List of Labrador Retrievers

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A typical yellow Labrador retriever.
Endal, the world's most decorated dog, wearing his PDSA Gold Medal.

This list of Labrador Retrievers covers notable individual dogs that belong to this breed. The Labrador retriever is the most popular breed of dog (by registered ownership) in both the United States and the United Kingdom. The breed is exceptionally affable, intelligent, energetic and good natured, making them excellent and popular pets, companions and working dogs. They have a high work ethic[1] Common working roles for Labradors include: hunting, tracking and detection, disabled-assistance, carting, and therapy work. Approximately 60–70% of all guide dogs in the United States are Labradors.

As both the most popular breed by registered ownership and also the most popular breed for service dogs in several countries, there have been many notable and famous labradors since the breed was recognized.

List of famous dogs[edit]

Assistance dogs[edit]

Labrador guide dogs.
  • Endal, a service dog in England. Among other distinctions, "the most decorated dog in the world" (including "Dog of the Millennium" and the PDSA's Gold Medal for Animal Gallantry and Devotion to Duty),[2] the first dog to ride on the London Eye, the first dog known to work a 'chip and pin' ATM card,[3] and the first dog to place a human being in the recovery position without training following a blackout. As of 2007 some three hundred camera crews from several countries have interviewed Endal and his owner/handler,[4] and a film of a year in his life is in production.[5][6]
  • Lucy, David Blunkett's best known guide dog, who once vomited in the British House of Commons during a Parliamentary speech.
  • Timber, named "Heroic Guide Dog of the Year" by Guide Dogs for the Blind (UK) in 2005, after saving the life of his owner, Arthur Griffiths, during a traffic collision.[7]
  • Omar Riviera's yellow Labrador guide dog "Dorado". Riviera was on an upper floor of the Twin Towers at the time of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Despite extreme confusion, noise and panic, Dorado led Riviera down 70 stories just before Tower 1 collapsed. According to media reports, "Riviera even tried to release Dorado so the dog could have a better chance at survival, but found the dog would not leave his side".[8]

Police, military, rescue and detection dogs[edit]

Jake, together with Mary Flood, his handler.
  • Jake, a black Labrador who became a national canine hero after burrowing through "white-hot, smoking debris" in 2001 during the September 11 attacks in search of survivors at the World Trade Center. He helped search for Hurricane Katrina victims in 2005. As a puppy, Jake was abandoned with a broken leg and dislocated hip, but as an adult became one of fewer than 200 U.S. government-certified rescue dogs, and described by a member of the 9/11 Federal search and rescue teams as "a world class rescue dog". He died of cancer at age 12 in July 2007.[9][10]
  • Lucky and Flo, twin Black Labrador counterfeit detection dogs who became famous in 2007 for "sniffing out nearly 2 million unlicensed counterfeit DVDs" for the Motion Picture Association of America while on a 6-month secondment to Malaysia in 2007. The two later repeated a similar feat in several Queens, New York stores.[11][12] Following the $multi-million[13] 6-arrest Malaysian detection, they became the first dogs to be awarded Malaysia's "outstanding service award",[14] and software pirates were stated to have put a £30,000 contract out for their lives.[15][16]
  • Sabi, an Australian special forces explosives detection dog that spent almost 14 months missing in action (MIA) in Afghanistan before being recovered safe and well in 2009.[17][18]
  • Sadie, a black Labrador who saved the lives of dozens of soldiers in Afghanistan by detecting a bomb. Recipient of the Dickin Medal, the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross.[19]
  • Zanjeer, a detection dog who detected arms and ammunition used in 1993 Mumbai (Bombay) serial explosions. Zanjeer was born on January 7, 1992, and was inducted into the Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad on December 29, 1992. He was trained at the Dog Training Centre of the Criminal Investigation Department in Pune. During his service, his haul was excellent. He helped recover 57 country-made bombs, 175 petrol bombs, 11 military bombs, 242 grenades and 600 detonators. His biggest contribution to the police force and the city was the detection of 3,329 kg of RDX. He also helped detect 18 Type-56 rifles and five 9mm pistols. He died at a veterinary hospital in Parel.
  • Frida, Mexican rescue dog, retired in 2019. Took part in 53 operations in various Central American countries, saving 12 lives and locating 40 bodies. Retirement marked by a ceremony by the Mexican Naval Canine Unit attended by deputy minister Eduardo Redondo, while murals and a bronze statue of her have been created in various places.[20]

Other heroic labs[edit]

