Like the pointer, the aptly named Labrador retriever is a well-rounded hunting companion. Perhaps Labradors are best known as water dogs because of their moisture-repellent coats and weblike feet that propel them easily through water to fetch prey. Retrievers are also equipped with a high level of intelligence and good temperament, which make them ideal for training. These qualities serve as part of the reason that Labradors, as well as golden retrievers, are consistently ranked as the most popular breeds in the United States [source: AKC].
Like spaniels, retrievers' mouths also have a gentle grip that lets them retrieve prey without damaging it. Their willingness to please lends them well to tasks other than retrieving. Labradors also make good trackers and pointers, and they quickly adapt to a wide range of environments.
With a sturdy build and weighing about 55 to 75 pounds (25 to 34 kilograms), Labradors are true utilitarian dogs, equally at ease gathering quail as they are fetching fallen ducks from an icy pond. Their well-roundedness makes them quality hunting dogs in any season.