British Labradors

Gundogs in the United Kingdom (UK) perform with such style and drive yet remain absolutely calm and under control on extremely long shoots involving abundant diversion of both game and gunfire? Most avid shooters worldwide have heard, if not experienced, the extraordinary game-finding abilities and controllable nature of the English Labrador.

Wingshooting is big business in England and a dog less than totally reliable is unwelcome on these expensive shoots. The obviously well trained UK Lab picking up at one of these elite shoots may be exposed to 200 to 500 birds downed in a day, yet remain steady and calm.

The training methods employed to achieve these impressive results are time tested. They result in an extremely steady, easily handled game finder, but one must realize that heavy-handed handlers do not achieve these outcomes.

These remarkable shooting dogs are derivatives of a "common dog sense" approach to training applied to a Lab that is genetically predisposed to be a calm, intelligent, game finder which also possesses a remarkable willingness to please their handler. English Labs are bred to be highly personal animals who respond ready, when properly trained, to their handler's wishes. They possess a keen desire to please making training easy and handling pleasurable.

Therefore, a primary key to the British Labrador's success in the field is genetic selection. Many American-bred Labs have been indiscriminantly bred for color, size, or convenience often with little regard to game-finding instinct, trainability or natural retrieving desire. Other matings have resulted in a hyperactive, large, head strong, or hard dog that may prove too high powered or "hardheaded" for the average sportsman.

Some of the defiant behaviors that may occur in the American Lab have been masked by force training methods. For instance, a British trainer discards a hard-mouth or hyperactive dog and does not repeat the mating. American handlers have tendencies to "train it out" through force conditioning methods. Unfortunately if such an animal is later bred, the deficit is likely transferred to future generations. This may result in a dog which is capable or adequate in the field, but uncontrollable, and undesirable around the home. Even if one hunts a lot, your dog will be a pet, a large majority of the time. So, why not have a dog that is just as much of a pleasure around the home, as he is in the field?

Wildwind Labradors is producing English Labs of proper genetics, which offer the American sportsman the opportunity to own a true properly bred Gundog. Our breeding stock has been carefully selected to produce the desirable traits of civil nature, ease of handle, trainability, superior nose, and keen hunting instincts-but most of all, intelligence.

Little is accomplished if one merely selects the appropriate genetics in a Lab then fails to properly socialize and train their pup. Wildwind Labradors specializes in early socialization techniques that enhance the natural qualities of our fine English pups that is a pleasure on the hunt as well as in the home. The key begins with the proper English Labrador genetics.

Characteristics of a British Lab

The English Labrador is recognized by hunters worldwide for their natural game-finding ability, intelligence, calm temperament, trainability and compatibility.

General Confirmation

  • stoutly built
  • excellent endurance
  • compact-short backs which are muscular
  • good depth of rib
  • powerful hindquarters
  • heads are moderately square without undue length
  • well-defined stops
  • flat ears
  • male - 65-80 lbs., female - 55-70 lbs.
  • slightly shorter than American Labs - stand 21"-23"

    Temperament

  • quiet natured
  • extremely loyal
  • intelligent
  • impressive willingness to please
  • calm
  • pleasant to handle

    Color

  • black
  • yellow - from almost white to a dark yellow
  • fox red (rare) *A small white spot in the area of the chest is acceptable.

    Coat and Tail

  • undercoat is dense and highly water repellant
  • tail is thick, rounded, "otter-like" without feathering

    Characteristics

  • quick learner
  • very gentle
  • fast and stylish
  • water lover
  • excellent noses and game-finding instincts
  • soft mouth
  • extremely devoted to their owner and family