The Labrador Retriever's ancestor was developed by British fishing fleets working the cod-rich banks off the coast of Newfoundland in the 1500's and 1600's. This "fishing dog" retrieved the cod escaping from primitive hooks, and helped with the gathering of game by the small crews that wintered over to tend the shore-based infrastructure. This dog was called the St. John's Water Dog.
In the 1830's the 5th Duke of Buccleuch imported the first ancestral Labradors from Newfoundland and developed the beginnings of the Labrador breed. The Dukes of Buccleuch have subsequently maintained this original strain of Labrador Retriever and have bred over many years a superb game finding dog to supply the needs of their gamekeepers for their vast estates in Scotland. The Duke of Buccleuch's kennels are the only Labrador breeding kennel which has been in continuous operation since the introduction of Labradors to England in early 1800's.
Buccleuch Avon and Buccleuch Ned are considered the foundation dogs of the Labrador breed. One of their offspring, a 5th generation grandson, Peter of Faskally was a tap root of the modern Labrador breed. More than 32 of Peter's progeny won or placed in field trials, and in 1911 Peter won the first IGL Retriever Championship. Peter of Faskelly was also the first retriever to be worked on hand signals in a field trial. Peter of Faskally did a great deal to popularize the breed.
A look at Peter of Faskally's pedigree will testify to the importance of Buccleuch in the early development of the Labrador breed.
Today, the original strain of Labrador continues in FTW Buccleuch Oak, a handsome and talented black labrador dog who resides in Scotland with the 10th Duke of Buccleuch.
We here at Duckhill kennels have bred bitches to Buccluech Oak and have retained and trained a number of the puppies. They are characteristically high in hunt drive and easy to train. The best of them is Tibea Duckflight, who exhibits great hunting initiative, great intelligence and exceptional ease of training. Tibea Duckflight is being bred to a few select bitches to produce puppies of excellence and of the original strain of Labrador. Scroll down for current litters and sires and dams.