What is National Labrador Retriever Day? (and When?)

Do you wish you could celebrate your Labrador retriever on more days than just its birthday? Well, great news: you can!

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

If you are curious about learning more about the special breed for the holiday, this article has tons of helpful information, such as fun facts and ideas for how to celebrate the day. If you’re curious, keep reading to learn more.


Importance of Labrador Retrievers

Police dog trainer and trainee
Image Credit: dimitrivetsikas1969, Pixabay

Labrador retrievers have served more purposes than just being excellent companions. Though 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

5 Fun Facts About Labrador Retrievers

Do you know everything there is to know about your Labrador retriever, or are there some more obscure facts 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 in nature
Image Credit: McCann Michelle, Shutterstock

Does this come as a surprise to you? Labrador retrievers originate from Newfoundland. In the 18th century, dogs were bred to create the St. John’s water dogs—the ancestors of the Labrador retrievers. These St. john’s water 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 retriever dog playing in the beach
Image Credit: DragoNika, Shutterstock

Labrador retrievers love water! From swimming in lakes and oceans to jumping in puddles, these pups can’t get enough water. Since fishermen often used dogs, they needed them to be excellent swimmers. So, they 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

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

3. Labrador Retrievers Are Known for Speed

Labrador Retriever Playing with Tennis Ball on Grass Field
Image Credit: Samuel Sweet, Pexels

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

4. One Labrador Retriever Became a Mayor

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

An election in 1981 in Sunol, California, had a unique candidate. Bosco, the dog, 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!

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

labrador retriever dogs in the grass
Image Credit: Rosa Jay, Shutterstock

You have likely heard of the three colors that Labrador retrievers are most commonly found in: yellow, black, and chocolate, but did you know that there are three more colors a Labrador retriever can be?

That’s right: in another world, 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 of the Labrador retriever’s popularity in the United States, making it 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!


How to Celebrate with Your Pup

Are you still having trouble trying to decide how to celebrate the day with your Labrador retriever? 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: As stated before, 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 some 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, take some 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.
black labrador retriever training
Image Credit: Jari Hindstroem, Shutterstock



We hope you learned a little bit more about Labrador retrievers through this article, or maybe you gained some new ideas on how to participate in the national holiday with your pup. Either way, Labrador retrievers are 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

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