The Field Lab Vs. The English Lab
What's the difference? There are two styles of Labrador—the English Lab and the Field Lab. It is important to know the differences between the two because they have many different personality and physical characteristics.
The American Field Lab is, to put it mildly, an athlete! A taller stance, leaner and more muscular structure, and endless amounts of energy make this dog best suited for Field and Agility competitions, extreme swimming and all other activities that call for endless amounts of energy!
The American Field Lab is the Lab you will see in Field and Agility competitions, challenged only by the Border Collie.
Labradors bred for field trials and hunting have become commonly known as American type Labradors because they are much more common in the U.S.A.
Although the AKC does not officially recognize two styles of Labradors, thee is a huge difference between the two!
When I receive calls for my pups, I ALWAYS ask people if they know the difference between the two styles of dog and ask them if they have a fenced in yard for the dog to expend some of its energy! My dogs are all American Field Labs.
The English Lab is the dog you will see in AKC competitions where it is all about appearance. They are sometimes called "show dogs." The English Lab is shorter in stance, thicker in body, and has a larger head. The English Lab is much less energetic than its American counterpart, something that needs to be examined closely when purchasing a Lab.
English Labs are not the greatest swimmers, and are not very well suited for hunting and retrieving expeditions due to their tendency to tire quickly.
Bred for conformation, English Labradors are usually far closer to how the breed standard is written than the American type.