1. Attention: We have put together a thread with tips and a tutorial video to help with using the new software. Please take a moment to check out the thread here: Trapshooters.com Tutorial & Help Video.
    Dismiss Notice

Labs - English or American?

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by mallard2, Sep 26, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. mallard2

    mallard2 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    Messages:
    667
    Hey Lab guys, what is your take on "English" vs. "American" labs?

    Do they have different temperments? Does one hunt better than another?

    How do you tell them apart?
     
  2. miketmx

    miketmx Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    2,969
    When I was active in the dog thing, there was an excellent article in Gun Dog magazine by Dave Duffey comparing the British Lab to the American Lab. Dave said the British Lab was bred to be the Classic non-slip retriever, to retrieve the birds and that was the extent of their purpose. The Englishmen used pointing dogs or Springer Spaniels to find and point or flush upland birds. In North America we expect our Labs to hunt upland birds as well as retrieve. David would rather have an American strain and so would I. A friend of mine had a yellow British Lab and she was a nice gentle dog who could retrieve but didn't have anywhere near the drive of my American bred Black Lab.
     
  3. BudsterXT

    BudsterXT Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    Messages:
    545
    Does the dog know where he lives?

    It is just a dog.

    If the dog is a bit jumpy and needs a clearer tone, I would say send him back to England, and get an American dog.
     
  4. fssberson

    fssberson Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    2,375
    The question should be: Working Lines with titles or pet quality? Breeding is eveything when looking for a working dog. Make sure the parents have titles either in Field Trials or Hunt tests. In Hunt Tests, a Masters level dog is preferred... it is too easy to get a junior hunt test certificate. Go to the various working dog events and ask who has a liter on the ground or is planning to breed. Watch the dogs work. Fred
     
  5. Shooting Sailor

    Shooting Sailor Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    Messages:
    1,084
    I would go with an English Lab. The American dogs seem to be bred bigger, and also mostly field trial lines, which are faster and more hyper. The English lines are shorter, more compact, and have mellower dispositions. The bigger dogs have joint problems more often than the smaller dogs, and take up more room in the house and truck, as well.
     
  6. headhunter

    headhunter Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    Messages:
    1,015
    Buy American. We have enough illegals here all ready.
     
  7. magnumshot

    magnumshot Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    613
    Location:
    Mid-Atlantic
    I had a yellow lab for twelve years. I think he was a mix of an american lab and an english lab. He would go go go. Great frisbee dog when he was young. I could throw that disc 100 times before he would get tired. He was smart, and had a great nose. He was about 85lbs.
    I have an english lab pup now. He is very intelligent so far, but doesn't have half the stamina of our previous dog. Well, at least not yet as he's still a puppy. He has a really good nose, and has a natural inclination for birds. Here he is retrieving a duck dummy about an hour ago. I train him a lot, and he amazes me how smart and obedient he is. He already knows six tricks, and doesn't break his stay when I toss the dummy. He is getting lots of travel, and getting very well socialized also. He'll be 5 months on Sunday. Either dog I would trust around small childern. When I searched for a breeder, I saw some of those midwest labs. They're a little different looking than what I wanted, but look like great animals. I'll wager they are as smart as most if trained well, but I wanted that english lab look.

    magnumshot_2008_03036.jpg
     
  8. Force Break

    Force Break TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    300
    It really depends on how you are going to use the dog. Most American Labs are taller and lighter in stature, although we can breed some horses of a dog. They are good all around dogs and are bred to win trials in the water, English dogs are bred to win trials on the land. I equate the English dogs to Clumber Spaniels, slow and deliberate, American bred dogs to high powered race horses. Usually, American bred dogs need a good trainer, better if it is the owner. English bred dogs come along more quickly in training but hit a point where they are done training, American dogs can learn new things throughout their working lives.
    Buy what spins your crank and have fun, but remember, "The cost of having a good dog is a broken heart at the end." R. Kipling
     
  9. mallard2

    mallard2 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    Messages:
    667
    Beautiful dogs! Appreciate you insights.
     
  10. len loma

    len loma TS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    227
    I alway's had Springers but did a barter with a guy who bred champion English labs. The English is smaller which I like and took a yellow pup I named Max. I mean no offense and am only speaking of what I have seen in the field. The smaller labs be it English or American seem to have a better endurance in field and handle heat better.

