Debate: Are Labs a Medium Breed or a Large Breed Dog?
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Thread: Debate: Are Labs a Medium Breed or a Large Breed Dog?

  1. #1
    Bob Pr. is online now Senior Member
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    Default Debate: Are Labs a Medium Breed or a Large Breed Dog?

    In the thread http://justlabradors.com/forum/showthread.php?t=14010 Labby/Laura maintains -- as she consistently has for many years that Labs are not a large breed dog.

    I don't feed Large Breed food for starters. Labs are not a large breed.
    There are 2 issues involved here and I'm only interested in one -- what's the proper definition of a Lab's size, at what adult weight is a dog considered Large Breed and at what weight Medium Breed?

    In the past, Laura has argued that because the LRCA standard says "medium" that they are not a LB dog.

    I've argued it's whatever actual weight one specifies and not the word you use.

    Laura has an enormous amount of experience with Labradors and maintains a website with much valuable information and deserves much appreciation for her long support of the JL community. I deeply respect her and rarely differ with her -- except on this issue, LB vs. MB -- (and on her claimed ability to send radio wave commands from a car's smart key over telephones )

    The canine nutritional scientists in the USA generally define "LB" as dogs weighing over 25 Kg (55 lbs.) as adults but they are free to define their categories as they wish. One group of Canadian scientists chooses to define LB as those dogs with a typical adult weight over 15 kg (33 lbs.) and I've put a quote from them at the end.

    What's your take -- are Labs MB or LB?

    From the LRCA standard
    General Appearance
    The Labrador Retriever is a strongly built, medium-sized, short-coupled, dog possessing a sound, athletic, well-balanced conformation that enables it to function as a retrieving gun dog; the substance and soundness to hunt waterfowl or upland game for long hours under difficult conditions; the character and quality to win in the show ring; and the temperament to be a family companion.....

    Size, Proportion and Substance
    Size - The height at the withers for a dog is 22-1/2 to 24-1/2 inches; for a bitch is 21-1/2 to 23-1/2 inches. Any variance greater than 1/2 inch above or below these heights is a disqualification. Approximate weight of dogs and bitches in working condition: dogs 65 to 80 pounds; bitches 55 to 70 pounds. The minimum height ranges set forth in the paragraph above shall not apply to dogs or bitches under twelve months of age.

    From www.newmanveterinary.com
    There is considerable controversy regarding the role of nutrition during the developmental and growth periods of puppyhood and its possible effects on the musculoskeletal system in later life. espcially in our larger (greater than 60 lbs,) breeds.

    From www.peteducation.com
    Hip dysplasia can be found in dogs, cats, and humans, but for this article we are concentrating only on dogs. In dogs, it is primarily a disease of large and giant breeds. German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Rottweilers, Great Danes, Golden Retrievers, and Saint Bernards appear to have a higher incidence.

    from www.canismajor.com/dog/pennhip1.html
    The PennHip method of diagnosing hip dysplasia
    When canine hip dysplasia (CHD) was first described in the 1930s, it was thought to be a rare condition. Today we know it as the most common inherited joint problem of large breed dogs. Despite years of research and the combined effort of the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals and responsible dog breeders, it has been impossible to eliminate hip dysplasia from breeds of dogs like the Akita, German Shepherd Dog, Labrador and Golden retrievers, and the Rottweiler.

    And here's a group that defines LB at a lower weight:

    From http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC340307/
    One of the major issues in cruciate disease in the last 2 decades has been a shift to large breed dogs. In our first survey, 65% of patients were small breed dogs, while 35% were large breed dogs. In the first 8 y of the previous survey (19831990), large breeds made up only 22% of cases, but from 1991 to 1994, the numbers increased to 48%. From 1997 to 2002, the trend continued, with 61% of patients being classified as large breed and 39% as small breed. In both surveys, the definition of large versus small breed was based on a cut-off point of approximately 15 kg. Some obese animals > 15 kg were classified as small breed. In the latest survey, Labradors and Labrador crossbreds comprised 21.6% of all CCL patients; poodles and poodle crossbreds, 9%; bichon frises, 8.5%; and German shepherds and shepherd crosses, 7.8%. Rottweilers and golden retrievers have been cited as breeds in which CCL disease is common. In our survey, they made up 4% and 4.6% of all CCL patients, respectively.

    Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]

    Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
    http://forum.justlabradors.com/showt...?p=748#post748

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    3TailsWaggin is offline Senior Member
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    Interesting debate. I've always considered them a large breed dog. I think they are a medium height breed, but overall are large (big bones, stocky build, higher weight).

    My vet considers them large breed. The heartworm pills I give are large breed.

    I had a mixed breed dog that weighed 40 lbs. He was considered a medium dog.

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    Well.... Wesley looms large in my heart.

    Kelrobin Cleveland Street Denizen, CGC, RN [Parker]

    "Dear George: Remember, no man is a failure who has friends. Thanks for the wings. Love, Clarence" -- IAWL Screenplay (1946)

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    joflake is offline Senior Member
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    Libby is definately a large dog, but my boss has a chocolate lab that weighs only 48 pounds. If I looked at her, I'd call her a medium breed. So, I guess I don't know. Really though, if the breed standard says medium, I'd go with that. Labs are no where near the size of a St. Bernard, Newfie, Dane, etc. Just because some of them are bred to be bigger, doesn't mean they change the standard. But if I told my Mom Libby was a medium sized dog, she'd think I'm nuts.

