English Labrador vs American Labrador?

If youve spent any time at all reading about Labrador Retrievers, the terms American Type Labrador and English type Labrador simply must have come up, being very commonly used terms when describing different labs.

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Fox Red Labrador Retriever beside a more traditional Yellow, showing their contrasting colors. In general, these types of dogs are friendly, dependable good nature, playful, and love of human companionship. The UK kennel club , the AKC and no other national registry or parent club of Labrador Retrievers contain in the breed standard, or recognize in any way, a difference between American and English Labradors.

With this said though, there is one slight difference in allowable height between the American and English breed standards: Blockier and bigger built with barrel chests, theyre noticeably wider and more solid looking. Has a wider head with a more pronounced and better defined stop, a fuller face and a shorter muzzle which further adds to their more solidly built appearance.

Has a wider, thicker and generally straighter tail than their American cousins. Bred for conformation theyre usually far closer to how the breed standard is written than the American type. With a more athletic build, lithe and finer boned, they look more agile and ready to go.

The skull and face are noticeably narrower, and their muzzle more streamlined and longer than the English lab. Although not always true and there are exceptions, generally speaking there is a profound difference in the temperament and energy levels of the American and English types: As a rule theyre bred for work and field trials, so the American Lab has a higher energy level and drive than their English cousins.

But of course higher energy levels are needed in a dog with such demands placed on them as working all day. The higher energy levels and drive have earnt them the label of being more high-strung as they really are always active and need constant exercise and attention. In terms of temperament and perhaps due to the mix of high intelligence and high energy, theyre considered more head-strong and need a more experienced and strong-in-character owner to achieve control and a well-behaved and balanced pet than does an English Lab.

Without a doubt, the American type is more suited to life as a working dog than as a relaxed family pet. More often described as sweet, mellow, extremely relaxed and quieter when compared to American labs, theyre considered easier to train and to live with for less experienced and laid back owners. Although still driven and suitable for life as a working dog, if a family pet is whats desired, the English lab is far more likely to slip into this role as theyre far less demanding when it comes to activity and will more readily chill at your feet at the end of a hard day.

Regardless of type, when it comes to being loving, affectionate and an immense desire to please, both the American and English Labradors are equally matched. Very kind in nature, bold and confident whilst void of any aggression. Labradors bred for show in conformation competitions are selectively bred for their looks and temperament alone, with the Labs most closely matching the breed standard and winning awards in the ring going on to be used in breeding programs.

It used to be a Labradors conformation and working ability were equally important, with many breeders aiming for the prestigious double champion who would win in both the ring and out in the field. And this is whats lead to the branching off of the two distinct types and the trend is likely to continue and the differences likely to become even more pronounced. Especially bred to have the qualities needed in a successful working dog, the American type is very active, with boundless energy, stamina to match and an adventurous and strong-minded attitude.

An American Lab is suitable if youre looking for a hunting partner, want to get involved in field trial competitions or have a very active outdoor lifestyle. If youre not ready for this and cannot provide the level of activity they need, you may find they get bored and try to entertain themselves and this is when people say they have a problem Lab on their hands. But theyre also far less exuberant, less full of energy and arent as highly strung when compared to an American type Lab.

They tend to calm down after puppy-hood much sooner and are more eager to please and easier to train as a well-behaved companion. This is because they havent been bred for high drive, courage, dogged determination (pardon the pun) and peak physical performance. Theyre still highly intelligent and energetic dogs that need regular exercise and their minds to be occupied, but compared to an elite American field trial or hunting Lab?

The split of Labradors between the English and American types, or the field trial and show types, is very ingrained and accepted terminology within the Labrador world in general even if not with the official parent clubs and kennel clubs of the world. Some breeders, particularly those from the American field-trial genre feel that the show ring no longer gives their dogs the recognition they deserve. The more true to standard English labs always win in the ring leaving field trial champions to be less and less recognized in show.

