middle way Labrador sub-type?
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Thread: middle way Labrador sub-type?

  1. #1
    Junior Member Mossy Dell's Avatar
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    Default middle way Labrador sub-type?

    I imagine this has been hashed out here somewhat, but searching the forum doesn't turn up my specific question. Which is: what to call and how to find the middle type of working Lab I find appealing?

    These are moderate Labs in conformation but have their own distinctive look. Their heads are fairly large and handsome, with long snouts but without the extreme forehead stop emphasized in "English" show Labs. They tend to be a bit more solid in the body, less leggy, and smaller than what I'll call the big and sometimes racy field trial type. Before someone says the "British" field type is the answer, I have seen those that look like whippets. That may be largely a function of the developmental stage of ones I've seen or seen pictured.

    My second, related question concerns how some are breeding for this middle type. Is it from regularly infusing show lines? My breeding experience with livestock would indicate that, since appearance is highly heritable, that wouldn't be necessary IF this middle-type population is widespread enough.

    To be clear, and for the record, I prefer field type Labs but have noticed differences in the appearance of field lines. Some are a bit sharp-faced for my taste, and appear lightly built—"athletic," say—even though I prefer that to the show type. I just wonder what the working retriever folks notice and how they talk about this or breed for it or seek out certain types they prefer, in addition to selecting for working qualities.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Hunt'EmUp's Avatar
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    Only middle ground I have seen would be called Pet (not an Insult) or perhaps Hunt-type. These breeders seem more willing to go both ways in their breeding. I don't believe they keep the look by breeding particularly to Show stock, or field stock. Realistically I don't define the Show-look these days as having anything to do with being a working retriever, nor any part Labrador in general (just me flame away if necessary ) More like they keep the look by breeding 2 dogs that have both look and instinct, dogs and lines that were middle ground before the spilt became so large. They are not drawn into the extremes of competition required in either show or field venues, so they are able to maintain moderation. Now there are some particular lines of field stock that still carry the look, and I would assume there is less exaggerated show stock out there (perhaps in UKC type venues). But as the Lab is such a large breed, and dogs running in any specialized "venue" are only a very small percentage of the whole population; it's very do-able to find dogs of any "inbtw type". Trust me the pet owning or Hunting public puts just as much empathizes on a dog that looks like a lab as a dog that hunts like a lab; the middle ground is out there. Been seeing more of it in the hunt-test and Pointing labs breeders these days; not that I would ever make pointing a priority (I want a flusher myself), but for some reason their dogs seem to have more of the inbtw (shorter, more bone, bigger head) look.
    Last edited by Hunt'EmUp; 10-31-2016 at 12:24 PM.
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  4. #3
    Junior Member Mossy Dell's Avatar
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    Thanks, Hunt'EmUp. Makes sense. I imagine I'll be the one who gets flamed, but am grateful you didn't . . .


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    Mossy I couldn't agree more with some of your synopsis. I pheasant hunted two weeks ago with a guy that had a blm that was so far out of the standard I didn't believe he was a full lab. He insisted he was. And he was actually a pretty decent dog. But he just had such a terrible look. One of the tallest labs I've seen. I'm not sure how tall but I'm 6'6 and his nose could touch my belt when just sniffing me. He was super long, tall and his tail curled and almost touched his back. The owner discussed which kennel he came from and his pedigree and how the breeder only breeds trial dogs etc. Is this what "American" labs are coming to? If so I want nothing to do with it. I was hunting with just one of my dogs and is by pedigree a half American half british. He is shorter, and very square but not show square. The whole group we hunted with loved him and commented on his looks.
    I am very picky with the looks of a lab. It seems so few meet standards. They're either too tall and skinny with skinny muzzles (hate that) or too short and fat. Seems hard to find a nice 75 lb dog that is square but athletic. For the record...I think some of the best looking labs are females with a male head-build.

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    Senior Member Bryan Parks's Avatar
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    Just do a search for stud dogs that are FC AFC and you'll find a range of looks but most I woukd say still look "labby" and some are very good looking dogs but there are those that aren't.

    My dog has mostly hunt test dogs in her pedigree and I think she's a very beautiful dog. If she accomplishes what I hope she can and I breed her I'll look for a good looking stud that also has the credentials. I have already found several. They are out there.

    So while I agree with you that there are some field lines that seem to have that lanky/long look there are still a lot that have a more traditional look as well.

    My girl
    Last edited by Bryan Parks; 10-31-2016 at 10:28 PM.

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    problem with that is that sometimes you buy a pup from a long distance away. You can look at pics but pics don't do justice to what an animal looks like first hand. That makes it hard.

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    Senior Member Paul Frey's Avatar
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    The BLF in my avatar has both field and show stock. She often gets confused as a male. A little on the smaller size (63-67 lbs.) but I love hunting with her. She has become my upland machine.

  9. #8
    Junior Member Mossy Dell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Frey View Post
    The BLF in my avatar has both field and show stock. She often gets confused as a male. A little on the smaller size (63-67 lbs.) but I love hunting with her. She has become my upland machine.
    She's really good looking, Paul. I also prefer smaller labs as well, but it seems asking a lot for me to try to get that as well as the looks and abilities I'd like.

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    Check out a breeder in Harrisburg MO named Paul Swift. I think is producing what you're looking for.

    JG

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    Senior Member BirdNMouth's Avatar
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    Check out Windy Canyon Labs. You won't be disappointed. She is on this forum. She is in WA state but I would trust her to send me a pup sight unseen.
    -Danielle

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