You have probably come across the fact that the Labrador breed is divided into two different types; the show and field lines of Labradors Retrievers. Yes, there are distinct types of Labradors and they have differences which you might want to know in order for you to choose which ones are right for you. Often times, the show type is called “English Labs” while the field type is called “American Labs”. No matter how these two are called, there is no denying to the fact that indeed there is a split between them.
The Show Labradors
The English Labradors, the types that are bred to show, are described as conformation dogs. They are seen to be less fearful and aggressive to humans even those that are strangers. Also, they do not get easily agitated when ignored. In terms of physical appearance, show dogs are stockier having broader and larger skull structure, heavier bones, shorter muzzle, more powerful necks, and thicker tails. The English Labs have thicker hair coats as well. They are heavier and stronger as compare to the field type Labradors.
Show dogs also exhibit a calmer temperament and attitude. They are less energetic, easy going, and laid back as compared to the field type Labradors. As they age, they become slower, and more placid. With these characteristics, it would be easier to handle them well in a ‘show’ ring where there are so many unfamiliar faces. The calmer nature of the show type Labrador dogs make it easy for owners to handle them at home. With a lesser level of energy, one would not have a very difficult time taming the dog. However, the owner must also make sure that these Labs get enough exercise because too much stockiness can lead to possible obesity problems.
If you are looking for a family pet, the show dogs might be the right choice for you. The English Labs are less demanding in terms of activities and will easily chill at your side every day. They are more sweet, relaxed, and quiet as compared to the American Labs that is why they can be really great companions.
The Field Labradors
The American Labs are those that are bred for hunting and field work type activities. They have good hunting instincts so this type is a perfect buddy for those people who love the local wildlife. They are heavy duty dogs and they can compete in field works showing off their agility and strong retrieving skills.
The work type Labradors has longer legs and noses than the show type. They also have a lighter weight and build making it easy for them to move. They have a thinner body structure and tails are taller and longer than those of the English Labs. Also, field Labs are easier to train, even with inexperienced owners. This is because these dogs have a quicker mind and are more sensitive in pleasing the owner. However, too much sensitivity sometimes leads to nervousness that is why it is important to be a responsible owner of this type of Labs.
In terms of temperament, the American Labs exhibit higher energy levels since they are bred for work and field trials. Because this type is generally more active than its English counterpart, American labs require constant exercise and attention. Some of them have so much drive and energy that owners might have an initial struggle to take control even in daily walks.
If you are looking for a Labrador with a mellow and pleasant personality that you can go on leisure walks with, the field type may not be the right one for you. Their high energy levels and extra sense of adventure will always push them to move faster than usual.