English vs American Labrador Retrievers: Unveiling 3 Main Differences


If you are seeking a conclusion on the English vs American Labrador retrievers debate, I’ll tell you now: American Labs are the winner. They have a good appearance, strength, and hunting drive. 

A more appropriate comparison is between British as well as American Labs. Because Americans are particularly bad at geography, they often use “English” and “British”. This matters when discussing working retrievers, as English Labradors are not the same as British ones. English Labradors are the stocky, square-headed, and blocky Labs that look more suitable for napping than fetching. These dogs are usually show dogs from England.

English Labs have been bred as show canines in England; they usually have blocky heads, thick necks, short legs, and barrel chests. They are not generally bred as working canines. 

British Labs, also called field Labs, are bred for field trial work or hunting. These Labs have lineages initiating in the British Isles, which comprises England, yes; however, also Ireland, Scotland, as well as Wales. Still, there are a lot of differences to note among English vs American Labrador retrievers. Continue reading to find more differences between these two dogs. 

At a Glimpse: English vs American Labrador retrievers

English Labrador

  • Average height (adult): 21½ to 22½ inches
  • Average weight (adult): 55 to 75 pounds
  • Lifespan: 10 to 12 years
  • Exercise: 1+ hours daily
  • Grooming needs: Moderate
  • Family-friendly: Yes
  • Other pet-friendly: Frequently
  • Trainability: Intelligent, faithful, eager to gratify

American Labrador

  • Average height (adult): 5 to 24.5 inches
  • Average weight (adult): 55 to 80 pounds
  • Lifespan: 10 to 12 years
  • Exercise: 2+ hours daily
  • Grooming needs: Moderate
  • Family-friendly: Yes
  • Other pet-friendly: Frequently
  • Trainability: Intelligent but persistent

Visual Differences: English vs American Labrador Retrievers


Although these dogs are exactly the same breed, there are some visual differences among the two. English Labrador is usually shorter and stockier rather than the American Lab. An American Lab has a higher weight when compared to two dogs having the same height; however, the English Lab is generally a little heavier.

This stockier look with shorter legs is the chief difference between English and American labs.

English Labrador Overview


English Labs are show dogs. Because of this reason, they’re recognized as the “Bench” variety of Labradors and why you won’t get them out in the fields. These dogs always fit right in the kennel club’s satisfactory sizes and ranges, as that is what dog breeders were considering.

They are high-energy pooches; however, they don’t have near the similar stamina as an American Lab.

1.      Training

English Labradors are brilliant and faithful dogs. They love to delight their owners, so they are comparatively easy to train. Stick with the positive reinforcement method and keep the exercise sessions short.

If you need the best outcomes, you need to confirm that your English Lab is getting sufficient exercise. Although they don’t have the same strength that an American Lab has, they are still high-energy and are predisposed to destructive dullness behaviors if they don’t get sufficient exercise.

2.      Breeding

These dogs are usually more expensive; however, it also makes it easier to understand what you are going to get, even once they’re a pup. Puppies that don’t fit precisely in the adequate height, weight, as well as other dimension grades by the kennel clubs don’t get bred, meaning you get reliable physical outcomes time after time.

3.      Temperament

The English Labrador retriever is one of the most faithful and loving canines you can find. They’re loving and laid-back, making them good family dogs. They are also very intelligent; thus, they make an exceptional choice if you train them to complete definite chores.

Suitable For:

Because of their lower exercise needs, English Lab is a good fit for a house that doesn’t require a working dog. Still, English Labradors require space; therefore, you must have a fenced-in lawn and give them a lot of exercise to keep them glad and healthy. In conclusion, they perform well in noisy as well as busy families and do well with kids of all ages.

Why You Might Pick English, Show Type Lab?

Mainly bred for looks and personality to match the official breed standard, this Lab is ideal if you have any purposes to compete in dog shows or desire to go into breeding. However, they’re also far less excited, less full of energy, and are not as powerful when likened to an American-type Lab.

They haven’t been bred for courage, determination, and peak physical routine. Thus, if you are seeking a Labrador that won’t be high energy to handle, is easy to train, requires less activity and time, and is more suitable to live as a family dog, then you must go for an English Labrador.

