English Lab Vs American Lab: 9 Main Differences

Labrador Retrievers, a.k.a. St John’s Dog, is the most popular dog breed due to their friendly and energetic personalities. These barrel-chested dogs have a double coat. American labs have a ton of energy, much more than an English lab. Despite their differences, both variations embody the fundamental Labrador qualities of friendliness, intelligence, and adaptability.

The English Lab, known for its docile temperament and stout build, is often the choice for show and companionship. On the flip side, the American Lab, athletic and exuberant, is frequently favored for fieldwork and competitions.

english lab vs american lab
english vs american lab

What’s The Difference Between English and American labs?

Are there noticeable differences between the English labrador retriever vs American labrador retriever? Well, yes! They are 2 types of the same dog as per the American Kennel Club.

american lab vs english lab: History

In 1822, a traveler to Newfoundland gave an account of small water dogs popular among waterfowlers. They had short, smooth coats that didn’t retain icy water in freezing weather and had an affinity for water.

These Labradors bred for retrieving ducks and game were great dogs. They were a friendly working dog breed that loved the water and their lab owners.

The visiting English Nobles were impressed by the swift black water dogs and arranged to import some to England. The name “Labrador” was coined in 1887 when the Earl referred to them as his “Labrador dog” in a letter.

The English Kennel Club recognized Labs in its registry in 1903, and the American Kennel Club registered them in 1917.

The UK Kennel Club and the American Kennel Clubs acknowledge only one breed standard for Labrador retrievers and do not differentiate between English or American lineage. However, some believe American athletes adopted the breed from England and trained it to meet the country’s hunting needs.

american vs english labradors
american labrador

american vs english lab: Natural Physique ( Biggest Differences)

The 1st noticeable difference between the english lab vs British lab is their height. American labs have a physical appearance and are big and slim. Compared to the taller American Lab, which is between 21.5 to 24.5 inches, the typical English Lab is between 21.5 to 22.5 inches tall.

American Labrador males weigh 65-80 pounds, while females usually weigh 55-70 pounds. However, English Labs are not necessarily overweight if they weigh up to 20 pounds more than a normal dog. English labs have shorter legs.

Compared to the English lab’s thick neck, the American Labrador has more delicately shaped bones, longer legs, a relatively long nose, and a slender neck and head. Their infamous otter tail is also slimmer and less “otter-like.”

The American lab’s two-layered, water-resistant yellow, black, or chocolate coat is lighter than the English Labrador’s.

american lab vs english lab personality And Temperament

The English Labrador and the American Labrador are distinctly different regarding temperament. English Labradors are known for their calm and relaxed demeanor, making them a great family pet. They are trainable and love fetching competitions.

On the other hand, American Labs are known for their high energy levels and playfulness. They are athletic and excel in activities such as agility and field trials.

british vs english lab
british lab vs english lab

english vs american labrador: Ease Of Training

Both breed standards are affectionate and love to please their owners. American Labrador’s high energy levels make them better suited for people who enjoy an active lifestyle. The English Labrador’s more relaxed temperament is better for families seeking a more low-key companion.

Training a Labrador Retriever can be a fulfilling experience for the owner and the dog. However, there is a difference in the ease of training between the two lab types.

English Labs are more laid back and less energetic, making training easier. They are more docile and receptive to training.

However, American Labradors are more energetic and excitable, making exercise more challenging. They are high-energy dogs, tend to be more stubborn, and require more patience and consistency during training.

Regardless of the breed, Labradors are intelligent dogs. The British and American Labrador can learn commands and tricks with proper training and positive reinforcement. Either of them can make an awesome family pet.

english lab
american lab vs english lab

english labs vs american labs: Origins Of The Breeds + Body Styles

American breeders and buyers sought high-drive Labradorsto to be bred explicitly for sport and work. These Labradors are characterized by their long, narrow snouts and tall, lean bodies, making them highly active and eager for exercise. These dogs favor hunting, hiking, and other physically demanding activities.

English breeders specialized in breeding for the show over the sport. They selected the finest-looking Labradors to breed, with beauty as their primary objective.

The result is the creation of Labradors with “blocky,” larger heads, a distinctive “otter-like” tail, and robust barrel chests widely considered visually appealing.

These english labs tend to be shorter, calmer in temperament, and exude a more sophisticated demeanor.

british lab vs english lab: Exercise

British Labs are more relaxed and require moderate daily exercises such as a leisurely walk or a swim. These dogs have a slower pace, making them ideal for families with a relaxed lifestyle. The American labs are more energetic and require intensive exercise. These dogs suit an active family that enjoys a fast-paced lifestyle.