    Max is now 12 1/2 yrs old and was diagnosed with bone cancer August of 2010. They gave him 3 months. He still going and just lives to hunt. Mobility of hind legs from tumors makes it tough for him in heavy cover. Bird hunting starts in a could of weeks and I am going to let him hunt my 2 acre corn plot at his pace where it is easy for him to get through. I have a new yellow pup which is also smaller with excellent bloodline. Everything I have seen so far from him has been nothing but fantastic. Calm, obedient and all business. Shoot well, Len
     
  11. Donm

    Donm Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    873
    Shooting sailor. All you need to do is check the breeding. If the parents are small the chances are pretty good the offspring will also be smaller. If the parents are 100 pounders and you don't want a big dog you might want to stay away from that litter. I have had 6 american labs and none have be over 75 lbs and that includes some males. The female I have now is 62lbs. Smaller dogs do seem to have more stamina. They eat less and leave less behind. I have had a couple that were under 60lbs. I figure if they can't carry it I will help them out. I haven't had to help yet.
     
  12. shot410ga

    shot410ga Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    7,787
    American Labs can be big. I had a male "Brutus" that weighed in at a little over 120 lbs. I think the American dogs have more Newfoundland in them as well as Chesapeake. Big heavy hard working dogs.
     
  13. Donm

    Donm Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    873
    I have seen plenty of English bred labs well over 100 lbs. too. It is all in the breeding.
     
  14. superxjeff

    superxjeff Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    3,781
    To me it is more of a ford vs chevy thing then people want to admit. Any lab can be trained to do it all. It is more about looks in my opinion. I like the look of the American style lab more then the english style lab. I also hunt waterfowl mostly and use pointers when I hunt upland.

    I have always felt a lab for the water and a pointer for the upland.

    If you want one that does both the American style lab is the best for the job in my opinion but more important is picking the right kennel.

    Dogs are going to cost a certain amount. Just like in trapshooting... a perazzi may seem expemsive but it is really the cheapest part of the trapshooting game when you look at the whole picture.

    Do not try and save money on a pup. A dud eats just as much as a champ. Shots, vet bills, training ETC ETc is all the same.

    Don't save 500 too find out 3 years later your are out 3,000 and have a shit dog that the family loves and doesn't want to get rid of. Jeff
     
  15. Donm

    Donm Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    873
    Jeff. Well said and to the point.
     
  16. mallard2

    mallard2 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    Messages:
    667
    Yes, as I have looked around, it seems with the right ability and training, both Amer. and Brit. labs can do well at everything you want a lab to do.

    Temperment seems to vary in both types, too. And, some dogs seem to have physical traits of both.

    Anyone noticed this?
     
  17. slayer

    slayer Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Messages:
    2,934
    Location:
    beautiful northern michigan
    One thing that should be mentioned is that the english or british labs mature far earlier, in my experience than the american. Earlier and easier housebreaking, less pupppy destructive behavior. I've had both and the english far outshine in all areas. Bill Wheeler
     
  18. Lyle

    Lyle Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 1998
    Messages:
    652
    I have had labs since 1980 and have hunted with both types. I have never owned an English Lab but my American bred lab has made all the English Labs that I have seen look slow and non athletic.
    In my days in ND I felt that the athletic lab (American) was much better on the pheasants than the English bred lab. I never ran the field trials but always got a pup from those who do. They know the bloodlines and the trainability and hunting ability traits of most of the dogs that are running competitions. I did this early on and as dogs became old and time to replace, I looked for similar bloodlines and traits when purchasing another.
    I also looked for labs that were on the smaller side as well. They are out there and are also high performers and may tend to last a bit longer. One of my dogs lived to be 17 and hunted until 14 years. He was 67lbs soaking wet, but an absolute machine on all types of bird hunting.

    good luck with whatever one you choose!

    Lyle
     
  19. EuroJoe

    EuroJoe TS Supporters TS Supporters

    Joined:
    May 3, 2008
    Messages:
    3,359
    Location:
    Rockford,IL
    I've never heard of a 17 year ols Lab! You're lucky to have one you like live that long!
     
  20. mallard2

    mallard2 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    Messages:
    667
    How about the "hunt-test" events and training - does anyone have experience watching or participating in them?

    Would the American type excell also at this kind of work?

    Not interested in field trials, but the hunt-tests look interesting.

    Any thoughts?
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.