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The Labrador - Which Subtype is Best for You?

"When you imagine the "Labrador Retriever" what is the first thing to come to mind?" When I asked this question to my clients, I was met with variety of answers. Some of the most notable answers I received were as follows:

- The tall and lanky energizer bunny that never seems to slow down

- The 100lb couch potato with a big block head and short stocky body

- The refined hunting champion that is the perfect shotgun rider

Even though the dog that came to your mind might not fit perfectly into one of these categories, I'm sure one of those responses resonated with you. So why is there so much diversity, if they are all technically the same breed?

Simply stated: There are three subtypes of the Labrador Retriever: the American, the English, and the British.

When I explained that to my clients, I continued to receive the same response! "But wait, aren't the English and the British the same thing?" So, that got me thinking - we need a simple way to explain to our clients the variances in our puppies. The distinctive differences between the three subtypes play a significant role in which puppy will be the best fit for your needs as a gun dog or companion.


The American Labrador

Most commonly referred to as the "field trial" Labrador, this subtype has been selectively bred for their high energy level, intense drive, and athleticism. The American Labrador boasts a taller, leaner body with a narrow head and longer muzzle. This subtype is best suited for the dedicated hunter who desires a strong, driven field dog or for a very active family/individual.


The English Labrador

From the the show ring to hunting field, the English Labrador is best known for their distinctive style. The block head and stocky build, paired with a laid back, docile personality makes for the perfect sidekick. This subtype is best suited for the pet owner who desires the classic Labrador style for their couch potato and hunting partner.


The British Labrador

The British Labrador is well known to the American hunting scene, but not as much to the general public. They are perfectly described as the lab with the on/off switch. As extremely driven hunters like their American cousins, they boast a calm and laid back temperament similar to that of the English Labrador. The British lab varies from the others with its finer features, shorter/smaller statures, and even distinctive fox-red yellow coloring. This subtype is perfect for every family or hunter alike!


We hope that this brief description gives you a little more insight into the Labrador Retriever and the three subtypes of the breed. If you are interested in more information about our breeding program, our currently available puppies, or our upcoming litters, please Contact Us. We want to be apart of your journey!

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