They need daily runs, long walks, and playtimes to control their bundles of energy. These dogs also excel in sports. Always show your lab plenty of love, and keep them healthy, happy, and active.

AspectAmerican LabradorBritish Labrador
Exercise NeedsHigh energy, vigorous exercise required.Moderate energy, shorter walks suffice.
Activity LevelMore active and exuberant.Calmer disposition, less energetic.
TrainabilityHighly trainable and eager to please.Trainable but may be slightly more independent.
Work DriveStrong work drive, excels in various roles.Work drive, may be slightly more laid-back.
SociabilityHighly sociable, enjoys company.Sociable but may be reserved with strangers.
Separation AnxietyProne to separation anxiety if not properly trained.Less prone to separation anxiety.
difference between english lab and american lab

field lab vs english lab: Grooming And Feeding

Both American and English Labs have similar needs regarding grooming and feeding. They have short, denser coats that shed moderately and require regular brushing to keep their fur shiny. Both breeds benefit from regular baths and nail trims.

English Labs have a slightly heavier build and are prone to weight gain. They need a balanced diet to maintain their weight and prevent health issues.

On the other hand, American Labs are more energetic, have a thinner coat, and need more exercise to stay in shape. Regarding feeding, both breeds are prone to food sensitivities and digestive issues, so choosing high-quality dog food is essential.

Obesity can result from overfeeding, so try to limit it. Treats should be limited, and daily calorie intake can be monitored. Hence there are only slight differences here.

labrador retriever english vs american
american lab versus english lab

english lab versus american lab: Price Differences

The prices vary significantly. American Labs are affordable, costing an average of $800 to $1200. An English Labrador comes with a higher price tag, with an average cost of $1500 to $2000. This breed is used for hunting and as english show labrador; hence more expensive.

You may also adopt a dog from a shelter rather than buy from a breeder. Not only does adopting a dog save a life, but it also aids in lowering the number of pets in shelters.

Adoption fees are lower than buying from a reputable breeder, including vaccinations, spaying or neutering, and microchipping. Many shelters provide resources to help transition to a new home.

Adopting a dog also positively impacts your community and the world.

english vs american labrador
english lab vs american

british labrador vs american labrador: Nutrition Comparison

The American lab requires a high-protein diet to maintain muscle mass. They benefit from a diet high in healthy fats to support their active lifestyle. A balanced diet with the right nutrient mix will keep an American Lab healthy and happy.

English Labradors are heftier and prone to weight gain. Their diet should be low in calories and HIGH in fiber to maintain a healthy weight. Limiting the number of treats they receive and exercising is also essential.

Providing both the english and american Labrador Retrievers with a well-balanced, nutritious diet is crucial. Owners should be mindful of their dogs’ diets accordingly.

american field lab
american vs english labrador

Exercise-Related Health Conditions In The Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers, particularly young adults, are at risk for developing exercise-induced collapse (EIC) during high-intensity exercise. EIC impairs muscular control and increases the risk of injury. Additionally, physical activity before and after eating can trigger bloat, a potentially fatal stomach condition.

Specific Genetic Disorders In The Labrador Retriever

Specific Genetic Disorders in Labrador Retriever

  • Elbow dysplasia: Genetic condition causing arthritis and pain in the elbow joint.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy: Inherited eye disorder causing blindness.

It is important to regularly exercise and maintain a healthy weight for Labrador Retrievers to prevent exercise-related health conditions.

Why You Might Choose An American, Field-Type Labrador?

American Field-Trial Labradors are prized for their intelligence, obedience, and high energy levels, making them ideal for hunting trials and field trials. They are also highly trainable and eager to please their owners, making them excellent for agility exercises and search and rescue.

AspectAmerican LabradorEnglish Labrador
GroomingAmerican Labradors have less feathering on the legs, tail, and body.American Labradors have less feathering on the legs, tail, and body.
FeatheringAmerican Labradors have less feathering on the legs, tail, and body.English Labradors tend to have more pronounced feathering on the legs, tail, and body.
SheddingAmerican Labradors shed moderately throughout the year.English Labradors shed heavily during shedding seasons, usually occurring twice a year.
Ear CareRegular ear cleaning is essential to prevent ear infections.English
Labradors may require more frequent ear cleaning due to their thicker ear flaps.
FeedingA high-quality, balanced diet that suits their age, size, and activity level is recommended.English Labradors may have a slightly lower energy level than American Labradors, so monitoring portion sizes is important to prevent overfeeding and obesity.
Weight ManagementAmerican Labradors are generally more active and energetic, which can help with weight management. English Labradors tend to have a calmer disposition and may be less active.
difference between english labrador and american labrador

Moreover, their muscular build and strong instincts make them ideal retrievers, amazing traits in hunting and field trials. In short, the American Field Labrador is versatile and perfect for those who want a highly skilled companion for an outdoor lifestyle.

