America’s Favorite

With something for everyone, it's no surprise the Labrador Retriever is the country's most popular breed.

It was a high-profile casting call for Cutter, then 4 years old, and Schooner, who was all of 9 weeks: The two yellow Labrador Retrievers were to jump off a boat for a Ralph Lauren ad.

“But when we got there, they wanted the dogs to play football with the models instead,” says owner Susan Carpenter of N.Y., whose dogs obligingly stayed on dry land, despite their nautical names and their breed’s almost supernatural attraction to water.

“They’re Labs,” shrugs Carpenter, who has been breeding, training, and competing in the field with hers since 1985. “They’re good at whatever you want them to be good at.”

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