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American Labradors vs. English Labradors?

We at Rosewood Retrievers specialize in the breeding of American Labradors.  What’s the difference between American labs and English labs? Let me try to explain.

The American Labradors, also known as 'Field' or 'Hunting' Labradors, originated in United States and are used more for hunting or field work.  Also, they are frequently used in Field Trials or Hunt Test competitions.  American Labradors can also be seen in the show ring (or dog shows), but usually don’t do well.

Physical Differences The American Labrador is more energetic than the English Labrador.  They have a longer nose, longer legs, a thinner body and the tail sometimes curls upward and are taller.  Probably due to interbreeding, they also come with their own unique set of health problems, including Hip, Eye, Elbow Dysplasia and EIC (Exercise Induced Collapse).  EIC is when the dog will just collapse in the field usually after a strenuous exercise.  In extreme cases some dogs can even collapse by merely anticipaing a strenuous workout.   CNM ( Canine Neuromuscaluar Myopothy) which is similar to Muscular Dystrophy in humans. The EIC and CNM do appear more frequently in the American Labradors over the English Labradors.

The English Labrador originated in England and are the Show or Bench Labradors. They are usually the Labradors that are seen in the show ring, although they also can perform in the Field Trials or Hunt Tests and also can be used for hunting. They have shorter noses, blockier heads, thicker bodies, they have a thick otter tail and are shorter and heavier. They also have health problems including the Hip, Eye and Elbow dysplasia. But they are now testing them also for the EIC and the CNM.

Crossing the American Labrador or Field Lab to the English Labrador or bench Lab, create a new moderate show dog or field dog.

Personally I wish AKC would recognize both the American Labrador and English Labrador as two different types of Labradors, like the English Cocker and the American Cocker.

ABOUT US:   We have owned Labrador retrievers since 1975 and started training hunt test retrievers in 1997. Our forty acre facility borders the Oquirrh Mountains and the Stansbury Mountain ranges in beautiful Grantsville, Utah. It is fully fenced and is complete with dog ponds, kennels, and a hunting gully.

We offer top quality Labrador puppies out of the best lines of Field Champion and Hunt Test sires and dams, in all three colors. We also offer at stud AKC hunt test titled Labrador retrievers in all three colors.

Our facility offers boarding, puppy training, obedience training and beginning gun dog training. We also offer pheasants, chuckars and other game birds.  Please visit our website at:

This article is solely the opinion of Rosewood Retrievers, Inc.

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