Labrador Retrievers are a popular breed of dogs. American Labradors are bred for work, and they enjoy it. They have an active temperament and a slimmer build than English Labradors.
When it comes to one of the world’s most popular dog breeds, the terms American Labrador and English Labrador frequently arise. Both Labradors are Labradors. However, while looking at them side by side, there are some minor physical differences between them. So, are there any additional distinctions between the American and English versions of the Labrador breed?
American Labrador Vs. English Labrador
The terms “American Labrador” and “English Labrador” aren’t official. A working type Labrador and a show type Labrador are more accurate names for these two breeds. This is because their distinctions are more based on their intended uses than where they originated from. American Labs were bred to excel in tasks, while English Labs were developed for exhibitions.
The English Labs are more lively, clever, and obstinate. English Labradors are calmer, sweeter, and friendlier than Labrador Retrievers. American Labs make good working dogs because they work harder. But English Labs make great family pets because they don’t need a lot of exercise. They can also be low-energy around the house.
Origins Of The Labrador Retriever
The ancestor of the Lab is a dog from Newfoundland, Canada. He was a fisherman’s mate. He had to bring back the game without damaging it. In 1800, some English people brought these dogs back to England and started breeding them there. But American and English Labs didn’t separate until much later.
The show and working lines of the French Water Spaniel diverged as showing dogs became fashionable on both sides of the Atlantic. Breeders began to develop two distinct types of breed as a result of this development.
The appearance of American Lab
The height difference between these two dogs is one of the first characteristics you’ll notice. American Labs are more considerable and leaner, with a more athletic build. Therefore, the standard English Lab (from 21.5 to 22.5 inches) is contrasted against the taller American Lab (from 21.5 to 24.5 inches).
The majority of male Labs weigh between 65 and 80 pounds, whereas female Labradors range from 55 to 70 pounds. However, English Labs may be up to 20 pounds heavier than average without being overweight. This is due to their form and structure. A working type Lab has a more finely structured bone structure, longer legs, and a longer muzzle than an active type Lab. They also have a narrower head and neck. In addition, their well-known otter tail is thinner and less “otter-like” in appearance.
Even the thick-coated American Labrador’s two-layered water-resistant coat, which is available in yellow, black, or chocolate, is less heavy than the English Labrador.
American Lab Temperament
Both varieties of Labs are sociable and energetic, and they aren’t known for being aggressive. However, there are some differences in temperament. Although all Labradors are lively, American Labradors are working gundogs with solid hunting and retrieval instincts. So you can expect their energy and stamina to be limitless. This means they require a lot of exercise and mental stimulation to avoid becoming bored and destructive.
Scottish Terriers are more aloof, brighter, and more daring than their English counterparts.
American Lab Training
Like many other breeds, Labs are brilliant, eager to please, and highly food motivated when rewarded during training sessions. They’re also known for their trainability, which one study of Labrador Retrievers discovered is more significant than performance dogs. However, others say they’re more challenging to manage due to their high energy levels and nervousness.
The Lab might do well in competitive sports like agility. In addition, these dogs are ideal for a wide range of service dog duties. They will, however, require adequate training and socialization, regardless of the breed.
American Lab Exercise
There’s no doubt that a Labrador Retriever will require a lot of daily exercise. It’s simply that the American Lab might need more than the English Lab, despite their different training methods. An athletic American Labrador needs about two hours of daily activity, according to most experts.
These dogs are pleasant couch potatoes as long as their mental and physical needs are satisfied. Even the greatest-trained American Lab may develop undesirable behavior if it has no outlet for pent-up energy. Walking swiftly provides both dog and owner with many advantages. However, this athletic dog will require some off-leash exercise for aerobic activities. Running, swimming, Frisbee, and other games are fantastic ways to keep an American Lab in shape.