  • Willie, who saved his friend, John Stenglein, from a wolf attack at a logging camp near on April 26, 2000 in Icy Bay, Alaska. John and an older boy were playing near the edge of a logging camp when a wolf appeared and chased the boys, attacking John when he fell and dragging him and toward the woods. He was saved by his friend's Labrador retriever, Willie, followed by a group of people, and then John's father arrived and shot the wolf. The wolf was found to have been neither sick nor starving, but habituated to the presence of people. John received 19 laceration and puncture wounds on the back, legs, and buttocks.[21]

Pet dogs[edit]

Field (working) dogs[edit]

  • King Buck (1948–1962), a Labrador Retriever, successfully completed an unprecedented 63 consecutive series in the National Championship Stake and was the National Retriever Field Trial Club champion for two successive years (in 1952 and 1953), which accomplishment was not duplicated for nearly 40 years. He was also the first dog to appear on a United States Fish and Wildlife Service Duck stamp (1959), which always featured a water fowl.[23]
  • Blind of Arden (born c. 1934),[24]Life magazine December 12, 1938: Cover - Labrador Retriever, Blind of Arden". Inside cover text reads: "The dog on this week's cover is Blind of Arden, who won the No. 1 U.S. retriever stake of the year on November 21, had his picture taken at Southampton by LIFE photographer George Karger." and stated to be 4 years old at the time.[25] first dog to appear on the cover of Life (1938), also winning the No.1 competition at the time, the open all-age stake of the Long Island Retriever Club, with a "remarkable" blind recovery.[24]
  • NFC-AFC San Joaquin Honcho won the 1976 National Field Trial Championship and accumulated 142 All-age points during his competitive career. He was owned and trained by the famed retriever trainer, Judy Aycock, who purchased him on recommendation from the retriever legend Rex Carr.[26]
  • NFC AFC Storm's Riptide Star, or "Rascal," was the first chocolate lab to win the National Field Trial Championship. He was the 1996 National Field Trial Champion. He was handled by Mike Lardy. He was also a finalist in the 1998 National Open.[27][28]

Fiction, TV, books, films and media[edit]

Mascots and adverts[edit]

  • The Andrex Puppy, featured primarily in UK television spots for the Andrex brand of toilet paper, known elsewhere as Scott or Kleenex Cottonelle, also featuring the puppy mascot.[22]
  • Nigger, a black Labrador, mascot of the Dambusters squadron around 1940. (At the time, in the UK, this name was not seen as an offensive word)
  • Zeke the Wonder Dog, mascot and frisbee fanatic for the Michigan State Spartans
  • Alien, a black Lab who served as the team mascot for the Memphis Mad Dogs. Alien would charge the field following each kickoff and retrieve the kicking tee.

Notable individuals in the development of the breed[edit]

A surviving picture of "Buccleuch Avon" (born 1885), the foundational dog of all modern Labradors.
  • The Duke of Buccleuch's black Lab Avon ("Buccleuch Avon", m), considered the foundational dog of the modern breed,[29][30] along with Buccleuch Ned (both gifts from the Earl of Malmesbury) and the Earl of Malmesbury's dogs Malmesbury Tramp (m) and Malmesbury June (f), all pivotal in the foundation of the modern breed. All date to the 1880s. In particular, Jack Vanderwyk traces the origins of all Chocolate labs listed on the LabradorNet database to Buccleuch Avon and the two Malmesbury dogs.[31]
  • Ben of Hyde, first yellow lab on record (kennels of Major C.J. Radclyffe, 1899).[32]
  • The two famous dogs that rekindled the modern darker ("fox red") colours of yellow Lab—Balrion King Frost, credited as having "the biggest influence in the re-development of the fox red shade",[33] and his great-grandson, the likewise famous Wynfaul Tabasco, described as "the father of the modern fox red Labrador", and the only modern fox red Show Champion in the UK.[33] (Two other dogs, Balrion Red Alert and Scrimshaw Placido Flamingo, are also credited with greatly passing on the genes into more than one renowned bloodline, even though not especially famous themselves).[33]


Notorious Labs[edit]

  • Toby, 75 lbs., who killed 2-year-old Megan Stack, left alone downstairs with the dog, in 1988.
  • The puppy who killed 2-month-old Zane Earls left alone in an elevated, wind-up child swing, in 2008.

