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.