Exercise-Related Health Issues
It’s worth noting that the Labrador breed is susceptible to several significant health issues due to exercise. Young adult Labradors are genetically predisposed to exercise-induced collapse (EIC), for example. High-intensity exercise can bring on this problem, which destroys muscular control and may lead to injury. Bloat is a deadly stomach condition that can be caused by physical activity before and after eating. Labradors are at risk for hip and elbow dysplasia, both of which may be exacerbated by overexercising.
American Lab Health
The average length of life for a Labrador Retriever is 10 to 12 years. Unfortunately, one strain of the breed isn’t known to be healthier than the other. When acquiring a puppy, it’s critical to go with a breeder who has done DNA tests and verified that their breeding stock is free of inherited illnesses. A healthy diet, regular exercise, and timely veterinary treatment will all aid in your pet’s long-term health.
Hereditary myopathy is a debilitating muscular disease that may affect the breed. Puppies have an odd gait and might be delayed in growth. Generalized weakness usually gets worse with activity and cold temperatures.
Other health issues include progressive retinal atrophy and cataracts, and heart diseases such as tricuspid valve malformation.
Do American Labs Make Good Family Dogs?
The Labrador Retriever is known to be genuinely lovely and loving. The English and American Labrador can make an excellent family companion. These dogs are close with the entire family, and they get along with other dogs as well. It’s all about personal choice when it comes to selecting between a field or show dog. If you want a dog who will entertain your family for years, then an American Labrador is perfect. They have so much energy that they thrive in active households with people who like spending time outside.
Both of these breeds require an active daily routine. However, the American strain is more hyperactive, mainly if they are bored. The English Lab may be simpler to manage for first-time owners and people with a less energetic lifestyle.
Rescuing An American Lab
Many of the dogs that Endangered Labrador Retrievers encounter are surrendered or abandoned by their families because they no longer have time for them. Because of this, many people choose to adopt shelter dogs rather than purchase one from a breeder. When you grow up with your dog and take him everywhere you go, he will exhibit loyalty and devotion.
Due to the breed’s popularity, numerous organizations aid both English and American Labradors in finding a new home.
Finding An American Labrador Puppy
If you live in the United States, the American Kennel Club is a good starting point for locating a registered breeder. Before breeding, responsible breeders will examine both parents for health concerns. You’ll also have the opportunity to meet the parents, see where the pups are kept, and learn more about how your puppy was raised.
Choosing a good breeder is the most effective approach to acquiring an excellent puppy with a decent temperament. Do not purchase a puppy from a puppy mill, where puppies are bred in high numbers at the lowest possible cost. Due to their high incidence of health and behavioral issues, they should be avoided. Also, avoid purchasing dogs from pet stores or websites that promote them at a low price.
Is An American Lab Right For Me?
Many excellent qualities distinguish American Labrador Retrievers as wonderful family pets. However, these dogs require a lot of human interaction and exercise to be happy. So if you’re searching for a jogging or hunting buddy, the American Labrador is an excellent option.
Do you have an American Labrador Retriever, or are you thinking of adopting one? Then, in the comments area, tell us about them.
References And Further Reading
Duffy DL, et al., “Breed differences in canine aggression,” Applied Animal Behavior Science Volume 114, Issues 3–4, 2008
Lofgren SE, et al., “Management and personality in Labrador Retriever dogs,” Applied Animal Behavior Science, 2014
“Presence and impact of the exercise-induced collapse associated DNM1 mutation in Labrador retrievers and other breeds,” The Veterinary Journal, 2011
Woolliams, JA, et al., “Canine hip and elbow dysplasia in UK Labrador retrievers,” The Veterinary Journal, 2011
Bley, T., et al., “Genetic aspects of Labrador retriever myopathy,” Research in Veterinary Science, 2002
Kraijer-Huver, IMG, et al., “Characterization and prevalence of cataracts in Labrador Retrievers in The Netherlands,” American Journal of Veterinary Research, 2008
Andelfinger, G. et al., “Canine tricuspid valve malformation, a model of human Ebstein anomaly, maps to dog chromosome 9,” Journal of Medical Genetics, 2003