Both the English vs American Lab are paid up members of the Labrador Retriever breed, but they have become established as different types. English Labradors tend to be stockier, whilst American Labs are more slender with a finer coat. American Labs are the favorite of field trials, and have enormous energy.
Whether you are a dog or a dog owner, you will probably make the choice between an American or English Labrador. The centuries old quandary is whether to go with the heavy, rumpled, English Lab, or the thinner, fine, American one. By choosing the right type, you gain some advantages that you may not have been otherwise aware of.
The American Lab
As the American Lab deviates from the stockier English Lab, they are lighter as well as have fine hair. The outer coat is produced up of two layers namely short, glossy guard hairs and the fine underlayer of fur, which sheds easily. The color of the coat is unique to the region they are from. Blues and chocolates (brown) are common, although yellow, red, black and white Labs exist as well.
The American Lab is considered to be an easier dog to train, as it is lighter and is more muscular than its English counterpart. The fine coat of hair on their legs, head, ears & face make it easier to clean if they happen to come in contact with predator while hunting.
The lab is a keen and active dog, and it can be trained for different purposes, such as for retrieving prey or hunting. It has the ability to swim, retrieving any kind of prey. Although the American Lab was initially bred for fishing and hunting, it also doubles up for many other roles in society, with the change of coat and body type.
The American Lab is larger and stronger than its English cousin and it can be trained to be a guide dog, a search and rescue dog, a drug sniffer, as well as a guard dog.
The English Labrador
The English Lab is heavier than the American version, and its body is bigger and more muscular. As the name ‘Labrador’ suggests, it was bred by the fishermen of England for retrieving fish that were thrown out of the boats. The English Labradors uses their strength to pull the nets and haul in fish bitten on the hook.
The English Lab can also haul the fish out of the water if it is in deeper or tougher waters. They also get trained for hunting, and even for police work, as they are a brave dog with an instinct of chasing down their prey. The short, coarse coat of an English Lab made it easier to haul when wet, and the texture also prevented the fleas and ticks from attaching to it.
The English Lab is bred specifically for the water, but it can also be used for land based activities. They can still be used for hunting predators, agility and being an excellent guide and savior for the blind or partially sighted.
The differences between the two labradors are that the American Labdax are thinner, which means that they are not as strong or heavy as their English cousins. English Labradors have a coat which is thicker than the Americans, and this makes them more prone to catching fleas and ticks. Whereas the American Lab is used for rescuing children and catching thieves, the English Lab is more commonly used for police work.
Like not all labradors are the same, neither are the American and English bred versions. This just proves that there really is a difference between them. So, the next time you’re choosing a canine, make sure you’re not influenced by whatever you hear or your friends suspect is the best breed. Get something that pleases you, because it’s your dog after all.