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  • English or American?

    Hi all, I have a 7 month old Yellow Lab. I am curious if he is an English or American? He’s got the real light coat that I know is common in the English types. But I wouldn’t consider his body type to be “stalky”, “chubby”, or “short”. Could he be a mix? I bought him through a friend who’s uncle happened to be a hobby breeder and has been breeding labs for 20 years. Same line of females if that makes any difference. Stud dog came from Canada. Pictures are attached. Thanks!!

  • #2
    Originally posted by Fishinaboat View Post
    Hi all, I have a 7 month old Yellow Lab. I am curious if he is an English or American? He’s got the real light coat that I know is common in the English types. But I wouldn’t consider his body type to be “stalky”, “chubby”, or “short”. Could he be a mix? I bought him through a friend who’s uncle happened to be a hobby breeder and has been breeding labs for 20 years. Same line of females if that makes any difference. Stud dog came from Canada. Pictures are attached. Thanks!!
    First, understand that all Labrador retrievers are "English." The breed was developed by a British aristocrat who rescued three St John's dogs (a breed that sadly disappeared in the 1980s) from a shipwreck. St John's is a city in present day Newfoundland. Those dogs were originally bred to help bring in fishing nets and be good company for cod fishermen who could spend days alone in a dory. In Britain the new breed was perfected with traits from various other hunting/working dogs (settlers, spaniels, even bloodhounds). I am not clear when the present designation of "English Lab" evolved. The breeders try to push these as getting back to the roots of the breed but I think that's incorrect. Historic paintings of English Labrador retrievers do not show them to be chunky or short-legged. Similarly, though at least one of the original three St John's dogs was not black (it's name seems to indicate brown or red), yellow and brown Labs are a fairly new phenomenon. When I was a kid pups born any other colour but black were usually destroyed by breeders. I got my first hunting dog because she was brown and not sellable. That was 1964.

    Anyway, your Lab appears to be very typical, not one of the stumpy things currently being touted as English. Why anyone would want one of those is beyond me. They are prone to be too heavy for their legs, wear out fast in the field and develop health issues. I can see no utility for shorter legs in either an upland flushing dog or waterfowl retreiver, both jobs at which Labs excel. As far as I can tell, it's a cutesy thing. Purely cosmetic.

    My latest Lab, who just turned five last week, is exactly the opposite of the English variety. Tall, long, lean, and boundless energy. Ellie can hunt pheasants all day and even outlasts her French Brittany partner. Developing into a fabulous pointer was an unexpected bonus. However, unlike most pointing dogs, she works close, like a typical flushing Lab.

    You have a good looking dog. For a pet, both English and traditional Labs can't be beat. The breed has kept its fishing partner heritage intact. For a hunting dog, I think you are better off with what you've got.
    Last edited by Ontario Honker Hunter; 03-25-2020, 07:39 AM.

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    • #3
      Nice looking pup! Happy Trails

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      • #4
        Honker, in reading your story, I was very much surprised to read that some of the traits of present labs was obtained in the cross breeding with settlers. They must have been very loose on moral standings in those days. Am trying to digest the goings on as to the ‘traits’ passed on LOL!?!?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by bowhunter75richard View Post
          Honker, in reading your story, I was very much surprised to read that some of the traits of present labs was obtained in the cross breeding with settlers. They must have been very loose on moral standings in those days. Am trying to digest the goings on as to the ‘traits’ passed on LOL!?!?
          Perhaps the Labrador's "prey drive" is a trait derived from it's setter ancestors. And then there's the pointing ability that shows up from time to time. Recall that the late great Opal who passed almost a year ago would also point birds ... if they held and didn't move. And she wouldn't break point till the bird moved. Ellie is more like a true setter/pointer in that she will let a bird move from her point and wait till I release her. Then she'll move to it stealthily and point again (unless it flushes). Very setter-ish. Very unLab-like. The difference between her and setters is she works close (without an e-collar). Well, she USUALLY works close.

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          • #6
            Honk, read your post again #2, it may become clearer to you as to my reference to cross breeding with ‘settlers’ ........!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by bowhunter75richard View Post
              Honk, read your post again #2, it may become clearer to you as to my reference to cross breeding with ‘settlers’ ........!
              Damn spell checker on this technocrap smartass phone. Grrr.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Ontario Honker Hunter View Post

                Damn spell checker on this technocrap smartass phone. Grrr.

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                • #9
                  Hard to beat the new dog Red 😋

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