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Discussion Starter #1
What happens if..a field lab is bred with a bench lab? Is it mostly a crap shoot what characteristics will show up? Size/shape/etc.?
Just curious... Jackie
 

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A field mixed with a bench Lab will have characteristics of both. Physically, the field side will be more dominant. Overall the dog will look quite moderate -- lean and athletic but probably with a nice head and structure.

Some breeders are crossing the two 'types' to achieve a much more Labbish looking dog with a strong working drive like a field Lab.

We have had a few gorgeous dogs who are half bench/half field at our classes and they look exactly how I described.
 

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I think it's mostly a crap-shoot. It's will be a complete outcross (maybe 15-20 generations back there will be common ancestors). As Trickster said, field type usually is the dominant one and comes through with the offspring looking more field than show. From what I understand, field/show outcrosses are not very popular in the U.S. A show breeder would not want to do it because puppies will not be show material. A field breeder would not want to do it because of a higher probability of the offspring not having enough drive to compete in field trials. These outcrosses will probably make fine obedience, agility, hunt test, etc. dogs, but there are plenty of litters of one type or the other that already produce these types of puppies.
 

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Interesting. I wasn't sure of the answer.
 

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From what I understand, field/show outcrosses are not very popular in the U.S. A show breeder would not want to do it because puppies will not be show material. A field breeder would not want to do it because of a higher probability of the offspring not having enough drive to compete in field trials
You are right, but there are some breeders who have had success crossing the two types. Over in the UK the Leospring kennels come to mind. Coming to think of it, my boy Murph has a couple of field titled Leospring dogs in his pedigree so he does have a little bit of show influence. They show and work their dogs to field trial level which is pretty unusual in this day and age.
 

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My Otis is a combination of both. His Dad was Bench and his Mom was Field.

I'll see if I can find a pic of his full body.
 

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My first Lab (quite a number of years ago now) was about half and half field/bench. She favored bench lines (smaller and a little heavier boned)....though not nearly as stocky as some of the bench bred dogs of today, and her breeder did show her dogs with some success. I think bench bred dogs have become much stockier over the years though, and I don't think it's super common to see "any" field lines mixed in with bench anymore. Back then it apparently wasn't unusual. I was told by "show" people at the time that she probably wouldn't have any trouble getting her CH, but she was a pet and I had her spayed. Drive-wise she didn't have a super strong drive. She would retrieve, but didn't have that "it's my favorite thing in life" attitude by any means. Loved the water and had tons of energy, but never hyper. She had an absolutely perfect temperament....very sensible and sweet.

My current Lab is 100% bench. She's far more excitable, though she doesn't have the same stamina that my first Lab had. Desire to retrieve is actually slightly stronger, but still not that strong. I've "had" a dog with that really strong natural desire (non Lab) and it's not something that you train...it's just there.
 

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Rocket's a cross between bench and field.
He has the temperment and instinct/drive of a field lab, and has the lean body, shorter hair of a field lab. You only see the bench in his head - but only a little. His head is a blockier than the field labs my friends have.

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Top Of The Hill said:
My first Lab (quite a number of years ago now) was about half and half field/bench. She favored bench lines (smaller and a little heavier boned)....though not nearly as stocky as some of the bench bred dogs of today, and her breeder did show her dogs with some success. I think bench bred dogs have become much stalkier over the years though, and I don't think it's super common to see "any" field lines mixed in with bench anymore.
Since you mention that bench labs are smaller and heavier boned - I'm curious. Rocket is smaller than a lot of other labs I see, and at 10 months he's only 61#. The bench labs I see, while they have longer/thicker hair, they seem bigger - like twenty pounds bigger. I realize this is probably due to the hair, but they sure do seem big (on tv).

How heavy do they tend to be? Or rather, what is the max weight if they are intended for show?
 

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Emilu is 3/4 bench, 1/4 field. She looks like a bench lab who won't win any prizes - but a nice looking dog.
 

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mich said:
Since you mention that bench labs are smaller and heavier boned - I'm curious. Rocket is smaller than a lot of other labs I see, and at 10 months he's only 61#. The bench labs I see, while they have longer/thicker hair, they seem bigger - like twenty pounds bigger. I realize this is probably due to the hair, but they sure do seem big (on tv).

How heavy do they tend to be? Or rather, what is the max weight if they are intended for show?
Well, there seems to be quite a variation. For females I believe 55 lbs is the bottom end and up to 70 lbs (by the written standard); males according to the standard should be between 60 lbs and 75 lbs. Clearly all bench bred (and show) dogs don't fall into this range, so I'm guessing in terms of show the weight aspect maybe isn't strictly enforced. My bench bred girl full grown weighs around 63 pounds. I haven't measured her height at the shoulders, but I'd guess she's to the short end of the standard...which is I think is about 21 1/2 inches. (about an inch taller for a male) Top end of standard is two inches taller I believe, so for males 24 1/2. This may vary (not sure) depending on where you are.