So there is lots of debate about splitting the breed into two types and I guess well just have to watch this space to see what occurs.

What is the difference between English Labrador and American Labrador?

They differ in their looks, generally the English Labrador is shorter and stockier. The American Labrador is taller and more athletic. The English is calmer in his temperament, and the American is much more energetic. Generally, they are similar in every other way.

Are English labs better than American labs?

Breeders’ and breed clubs’ consensus describes British Labs as calmer, quieter, softer and less active as opposed to the American Labs generally being more active with higher energy and greater drive. … Comparing the two types of Labs, Dennis says, “There are good dogs of all origins and great dogs of all origins.”

Are English labs more expensive than American?

Price Difference. If you are buying a Labrador Retriever from a recognized breeder, English Labs and American Labs typically cost the same. These puppies can range from $800 to $1200 when adopted from a reputable breeder. There are instances where English Lab puppies may be more expensive.

Which type of Labrador is best?

When it comes to the best labrador colour, the general rule among the shooting fraternity is that black is good, yellow acceptable, but chocolate is strictly for the show bench. Black has always been the dominant colour in the shooting field and in trials.

Labrador Retrievers are a loveable dog breed that have been welcomed home by millions of families. Some Lab owners describe their dog as being cuddly, a bit lazy and chunky. Other owners love how athletic, tall and lean their dog is.

This formidable breed was a loyal, working dog that pulled heavy fish nets into fishermens boats in Canada in the 1800s. Visitors from England quickly fell in love with this breed and took many back home.

In England, the breed evolved into the beloved Labrador Retriever and was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1917 . In England, larger, stockier Labs were bred for dog shows and occasionally game hunts. The upper class valued their calm demeanor because they were patient in large game hunts.

Meanwhile in the United States, Labradors were bred for field hunting and working purposes, so they had to be leaner and more athletic. Labrador Retriever breeders selectively bred for the body type that would best suit their dog: These breeders believe that crossing two chocolate dogs could lead to significant health problems and a shorter lifespan.

It was concluded that yellow, chocolate and black dogs all have the same mannerisms and their coat color does not change that. These dogs love to play fetch, run, swim, hike, and race through agility courses. These athletes are very similar in energy to Mini Australian Shepherds so they need to be exercised constantly.

Active families love American Labrador Retrievers because they have the enthusiasm and ability to keep up with their owners on long hikes and high intensity adventures. American hunters wanted explosive dogs that could chase down game, soar through the woods as if they were flying, and swim for hours. Yellow English LabradorThe Kennel Club has a very detailed breed standard for the Labrador Retriever.

According to the breed standard this is a medium sized dog with a large head, a thick otter tail and a dense coat. Their narrow head, thin tail and long legs do not fit the breed standard. It has been suggested by breeders that kennel clubs should have two different breed standards for these dogs because neither of them can fit into the same category.

However, kennel clubs are devoted to maintaining this breed standard among purebred Labrador Retrievers. They believe the terms American and English should only be used when referring to the country of origin, any other uses of the word are considered incorrect. Regardless of what official breed clubs say is correct, the terms English and American Lab are commonly used by many dog owners and rescue shelters.

Because of their athletic build and high exercise demands it is not uncommon to find American Labs in shelters as owners struggle to tire them out. English Labs do not end up in shelters as often, but it is still worth looking for a rescue dog before paying a breeder a significant amount of money. The Labrabull is a type of Pitbull and Labrador cross that is one of the most loveable mixes you can commonly find in a shelter.

Four American Labs On A BenchLabrador Retrievers are beloved family pets that have earned the title of most popular dog breed for 24 consecutive years. If you have an adventurous family that loves going on mountain road trips and hikes, the American Labrador is definitely for you. This dog needed a fur that could withstand icy waters, enabling them to keep warm and prevent ice buildup.

These dogs are better suited to heavy coats because they are not as active but need to be kept warm in cold temperatures. Despite the difference in density, both Labs still have that characteristic short, stiff fur along their entire body. They do not have the long coats that dogs like Golden Retrievers have, but this makes their grooming routine much simpler.

