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.

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