English labs vs american labs differrences (show lab vs field lab guide 2018)

I am a certified AKC Labrador Breeder & Member of the National Labrador Breeder’s Club… Located in the North Western Mountains of Maine…(Maine is the State where Labradors reign supreme-and applied for to be the official State Dog of Maine)… We diligently maintain the breeding standards; DNA testing and lineage research for the Purest of the English Labrador Retrievers. While it is factual that all Labradors, generally, have most of the same temperaments, We maintain that there is a decidedly major difference between the “American” Lab, and the “English” Lab. The English Lab is closer in appearance to it’s true original parent lineage of the Newfoundland (Newfie)…or St John’s Dog…While the American Lab is closer in appearance to the original Parent lineage of the English hunting dog, for which…both the Newfie and the English hunting dog, produced the Modern Labrador Retriever.


There is factually a big difference in the appearance between the two…however, there is a significant resistance in the politics of the powers that be…to separate these two Labrador lines. Reply

I have a 9.5 month old black lab who is from field bred or “American lines.” He also has a small amount of golden retriever in him. The result is an extremely handsome, tall and athletic looking boy. He is already much taller and longer then the other labs at the dog park. He stands over 25″ tall at the wither, which I realize is not breed standard, but makes for an elegant looking dog. For the longest time while he was growing quickly, he was extremely awkward and gangly, but now that he has started filling out, we receive comments regularly about how handsome he is.

Looks aside, he is a great mix of both energetic and lazy. He definitely needs exercise during the day – so we arrange for him to partake in off leash “pack walks” while we’re at work. He’s out of the house for a good 2 hours a day, and also gets a good walk morning and night. The rest of the time, he’s a great couch lounger, or likes playing a leisurely game of ball in the basement. On weekends, he’s always up for a good hike and a good afternoon snooze. I think if people are prepared to exercise their “american” labs and give them the attention they need, they can reap just as many rewards as they would with an english bred one. We love our guy to bits! Reply

I have been breeding Labs for 15 yrs and yes it’s frustrating trying to explain the terms English vs American. My best advice is for people to look at the parents. All puppies are cute but to see how they are likely to look and act, look at the parents. As far as personality goes, every lab is unique but is a reflection of breeding and training. Two children raised side by side can have vastly different personalities and so can two dogs. I have two grown sisters from the same litter and one is always in front, and never met a stranger. The other is very quiet and takes her time getting to know new people and new circumstances. Also one is more blocky/stocky and the other is more long and lean. The important thing for me is how adaptable and trainable labs are in general. They can really be anything you train them to be. I have pups who go on to be champions in hunt, show, and couch potato. They have become therapy dogs, water rescue, search and drug dogs. Bottom line is that each is an individual and each has the capability to become the most awesome dog that ever lived! Carmen, South Wind Farm. 251-605-3751 Reply

I have a Field lab, black, 5 years old. Her name is Annie. She is a bundle of energy and will fetch and run all day long. I work at home and we play with her and our 10 year old yellow lab, who seems to be a mix of Field and Show labs, every day. Annie did take until about age 2-3 to settle into a fantastic dog. She is healthy and athletic – I frankly can’t walk fast enough to tire her out, but periods of frisbee and ball throwing can do the trick. She will also circle the yard when I tell her to ‘go run’. She is super intelligent, as is our other lab, and an absolute joy to have around. She is playful and snuggly and loving.

My daugher has a Show lab, black, 5 years old. Her name is Chloe. She is not a bundle of energy and although she will run with my dogs for a while, she doesn’t love to fetch and is perfectly happy to chill out all day. They also have a rescue mix. Chloe is very low-key, which is great as my daughter and her husband work. They got the rescue for a playmate, but have seen on video that they just sleep all day.

Either type is perfect for someone; it depends on what you are looking for. The only caveat I would say is that Chloe has allergies, as did our previous show lab, and this has caused much trouble and expense. I don’t know if it is related to the breed or just coincidence, but neither Annie nor Daisy, the one who we think is mixed Show & Field, has any allergies.