Both Labs shed fur all year around, so invest in a good vacuum before you bring this dog home . English LabradorAmerican LabradorPurposeShow DogWorking DogHeight21.5 to 22.5 inches21.5 to 24.5 inchesWeight55 to 80 pounds55 to 70 poundsColorYellow, black, and chocolate (rare)Yellow, black, and chocolateAppearanceRounder and stockierLeaner are more athleticEnergyCalm and relaxedLimitless source of energyPrice$800 to $2000$800 to $1200It should now be clear when you next see a Labrador Retriever if its the sporty American or the stocky English Labrador. American Labs are lean with a narrow head, long snout, and thin tail .

English Labs are stocky and short with a larger head, round eyes and a thick otter tail.

For the 28th year in a row, Labradors have claimed Americas heart as the most popular dog in the United States. With a strong desire to please whoever theyre with, Labradors are a joy to have in your home and theyre bound to be your familys companion for life.

Years later, in the early 1800s, an Englishman, The Earl of Malmesbury, brought some of these dogs back to Poole, England. Labrador Retrievers are known for enjoying their exercise and having an enormous amount of energy, whether thats taking hikes in the wood with you and your kids or playing games of fetch in the backyard.

Labs that were working or participating in competitions (field trials) were encouraged to move swiftly and with great agility. Theyre built for speed, known to return shot game to their handler in a fit state to eat, and have enormous stamina.

You cant not like a Lab. From the front porch snoozer and toddlers playmate to the keen gun dog flushing roosters in gun range, Labs are loved. For 24 years the Labrador retriever has ruled the roost as the American Kennel Clubs most popular breed. Labs also continue to have the highest registration numbers of all the gun dogs in the UKs Kennel Club. They work as waterfowl retrievers, upland flushers, drug sniffers, therapy dogs, Seeing Eye dogs, and universal companions. It seems that nearly every good dog joke starts with a Lab a Lab walks into a bar; the doctor ordered Lab tests and cat scans, three Labs were sitting on a bench….

According to Dr. B. W. Zeissow in The Origin and Purpose of the Labrador Retriever , The American sportsmen adopted the breed from England and subsequently developed and trained the dog to fulfill the hunting needs of this country. Today, as in the past, the Labrador will eagerly enter in ice cold water in Minnesota to retrieve a shot bird; he’ll work all day hunting doves in the heat of the Southwest his only reward is a pat for a job well done.
Pro-trainer Tom Dokken, author of Retriever Training the Complete Guide to Developing Your Hunting Dog and inventor of the Deadfowl Trainer, has been working with both types of Labs for over 30 years at Dokkens Oak Ridge Kennels in Minnesota and around the country.

That means that from seven weeks on, ground rules are set and they learn to recognize the control and be part of the family.
Some breeders and clubs claim the difference between the British and American Labs should be more appropriately described as the difference between show lines and field lines, the British style being developed for show ring conformation and the American standard for field work. As with many gun dog breeds, individual lines are often developed to suit one or the other purpose the show ring or the field sacrificing characteristics important to one over the other depending on the breeders objectives.

Energy Levels And Temperament of American Labs

As a rule they’re bred for work and field trials, so the American Lab has a higher energy level and ‘drive’ than their English cousins.They’re noticeably more active and ‘always on the go’. But of course higher energy levels are needed in a dog with such demands placed on them as working all day.The higher energy levels and drive have earnt them the label of being more high-strung as they really are always active and need constant exercise and attention.In terms of temperament and perhaps due to the mix of high intelligence and high energy, they’re considered more head-strong and need a more experienced and strong-in-character owner to achieve control and a well-behaved and balanced pet than does an English Lab.Without a doubt, the American type is more suited to life as a working dog than as a relaxed family pet.

