Here are some useful guide to see the difference between American and English Labradors. We’ve had the privilege of raising and training both English Labs and American Labs as guide dog puppy raisers, allowing us to personally observe the variations between these two breeds within a breed.

Do American and English-type Labradors Differ?

American English Labrador

Although there isn’t a formal distinction between American labs vs. British labs, the variations between them are apparent, and the types are now virtually generally recognized. The words are commonly used, well-known, and approved nicknames for Labradors with lineage from the relevant countries as well as those that have been bred for various purposes.

Here you want to know the differences between American and British labs.

The English and American Labradors can be classified as hunting (field) dogs or show (conformation) dogs, respectively.

These breeds of dogs are typically sociable, trustworthy, good-natured, and playful, and they enjoy being around people. They are well-liked as service and companion animals. Additionally, the Labrador is mostly a retriever.

Due to their prevalence in the UK and the fact that they were developed for show and conformation, English-type Labradors have gained widespread recognition.

Given that they are far more prevalent in the USA, Labradors bred for field trials and hunting have come to be recognized as American-type Labradors.

However, confusingly, there are American Labs that compete in dog shows and English Labs that are used for hunting and field trials.

So, continue the reading and learn more about the :

useful guide to know the difference between American and English Labradors.

difference between American Labrador and English labrador

The labels “English Labs” and “American Labs” are more of a helpful reference to the likely type of Lab being discussed than absolute and rigorous terminology. Numerous exceptions exist.

Do the standards for American labs vs. British labs breeds differ?


The UKC, the AKC, and no other national registry or parent club of Labrador Retrievers include a distinction between American and English Labradors in the breed standard or acknowledge it in any other way.

Simply put, they do not distinguish between Labs.

The only accepted standard for the Labrador breed is that. There is just one type of Labrador retriever, so all Labs should adhere to the same standards.

There is only “The Labrador Retriever,” neither “The American Labrador Retriever,” nor “The English Labrador Retriever.”

There is a slight distinction in the maximum height permitted between the American and English breed standards:

While the English breed standard permits a height of 21.5 to 22.5 inches, the American breed standard allows a height between 21.5 and 24.5 inches.

It is possible a realization of the American Labs’ potential for being taller and having longer legs.

But we’ll eventually get to that about which type of Lab makes a better pet :

British Labrador


The two Labrador breed criteria are nearly identical save for one distinction. They both speak precisely of the same dog.

Here are a few additional details that are a useful guide to know the difference between American and English Labradors.

Here is a brief explanation of the variations in a look that you would generally observe :

  •  We Matched American labs vs. British labs.
  • It carries a thicker appearance that makes it more substantial. And are substantially more comprehensive and appear to be made using barrel chests, which are blockier and larger.
  • It possesses a more prominent face, a shorter snout, a wider head with a more evident and well-defined stop, and a wider head, all of which make it more solidly built.
  • Has a neck that appears thicker and stronger.
  • It has a substantially thicker coat.
  • It has a broader, thicker tail and is more straightly shaped than its American siblings.
  • Has legs that are shorter and are not as tall.
  • The body is small.
  • They are typically far more similar to the breed standard than the American type because they are bred for confirmation.

How Does A Standard American or Field Type Labrador Appear?

The American type, as compared to an English type laboratory:

  • Has a body that appears lighter and thinner. And it seems more nimble and “ready to go” due to its more athletic build, which is lithe and finer-boned.
  • Has a narrower head than its English brethren. Compared to the English Lab, their muzzle is longer and more streamlined, and their skull and face are notably thinner.
  • Has a more lithe and athletic appearance.
  • Has a thinner coat.
  • Generally has a tail that is less “otter-like” and narrower than that of an English Lab.
  • Compared to an English lab, it is taller and has longer legs. Their appearance of athleticism is further enhanced by their thinner frame in combination with this.
  • The breed standard is virtually never precisely matched to how a dog is bred for working aptitude because breeders have much less incentive to strive for it.

Which type of Lab makes a better pet?

Personality and temperamental characteristics that both breeds share

Regardless of species, English and American Labradors are an equal match regarding love, affection, and a strong desire to please.

The answer of the question which type of Lab makes a better pet?  is that the American and English Labs are incredibly bright, sharp, and biddable, keeping with the breed standard and part of what makes a Lab a Lab. Very benevolent, brave, and self-assured, but without any hostility.

But you should be aware that there are distinctions between the two types in terms of vigor, ebullience, and being headstrong and manageable.

Reasons Why American Labradors and English Labradors Differ:

    • Due to many years of specialized breeding, the English Lab and American Lab differ.
    • Strict breeding standards are used to develop Labradors specifically for hunting and field trials.
    • The most desirable characteristics in a working Labrador are higher energy, higher drive, more athletic, leaner build, and nimble canines.
    • Compared to a Labrador produced for shows, they are bred with far less emphasis on adherence to the breed standard and more on their ability to perform.
    • Labradors are selectively selected for their appearance and temperament alone in conformation competitions. The Labs that most closely resemble the breed standard and take home trophies in the ring to be employed in breeding programs.
    • Their performance in hunting and field tests is, at best subpar.
    • In the past, a Labrador’s conformation and working prowess were valued equally. Many breeders sought to produce the coveted “double champion,” a dog who excelled in the show ring and the field.
    • However, in recent years, the two disciplines have grown to be so specialized and competitive that multiple champions have become increasingly rare, and breeders must now focus exclusively on one field to have any chance of success.
    • And it is this that has caused the two different types to diverge; the tendency is expected to continue, and the differences are likely to become more apparent.

Reasons to consider a Labrador trained for field trials in America:

  • The American variety, specifically developed to possess the traits required in a productive working dog, is highly active, with inexhaustible energy, matching stamina, and an adventurous and determined attitude.
  • They’re comparable to an Olympic athlete and physically elite compared to humans.
  • If you’re looking for a hunting partner, want to participate in field trial competitions, or live an extremely active outdoor lifestyle, an American Lab is a good choice.
  • However, I believe they have far too much energy and are too hyperactive to handle by the average family as a pet and house dog.
  • They will consume a lot of your time because they require a lot of exercises and continual mental stimulation.
  • They may get bored and try to entertain themselves if you’re not prepared for this and cannot offer the level of activity they require; at this point, folks tend to remark that you have a problem lab on your hands.
  • Then perhaps an English lab would be more appropriate.

Reasons to consider a Labrador of the English Show Type:

  • The English-type Lab is ideal if you plan to compete in conformation shows or want to get into breeding because it was specially bred for appearance.
  • However, compared to an American-type Lab, they are far less ecstatic, energetic, and highly strung.
  • In addition to being more eager to please and simpler to educate as a well-behaved companion, they tend to quiet down considerably more quickly after puppyhood.
  •  Because they weren’t bred for a strong drive, courage, tenacious persistence, and peak physical performance.
  • Therefore, you should select an English Labrador if you want a Labrador that won’t be too high-energy to handle, is simpler to teach, and requires less activity and time.
  • Do not misinterpret a useful guide to know the difference between American and English Labradors.

It simply means that an English lab is docile and straightforward to control. They are still brilliant and active dogs who require constant mental and physical stimulation, but how do they compare to a top-tier American field trial or hunting Lab? They are, indeed, poles apart. The life of a family pet is far more suited to an English Lab. but a very active family.