Archive for June 22nd, 2009

The Labrador Retriever has soared in popularity in the United States, and has reigned as the most popular dog in the country (measured by AKC registrations) for more than a decade. Today’s Labrador Retriever breeders are trying to develop dual-, triple-, and multipurpose Labs in an effort to demonstrate and maintain the breeds working instincts. Club members and breeders are encouraged to strive to breed Labrador Retrievers who look like Labs, hunt like Labs, and can per¬form a variety of jobs.
Unfortunately, the breed’s popularity has also created a big market for Labs, and this has resulted in many people breeding the dog for profit, either in puppy mills (commercial dog farms) or in family backyards. These people, even those who genuinely care about the breed, often know little about the breed standard, genetics, or the breed’s health concerns, and so may turn out inferior dogs.
All of these variables have created several different types of Labrador Retrievers. Although these dogs may have some differences, they are still Labs, and each has a core of fanciers who love them. These are some of the different types seen.
– English Labrador Retrievers tend to be heavier boned, with a more pro¬nounced, blocky head and a thicker body than the American Labs.
– American Labrador Retrievers, bred to show in conformation dog shows, are often from English lines, but many tend to be longer-legged, making them a little taller than their English relations.
– Labs bred to work in the field and compete in field trials are generally taller, more slender, and more athletic than their show dog cousins. The field Labs are also more active and have a very strong instinct to retrieve.
– Pet Labs vary according to their ancestry. Unfortunately, many pet Labs are small and lighter boned than they should be, and many do not have the trademark level, stable temperament of the Labrador Retriever.
People looking for a new Lab need to understand what their needs are as far as a dog is concerned and what their goals are for the dog. Obviously, if you would like to compete in conformation dog shows with your new dog, you will need a dog from show lines, purchased from a reputable breeder.

 

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