The Labrador Retriever’s Origins and History Source: Wikipedia. Country/Region of Origin: Hungary Original purpose: hunting Name: thought to have originated on Newfoundland, but since there is already a Newfoundland dog, the breed was named Labrador; often simply called "Lab" for short; also originally called St. John's Dog. Historical notes: Today, Labradors are the most populous of the registered breeds in the US and the UK. Sadly, popularity of this breed means that there are thriving puppy mills and pet shops that sell these dogs for profit, typically with little regard for their well-being. Also due to their popularity, Labradors are more frequent targets of kidnapping. Microchip tagging for any Labrador dog is therefore recommended.