I'm generalizing I guess when I say shorter for bench as I know all field dogs aren't tall. The few true field bred Labs that I've met have been somewhat taller, but mostly longer legged and lighter boned.
 

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thanks for your clarification.

I did think that show labs were larger/heavier, and you support my thought on this. Is there a universal standard that differs from AKC? I mean, for showing?

AKC lists standards for the breed, and includes disqualifications (ie, lack of dark pigment on a yellow lab's nose), but if larger, heavier dogs are showing (and winning, for that matter), I don't get it.

You know, Rocket measures 23 inches at the withers, well within the AKC specs of 22 1/2 - 24 1/2. But when we go to the dog park, he's still one of the smaller labs.
 

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My Nellie is a mix of the two. She has the head and neck of a bench lab and the body, long legs, and tail of a field lab. She also has the coat of a field lab and is 100 pounds which is certainly not standard for bench. I think she's beautiful. :)
 

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Jacob is a result of this combination of breeding. His momma was bench and his papa was a field. Jacob has a blocky head but weighs less that some of the bench labs I have seen stats on. He weighs about 75 lbs.
 

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mich said:
Is there a universal standard that differs from AKC? I mean, for showing?

AKC lists standards for the breed, and includes disqualifications (ie, lack of dark pigment on a yellow lab's nose), but if larger, heavier dogs are showing (and winning, for that matter), I don't get it.

You know, Rocket measures 23 inches at the withers, well within the AKC specs of 22 1/2 - 24 1/2. But when we go to the dog park, he's still one of the smaller labs.
I'm not sure about the standard in other countries....say in England. Maybe Trickster could answer that one.

I still get comments such as "how big will she get when she's full grown etc.," and "is she mixed with something smaller," but the fact is that "most" of the Labs around here ARE a lot bigger than her, and the average person doesn't know a lot about Labs....or what the standard SHOULD be. As I don't show her (she's spayed) it wouldn't really matter whether she was bigger or smaller anyway. FYI - at Rocket's age she weighed around 57 pounds, and height-wise she hasn't changed since that age.
 

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I work with someone who has two bench/field bred Labs, tho they are not 50/50. They are also related, I believe they are cousins. Anyway, they are about as different as night and day, not only in looks, but personality. The older (black) one is stockier and more easy going. The younger (yellow) one is leaner and has energy to spare. They are both nice dogs, tho (and females).
 

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Top Of The Hill said:
mich said:
Is there a universal standard that differs from AKC? I mean, for showing?

AKC lists standards for the breed, and includes disqualifications (ie, lack of dark pigment on a yellow lab's nose), but if larger, heavier dogs are showing (and winning, for that matter), I don't get it.

You know, Rocket measures 23 inches at the withers, well within the AKC specs of 22 1/2 - 24 1/2. But when we go to the dog park, he's still one of the smaller labs.
I'm not sure about the standard in other countries....say in England. Maybe Trickster could answer that one.

I still get comments such as "how big will she get when she's full grown etc.," and "is she mixed with something smaller," but the fact is that "most" of the Labs around here ARE a lot bigger than her, and the average person doesn't know a lot about Labs....or what the standard SHOULD be. As I don't show her (she's spayed) it wouldn't really matter whether she was bigger or smaller anyway. FYI - at Rocket's age she weighed around 57 pounds, and height-wise she hasn't changed since that age.
Thanks for the info on your girl's size! That helps me to answer some questions.
 

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mich said:
Thanks for the info on your girl's size! That helps me to answer some questions.
Well, I should also add that different dog's can grow at different rates depending on the dog's background, so Rocket may be like my dog and change very little in size and height over the next year, OR he may keep growing. He'll no doubt fill out more in the next year. Sounds like he's a nice size. :)

theoconbrio said:
If you cross a bench Lab with a field Lab you get more of a "picnic bench Lab."
:D :D :D LOL
 

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This is Sooner.




He is 1/2 bench and 1/2 Field lines. There are 5 Show Champion, 3 other major pointed dogs in his bench lines. In his field trial lines there are 9 AFC's, 3 NFC's,7 FC, 1 MH, 1 SH, 1 JH, 4 National Open Finalist, 3 in the Retriever Hall of Fame. This is in his 4 generation pedigree.

He is the lab that got me start in the show world. He has won in his class but never did get WD. I quit showing in conformation after our National Speciality. I only showed him there so he could earn the Around Dog Award, which he did. He competes to Rally, Obedience and Agility. I would like to do field work with him but have not found a trainer or the time yet, but he is a retrieving fool.

He has been used twice for a stud dog. Out of each litter I had one boy in each, that could have been shown in the ring all the others looked more like a field dog. There are 3 in hunting homes, 1 is a working Service Dog and 2 are Service Dogs in training, the rest are in pet homes.
 
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