“When the Man waked up he said, ‘What is Wild Dog doing here?’ And the Woman said, ‘His name is not Wild Dog any more, but the First Friend, because he will be our friend for always and always and always.'”
~ Rudyard Kipling, Just So Stories, 1902
It is now believed that humans may have domesticated dogs two separate times, taming wolves both in Europe and Asia thousands of years ago. DNA evidence suggests that the domestication of dogs may have occurred for the first time in Europe more than 15,000 years ago, and again approximately 12,500 years ago in Central Asia or China. Selective breeding gives us the favourite breeds we know today. Interestingly, Labrador retrievers actually come from Newfoundland, not Labrador. In the 18th century, Greater Newfoundland dogs bred with smaller water dogs to produce St. John’s water dogs. These smaller canines looked a lot like modern day Labs, but with white muzzles and paws. The St. John’s water dog eventually went extinct but served as the ancestor for the Labrador retriever. Woof! 🐕
National Dog Day has two goals: to honor dogs, and to rescue dogs from homelessness and abuse - an opportunity for us to recognize and appreciate the value and importance of "man's best friend" in our lives.
This tartan was designed by Maurice Givan to celebrate the history of the Labrador Retriever, introduced from Newfoundland to Scotland in the 1830s by the 5th Duke of Buccleuch, Walter Francis Montagu Douglas Scott.
The Labrador Retriever was originally bred as a working gun dog, trained to fetch dead and wounded game and to bring it back undamaged. It is now one of the most popular breeds of dog in the United Kingdom and the United States.
A favourite disability assistance breed in many countries, Labradors are frequently trained to aid the blind, those with medical conditions, to act as a therapy dog, and to perform screening and detection work for law enforcement and other official agencies
The tartan incorporates the three colours of the Labrador breed: black, yellow and chocolate, with purple and green to represent the Scottish landscape.
For more about a famous Labrador, Jake, who served as a search and rescue dog following the September 11 attacks and Hurricane Katrina, click the three colors of Labradors!