English Labs Energy levels And Temperament

The English Lab is considered calmer, less active and quieter in nature than the American Lab.More often described as sweet, mellow, extremely relaxed and quieter when compared to American labs, they’re considered easier to train and to live with for less experienced and laid back owners.Although still ‘driven’ and suitable for life as a working dog, if a family pet is what’s desired, the English lab is far more likely to slip into this role as they’re far less demanding when it comes to activity and will more readily chill at your feet at the end of a hard day.

Conclusion

There are quite considerable differences between ‘American type’ and ‘English type’ Labradors, both in looks and disposition. So which type is best for you? This depends on your lifestyle and what you want from your dog.American type Labradors are generally more athletic, energetic, more highly driven and better suited to an outdoor life of hunting and sports, or for families with a great deal of energy and real outdoor types.English type Labradors are blockier and bigger built, calmer, more docile and better suited for life as a family pet…but still an active family nonetheless.To choose between the types, do a little research, be honest with yourself about which would best fit into your pace of life and try to meet a few of each type to see which you prefer.If you know what you’re after before you ever approach a breeder then you’re much more likely to end up with a Labrador that best suits you, and a Labrador will end up with an owner that is best for them.‘American types’ aren’t always more energetic and demanding, ‘English types’ aren’t always more relaxed and easier to handle, but the types are true enough to be a good guide and a place to start.

Breed History

English and American Labrador Retrievers were originally bred from the Newfoundland St. John’s Water Dog. This formidable breed was a loyal, working dog that pulled heavy fish nets into fishermen’s boats in Canada in the 1800s.Visitors from England quickly fell in love with this breed and took many back home. In England, the breed evolved into the beloved Labrador Retriever and was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1917.
But, selective breeding slowly led to what we now recognize as the English Labrador and the American Labrador. This breeding has introduced a difference in appearance and temperament.In England, larger, stockier Labs were bred for dog shows and occasionally game hunts. The upper class valued their calm demeanor because they were patient in large game hunts. They also had a regal quality about them so easily won dog shows.Meanwhile in the United States, Labradors were bred for field hunting and working purposes, so they had to be leaner and more athletic. Hunting was much more widespread and popular in the United States.The American Lab was much more powerful during canine sports and hunting trials, but not as calm and sophisticated as the English Lab. They had higher energy levels and were harder working than their English Labrador cousins.Because of their energy, American Labs are commonly referred to as Field Labs. They are often seen hunting or working in the field. English Labs are called Bench Labs because they are more likely to sit on the sidelines and watch other dogs run around tirelessly.

Color Similarities

The most noticeable difference between English Labs and American Labs is their size and build.American Labs have a much different appearance.These dogs are leaner and taller, giving them more of an athletic build. Their faces are narrower, their muzzles are longer, and their tail is thin and may even have a slight curve to it.These differences in body size were not an accident. Labrador Retriever breeders selectively bred for the body type that would best suit their dog:Many people mistake English Labs for just an overweight Labrador Retriever, but that is what they are supposed to look like! English Labradors were not bred to be as thin as American Labs. They are meant to have a barrel body shape.

Energy Differences

The energy levels between an English Lab and an American Lab are very different.English Labradors are not sluggish, but they are calmer and more mellow. They tend to not be as easily excitable and have a very easy-going nature. Older owners are better suited to this type of Lab because they have a relaxed nature. They enjoy playing with toys and going for walks, but also love long cuddles and rest.Active families love American Labrador Retrievers because they have the enthusiasm and ability to keep up with their owners on long hikes and high intensity adventures.The energy levels of both dogs are still well suited to their original purposes.English Labs were, and still are, show dogs that were occasionally used in royal hunts to calmly retrieve fallen birds at the end of a hunt. They were instructed to have a calm personality and chaotic bursts of energy would not have been tolerated.American Labs are quite the opposite! American hunters wanted explosive dogs that could chase down game, soar through the woods as if they were flying, and swim for hours.American Labradors were built to work, so it is no wonder that they have a limitless source of energy. At times their endurance and stamina can be overwhelming. Although American labs have plenty of energy, they are not impossible to tire out. These dogs love a long hike during the day, a trip to the local dog park, or lengthy fetch sessions at the park. Meanwhile, the English Lab is quite happy with a moderate walk and some fetch in the backyard.

