Labrador: The Story of the World’s Favourite Dog

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Labrador: The Story of the World’s Favourite Dog

Labrador: The Story of the World’s Favourite Dog

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Dogs also bring 'germs' into the home, Ben said which is important, particularly for children who need to build up their resistance. The first sightings in Britain of the “St John’s dogs” or “Little Newfoundland dogs” were in the late 18th century.

Native to Newfoundland, where they worked side-by-side with fishermen, then brought to England in the 1800s by English ships, Labradors are not only popular as a family companion but also excel in hunting, tracking, retrieving, guiding and rescuing. I listened to it on audible and it was read by Ben Fogle himself, which really brought it to life, as I could hear his emotions when he spoke of losing his beloved Inca!After 67 years and 2 million vehicles the Defender ceased production, and this book is a fitting tribute to this most British institution which has stood as a beacon of durability across the world. They had also realised what an extraordinary dog the Labrador was and so established their own kennels in around 1835.

Ben has teamed up with Bayer to help educate dog owners on the threat of lungworm, a parasite carried by slugs and snails, which can infect dogs if eaten, and can be fatal if not diagnosed, treated or prevented. In the first published account of a labrador, his Diary describes the dog as “by far the best for any kind of shooting. However, I had troubles with the text now and then, had to reread sentences to really understand what Fogle meant. But the breechloaders, with their far quicker loading time, ushered in the era of driven shooting and much bigger bags. They are doing that Labrador thing where they stare at you unblinkingly, dribbling in Pavlovian anticipation.When I presented Crufts, you could invariably tell what day it was according to the owners: the more preened the dog, the more preened the owner, the softer the dog, the softer the owner… you get my point. They are the aristocracy of dogs and have long been associated with the upper echelons of British society. Labradors are the most popular breed of dog in the UK and for Ben Fogle it's not very hard to see why. Indeed, one of the reasons for Labradors’ universal popularity is the fact they are equally good as working dogs as they are family dogs.

So the Labrador has gone from being a fisherman's companion to a specialist wildfowl retriever to the world's most popular domestic dog.

While visiting a sick aunt on the south coast of England the two Scotsmen accepted an invitation to shoot wildfowl at Hurn.

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