Pet Keen is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Home > Dogs > What Is National Labrador Retriever Day? 2024 Update

What Is National Labrador Retriever Day? 2024 Update

four labrador retriever dogs in the grass

Do you wish that you could celebrate your Labrador Retriever on more days than just their birthday? The great news is that you can!

January 8 is National Labrador Retriever Day. While there is no official way to celebrate, plenty of people take their Labs out for an additional walk that day or even play an extra game of fetch. You can celebrate however you think your pup would approve!

If you are curious about this special breed and why they have their own holiday, read on for illuminating information, including fun facts and ideas for how to celebrate the day!

divider-dog

Importance of Labrador Retrievers

close up of black labrador retriever dog
Image Credit: Dimedrol68, Shutterstock

Labrador Retrievers have served more purposes than just being excellent companions. Although that task is undoubtedly important, there are many other duties that Labs have been known to fill throughout history.

In the past, Labrador Retrievers were primarily used to retrieve wild game from bodies of water. They were used as hunting dogs due to their aptitude for partnership, keen intelligence, and love for the water.

These days, Labrador Retrievers can still be used for hunting, but they are often purchased as family pets. They are incredible service dogs, guide dogs, scenting dogs, arson task force dogs, performance dogs, and search-and-rescue dogs.

divider-dog paw

The 5 Fun Facts About Labrador Retrievers

Do you know everything there is to know about your Labrador Retriever, or are there more obscure details that have eluded you?

Examine these fun facts, and find out just how much of a Labrador Retriever expert you really are!

1. Labrador Retrievers Are Not From Labrador

Labrador Retrievers come from Newfoundland! In the 18th century, dogs were bred to create the St. John’s water dogs—the ancestors of the Labrador Retrievers. These dogs were remarkably similar to Labrador Retrievers but were smaller in stature and had white fur on their muzzles and paws.

Today, the St. John’s water dogs are sadly extinct. However, they brought a wonderful gift to the world: our beloved Labrador Retrievers!


2. Labrador Retrievers Were Designed for Water

Labrador Retrievers love water! From swimming in lakes and oceans to jumping in puddles, these pups can’t get enough of the wet stuff. Since fishermen often used dogs, they needed them to be excellent swimmers. So, Labs were carefully bred to have the perfect qualities of a water dog: webbed feet for quick strokes, short fur that won’t drag them under the surface, and a water-resistant double coat to provide warmth in the cold water.

If you want to do something extra special for your pup, consider taking them to the nearest body of water and letting them have fun. Just be sure you can keep up with your expert swimmer!

labrador retriever dog playing in the beach
Image by: DragoNika, Shutterstock

3. Labrador Retrievers Are Known for Speed

In addition to being premium swimmers, Labrador Retrievers are excellent runners. It sounds like this breed is a great asset in the sea and on the land! Next time your Labrador Retriever goes off running, pay attention to how quickly they can build speed. In a mere 3 seconds after take-off, some Labrador Retrievers can reach 12 miles per hour. Talk about fast!


4. One Labrador Retriever Became a Mayor

An election in 1981 in Sunol, California, had a unique candidate. Bosco, a Lab, ran as a “re’pup’lican” for the mayor of Sunol. Bosco must have had an excellent campaign team because they devised a stellar slogan for him: “A bone in every dish, a cat in every tree, and a fire hydrant on every corner.”

Bosco won the hearts of many and even defeated two candidates for the job—human candidates! By all accounts, Bosco’s term as honorary mayor was relatively successful. He remained in the position until he passed away in 1994. What an inspiration to Labrador Retrievers everywhere!

Mayor Bosco Memorial
Mayor Bosco Memorial (Image Credit: Pedro Xing, Wikimedia Commons CC0 1.0)

5. Labrador Retrievers Come in Three Main Colors—and Sometimes Three Bonus Colors

You likely know the three colors that Labrador Retrievers are most commonly be: yellow, black, and chocolate. But did you know that there are three more colors that a Labrador Retriever can be?

That’s right: Your adorable furry friend could have been white, silver, or even red!

White, silver, and red Labs are much less common than their three conventional counterparts but are beginning to show up more frequently. This is likely due to the surge in the Labrador Retriever’s popularity in the United States, as they were the most favored breed in the country for decades. With more Labrador Retrievers being bred, there are more chances of one of the rare colors popping up!

divider-paw

How to Celebrate National Labrador Retriever Day With Your Pup

Dog Outdoors Hiking in Woods Mixed Breed Labrador Rescue Puppy on a Sunny Day in the Park
Image by: N K, Shutterstock

Are you still having trouble trying to decide how to celebrate the day with your Labrador Retriever? There’s no need to worry! We came up with a few ideas that might get the ball rolling for you.

  • Go for a Jog: Labrador Retrievers love activity. They are energetic dogs that have to put that energy to use. What better way to celebrate your pup than with a light run to lift their spirits?
  • Find a Place to Swim: Labrador Retrievers are huge fans of water. If you have a place to swim nearby (and the weather is right), make a day of it! Pack up food and sunscreen, and take your dog out for a day at the beach!
  • Spend Time Together: If those outdoor, active approaches don’t work for you, just take the time to be with your furry friend. Labrador Retrievers are social, and they love being around their favorite humans. Whether you’re playing fetch, giving the best ear scratches, or snuggling on the couch, your Labrador Retriever will have a perfect day just being with you.

divider-dog

Final Thoughts

We hope you learned a bit more about Labrador Retrievers in this article, or maybe you gained new ideas on how to participate in the national holiday with your pup. Either way, the Labrador Retriever is a special breed that holds a soft spot in many people’s hearts, and it’s only fitting that they have their own holiday. Enjoy celebrating!


Featured Image Credit: fotorince, Shutterstock

Our vets

Want to talk to a vet online?

Whether you have concerns about your dog, cat, or other pet, trained vets have the answers!

Our vets