‘Whoever said money is a man’s best friend, has never owned a lab.’
Welcome to the ‘Labs World’: for all those who are reaching out for paws!
The United Kingdom’s most actively responsive breed has come a long way from its Canadian homelands and thus, the Labrador Retriever makes a loving, reliable, and one of the most active, eager, and easy to train breeds. If you are a pet enthusiast and have been researching on buying a lab then, you’ve probably run across the terms English Labrador and American Labrador.
Are these the two breeds of a Labrador?
- These two distinctions made within a labrador breed, English V. American Labrador are not considered to be the official divergence, although the kinds are now almost universally recognized and are unofficially considered while the purchase.
- The English and the American breed are also known as “bench” lab and the “field lab” which are most commonly bred in the US And the UK.
- However, over a long history of selective breeding, there are marked eminences between the English and American Labradors. It seems that these two countries- the US and the UK have left their mark on these friendly canines, leading to distinctions that might not be suspected; getting down to the nitty-gritty, let us scout what makes each of these dogs unique.
Let’s dwell into the breeding history of our indistinctively distinctive labs-
- This breed of dog is neither English nor American, it was originated back in the 19th Century in Newfoundland, Canada, and was oldly called St. John’s dog that worked alongside fishermen in icy waters and harsh conditions. He is known as the fishermen’s best friend with a natural affinity for water.
- During the late 19th Century, two different strains of the dog emerged due to specialized breeding. The key reason being the Canadian fisherman continued breeding for working ability. While the English gentleman was impressed by the look ethics being ‘handsome’.
- Initially, the Englishmen travelled to Canada and caught the glimpse of this fury individual. Ever since this breed was carried to England and was redefined, standardized, and renamed. One type was bred for the show ring where outer smoothness and appearance mattered. These dogs were not required to work and embellishments in their conformation began to emerge. They became known as English Labs and also as show or bench type labs.
- At the same time, working-type Labs began flourishing in competitions where speed and agility were the most desirable outcomes i.e. in the field trials. They became known as American Labs and also as working or field type Lab.
We look alike! Let us spot some of their appearance differences-
- The Labrador was first recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1917, and since it has been one of the most popular dogs across the world. It is ranked as the most popular dog in America out of a huge 193 breeds. And to begin, it is mandatory to know that the association does not differ between English and American Labradors. They remain in the same category and are not categorized separately.
- Height and Weight: The American breed standard allows a height of between 21.5 to 24.5 inches and weighs (adults) around 65-80 pounds while the English breed standard allows a height of 21.5 to 22.5 inches with an adult weight of about 55-75 pounds. This is probably because of the fact the American Labs can be taller and longer in the leg but more on that later.
- The English Labrador is bred purely for show ring grounds. They are bred to fulfill the Labrador standards to the maximum. They seem to have a stockier frame compared to their American cousins, with deep barrel chests and shorter legs. Interestingly they have thicker fur and a thicker otter tail. English Labradors are prone to be found on the lower to middle end of the height spectrum. They are on the higher end of the weight range.
- The American Labrador will generally pertain to the above specifications. However, their breeding is carried out for work ethics and not show ring; hence, they might not completely conform to the Labrador standards. The American breed tends to be slightly taller and slender. Field Labs are prone to be found on the higher end of the height spectrum, and the lower end of the weight spectrum. They are more muscular and less chunky with a thinner coat, longer neck, and longer muzzle, all of which contribute to their working abilities.
Grooming and Feeding
- The Labrador same as an average pup will need a bath every six weeks. This has nothing to do with the distinction and remains the same for English and the American Labrador. If bathed for more than once in six weeks then there is a chance of risking their natural coat oils, which can cause a multitude of skin issues. If they get dirty whilst out playing, then use doggy wipes and doggy perfume to keep them fresh and clean.
- The Labrador’s natural defense against the cold Canadian winds takes the form of a double coat. Their coats have a natural defense strategy in the same way as a wetsuit, and as such, they shed. Their undercoats grow thick and dense in the Winter to keep them warm, and then when Spring and Summer arrive their undercoat sheds and hence, The English and the American will need brushing about twice a week. A Labrador living in colder conditions will naturally grow a thicker coat. During shedding season, they will both need to be brushed almost every other day to keep their fur manageable.
