A building collapses and construction workers are trapped. A tornado tears through a town and residents are lost. During crises like these, search-and-rescue dogs are called into action. Many times, those dogs are Labrador Retrievers.
The same is true for vital jobs like guiding the blind, tracking and detection, assisting people with disabilities, carting, and therapy work. Labs have the intelligence, trainability and temperament to get the job done.
Multi-talented and hard-working
Many people think German Shepherds are the most popular breed as seeing-eye dogs. In fact, Labs make up 60–70% of the guide dog population. With their gentle dispositions, versatility, and initiative they have become hardworking heroes for the blind.
Labs are now used as “hearing ears,” too, alerting hearing-impaired people to sounds they may not notice. Trained to make contact with their owners using touch signals, the Lab makes a silent world more manageable for the deaf.
This breed is employed as service dogs for people with other disabilities, as well, enhancing their ability to live independently. These vital canine companions can retrieve objects that fall on the ground, turn on light switches, pull a wheelchair, carry light satchels and packages, and even open doors and drawers. These can be life-saving tasks for the elderly, the sick, and housebound people who rely on their Labs for essential help.
Of course, we haven’t even mentioned hunting and retrieving, an outdoor job for which Labradors Retrievers were originally bred. With their keen noses, agile running ability, and unmatched swimming skills, the Lab has always been a hunter’s best friend.
There’s almost no job too difficult for your energetic, intelligent and friendly Lab. Just don’t ask him to be a guard dog, because chances are he’ll just lick the hand of an intruder and drop a wet tennis ball at his feet.