5 Fun and Unexpected Facts about English Labs
Contrary to its name, the English Lab is not a boring language class that every child is forced to sit through in grade school. On a lighter and more fun note, this Lab refers to the English Labrador retriever, a canine breed best known for its kind and gentle mannerisms and undying loyalty. Its strong desire to please and protect have made it the dog of choice when it comes to guide dogs in both Canada and the United States.
What Are The Differences Between English Labs and American Labs?
What many people are not aware of is that there is only one Labrador retriever breed. Within this breed are two distinct types, namely the English Labrador and the American Labrador. As their names suggest, the American version originates from the United States and the English version can be traced back to Britain. The three main differences between the two are displayed through appearances, energy levels and temperaments.
The American version is classified as a medium-sized dog. It tends to have a narrow head and long muzzle. These dogs also have a long whip-like tail and vaguely resemble a greyhound’s physical traits. The English version is also a medium-sized breed and tends to have a wide head, heavy muscles and a short yet thick tail. It tends to look stockier than its American relatives.
2. Energy Levels
American Labradors are said to have very high energy levels and can play all day long without tiring. They make for great work and hunting dogs. They have a strong drive to run and retrieve and will resort to barking and chewing when they do not get enough exercise. Although the English version is also energetic, they can be classified as having a medium-range drive. They are just as happy to spend a day playing at the park as they are hanging out watching television.
American Labs are slightly harder to train than their English counterparts. Although extremely clever, they are a tad more stubborn, but respond well to authority and praise. On the other hand, the English type is mellower and very easy to train, as they have a strong desire to please their owners.
What You Should Know about English Labradors
Now that you have familiarized yourself with the main differences between the American and English versions, it is time to buckle down and pick up more information on the latter. If you or someone you know is planning to adopt a dog of this breed, it is important to take note of the following in-depth facts:
1. Physical Description
Although it is safe to say that Labradors are by far one of the most recognizable dogs in the world thanks to television shows and movies like Marley and Me, it is still important to know the basic physical characteristics of this breed. This particular Labrador has an overall appearance that leans more towards heavy, thick and stocky. Do not get confused between puppy fat and muscle. Although there are pet owners out there who let their labs get overweight, this breed tends to look stout and thick due to their muscle distribution and bone structure. They usually come in three colors: yellow, chocolate brown, and black. With the proper nutrition and exercise, these canines have an average life expectancy of up 12 years.
There is no doubt that English Labradors are mild mannered, friendly and social creatures. Because they have a very strong desire to please their owners, they tend to be very obedient and calm. This is why many breeders and owners attest to the fact that this breed is perfect for a young family. These dogs are said to be very gentle and patient around babies and young children and, unlike some other breeds, are not at all threatened by the introduction of a new member into the family. Not only that, they tend to get along just fine with other pets in the house. It is advisable to socialize these dogs as puppies. The more time they spend around people and other animals, the more likely they will feel comfortable and not get too overexcited around strangers once they reach adulthood. Although their size and build make them perfect as a guard dog, they are more suited for a life as a watch dog and friendly companion than anything else. However, do not underestimate this breed’s fierce loyalty and protection instincts. If they sense something is wrong such as their owners being in harm’s way, there is no doubt they will react swiftly.
3. Size & Weight
The English Labrador is classified as a medium-sized breed. Males can grow to a height of 24 inches and weigh roughly 75 pounds. As for females, they tend to have an average height of 23 inches and tip the scales at 65 pounds or so.
4. Daily Activities
As mild mannered as these canines are, they need sufficient exercise to lead long and healthy lives. When cooped up for long periods at a time, they will resort to whining, barking and chewing. Some have even been known to display bouts of aggression as well as depression when left to their own devices. These Labradors need to be taken on long and brisk walks, and are perfect jogging, running and hiking companions. Although they will do well in an average-sized apartment, you need to ensure that they get sufficient exercise on a daily basis. It is best if this dog has a medium-sized yard to play and run around in. They are very much like children, and require as much care and attention as you can offer them. If you do not have the time and energy to dedicate to this dog, opt for a smaller breed that will be just fine without the need for too much exercise.
These Labradors are short-haired dogs and have a double coat. This means there are two coats of fur around the dog which act as a water resistant barrier and keep them warm. These dogs are known to shed twice a year, and you will find plenty of old hairs around the house, especially around shedding season. A simple vacuum cleaning session will do a stellar job cleaning up the hairs, but you are also advised to practice proper grooming on your dog to maintain optimal hygiene levels. You should brush your dog’s fur every day or two with a comb or brush. Take the time every week to bathe it, and only use natural canine shampoos. Nail clipping is also very important, as you do not want them to grow too long and cause damage to your pet. Not only will grooming boost the bond between you and your dog, it will also give you the opportunity to find and stop growths and skin diseases before they get out of hand. If you do not have the confidence or time to do a thorough job, then send your dog for a top notch grooming session every couple of weeks.