Working or show line Labrador puppy?

(33 Posts)
Lucyquack Sat 08-Dec-18 08:26:05

We’re living in London near 3 parks and a 10 minute drive from a woods. It’s me, DH, dd16 and dd10

OP’s posts: |
Awesomeo90 Sat 08-Dec-18 11:28:50

Show line make much better pets. A yellow female from a show line would typically be the ideal for family life. Although to be honest you can't go wrong with a lab smile

Lucyquack Sat 08-Dec-18 11:42:10

awesomeo we’re looking for a yellow female actually! But we have found a good breeder who has them but with a strong working bloodline hence my hesitance

OP’s posts: |
Vallahalagonebutnotforgotten Sat 08-Dec-18 12:07:59

Working line everytime - generally less health issues - easier to train - calmer temperament = cant go cray if out working with guns!

Vallahalagonebutnotforgotten Sat 08-Dec-18 12:08:20

crazy !

bertielab Sat 08-Dec-18 12:12:32

I have working labradors and breed them. Both are nice lines. I have bred a lot of FTC.

Working tend to be fitter, slimmer and less health problems.

Check for hip and eye scores as well as elbows.

See both parents. Registered breeder or someone you know. See Mum with pups. I have black and fox red. First and foremost ours are pets.

Both are intelligent, think with their stomachs, good family pets and tend to love children.

If you want any advice let me know.

wheelwarrior Sat 08-Dec-18 12:24:34

Mine is show lines but dad works as gun dog .Was bred by ground keeper all tests done to bring new puppy on and had to prove that I was able to meet an activite dogs needs

Mine is pretty laid back even as a puppy and chilled at home but we do walk for hours often cover 10-20 miles a day he is also trained to help me with certain chores now
The working lines here seem lot more bouncy but think more down to lack of excerscise


WatcherOfTheNight Sat 08-Dec-18 15:23:07

I've a 6yo working line Black Lab ,he is and has been an absolute dream from day 1.
He's everyone's favourite & has many admirers.
A few weeks ago ,my DN class were asked about friends,she listed them but said my lovely boy is her "best" friend smile

Pic of Mr Romeo himself

Lucyquack Sat 08-Dec-18 15:25:48

Romeo is gorgeous! Almost majestic grin

OP’s posts: |
Myshinynewname Sat 08-Dec-18 15:34:36

Working lines generally tend to be healthier as they have been bred to do a job rather than to look a certain way.

WatcherOfTheNight Sat 08-Dec-18 15:57:03

Thank you @Lucyquack ,he didn't look like that half an hour ago after tearing through the flooded park in the rain after his ball grin
He was in his element though!

I think a PP might be right about health ,we checked he came from good lines & that health checks were done & apart from a bit of pano (doggy growing pains) as a pup he's never needed a vet other than his vaccinations & the usual flea/wormer.

Awesomeo90 Sat 08-Dec-18 16:54:14

You should go for the puppy you've found. A good breeder is the most important thing.

Eifla Sat 08-Dec-18 17:58:08

I prefer working line. Generally hardier (although you still need to choose a breeder that undertakes all of the KC recommended screening for the breed) and looks wise, I like that sleeker athletic look.

Working line dogs do not make any less of a good pet than show line dogs. They just need suitable exercise and mental enrichment.

As long as he gets his walks, playtime and opportunity to use his nose & brain, my young working Cocker, from very hard wired working lines, can usually be found belly up on the sofa.

Theresahairbrushinthefridge Sat 08-Dec-18 20:05:50


Slimmer less tendency to be overweight and have health problems in old age.

A working bred dog is highly trainable. Our was house trained in 2 days at 8 weeks. Only ever had 4 wees in the house. No poos. Two of those were because I left her with the kids and was not paying attention. She is brilliant. Great recall. Really willing to please.

Just be mindful of their first 8 weeks though. Ours is a working dog bred and raised in a family home. Very sociable and confident. Some working dogs raised in kennels may be more nervous. You will know when you meet them.

