February 22nd is National Walking The Dog Day. I love dogs... but I don't necessarily love dog hair or picking up dog poop. I should probably rescind my previous statement and say that I have a love / hate relationship with dogs. I've had several dogs over the years and my favorite by far was Harley my fawn Boxer. He was the most loyal, intelligent, playful and brave pup ever. I keep thinking about getting another pup but really haven't decided If I want another Boxer ( Am I going to find myself comparing the new boxer to Harley?). This led me to doing some research and apparently the most popular dog breed in Idaho is the Labrador Retriever. So if you too are thinking about getting a puppy or just want to know more about the dog of choice in Idaho, check out 8 fun facts about Labrador Retrievers compliments of AKC.org below. Oh yeah and don't forget to Walk your dog :)

1. Labs love the water.
In fact, they were made for it! Their thick tail (sometimes called an “otter tail”) is used as a powerful rudder, their webbed feet help them swim fast, and their thick, waterproof coats keep them happy even in cold water, like the icy Newfoundland waters where they were first bred. All of these traits make Labs great competitors in Dock Diving trials.

2. They are purpose-bred hunting dogs.

Labs started out as duck retrievers, and after they were brought back to England in the 1800s, the British bred them as game-hunting companions. Today, they’re excellent retrievers who can work in a variety of settings, including waterfowl hunting and game hunting, often for many hours at a time. You’ll find Labs excelling in Retriever Field Trials and Retriever Hunting Tests.

3. Among the dog world’s most versatile workers, Labs can do almost anything.

Thanks to their intelligence, eagerness to please, and willingness to work hard, Labradors are invaluable workers in a variety of fields. They’re the among the most popular choices for service dog work, as well as search and rescue, bomb and drug detection, and therapy dog work.

4. Be prepared for endless energy.

Though they’re famously laid-back, Labs were made to run, swim, and work. Labs that don’t receive ample exercise, including at least one long, brisk walk per day, might end up displaying destructive behaviors like chewing on objects around the house or escaping the yard.

5. Puppy training and obedience classes are highly recommended.

These bold, bouncy dogs are so strong and full of energy, so proper training and socialization are essential. Luckily, with their eager-to-please, intelligent demeanors, training classes can be a joy for dog and owner alike.

6. Labrador Retrievers come in three conformation colors: yellow, black, and chocolate.

All three colors of Labrador Retrievers are shown in the same ring during conformation dog shows.

7. They make for incredibly versatile sporting dogs.

With their characteristic intelligence, obedience, and eagerness to please, Labradors excel at a variety of dog sports. Besides dock diving and hunting trials, they tend to perform very well in AgilityRally, and Obedience.

8. Color is not an indication of character.

Some claim that yellow Labs are the laziest of the breed, while black Labs are the best hunters, but none of these claims are supported by science. Like people, each dog is different, and some breeders develop their stock for its skills in the field, while others are concerned more with conformation to the breed standard. However, none of these differences directly depend on the dog’s color.

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