The ancestor of the Labrador comes from Newfoundland and mention of them dates back to the early 1800s when the Earl of Malmsbury reputedly saw the dogs brought to England by fishermen. He arranged for the importation of some of these dogs. In time, import taxes and quarantine laws practically stopped the importation into England. Thereafter, selective breeding with other types of hunting dogs began to bring about the characteristics that formed the appearance of the dog that we know today as the Labrador Retriever. The Labrador was first recognized as a separate breed by the English Kennel Club in 1903.