They’re still very intelligent and active dogs that require steady exercise and their minds to be busy. An English Labrador is far more apt to live as a family dog. 

American Labrador Overview


The American Labrador Retriever is all about work. You will get a lot of purebred American Labs that don’t fit the perfect height as well as weight standards; however, that doesn’t mean they are not closely what somebody’s looking for.

Don’t imagine seeing an American Lab on a show, supposed to see them working in fields. Because of this reason, these dogs got their name as a “field” Labrador.

1.      Exercise Requirements

As they’re working canines, the American Labrador has far extra energy and strength than an English Lab. Once breeders were choosing necessary characteristics from the parent, they didn’t follow appearance; they went with traits that could assist on the farm.

Although an English Lab can manage only 1 hour of activity daily, if you have an American Lab, you must shoot for around two hours of harsh physical activity. 

2.      Training

Both American Labrador as well as and English Labradors are highly trainable. Although people train English Labs to experience hoops and sit on a bench, dog breeders train American Labradors to do work.

The American Lab is the ideal working dog because of its high energy, trustworthy nature, and cleverness. Keep training sessions short; remember that your American Lab needs to learn. You shouldn’t have any issues getting them to do it when they get what you need.

3.      Temperament

Just as the American Lab is a working pooch doesn’t mean they’re straightforward. They make outstanding family dogs. The busier the family, the better, and these dogs fit right in. American Labs are loving and affectionate.

Suitable For:

The American Lab is an outstanding option for those seeking a working farm dog. These dogs are also outstanding family dogs; however, they have harsh exercise needs that can be exciting to keep up with.

They are great with people with loads of work for them to do or people with a busy routine.

Why You Select An American, Field-Trial Type Lab?

Particularly bred to have the qualities required in a practical working dog, the American Lab type is very active, with endless energy, endurance to match, and a brave and strong-minded outlook.

Unlike humans, these dogs are much like an Olympic sportsperson and physically elite. An American Lab is appropriate if you’re seeking a hunting mate, need to get convoluted in field trial competitions or have a lively outdoor routine.

But, as a family dog, they have a lot of energy and are more agitated than the average family can manage. They require a lot of exercise, continuously need to have their minds busy and therefore will take up plenty of your time.

If you’re not prepared for this and cannot deliver the level of activity they require, you might find them bored and try to amuse themselves, and this is when individuals say they have a problematic Lab on their hands.

Which Dog Breed Is Right for You?

If you plan on getting them as a family pooch and not have them on runs severely or exercise them in additional ways, the English Lab is the right choice. However, if you need a dog with a bit of extra energy or are seeking a farm dog, there’s no doubt that the American Lab is a better option.

FAQs: English vs American Labrador retrievers

Are English Labradors healthier?

There are a few differences between the Bench Labrador and the Field Labrador. The Labrador retriever is a usually healthy pooch, and as the English Lab and American Lab are the same dog breeds, they share similar health issues.

Are English Labradors more aggressive compared to American Labradors?

English Labs are calmer, stronger, sensible, and much easier to train. They are a bit shorter in physique, meeting the AKC guidelines; they have a heavier figure, thicker tail, as well as a blockhead.

Conclusion : English Lab vs American Lab

There are significant differences between “American Labs” and “English Labs”, both in appearance and disposition. Thus, which type is best for you? This depends on your everyday routine and what you need from your dog.

American Labradors are usually more athletic, bouncing, highly driven, and suitable for outdoor life or families with high energy and real outside types. English Labradors are blockier and better built, calmer, more submissive, and better fit for life as a family dog, but still a lively family nonetheless.

To select between the types, do a little exploration, be honest with yourself regarding which would be best suitable for your life, and try to observe each type to understand which you prefer. If you understand what you are after before you find a dog breeder, then you are more likely to wind up with a Lab that best suits your routine, and a Labrador retriever will end up with a family that is better for them.

“American Labradors” aren’t always more active and challenging, and “English Labradors” aren’t always calmer and easier to manage; however, the types are sufficient to be the best guide and a place to begin.

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