Labrador wins Britain’s favourite breed, for more than just its friendly nature

Close up of yellow Labrador dog dog-happy
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The UK's favourite breed of dog in 2019 is the Labrador. But the breed's affection and patience are not the only traits to have carried it to the top.

By Nick Whittle

Published on the 30/12/2019, 18:55

Beating the “trendy” European dogs such as the French Bulldog, Dachshund and Miniature Schnauzer, the Labrador sits proud as the nation’s favourite canine, according to the Kennel Club's end-of-year result.

Meanwhile other traditional UK breeds such as the West Highland White Terrier, King Charles Spaniel and Border Terrier have fallen from grace.

More than 3,900 Labrador litters were born between January and September this year.


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The Labrador is not only cited as a dog of mythical calmness, intelligence and patience. It is also thought of by many as a “life saver”, according to The Express. The Labrador’s intuitive mind has seen it become a favourite assistance dog in recent years, and it continues to be the choice dog of charities such as the RNIB, which assigns dogs to people who are hard of sight.

Ben Fogle in an article in The Telegraph in 2015 said of the breed, “They are like hairy ambassadors for the people we would like to be and this must be one reason families choose the Labrador as a role model for their children.”

Life saver

The Express tells the story of three people each with their own challenges, who call the Labrador their life saver. One of these, 52-year-old Kathy Hancock, who used to work with the charity Dogs Trust before she was injured, has politely declined offers of full time care because she says her Lab Neptune can do so many things around the house.

Ms Hancock was paralysed from the waist down after a fall 24 years ago. Neptune, trained by charity Dogs for Good is her live-in carer and soulmate.

According to The Express, “He [Neptune] helps pick up the post, takes washing out of the machine, assists Kathy with dressing and turns lights on and off.

“If Kathy's oxygen line comes out in the night, Neptune will keep her alive by picking it up, waking her and giving it to her.”

Speaking about Neptune, Hancock said, “They are such clever dogs and give so much love. It means so much that I am responsible for them as well.

“Neptune always lifts my spirits. If he sees I'm low, he will bring me his toy. People chat to me because I have him and he's given me a reason to live again.”

Congratulations to Neptune and all of his sisters and brothers for becoming the UK's favourite breed of dog!