Block Head Labs: Are They Better And Healthier?

Block head Labs refer to Labrador Retrievers that have broader, shorter, boxier heads compared to the breed standard. This head shape stems from selective breeding focused on aesthetics rather than functionality. 

While some claim blockheads are healthier, there is no evidence to support this. The wider skull shape could lead to more birthing difficulties. Responsible breeding should prioritize health over looks.

Overall, the blocky head is simply a cosmetic variation, not a separate breed or type of Labrador Retriever.

Block Head Labs
Block Head Labs/ Credits: shootingstarlabs

Characteristics of a Block Head Labrador

Block Head Labradors boast a distinctive square-shaped, broad head. They have a strikingly pronounced brow bone and a noticeably short muzzle. Their bodies are typically more bulky compared to other Labrador types.

Square-shaped, broad head

Block head Labs have a broad, square-shaped head. It stands out and gives them their name. This trait is one of the key looks for this breed. These Labradors are known for their big heads that seem to be chunky.

Their skull structure adds to the block-like shape of their faces. The wide skull and full form make these pets easy to spot among other Labradors.

Pronounced brow bone

Block head Labs have a clear brow bone. This is not the same in all dogs. The strong brow bone gives them a look of deep thought.

This dog’s eyes sit under this part of their face. They get shades from the sun because of it. Labs use their strong muscles to move their brows too, just like people do! It shows when they are thinking or feeling something big.

Short muzzle

The short muzzle is a key trait of Block Head Labs. It makes their head look blocky and broad. This feature sets them apart from other Lab types. Their muzzle is not long, it’s shorter than working line dogs.

Because of this, their face looks strong and firm. This unique facial structure gives the breed its name – Block Head Labrador Retriever.

Bulky body

Block Head Labs have a robust build. If you look at one, you will see that it has a large, heavyset structure. It is bigger and thicker than other type of Labradors. This sturdy body makes them part of the group we call bulldogs.

Their powerful presence and strong body even make them great for hunting tasks! They are not just strong in looks but also in action!

How to Determine if Your Labrador has a Block Head

Analyzing your Labrador’s head shape and size can reveal whether it has a block head or not, but to ensure accuracy, consider consulting with an experienced vet or breeder. Unravel more on this fascinating canine feature in our subsequent sections.

blockhead labs
blockhead labs/ Credits: shootingstarlabs

Compare to other Labrador types

Block Head Labs differ from other Labrador types. English Labs are the ones with block heads, not American Labs. They have a strong, square-shaped look. Their bodies are also sturdy and bulky.

The head shape of an American Lab is different. It does not have the wide, flat top seen in Block Head Labs. The body of an American Lab is more lean and less heavy-set than that of a Block Head Lab.

Note the head shape and size

Check your Lab’s head. A block head Lab has a different sort of head. It is more like a box or triangle in shape. The snout is wider and shorter than other Labs. Not all Labs have the same heads!

Consult with a veterinarian or breeder

To find out if your lab has a block head, you need to talk to an expert. This might be a vet or someone who breeds labs. They know the breed traits and what makes a block head lab different.

This person can spot the physical aspects better than anyone else. They will also tell you about any health issues common in this type of Lab. You’ll get good advice from them on how to take care of your pet’s health and well-being.

Colors of a Block Head Labrador

Block Head Labradors come in the traditional Labrador colors – black, yellow, and chocolate, with a potential for unique color variations.

Traditional Labrador colors (black, yellow, chocolate)

Block Head Labs come in three colors. These are black, yellow, and chocolate. Each color is pure and bright on a Block Head Lab’s coat.

The AKC breed standard says these three are the only true Labrador Retriever colors. Colors like silver may look cool but the AKC does not see them as real Lab colors. This means your Block Head Lab will be one of these three: black, yellow or chocolate.

Possibility for unique color variations

Block Head Labradors can have many coat colors. These dogs often show the usual Labrador colors. They come in black, chocolate, and yellow. But sometimes, they may have different shades of these colors too.

This happens because of how genes work in these dogs. Some breeding ways help make new color shades appear more often. Yet, rare color changes do happen in Block Head Labs still.

Differences Between Block Head Labs and Regular Labs

Aside from the obvious physical attribute of a square-shaped, broad head, Block Head Labs greatly differ from Regular Labs in terms of temperament and purpose. Block Heads are notably calmer, making them excellent for families or therapy work rather than rigorous field tasks.

