Labradors are top dog

PLAYING with three cute, energetic and cheeky labrador pups yesterday, the news that labradors are Australia's favourite dog breed was no surprise to Glenugie woman Fiona Taylor.

The breeder recently had three litters for sale. She said they had sold quickly, despite wearing a $500 price tag for the golden dogs and between $400 and $450 for the chocolate and black pups.

“They are gorgeous dogs for families,” she said.

“The gold ones always go really quick.”

According to the body for purebred dog breeding and exhibiting in the State, Dogs NSW, the labrador retriever is the most popular purebred dog breed in Australia.

The statistics were based on 2008 registration data.

The German shepherd dog came a close second and the cavalier king charles spaniel was third.

Two Australian breeds, the border collie and Australian cattle dog, were also high on the list, coming in sixth and 13th respectively.

Dogs NSW spokesman and veterinarian Dr Peter Higgins said more than two million households had one or more dogs in their home. He said the labrador retriever's initiative and ability to self-direct allowed them to succeed in working roles such as detection, disability assistance and therapy work.

“In Australia we have dogs for many different purposes, from bomb detection and customs checks, to guide dogs, therapy dogs and as pets,” he said.

“Most of all, they make great companions that keep us calm and grounded in an increasingly busy and fast-paced world.”

Ms Taylor, owner of five labradors and a breeder for about eight years, agreed with Dr Higgins' sentiment.

“We never had a problem with them,” she said.

“They are terrific with kids ... they run around with you and are also happy to just do nothing.”



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