Meet Lizzy the 4 year old Labrador Retriever and her owner Jenny
About the Breed
Labrador Retrievers are descendants of the St John’s waterdogs which originated in Newfoundland in the 17th century. Waterdogs were trained to bring fishing nets through icy waters to fishermen and in the 1830s were imported to Britain where they were bred for waterfowling and as gundogs and their name was changed to Labrador Retrievers. The first Labradors arrived in Australia in 1929.
Labradors are a favourite assistance breed and are frequently trained to aid the blind, those who have autism, to act as therapy dogs, and to perform screening and detection work for a number of government agencies.
Why did you choose this particular breed
My husband and I were looking for a good-natured, loveable family dog and the Labrador Retriever ticked all the boxes for us. Thirty years on (and five Labradors later) we are as besotted with the breed now as when our first Labrador arrived.
Is their personality/behaviour in line with what people associated with the breed?
Absolutely. Labs have a reputation for being friendly, loving dogs with people of all ages. I have often noticed that even people who are not “dog people” warm to Labs.
Any tips for someone considering getting this breed?
Labs are ‘people’ dogs. You should only consider getting a Lab if you plan on allowing your dog to become part of the family. You will be rewarded ten-fold with the best friend you could ever have. Labs need regular exercise as they are obsessed with food so their weight needs to be kept under control to alleviate potential health problems. They also need regular grooming.
How interested/good at training or obedience?
Nice manners are important. Lizzy attends Dog School and has recently received a “K9 Citizen Trophy”. We also do trick training at home which is a lot of fun.
Any tricks, community work?
Lizzy and I are pet therapy volunteers and do regular visits. We like to inject some fun into our pet therapy sessions and tricks form a big part of our visits.Lizzy has quite a repertoire of tricks. Some favourites include riding her scooter and skateboard, walking on her hind legs pushing a trolley, playing quoits and rolling a big yellow dice with her paw to play a game of Pet Therapy “Snakes and Ladders” and she particularly loves all ball games.
You can catch Lizzy’s adventures on Instagram: @liz_the_lab as well as in our Smart Pets segments and competition on Pooches at Play showing off her great tricks!