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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A yellow Labrador retriever. Labradors come in black, chocolate and yellow (ie, cream or gold) colorings.
Labradors are a very popular selection for use as guide dogs.

This list of famous Labradors 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. Working dogs help the blind and deaf because they are very smart. 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 Labs


Assistance dogs

Endal, the world's most decorated dog, wearing his PDSA Gold Medal.
  • 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

Jake, together with Mary, his handler.
Australian explosives detection dog Sabi with her handler in Tarin Kowt, Afghanistan, 2007
  • Jake, a black Labrador who became a national canine hero after burrowing through "white-hot, smoking debris" in search of survivors at the World Trade Center. Also 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 pirated counterfeit DVDs" for the Motion Picture Association of America whilst 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]
  • Sirius, a yellow labarador New York Port Authority Police Canine, was killed as he waited for his handler in one of the twin towers during 9/11.
  • 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 AK-56 rifles and five 9mm pistols. He died at a veterinary hospital in Parel.

Pet dogs

Field (working) dogs

The first dog on the cover of Life, a Labrador Retriever: "Blind of Arden" in 1938, winner of the top US Retriever Stake of the Year.
  • King Buck (1948 - 1962), first dog to appear on a US postage stamp (1959),[21][22] and "the most famous dog in the history of duck hunting".[23] Won the National Retriever Championship in both 1952 and 1953.[23]
  • Blind of Arden (b.approx 1934),[24] 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.[25]
  • 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.[26][27]

Fiction, TV, books, films and media

Ubu Roi, logo and TV credits mascot since 1982.

Mascots and adverts

The Andrex Puppy, seen here in a British advertisement from 1994.

Notable individuals in the development of the breed

A surviving picture of Buccleuch Avon (b.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,[28] [29] 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.[30]
  • Ben of Hyde, first yellow lab on record (kennels of Major C.J. Radclyffe, 1899).[31]
  • 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",[32] 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.[32] (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[32].)


(none listed)


  1. ^ rec.pets.dogs Service Dogs FAQ, 1995–96 updated 2000.
  2. ^ "Endal, December 2006" (html). Illinois Springer Spaniel Rescue. 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."
  4. ^ As at December 2006, 299 film crews had interviewed the pair. [1]
  5. ^ "TV crew making film of partners' year". K9 Perspective Magazine, Issue 27. 
  6. ^ "Crufts 2006 eventful for Allen and Endal". K9 Perspective Magazine, Issue 27. 
  7. ^ Timber the guide dog unfazed by award for bravery - The Independent Sept 9 2005.
  8. ^ CNIB - A History of Guide Dogs
  9. ^ CANOE - CNEWS - Daily Feature: Heroic dog dies of cancer
  10. ^ 9/11, Katrina search dog dies - Life -
  11. ^,0,7661895.story
  12. ^ DVD-Sniffing Dogs Help Curb Counterfeiting | FilmCrunch
  13. ^ The amount is uncertain; it was cited as US $3 million according to some sources, and US $6 million according to others.
  14. ^ DVD-sniffing dogs awarded medals, returning to NYC - Engadget
  15. ^ Fresh Off Malaysian Triumph, DVD-Sniffing Dogs Tackle New York - City Room - Metro - New York Times Blog
  16. ^ DVD pirates put out hits on Lucky and Flo the crime dogs - Engadget
  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 2009-11-11. Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  18. ^ "Handler never gave up on lost army dog". ABC News. 2009-11-12. Archived from the original on 2009-11-14. Retrieved 2009-11-14. 
  19. ^ Animal VC for Sadie, the heroine of Kabul
  20. ^ a b c BBC - h2g2 - Labrador Retrievers
  21. ^ Source:, which also describes King Buck as "famous." [2]
  22. ^ Brampton Labradors at Paws Inn
  23. ^ a b King Buck (1948 - 1962) - Find A Grave Memorial
  24. ^ a b "1938 LIFE Magazine Issues For Sale at 2Neat Magazines". 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-05.  "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. Full article text here also confirms details of competition.
  25. ^ Source:, which lists Honcho in the Hall of Fame.[3]
  26. ^ Source: Storm's Riptide Star Article [4]
  27. ^ Storm's Riptide Star Pedigree [5]
  28. ^ - "Buccleuch's Ned and Buccleuch's Avon are generally agreed upon as being the ancestors of all Labradors."
  29. ^'s_riptide_star_ped.htm - "the foundation dog Buccleuch Avon born 1885".
  30. ^ - 'Origins of Chocolate Labs' by Jack Vanderwyk
  31. ^ Barmore, Laura. "History of the Lab". Retrieved 2007-09-12. 
  32. ^ a b c Fox Red Labradors

See also

External links


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