English Labrador Retriever breeders who produce registered, quality English Labs are usually not backyard breeders or puppy mills. They do not sell their puppies to mall pet stores. Rather, they are usually members of Labrador Clubs that screen members carefully.
In order to deal knowledgeably with English Labrador Retriever breeders, you should first know some basic things about English Labs.
English Labs – Appearance
English Labs are not the same as American Labradors, although both came from the same origins. English Labs are stockier in appearance than American Labs. They have shorter legs, heavier bodies, heavier bones, thicker tails, and thicker coats. Since their legs are shorter, English Labs are shorter at the withers by an inch or so. They have shorter, squarer muzzles, and slightly wider heads.
English Labs – Health
Because of its heavier build and shorter legs, this dog has a higher risk of hip dysplasia (HD). This is mainly due to the fact that many English Labs are wide in the rear, and their muscle tone fails to develop as rapidly as their bones develop. They have a tendency to be overweight, too, which further increases the risk of HD.
English Labs – Temperament
English Labs are more likely to be dignified and laid back than are their American counterparts. They can be expected to become emotionally mature much more quickly than other Labs. In other words, do not expect an English Lab to bounce around energetically for years.
English Lab Breeders
English Labrador Retriever breeders are normally very careful to specify that English Labs are not American Labs. The breed is very special to them, and as breeders, they should be particular about who gets each puppy.
If you are visiting an English Labrador Retriever breeder to purchase a puppy, look for certain things.
- The breeder keeps all of his or her dogs clean and healthy.
- The breeder keeps kennels clean and sanitary.
- The breeder asks you many questions, such as why you want an English Lab, who will care for the dog, whether it will be a gun dog, how you plan to raise the puppy, etc.
- The breeder gives you complete, clear answers to your questions. Ask about the parents of the puppies. Does the breeder have clear evidence that they are not related? How many litters has this particular English Lab had in the past? What kinds of health checks have been done?
Obviously, you will want to research English Lab information before visiting a breeder. If you know what questions to ask, and approximately what answers to expect, you will have greater confidence in the breeder who answers well.