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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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                  • #10
                    I have been watching Dr. Pol, Michigan Vet. My question is why dogs do not learn their lesson about going after porcupines ? In just one season of shows he has had a couple of dogs coming in twice with a mouth full of quills.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jhjimbo View Post
                      I have been watching Dr. Pol, Michigan Vet. My question is why dogs do not learn their lesson about going after porcupines ? In just one season of shows he has had a couple of dogs coming in twice with a mouth full of quills.
                      Some dogs just hate them. It's like the little tough guys who continually get their arse whipped in bar fights. It's in their blood.
                      Last edited by Ontario Honker Hunter; 04-14-2020, 12:35 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jhjimbo View Post
                        I have been watching Dr. Pol, Michigan Vet. My question is why dogs do not learn their lesson about going after porcupines ? In just one season of shows he has had a couple of dogs coming in twice with a mouth full of quills.
                        My 2nd springer Gabe got hit when he was 2 or 3 yrs old. After that whenever he came upon one he would stop and growl. I knew right away what was happening, I would call him back and we would loop around to avoid it. Never got hit again, he hunted until he was 11. GOOD DOG !!

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                        • #13
                          The terms English and British were coined by a couple of kennels here in the US to create a market.
                          A more appropriate way to describe the variation Labradors is what we here in the US have done for years and refer to them as Field or Bench(conformation) bred dogs.
                          The dogs pictured are what appear to be more of the field bred variety.
                          Even then, there is no designation on any registration form to designate as either, they are all simply just Labradors...
                          OG4283, formerly RES1956, greetings.
                          Last edited by OG4283; 05-23-2020, 07:27 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by OG4283 View Post
                            The terms English and British were coined by a couple of kennels here in the US to create a market.
                            A more appropriate way to describe the variation Labradors is what we here in the US have done for years and refer to them as Field or Bench(conformation) bred dogs.
                            The dogs pictured are what appear to be more of the field bred variety.
                            Even then, there is no designation on any registration form to designate as either, they are all simply just Labradors...
                            OG4283, formerly RES1956, greetings.
                            Glad to see you back! I figured that English Lab stuff was mostly marketing hype. Though a lifelong Lab man, I picked up a French Brittany pup nine years ago after my wife died to keep me and my two Labs busy. Similarly, last I knew the AKC did not differentiate between French and American Brittany. But they definitely are a different dog, particularly in colouration. My little gal is tri-colour but that was not accepted by American breeders until recently. French version also tends to be shorter and less rangey than the American version. I think this English Lab stuff was an attempt to ride on the coattails of the "getting back to their origins" French Brittany scheme. When should a little variety be given its own breed designation? Good question. Lewelan setters and Welsh springers are a couple of others that come to mind. For a field dog, I think it should require a significant change in disposition and hunt ability. Appearance alone should not be the factor. We are not raising show dogs! By all accounts the French Brittany does hunt differently (closer) and because they often do look different than their American cousins, I think they deserve their own breed designation.
                            Last edited by Ontario Honker Hunter; 05-23-2020, 08:40 AM.

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                            • #15
                              On the subject of color, I think it warrants consideration in a field dog, as it relates to visibility.
                              My Brittany was much easier to keep in sight than either of my two liver-colored GSP's.

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