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What Makes the Perfect Labrador?

Updated: Sep 22, 2023

Labrador owners love their dogs for their famously friendly nature, sharp intelligence, and boundless energy. And of course, as pure Labrador breeders, we’re big fans of their well-proportioned shape, too.

At Tried & True, we lovingly raise English Labrador out in nature, at our farm-based kennels in Alabama. Here, get them ready for their forever homes with responsible dog owners around the country. So we certainly know a thing or two about what makes a good Labrador.

Which Breed of Labrador is Best?

There are two official Labrador breeds: the English Labrador and the American Labrador. Both are wonderful dogs to own.

(You might have also heard of Canadian Labradors, but that isn’t the name of a dog breed in its own right. These days, so-called Canadian Labs are most often simply American Labs or English ones that have been born and raised in Canada.)

Here’s how the two official Labrador breeds differ.

What Are the Differences Between English and American Labradors?

Pure Labrador breeders who raise English Labradors, also known as show Labradors, do so for their appearance and conformation to breed standards. This popular breed of Labs has a stockier build, a broader head, and a calmer demeanor. They usually make excellent family pets due to their gentle nature and laid-back personalities.

American labs, also called field Labradors, are often bred for their working ability and athleticism. They’re known for their high energy levels, agility, and hunting instincts. American Labradors excel in field trials and agility competitions. They have a leaner build and may be more active and driven than English Labradors.

What Makes English Labradors Such Popular Dogs?

Our yellow, chocolate, and black Labradors for sale are all English Labrador Retrievers. Although the American Labs do make great pets, English Labs have a few special qualities (we list them below!) that, in our opinion, make them the perfect Labradors. (And by the way, the American Kennel Club agrees with us.)

A Friendly and Affectionate Temperament

When we think of English Labrador retrievers, the first thing that comes to mind is their incredible friendliness and affectionate nature. Labradors are known for being fantastic family dogs, showering those around them with love and devotion.

Their inherent sociability makes these large-breed dogs excellent companions for both children and adults. Whether it’s a wagging tail, a wet nose, or a gentle nudge, English Labrador puppies and grown-up Labradors alike have an uncanny ability to brighten up your day with their contagious enthusiasm.

Intelligence and Eagerness to Please

Labradors are not only adorable; they’re also incredibly smart. What’s more, these quick learners have a natural desire to please their owners. This makes them highly trainable and versatile dogs.

A Labrador retriever can excel in various roles, including search and rescue, therapy work, assistance tasks, and of course, being the ultimate family companion. Their intelligence, combined with their willingness to please, allows them to adapt easily to different environments.

Natural Energy and Love for Action

If you’re an outdoorsy individual or family seeking a sidekick or teammate for adventures, a Labrador retriever might just be the perfect match.

An English Lab has an innate love for physical activities and thrives on an active lifestyle. Whether it’s long walks, hiking, swimming, or playing fetch, these dogs are always up for the challenge. Their energy levels are seemingly unlimited, making them the ideal companion for anyone who enjoys (or wants to encourage!) outdoor living and adventure.

Endearing Playfulness

A Labrador puppy has a playful spirit that stays with it into adulthood and is truly infectious, with an exuberance and zest for life that helps to lift your mood.

Whether your Labrador retriever is chasing a ball, playing with toys, or joining a game of tag, it’ll help bring out your inner child. But this playfulness is not just entertaining. It’s also a great source of exercise and mental stimulation for both the dog and its human companions.

Unwavering Loyalty and Protective Instincts

Labradors have an innate sense of loyalty and are steadfastly protective of those they love. They have an intuitive understanding of their family’s needs and will go to great lengths to keep them safe. These qualities make them excellent watchdogs, offering a sense of security and comfort to their human families.

What Do English Labradors Look Like?

The commanding appearance of pure-bred English Labradors sets them apart. English Labs have distinctive, blockier heads, and their build is shorter and sturdier. Their muzzles are slightly shorter too, while their faces are fuller and more substantial. One standout feature is Lab Retriever’s barrel chest, which gives it a somewhat regal look. Lastly, this breed has a thicker coat that’s aesthetically pleasing, delightfully strokable, and well-suited to various weather conditions.

Let’s take a closer look at some features that make pure-breed Labrador Retrievers a visibly high-quality dog.

Head Shape

A true English Lab has…

● A well-developed and broad skull that gives it a balanced and elegant appearance.

● A parallel skull and foreface that are approximately the same length, which creates a harmonious look.

● A moderate stop (that’s the slight indentation or angle between the forehead and nose), that enhances its unique charm.

● A clean-cut head with no fleshy cheeks.

● A chiseled bony structure beneath the eyes for a refined and well-defined face.

● Well-formed lips, gently curving toward the throat, contributing to their friendly and approachable expression.

● Avoidance of wedge-shaped or long, narrow heads; massive or cheeky heads are not desirable traits.

● Powerful jaws free from snippiness, giving them a confident and strong appearance.

● Mature dogs may show some median line, but the occipital bone at the back of the skull is not conspicuous.

We Can Help You Find the Perfect Labrador

It’s important to remember that perfection is subjective, and each Labrador has its unique personality and quirks that make it special. While there are certain traits that you can safely associate with most Labradors, it’s always important to find a Labrador that fits into the rhythm of your lifestyle and family and can be part of your plans for the future.

So, if you think you might be ready to embrace the joy, love, and adventure that a Lab will bring into your life… talk to us.

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