Whether black, yellow or chocolate (or more rarely red, white or silver), the Labrador Retriever is widely considered to be the most popular dog breed in the world.
In the UK there are more than twice the number of registered Labradors than the next most popular breed, while in the US they have been top dog every year since 1991.
With dog ownership surging over the global pandemic, and post-lockdown demand for four-legged friends remaining high, many of us will currently be considering a new puppy.
And, while there are a whopping 221 different breeds of pedigree dog to choose from, alongside numerous crossbreeds, the loyal Lab has never been in such demand.
Here are 11 reasons the Labrador Retriever makes such a perfect pet.
1. They are eager to please
The Labrador's ancestors, the St John’s Dog, were used by fishermen to retrieve nets and fish from the water - carrying out the tiring tasks simply to please their owners. This attribute was passed onto the Labrador, making them perfect hunting dogs - retrieving rather than eating downed birds in a bid to make their human happy. Pet Labs will do pretty much anything to please you and hate letting you down. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
2. They get on well with children
Anybody who has welcomed a Labrador into their family will know the strong bond they form with the younger members of the clan. They naturally alter their behaviour with small or nervous children, but also adore more rough-and-tumble play with more boisterous kids. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
3. They are simple to train
The combination of intelligence and eagerness to please makes the Labrador one of the easiest dogs to train without expensive obedience classes. More intelligent dogs can be stubborn to learn new tricks on command, while many of the other biddable breeds just find it difficult to understand what you want them to do. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
4. They are tremendously versatile
Few breeds of dog are as versatile as the Lab. Along with being a great family pet, they make fantastic hearing and sight dogs, hunting dogs, army dogs, companion dogs, therapy pets, sniffer dogs, and working dogs. Photo: Canva/Getty Images