Labrador Retriever

If you’re looking for a dog that gets along with others, a Labrador retriever, or Lab, may be right for you … and you wouldn’t be alone. For several years the adorably fun-loving pup has garnered No. 1 spot as America’s most popular dog breed. Officially recognized by the AKC in 1917, Labs are originally from Newfoundland where they worked alongside fishermen to help pull nets and catch fish that escaped from fishing lines, according to the AKC. The breed didn’t get its superb retriever skills until it was crossed with setters, spaniels and other retrievers. Since then Labrador retrievers, which come in yellow, black and chocolate coat colors, have been bred as skilled retrievers of game.Even so, the breed is vulnerable to exercise-induced collapse (EIC), in which affected Labradors lose control of their hind limbs after intense hunting or retrieving. A study published in 2008 in the journal Nature Genetics revealed the wobbly legs are linked to the dynamin 1 gene. The study researchers found some 30 percent of Labrador retrievers carry the mutant gene though they may not show symptoms since they don’t carry two copies of the dynamin 1 variant. The scientists developed a genetic test to determine whether a dog is carrying a copy of the mutant gene to help breeders avoid pairing up two carriers.