I hope someone can help me. I was in contact with a breeder who breeds for compatibility, hunting, showing, and temperament. She has a written health guarantee on there hips and elbows for life and a slew of other tests and certifications that the dam and sire had been through. She gave me half a dozen other people that she recommended if she didn't have a litter at the time that we were hoping to have a pup. Problem is, her and all the people she recommended had kind of husky looking labs. They almost look fat to me but I'm sure I'm missing something. I was looking for the more sleek, toned, muscular lab. I've seen them in both American and English style..... Can someone clear the confusion up for me? The ones I had growing up were always sleek and toned... But, we always found those pups in the newspaper or a sign we had passed while driving. They weren't certified and that good stuff.
The bigger boned, shorter labs are what people call the "English" labs, the ones that typically are primarily shown in dogs shows but do well in just about every other venue they are trained for.
If you want a breeder that does clearances, stay away from pet breeders, and try to find hunting breeders. But you still need to be 100% diligent about clearances.
It sounds like the labs you had growing up and what you have gotten used to are back-yard-bred pet quality labs. Labs aren't supposed to be sleek. They are supposed to have a thick double coat that kind of feels harsh when you touch it, and this time if year it's generally thick enough to hide any tone that's there.
The lady you have mentioned in your original question breeds English "Show" Labs. They do, in fact, look fat because that is what is now winning in the show rings.
You can be sure that you can get a guaranteed healthy pup from her or from her recommended breeders.
The "sleek" looking Labs of your experience probably come from backyard or "amateur" breeders this is not necessarily a bad thing if you are looking for an inexpensive pup.
I have owned several Labs from "Pet" breeders that were fantastic hunters/retrievers, but they would have NO chance in the show ring. I got lucky with my current AKC Champion Lab because his breeder made a bad decision about his chances in the show ring.
An English Lab from an established breeder will cost you some bucks, the drive by Labs will not if you are smart about your selection. You risk health problems with the drive by...your money, your choice.
Thanks for all the input. We aren't looking for a show dog or a hunting dog. Just a well tempered, trainable pup. I know what you mean about the health issues. That's certainly a consideration when purchasing the back yard pup.... Good thing I have a bit to think on it lol
going with a breeder that "shows" isn't about wanting to get int showing. few if any of the pups in any litter, even the best planned litter, will turn into dogs that show/compete well. the rest are just wonderful pets for families. the showing (on competing in field trials or other) just proves the breeder is active and puts work behind the dogs not just breeding to breed.
Most dogs you see are pet bred - meaning the parents compete in neither. the only goal in the breeding of the parents was to have cute lab puppies to sell (be it for profit or because "everyone wanted one of their pup's pup's)The breeder may talk about an ancestor a few dogs down the line but that is generally somewhat meaningless. it's the actual parents that matter. so if the breeder doesn't do ANYTHING with their dog then it's likely pet bred (with a few exceptions for say someone into a sport or other sorta activity other than field/conformation).
There's nothing wrong with field bred Labs either.... show structure is not the only option. That said, I have field bred Labs - my puppy monster is FC AFC sired - and their level of energy is not for everyone.
~your decisions are only as good as the information you base them on~
Lijah UD GO VER RE CGC TDI ASCA-CD (7/10 UDX, 186/200 OM1 pts, 9/100 OTCH pts + UB/OB wins)
Zen UD VER GO JH
Boaz JH CD CGC
Brie CD CGC
Tara (future amazingness!)
We bought our chocolate from a local couple. He is a big boy, 95 lbs and is not fat. When the sun shines on him we can just barely see his ribs. He is not overly energetic nor is he a layabout. Just right for us.
Point being, I would not worry so much about how the dog "looks", what is more important is how the dog adapts to your lifestyle. Unless of course you are wanting to show or hunt.