Their broader heads also mark them as more suitable for show lines, while Regular Labradors with narrower heads and active personalities are often preferred for working roles.

Head shape and size

Block Head Labs have a broad skull. This kind of head is wide and shaped like a box or triangle. It’s different from other Labradors that have narrow heads. They also have short, wide snouts.

The back of their head has a unique bump for safety called an occiput. These traits make Block Head Labs look special and set them apart in the Labrador breed.


Block Head Labs have a calm nature. They are easy to train and more levelheaded than Regular Labs. Many people like this about them. These dogs do not need as much training as American Labs, who can be head-strong.

Regular Labs, or American Labs, are full of energy. Their high intelligence makes them act stronger-willed at times. On the other hand, Block Head labs show a different character. Instead of being energetic all the time, these dogs are more relaxed in their behavior and attitude.

Purpose (show vs. working)

Block Head Labs are often seen in dog shows. This type of Lab is calm and sturdy, making them good for showing off their looks and charm. They have a unique head shape that judges like to see.

On the other hand, some Labs work in fields or do tasks for people with special needs. These Labs need more energy and agility than Block Heads. They are known as working labs.

So, whether you want a show dog or a helper dog can guide your choice between Block Head Labs and regular Labs.

Benefits of an English Block Head Labrador

Known for their calm and gentle temperament, English Block Head Labradors are an ideal choice for families and therapy work due to their easily trainable nature.

boxhead labs
boxhead labs/ Credits: shootingstarlabs

Calm and gentle temperament

Block Head Labs love to stay calm. They are gentle dogs. Kids and other pets find it easy to play with them. Their kind nature makes them great for families. These labs are good workers, too because they can deal with many tasks calmly and kindly.

Their cool way of acting also helps in therapy work. Training these dogs is not hard at all due to their easy-going style.

Ideal for families and therapy work

Block Head Labradors love to be around people. Their gentle nature makes them great pets for families. Kids can play with these dogs without fear of getting hurt. They are upbeat and friendly, which adds fun to every home.

These dogs also shine in therapy work. They have a calm temperament that brings comfort to those in need. Because they are smart, training them for therapy is easy. This makes English Block Head Labs top picks for jobs like helping those who are ill or sad.

Easily trainable

Block Head Labs have sharp minds. They take to training fast and well. This makes them a joy to teach new commands or behaviors. The calm nature of these dogs helps in this too. It stops bad actions from starting.

Plus, it helps the dogs learn obedience skills with ease. Many use Block Head Labs as service dogs or therapy dogs because of this trait.

Finding Block Head Labs for Sale

Searching for Block Head Labs to adopt involves thoroughly researching reputable breeders, ensuring they provide health clearances and certifications. Make it a point to visit the breeder in person to assess conditions yourself.

Dive deeper into these key points as you continue reading our blog post.

Research reputable breeders

Make sure to pick a trusted breeder for your Block Head Lab. Good breeders care about the health and shape of their dogs. They have strong, healthy pups for sale. In Georgia, many good breeders sell Labrador Retrievers.

Look for ones who have an OK from the AKC (American Kennel Club). This means they are top-notch breeders. The AKC website is also a safe place to find Retriever puppies. But be careful! Some people say they sell “block head labs.”

You want someone who talks about English or conformation Labs instead.

Ask for health clearances and certifications.

Before you buy a Block Head Lab, always ask for health clearances. The seller should show proof that the dog is safe and healthy. Health clearances are not promises. They are tests done before breeding to check for diseases in dogs.

It is an important part to keep Labs fit and strong.

The Labrador Retriever Club says all Labs need these checks. They test hips and elbows because Labs can have bad joints sometimes. Genetic testing also needs to be done on each parent dog before they breed.

This will help stop diseases from passing onto puppies in future generations.

Visit the breeder in person

Going to see the breeder can be really helpful. You get a chance to meet the block head Lab puppies for sale before you buy one. This way, you can see if the pups look healthy and happy.

You also get a good feel of where they grow up. Checking out the breeder in Hattiesburg, Mississippi may even let you meet Champion Quality English Labrador Retrievers. Before going, make sure to ask about Breeder contracts for Labradors.

These papers tell what breeders think is important about caring for Labs. It’s best not to rush this big choice as you want your new pet to fit right into its forever home!

