever’s name on the popular series. Dickens responds to the name both outside and on screen.
Isis – Although the name has unfortunately become synonymous with terrorism in recent years, Anglophiles will remember Isis as the loyal canine companion of Robert Crawley, the Earl of Grantham, in the popular British series Downton Abbey. Isis is named after the Egyptian goddess who paid tribute to the 5th Earl of Carnarvon, who discovered the tomb of King Tut. In real life, the yellow Labrador Retriever that Isis portrayed replied to the name “Abbie”.
Pharaoh – The puppy, whose wagging tail signaled the start of every episode of Downton Abbey, was named after an ancient Egyptian ruler. In real life, the yellow Labrador Retriever, who starred in the first season of the long-running drama, replied to the name “Roly”.
Tiaa – As Downton Abbey came to an end, the Earl of Grantham continued his tradition of choosing an ancient Egyptian name for his canine companions when he added another furry family member to the Crawley clan. Named after the queen consort of Pharaoh Amenhotep II. The puppy portraying Tiaa was named Pringle.
Vincent – The four-legged survivor of Oceanic Flight 815 in the hit series Lost was portrayed by two Yellow Labrador Retrievers – Madison and Pono – over the course of the show’s six-year run.
Zuma – Animal-loving little ones cheer the heroic rescue dog Chocolate Labrador Retriever in the animated series PAW Patrol.
Inconsiderate – For the first eight seasons of The Waltons, Reckless the Labrador Retriever was the four-legged friend of John-Boy, Jason, Ben, Jim-Bob, Mary-Ellen, Erin and Elizabeth.
Dude – A Labrador Retriever starred alongside Adam Sandler in the romantic dramedy Spanglish.
Soon – A dog named Rink portrayed the lovable Labrador Retriever Luath in the original 1963 Disney adaptation of The Incredible Journey.
yellow – A Yellow Labrador Retriever named Dakotah took on the role of a stray dog who rescues the boy who befriended him in the 1996 adventure film Far from Home: The Adventures of the Yellow Dog.
Famous pet parents with Labrador Retriever
Just a Labrador Retriever so far, Bill Clinton’s canine companion Dudehad the opportunity to live at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Only three months old when he arrived at the White House in December 1997, Buddy and Socks (a tuxedo cat he couldn’t get along with) fascinated young animal lovers, some of whom were letters to First Fido and First Cat in Hillary Clinton’s book Dear Socks, Dear Buddy: Children’s letters to the first pets. Although Buddy crossed the Rainbow Bridge in 2002, the former President’s love for Labs continued as he greeted her Seamus, another chocolate laboratory, into the Clinton family.
Nemo, a Lab / Griffon mix named after the main character in Jules Verne’s novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, opened a new chapter in his life thanks to French President Emmanuel Macron. When he became the first Fido in 2017, Nemo found his famous father while taking care of the rescue of the La Societe Protectrice des Animaux (SPA) refuge. To help its four-legged friends in need, Nemo took part in a video in 2020 to promote pet adoption and raise awareness of a bill that provides funding for animal shelters and punishes those who abuse animals more severely.
Royal families always knew that dogs rule! Over the years, several royal Labrador Retrievers have called palaces and castles home, including:
saber, sherry, loop and Sydney: Queen Elizabeth loves labs as much as she loved her corgis!
Harvey: A four-legged friend of Prince Charles in the early 80’s.
Widgeon: Answering a name associated with freshwater ducks, the black Labrador Retriever was a barking pal of a young Prince William.
Pula: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Lab Pula (which means “rain” in Setswana), a very loved family member, took a picture for their 2020 Christmas card with The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Pepper & Storm: Like her grandmother Queen Elizabeth, the royal rider loves Zara Tindall labs and welcomed two black labs by the name pepper and Storm in her heart and home.