Why You Might Choose An English, Show-Type British Labs?

An English show-type Labrador Retriever is famous for being friendly and outgoing Amazon Agentur. They are social, love to spend time with their human families, and are also easy to train.

Due to their gentle nature, English show ring-type Labradors are ideal for families with children. Their charming personalities make them a standout breed, and with proper training, they can become a beloved member of your family.

Will There Ever Be An Official Split Of The Two Types?

Though a wagering ongoing debate, there is no official split between the english lab and American labs. Despite the distinct differences between the two dogs, they belong to the same breed.

All official kennel clubs identify these breeds. Some organizations advocate formally separating the American and English Labradors, but the idea remains controversial. Until a legal split is declared, the two types will continue to coexist under the umbrella of the Labrador Retriever breed.

difference between american and english labs
english black lab vs american

english vs american labs: Diseases

DiseaseAmerican LabradorBritish Labrador
Hip DysplasiaCommonCommon
Elbow DysplasiaCommonCommon
Progressive Retinal AtrophyCommonCommon
Exercise-Induced CollapseCommonLess Common
Ear InfectionsCommonCommon
Osteochondritis DissecansCommonLess Common
Heart DiseaseLess CommonCommon
EpilepsyLess CommonCommon
Hypertrophic OsteodystrophyLess CommonCommon
Gastric Dilatation-VolvulusLess CommonCommon
Von Willebrand DiseaseLess CommonCommon
PyometraLess Common (females)Less Common (females)
Cruciate Ligament InjuryLess CommonLess Common
Addison’s DiseaseLess CommonLess Common
BloatLess CommonLess Common
Intervertebral Disc DiseaseLess CommonLess Common
PancreatitisLess CommonLess Common
CancerVarious types, including lymphoma and mast cell tumorsVarious types, including lymphoma and mast cell tumors
Renal DysplasiaRareRare
difference between english and american labs

FAQ: english lab vs american

Which Breed Variant Is Easier To Train?

There is no significant difference in trainability. Both are highly intelligent and eager to please, making them easy to train. However, the english labradors tend to be easier as they are more relaxed.

Which One Weighs More, The English Or the American?

British Labs weigh more due to their slightly thicker coat and genetics. The weight of each dog varies based on its parents, so examining the lineage is a good indicator of the expected weight.

Are There Any Differences In Their Tails?

English Labradors have thicker tails than American Labradors, with slightly thinner, sleeker seats.

Which Breed Standard Is Better, English Lab or American Lab?

It depends on personal preference and the intended purpose. English Labradors are known for their stockier appearance, while American Labradors are known for their athletic ability. Both are friendly and intelligent breeds.

Are English Labs More Expensive Than American?

English Labs may cost more if they come from a show bloodline. This feature can drive up the price of a puppy.

What Are The 3 Types Of Labrador Retrievers?

Three coat colors of John’s water dog—black, yellow, and chocolate labs. Other prominent colors include silver, foxy red, white and brown. Three types of labs include english lab, american lab and a distant cousin Chesapeake Labrador retriever.

Are American Labs Smarter Than English Labs?

There is no significant difference in intelligence between American and English Labradors. Both breeds are highly intelligent. American labs are a bit ahead of their english counterpart as an asset to agility competitions.

Which Breed Is Right For You?

Choosing between American or English Labrador Retrievers depends on individual personality and physical differences. Before deciding, consider their energy levels, lifestyle, trainability, and desirable traits.

Which Type Of Lab Makes A Better Pet?

American and English Labradors make excellent pets with similar intelligence and affection. Personal choice and training methods make a lab type stand out for you.

English Vs American Lab – Which One Makes A Better Family Dog?

English Labs are calmer, while American Labs are more energetic. Both make excellent family pets. The best breed depends on your personal preference.

Author Profile

Sarah Sheikh
Sarah SheikhProduct Reviews Specialist and Cofounder
Labradors have an extraordinary capacity for love and companionship, and my mission is to help you unlock their full potential. Hi there! I'm Sarah, a proud contributor to Labradorandyou, the go-to online resource for all Labrador Retriever enthusiasts. As a lifelong owner and avid admirer of these remarkable dogs, I bring a wealth of knowledge and hands-on experience to our readers.

One of my strongest beliefs is in the power of positive reinforcement training. I'm truly passionate about helping our readers build strong, positive relationships with their Labradors. Whether you're a first-time owner or a seasoned Labrador enthusiast, I aim to provide you with the resources and guidance to cultivate a bond that will endure a lifetime.