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    I'd say medium size. If you average the height of the smallest and largest breed of dog, I believe Labs would be right in the middle. They're talking about height at the shoulder and not weight in the standard IMO.


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    Bob, you're turning into a troll.

    Labs are NOT a large breed dog, regardless of what the dog food companies are trying to sell. Believe it or not, it's your choice but I do not appreciate your bringing me up time and time again.
    Laura





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    So, Joflake's boss has a 48 lb Lab. HK is 56 lbs (and I will add petite, trim and slim). I know several in the 60-80 lb range. My son's, Newman, is 95 lbs and skinny. He is tall and has a huge head.

    When out and we run into strangers, we get comments at how small HK is. How it would be wonderful if they could count on a Lab being her size and that they would then think about getting one. They just don't think they could handle a large dog like the average Lab. Where is the limit? Where do people's perception of Large verses Medium occur? I think that is Bob's real question, maybe not. I accept that the AKC has spoken on the standard, but ......

    When out with my son's dog, Newman, the comments are quite different. Wow! He is a big boy! Wow! That is one large Lab! Same breed, totally dog specific comments, and not to the generic Lab Breed. I think we form our definition based on the ones we are familiar with and based on what our desire is.

    Where we live can also have an effect. i.e., this is now deviating from Labs. About 20 years ago we had a GR. Great female dog, of average GR stature, that we lost to cancer. But one day, she ran off. It was a couple hours before the kids call to report her missing. By the time I got home, she was back. WITH TWO OF THE BIGGEST GRs I HAVE EVER SEEN. And haven't seen since. I located the owner, and he came to pick them up. He got them from a breeder here that was breeding for size and nothing else. So, if somethig like that gets popular in a local area, then what we are comparing may not really be what we think we are comparing.

    For purposes of definition of the breed, I think we have to go by the standard definiton.
    Hershey Kisses, In charge of getting Ed out to the dog park so that he gets some exercise.

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    BigBrownDog is offline Senior Member
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    I think a properly bred Lab is a medium sized dog. There are so many that are not bred to the standard (also Golden retreivers) that overall Labs as a group may be on the larger size. Blaise is 4 inches shorter at the shoulder than Diesel. They weigh about the same - 75#. Blaise looks to me like a medium dog and Dee is large.

    There is a lot of attraction on the part of the pet buying public to want large specimens of their breed of choice. For a while there GSDs were being bred HUGE and as I mentioned above the average Golden you see is too tall to meet their standard.
    Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.

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    ClarenceandFitzMom is offline Senior Member
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    Interesting...I would say I'm in the "medium" party, especially with our two boys. Clarence is very short but boxy/stocky, weighing 72 lbs. People comment about his big, blocky head but not about his general size. He is certainly a medium dog to me--especially next to the Great Dane who lives up the street. Fitzgerald is significantly taller than Clarence but very lanky and thin, he's at 64 lbs. He doesn't have a blocky head and I've never had any comments about his size, except for people think he's still a puppy (I think from the lankiness). He's definitely a medium sized dog to me as are most labs I have encountered.

    Leigh, Clarence and Fitzgerald

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    Bob Pr. is online now Senior Member
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    Bob, you're turning into a troll.

    Labs are NOT a large breed dog, regardless of what the dog food companies are trying to sell. Believe it or not, it's your choice but I do not appreciate your bringing me up time and time again.
    Laura, just as insistently and consistently as you post Labs are NOT a large bred dog, I will just as insistently and consistently say they are considered large breed by most.

    Surely, you don't have some permit to state your opinion and belief that is denied to me?

    Laura, I do not doubt for a moment that dog food companies use every thing they can find to sell more dog food.

    Some DF companies have used the results of canine nutritional science to sell LB dog food. SOME DF companies make adult DF that is suitable for puppies -- but certainly not all.

    I certainly think DF companies do whatever they can to sell more food.

    BUT what about the quote from newmanveterinary? larger (greater than 60 lbs.) breeds.

    And from peteducation? primarily a disease of large and giant breeds. German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Rottweilers, Great Danes, Golden Retrievers, and Saint Bernards appear to have a higher incidence.

    And from PennHip? the most common inherited joint problem of large breed dogs.... like the Akita, German Shepherd Dog, Labrador and Golden retrievers, and the Rottweiler.

    They're not selling dog food.

    And they're not trolls because they believe something other than what you believe.

    Laura, you've done a number of kindnesses for me over the past years which I appreciate -- given me the URL for backup boards, etc. And I'm sure many other JLers feel similarly. So I do NOT bring this up because I have any grudge or animosity toward you.

    This is a difference of opinion in which you're entitled to yours and I'm entitled to mine. If we had a difference about what the best flower is or the best cookie, I'd not bother. But this is about the future health of Labradors.

    I think you're wrong on this point and that you restating over and over that Labs are not LB dogs and should not be fed a LBP food can possibly damage some Lab puppies. So, whenever I see you post your claim, I will post mine -- NOT because I want to hurt you but because I don't want to see any Lab puppies hurt by misinformation.

    Last edited by Bob Pr.; 01-04-2010 at 02:19 PM.
    Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]

    Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
    http://forum.justlabradors.com/showt...?p=748#post748

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