What exactly is an "English Labrador"?
Updated: Dec 7, 2022
This is a common question we get all the time! From a show stand-point, and the description of the breed standard, there is actually not a difference between the two- there is one standard for the breed, "Labrador Retriever", and a quality American Labrador or English Labrador should meet with this standard. Labradors bred for show and conformation have become commonly known as "English Labradors" as they’re much more common in the UK, and Labradors bred for hunting have become commonly known as "American Labradors" as they’re more common in the US. But the official name of both "types" is the Labrador Retriever, or, of course, simply, "Labs."
However, though they are the exact same breed, there are some differences between an "English" and an "American" Lab, since both are bred for slightly different functions. Since American Labrador Retrievers are often bred mainly for hunting and field trials, the look and disposition of the American Lab has taken on a certain look and function. Bred to hunt, these dogs have slimmer bodies (to enable them to move quickly through brush), smaller heads, longer tails, and thinner coats. They also are known for having a high drive and energy level.
"English"-type Labrador Retrievers are primarily bred for the show ring. They have slightly shorter, stockier bodies than the "American"- type, longer and thicker coats; wider heads and muzzles; shorter, thicker, "otter" tails; and a much calmer, less hyper disposition.
Now lets talk about some similarities: All Labradors love water and love to retrieve, preferably both at the same time! They are extremely friendly, happy, and social dogs who generally are a friend to all! Also, let's use the adjective "goofy" here, I've never met a Lab who wasn't a bit of a goofball!
Labradors come in three colors: Black, Chocolate (can range from a light liver color to a dark chocolate), and Yellow (can be very pale, almost white, to as dark as a beautiful fox red). I will talk more about colors in a separate post. For now, lets look at some pictures of beautiful Tom, Rosie, and their puppies!