The Different Types Of Labrador Retrievers That Different Breeders Strive For, The "English" Lab As Well As The "American" Lab.


labrador retriever

Types Of Labrador Retrievers is not referring to the standard accepted by the different kennel unions, only to the types of this breed that are out there.

There are two different types of Lab, actually more than two, but we will get to that a bit later. For now let's just look at what is incorrectly referred to as the "English type" and the "American type".

The country of origin has very little to do with it. What is really at issue here is what the dog has been bred for.

An "English" dog has been bred as a show dog and the standard for this dog is the same in England as it is in America. This dog has a stockier build than its counterpart.

It has a broader head, a more square muzzle and a very thick tail. It is on the shorter side of the standard laid out by the kennel clubs around the world (still within the limits) but it tends to be fairly heavy, weighing up to 85+ pounds.

The temperament of the "English" also differs slightly from the "American". They tend to be slightly more laid-back and sedate, not quite as lively.

Because of this these Labs are more at risk of gaining weight, and all the problems associated with that i.e. hip dysplasia (not a degenerative form seen more typically in the "American"), heart problems and epilepsy.

With regard to hip dysplasia, these dogs seldom show any discomfort until they are fairly old , when it will probably be arthritis taking its toll.

labrador retriever

The next of the types Of Labrador Retrievers that we can look at is the "American".

These dogs were bred for field trials, and this quite obviously requires a more agile and energetic dog than the "English".

They have been bred for speed and endurance in the field which means longer in the leg and slimmer in body.

This type is very sought after in the central and mid-west part of the USA, hence the incorrect naming of this type.

Field events are also held and well attended in England as well as many other countries around the world.

The "American" could be a bit more difficult to train due to the qualities that are being looked for in the breed (high energy and "drive"), so they do tend to be a little headstrong.

They are highly intelligent and develop very strong bonds with their humans.

There is one other "type" that we can look at briefly, this is the New England Water Lab.

These dogs are short stubby dogs, jokingly called "beer barrels on legs".

They have been selectively bred from the English lines over a long period to give the size and temperament needed by New England waterfowl hunters.

These hunters wanted a smaller lighter dog to be able to drag them in and out of boats easily. A large number of these dogs are too short to meet the breed standards as set out by the kennel clubs.

All of the types Of Labrador Retrievers that I have mentioned are pure bred and should meet the breed standards, with the possible exception of some of the New England Water Labs, due only to their size. They are just the result of breeders breeding selectively for specific reasons.


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