Notorious Labrador mixes[edit]

  • Tania, whose 2005 attack on her unconscious owner Isabelle Dinoire led to the world's first partial face transplant.
  • The "Labrador-mix" who killed two-week-old Brayden McCollen, alone in a baby swing in 2011.
  • Lucky, "Labrador/Golden Retriever mix", who killed two-month-old Aiden McGrew alone in a baby swing in 2012.
  • The pair of Labrador/Shepherd mixes, that killed two-year-old Ja'Marr Tiller, alone in his yard in 2012.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ rec.pets.dogs Service Dogs FAQ, 1995–96 updated 2000.
  2. ^ "Endal, December 2006". Illinois Springer Spaniel Rescue. Archived from the original on 2007-10-09. Retrieved 2007-06-20. The trophy cabinet at their family home in Hampshire would be the envy of most football club managers and houses an impressive list of awards including Dog of the Millennium and the PDSA's Gold Medal for Animal Gallantry and Devotion to Duty. It is true to say that Endal, who can even count the Queen as one of his devotees, is probably the most decorated dog in the world.
  3. ^ Most recently Endal, as observed by some of the biggest national newspapers in 2006, has learned how to put the Chip and Pin card into the machine and remove it after the transaction which Allen is proud to reveal makes him the first dog in the world to achieve this remarkable feat. Archived 2007-10-09 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ As at December 2006, 299 film crews had interviewed the pair Archived 2007-10-09 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "TV crew making film of partners' year". K9 Perspective Magazine. Archived from the original on 2014-03-31.
  6. ^ "Crufts 2006 eventful for Allen and Endal". Archived from the original on 2013-10-14.
  7. ^ Timber the guide dog unfazed by award for bravery - The Independent September 9, 2005.
  8. ^ "CNIB - A History of Guide Dogs". Retrieved 11 December 2017.
  9. ^ Verena, Dobnik. "Heroic dog dies of cancer". Archived from the original on 11 August 2007. Retrieved 31 Oct 2014.
  10. ^ "9/11, Katrina search dog dies - Life -". MSNBC. 2007-07-26. Retrieved 2014-08-06.
  11. ^ "Long Island News, Videos & Photos". Newsday. Retrieved 2014-08-06.
  12. ^ "DVD-Sniffing Dogs Help Curb Counterfeiting | FilmCrunch". 2007-08-30. Retrieved 2014-08-06.
  13. ^ The amount is uncertain; it was cited as US $3 million according to some sources, and US $6 million according to others.
  14. ^ Blass, Evan. "DVD-sniffing dogs awarded medals, returning to NYC". Engadget. Retrieved 2014-08-06.
  15. ^ Chan, Sewell (2007-08-28). "Fresh Off Malaysian Triumph, DVD-Sniffing Dogs Tackle New York". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-08.
  16. ^ Blass, Evan (2007-03-22). "DVD pirates put out hits on Lucky and Flo the crime dogs". Engadget. Retrieved 2014-08-06.
  17. ^ "Australian Dog Returns Home After A Year In The Wilderness"., Defence Media Release. Australian Department of Defence. 2009-11-12. Archived from the original on 2012-11-27. Retrieved 2009-11-14.
  18. ^ "Handler never gave up on lost army dog". ABC News (Australia). 2009-11-12. Archived from the original on 2009-11-14. Retrieved 2009-11-14.
  19. ^ "Animal VC for Sadie, the heroine of Kabul". 2014-06-08. Retrieved 2014-08-06.
  20. ^
  21. ^ McNay, Mark E. and Philip W. Mooney. 2005. Attempted predation of a child by a Gray Wolf, Canis lupus, near Icy Bay, Alaska. Canadian Field-Naturalist 119(2): 197-201.
  22. ^ a b c "h2g2 - Labrador Retrievers". BBC. Retrieved 2014-08-06.
  23. ^ "The story of king buck". Winchester ammunition. 2013. Archived from the original on 2012-07-23. Retrieved March 5, 2013.
  24. ^ a b "1938 LIFE Magazine Issues For Sale at 2Neat Magazines". 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-05.
  25. ^ Full article text also confirms details of competition.
  26. ^ "Welcome | Working-Retriever". Retrieved 2014-08-06.
  27. ^ "Source: ''Storm's Riptide Star Article''". 2007-11-18. Retrieved 2014-08-06.
  28. ^ "Storm's Riptide Star Pedigree". Retrieved 11 December 2017.
  29. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-08-25. Retrieved 2007-09-13.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  30. ^ [1]
  31. ^ "'Origins of Chocolate Labs' by Jack Vanderwyk" (PDF). Retrieved 11 December 2017.
  32. ^ Barmore, Laura. "History of the Lab". Retrieved 2007-09-12.
  33. ^ a b c "Fox Red Labradors". Retrieved 11 December 2017.
  34. ^ Source: The Guinness Book of World Records Revised & Enlarged Edition, 1966. According to Guinness World Records, a dog’s age is validated when Guinness World Records approves of their birth certificate. Quoted at: "Adjutant". The Famous Dogs Image-n-Info Bank. 2001. Archived from the original on 2010-11-21. Retrieved 2010-11-03.
  35. ^ "Hele wereld is dol op Brugse labrador", Het Laatste Nieuws (in Dutch), June 23, 2014, retrieved 11 December 2017

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