- Keeping an eye on Labrador’s weight is crucial to their health, especially as they prone to gain extra pounds. The right balance of calories, protein, minerals, and vitamins is important for the survival of a living. They are likely to be fond of food that’s rich in Glucosamine or Chondroitin.
- A fully-grown lab will consume 3 cupsof food a day. There might be a need to feed a Field Labrador slightly more due to work ethics, or maybe slightly less for an English Labrador, depending on his energy levels. This truly varies by dog and activity level, no matter if it’s a bench or a field lab.
- The Labrador is also known for being food orientated and borderline obsessed. Treats are great to deal with them in exchange for good behavior or used in puzzle treat toys to keep them mentally stimulated but be sure to only reward them in moderation.
Health and Exercise Essentials
- It is very important to research the breed and importantly lookout for considerable symptoms. If in any doubt, then speak to the Veterinarian and the best way to keep your pooch healthy is to keep up to date with all vaccines and attend yearly check-ups.
- The English and American Labradors are the same breeds, and hence, they share the same health problems. Though the Labradors are of a healthy dog family, they may face certain issues such as Hip and Elbow Dysplasia, which is an abnormal formation in the elbow and hip joints, which can cause painful arthritis; Vision issues such as Cataracts or Progressive Retinal Atrophy, that relates to the degeneration of the retina which causes loss of vision over time and lastly, Exercise Induced Collapse, which is characterized by a sudden loss of muscular control followed by a period of intense exercise. In rare cases, the dog can die immediately, but the average episode can last up to 25 minutes.
- A keen intelligence, along with the strong desire to please, makes the Lab very trainable. The Labrador is a high energy dog, be that the English Labrador or the American Labrador, and hence, both will need at least 60minutes of exercise a day. A bored dog is a destructive dog, and this is very true of the intensely energetic Labrador who proves to be destructive in its state of boredom.
- Bench Labs are seen to be a bit calmer and less demanding with exercise requirements due to the show ring purpose but on the other hand, the American Lab will have loads of energy that he would need to expel. If used as a working Labrador then this exercise will suffice.
How to choose one among the akin?
If you want to add this most beautiful breed to your family, you probably wanted to cover your resources and basics to learn all you can about their history, origin, health, and major essentials. While both the English and the American Labs make the best companions, picking the proper temperament is solely based on one’s lifestyle.
- American Lab is known to be the best fit in thriving in fast-paced environments. And hence, if one has young children romping and playing around or are fitness freaks, then American Lab may be the best choice. The English Lab may be the best possible option if one is looking for a calmer and more even-keel dog. They are cuddlier and less spastic. While they are slightly less of a handful, they are known for their inability to grasp as quickly as their American cousins about commands.
- Generally, there is not a notable difference in the price between the field and bench Labrador. It solely depends on the breeding lines. The English and the American Labrador both cost, on average, upwards of 1000$ from a reputable breeder. If one wants to own a pup who is from a winning bloodline, be that working or a show ring pup then, you can expect to pay a little more, upwards of 1200$
- Always remember to buy a pup from a reputed dog breeder. This will guarantee that the pup owned is a healthy Lab and not a dog from a puppy mill. Don’t be in a run to save a bit of money on the initial buying cost as this would undoubtedly cost thousands of dollars or more in the future run to the Veterans.
Overall, when comparing the two akin English Lab vs. the American Lab, they are both very similar. These are simply the same breed, with some slight differences. One type of lab has slightly different energy levels than the other with slight variations in their appearance and their temperament as one being considered as a show dog and the other as a hunter (this doesn’t mean that any of the two breed lack in outer appearance or inner strength). They are both built slightly differently but they are the same dog. Every pup’s size and personality can vary by dog. Overall, both the dogs are a great companion for your family with their attractive attributes of friendliness, agility, aptitude, and loyalty. In the end, all that matters is the addition of the worldwide superstar amidst you.