Breed Club Comparison

The Kennel Club has a very detailed breed standard for the Labrador Retriever.According to the breed standard this is a medium sized dog with a large head, a thick otter tail and a dense coat. They should also have a deep chest and broad hindquarters. This description fits the English Lab almost perfectly.The perfect height for a Labrador Retriever is 21.5 to 22.5 inches tall, but this was recently revised to include dogs as tall as 24.5 inches because American Labs tend to have longer legs. Dogs shorter than 21.5 inches are considered Mini Labs.English Labs vs. American Labs areIt has been suggested by breeders that kennel clubs should have two different breed standards for these dogs because neither of them can fit into the same category. However, kennel clubs are devoted to maintaining this breed standard among purebred Labrador Retrievers.The Labrador Retriever breed standard is really just a description of the English Lab.

Price Difference

If you are buying a Labrador Retriever from a recognized breeder, English Labs and American Labs typically cost the same. These puppies can range from $800 to $1200 when adopted from a reputable breeder.There are instances whereEnglish Labradors are often used as show dogs, so if your puppy has a parent with a ‘show’ bloodline, then it will be much more expensive. If you want a puppy with ‘show dog genetics’, you can expect to pay closer to $2000.American Labs are not commonly seen in show rings, because of this you will not see American Labrador puppies that have show quality parents.Because of their athletic build and high exercise demands it is not uncommon to find American Labs in shelters as owners struggle to tire them out. Adopting a dog is much cheaper than buying from a breeder and will likely cost $100 to $300. You can find both puppies and adults in shelters.English Labs do not end up in shelters as often, but it is still worth looking for a rescue dog before paying a breeder a significant amount of money.There are also lots of Lab hybrids! These are great dogs, just as great as purebreds, and you can find all sorts of Lab mixes in shelters that are cheaper and unique. The Labrabull is a type of Pitbull and Labrador cross that is one of the most loveable mixes you can commonly find in a shelter.

Coat Differences

Labrador Retrievers are beloved family pets that have earned the title of most popular dog breed for 24 consecutive years. Both types of Labs are known for being extremely friendly, loving and outgoing with everyone they meet.English Labs have a calmer disposition and are a bit more relaxed than American labs. They like to exercise and run around with their family, but also love cuddles on the couch. Because of their personality,English Labs are also well suited to older owners who are not as active. They are not as addicted to running, swimming, hiking, and other strenuous activities as the American type.American Labs need an active family. They have a much greater stamina than English Labs and are not suited for couch potatoes.These dogs were built to run, hunt and swim for hours and hours. They have incredible endurance and bundles of energy that needs to be burned out during the day. If you have an adventurous family that loves going on mountain road trips and hikes, the American Labrador is definitely for you.American Labrador Retrievers still have the wonderful qualities of being gentle and patient with children. Younger families can still welcome home one of these pups… just make sure you are active.

Grooming Comparison

One of the reasons Labrador Retrievers are so easy to care for is because their grooming routine is very simple. They do not need fancy haircuts from a professional groomer, or expensive grooming tools, all they need is brushing twice a week.Both types of Labs will need monthly bathing. They love to swim, but swimming can leave a very foul stench on their fur that you will want to wash out.If you need to bathe your Labrador more than once a month, which is likely because some cannot resist a lake or pile of mud, you will need to use warm water and sensitive, rehydrating dog shampoo. This will help to make sure you do not dry out their skin.Their love of swimming also makes cleaning their ears a very important activity. Both Labs have floppy, large ears that make the perfect home for bacteria. If you do not regularly clean their ears, they could end up with ear infections that are quite uncomfortable.