Labradors are among the most iconic dogs in the world, from Old Yeller to Homeward Bound, and far beyond. They are the chosen breed for multiple TV shows and movies. Labradors, it seems have become the quintessential dog for the American family, or at least the American TV family.

Surely, all this popularity has to come from somewhere, but where, and why? What is it about Labradors that makes them such a beloved breed? Stick around, because in the following article, we will attempt to explain this.

A Labrador is Smart

One of the main reasons for why Labradors appear so much on TV or in movies is because they are known for their intelligence, and thus less of a hassle to train. As a breed, Labradors are very loyal and crave appreciation, so  they are quick to comply.

That being said, like all creatures, Labs don’t listen just because, so treats and other forms of positive reinforcement are necessary if you want a well-trained dog.

A Labrador is Friendly

Labradors are often hailed as the ultimate family dog, since it seems they can get along with anything or anyone, from kids to other dogs. They tend to be very calm, and playful and don’t mind who they’re playing with.

The trick to it all is to know where your dog came from, or to raise it yourself. Really, what it all boils down to is what they did as a puppy, because if a puppy is allowed to be more social, it will be social as an adult.

Usually, most of a puppy’s social skills are learned from its siblings, which is why Labradors are gentle by nature. They rarely experience aggression from other puppies in the litter, which means they learn gentleness early on from creatures with a lower pain threshold than most humans.

A Labrador is Energetic

As much of a blessing as children can be, it can be very tough to keep up with them, which is something they have in common with Labradors. With so much energy and enthusiasm in them, Labradors make a perfect companion for children or other dogs.

In fact, Labradors trace their origins to Newfoundland, where they were originally used to aid in the work of duck hunters and fisherman, usually by retrieving things, hence the name.

Labradors Make Great Working Dogs

This may seem like a strange thing to say, but Labradors are among the most employable pets in the world. They have been designed to various tasks from detecting contraband to working as a service animal to those with disabilities. In fact, about 70% of seeing-eye dogs are Labs.

A Labrador Doesn’t Need to be Groomed Much

To be sure, Labradors do require some grooming every now and then, such as washing and brushing every few weeks to a month, but they’re fairly low-maintenance compared to other dogs.

They do tend to shed, especially in the summer, but their coats are fairly short, which means that you’ll never have a lot of hair to deal with.

A Labrador is Loyal

One of the reasons a Lab is seen as such an excellent companion is because of how attached they tend to get to their families. Along with retrieving, Labs were also bred to keep company with fishermen who, naturally, were alone all day as they did their jobs.

Labs are also eager to get as close to their owners as smaller dogs, like sleeping in the same bed for instance, and many find this trait endearing. An old adage is that misery loves company, and the best company is usually an animal, and Labs are no exception.

People swear to this day that animals can recognize when people are at their worst, whether sick or sad, and tend to accompany us during those times. Even if this is just something we made up, and that we just notice them more when we’re sick, it’s a good belief to have, because knowing something is there for you can make all the difference.