OrcinusOrca Sat 08-Dec-18 20:19:53

Working or dual purpose. My youngest golden retriever is from dual purpose lines on both sides. I bit the breeder's hand off as soon as I got chance to go on the waiting list. She is an absolute delight. I'm a big believer in dogs that look as they should, are healthy and can also do their thing. Sometimes working lines in some breeds are quite far from what would do well in the ring, certainly some working goldens can be fab but look all wrong, snippy heads etc. That's why I'm sold on dual purpose in the goldens. I know less about dual purpose in labs but tbh most of the working examples I see are nice examples of the breed, so I'd definitely lean that way over show lines.

BrokenWing Sat 08-Dec-18 20:43:02

Our black lab is working line and super calm, never barks. ds's friend has a yellow male show lab, huge dog with huge head, mad as a hatter and very vocal. Different from above so it can go either way, but temperament wise from meeting lots of labs when out walking ours I'd personally always go for working line.

Regardless of the line you choose read up on the constant casting then twice a year moulting that goes on for weeks first! Nightmare. Every potential new unwitting Labrador owner should be made aware of this before committing!!!!!!!! I'm not particularly house proud but have vacuumed twice today as ds has a friend staying tonight, and didn't realise dh also did it when I was out it is that bad at the moment!

WatcherOfTheNight Sun 09-Dec-18 15:58:32

Same here @Theresahairbrushinthefridge ,toilet trained in days ,by far the easiest to train of any breed we have/have had .
He also came raised in a family home which I believe made a huge difference .
He was very confident when we went to see him ,and also very playful where as his sister hid from us .

We've 4 dogs now (he's the only Lab ) & if I raise my voice for any reason he's gone !
The other 3 couldn't care less grin
He just wants to please .

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Sun 09-Dec-18 16:50:38

I’ve also got a lab from working lines. He’s been a dream to train and is so well behaved and adorable. Never had any health issues at all. I don’t think he’s related to Romeo but they look very similar!

tabulahrasa Sun 09-Dec-18 17:50:46

How it tends to work is that they’ll have similar energy levels, but that working line dogs are a bit easier to channel the energy into doing something and show lines are a bit scattier...

But show line labs are still pretty easy to train as they’re very biddable. As in, you’re not talking as different as a completely different breed.

They tend to be giddier because (and yes I am absolutely generalising) people pick them thinking they need less input than working lines and so give them less input and actually they need about the same.

Working lines are also usually a bit smaller because size isn’t an issue when working.

Show lines shouldn’t be fatter though, that’s entirely from not the right amount of good and exercise.

Saucery Sun 09-Dec-18 17:54:01

I would go with working every time, from a reputable breeder with a traceable line for health checks and how they have been worked.

WatcherOfTheNight Sun 09-Dec-18 18:18:03

@tabulahrasa yes yes with food & exercise! I wish all lab owners realised this !
We see so many out ,most are a lot younger than our boy but struggle because they are so heavy,it makes me sad to see a 2 year old Lab struggling because he's so overweight.

Some people are so surprised when we say ours is 6 but we've always given him a good diet & exercise which I believe is another factor in why he's doing so well.
All of ours are on Millies Wolfheart 8/20 or 70/30 and/or raw ,we also weigh it & keep an eye on "output"

People think it's expensive but they don't realise when you feed high meat content it can be half what is needed compared with a carb /wheat heavy food.
Tbh though ,I've not known of any breed that hasn't noticeably improved once their diet has had an overhaul.

WatcherOfTheNight Sun 09-Dec-18 18:21:44

Oh wow @MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig
Very handsome!
And very alike too,How old is he ?

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Sun 09-Dec-18 18:24:26

Gosh @MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig your dog is the double of mine! Ours is a rescue and we were told he was a cross, but I've never been convinced and seeing yours makes me even more doubtful there's anything other than lab in there. We don't see a lot of the smaller working dogs where I am, it tends to be chunkier big dogs. How tall is yours, may I ask?

WatcherOfTheNight Sun 09-Dec-18 18:36:12

Here's a clearer one of our boy ,I find they are so hard to capture ,especially when out .
Either the light is wrong or they are 100 miles an hour so it's a blur or a tail !

LittleCandle Sun 09-Dec-18 18:45:23

A friend has a working stock lab. She is a lovely dog, but dear God, she's thick! Also huge (not fat, just solid) and as we have small dogs, she took up a hell of a lot of space while staying with us! But such a lovely dog and no health problems to speak of either.

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