Risks of Breeding for a Single Trait

Focusing solely on breeding Block Head Labs for their distinctive skull shape can lead to potential health issues, limit the gene pool of Labradors, and raise ethical concerns over prioritizing appearance over overall breed health.

box head labs
box head labs/ credits: shootingstarlabs

Health concerns

Block head labs can face health issues. Breeding this type of lab for one trait, like a square head, means health risks rise. This is because inbreeding adds to these risks. It can lead to painful or deadly genes getting passed on.

Dogs with short, blocky skulls can have more problems too. They might get sick easier because of the shape of their skull.

Limited gene pool

Breeding a dog for one trait can lead to fewer genes in the group. This is called a limited gene pool. It happens often when breeders want their dogs to have a block head shape. They use dogs from the same family to get this look.

But this can cause bad genes to show up more.

A small gene pool also puts the dog’s health at risk. Dogs with few genes are more likely to get sick often compared to other dogs. The lack of new and different genes makes it hard for these dogs to fight off disease.

Ethics of breeding for appearance

Breeding dogs for looks raises big problems. The block head in Labs is one such trait. It can bring health issues and cut down on gene variety within the breed. This fact makes some see it as not being right or fair, which taps into ethics, a sense of right and wrong.

Good breeders care more about dog health than how they look. They know that breeding just to get one look can hurt the breed in the long run.

Caring for a Block Head Labrador

Ensure your Block Head Labrador receives regular vaccinations and a balanced diet, coupled with plenty of exercise to maintain their health.

Regular Vaccinations

Block Head Labradors need shots often. The shots help keep them from getting sick. They guard against dog diseases. Some can cause big health trouble like cancer or stomach issues.

Your vet knows the right shots for your Labrador. They will guide you on when to give them each year. This helps prevent sickness and vaccine side effects too.

Proper nutrition and exercise

Block Head Labs love to play. They need a lot of exercise to burn off their high energy levels. A good walk, run, or game in the yard every day keeps them happy. Exercise is also important for weight management in these Labs.

Feeding your Block Head Lab right is just as key. Their meals should be full of protein-rich foods for strong muscles. Vitamins A and B help keep their skin and coat healthy. High doses of vitamin C are great for their immune system too.

Don’t forget about water! It plays a big part in keeping them well-functioning from head to tail.


Block Head Labs are amazing dogs. They have unique looks and great temper. Yet, we need picky breeders for these dogs. Careful breeding keeps them happy and healthy.

blockhead labrador
blockhead labrador/ credits: shootingstarlabs


1. What Are Block Head Labs?

Block head Labs are Labrador Retrievers that have a wider, boxier head shape compared to the breed standard. 

2. Are Block Head Labs A Separate Breed?

No, they are simply a cosmetic variation of the Labrador Retriever breed.

3. Why Do Block Head Labs Have A Different Head Shape?

Selective breeding by some breeders and owners for a wider, shorter skull shape.

4. Are Block Head Labs Healthier? 

There is no evidence that they are healthier. The wider skull shape can potentially cause issues.

5. Do Block Head Labs Have Different Personalities?

No, their personality and temperament should be the same as any well-bred Lab.

6. Are Block Head Labs Recognized By Kennel Clubs?

No, block head is not recognized as a separate breed or variety by major kennel clubs.

7. Do Block Head Labs Meet The Breed Standard For Shows?

Usually not, as the standard calls for a broad skull that is slightly rounded.

8. Do Block Head Labs Make Good Working Dogs? 

Yes, when from working lines. The head shape alone does not affect working ability.

9. Are There Health Risks To The Block Head Shape?

Potentially more difficult births due to wide skull shape. No other proven risks.

10. Is One Head Shape Better Than The Other?

The moderate skull shape in the breed standard is ideal. Extremes in either direction can cause issues.

Author Profile

Samta Pandey
Samta PandeyIn House Labrador Trainer
Samta is an experienced Labrador trainer and enthusiast with over 5 years of hands-on experience, contributing invaluable insights and advice to Her deep understanding of Labrador temperament and intelligence underpins her effective training techniques and product recommendations. Through firsthand experience of the joys and challenges of raising Labradors, Samta's articles provide expert advice for both seasoned and new Labrador owners, covering training, care, and innovative product selection. Her commitment to enhancing the well-being of Labradors and their owners permeates her work, making it an indispensable resource for Labrador enthusiasts