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The Labrador

Within recent years the original smooth-coated Labrador dog has taken
its place as a recognised variety of the Retriever and become
prominent both at exhibitions and as a worker. It is not probable
that any have been imported into England for the past quarter of a
century, but without the assistance of shows or imported blood they
have survived marvellously. Thanks especially to the kennels of such
breeders as the Dukes of Buccleuch and Hamilton, the Earl of Verulam,
Lords Wimborne, Horne, and Malmesbury, the Hon. A. Holland Hibbert,
Sir Savile Crossley, Mr. F. P. Barnett, Mr. C. Liddell, Mr. O. L.
Mansel, and others equally enthusiastic.

To the Duke of Buccleuch's kennel we are probably more indebted in
the last twenty years than to any other. Its foundation was laid in
two bitches by a dog of the Duke of Hamilton's from a bitch of Lord
Malmesbury's. At Drumlanrig, as well as on the Duke's other estates,
they have been most particular in preserving the purity and working
qualities of their strain. And the same may be said of the Hon. A.
Holland Hibbert, whose principal dogs are not only typical in
appearance, but broken to perfection. The Duchess of Hamilton's
kennels have been responsible for some of the best field trial winners
of the present day. As far as looks are concerned, one cannot say
that the Labrador compares favourably with either the flat or the
curly coated Retriever, but that is immaterial so long as he continues
to work as he is doing at present.

Next: The Sporting Spaniel

Previous: The Curly-coated Retriever

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