Johnny and I raised labs for about 10 years and our children have been wanting to get into it again, so we are now raising two beautiful labs. Lauren’s Lady Sapphire (a female American lab) belongs to Lauren Duke. James owns Brook’s William Tell Sackett, a black English lab.
What do we look for in labs? Well, it really depends. We love calm labs (yes, there really is such a thing), but more than that they must be well-tempered, have a block head and not be too tall and skinny or short-legged. In general we look for labs that have the insatiable desire to retrieve.
Our experience has shown that American labs are generally leaner with that insatiable desire to retrieve. Lady is a prime example of an American lab. Her mother is an American lab and her father is an English lab. Lady LOVES to retrieve. She lives for it. Our property has a spring-fed creek with a variety of willows growing in it. The beavers have chewed them down and now there are logs scattered throughout the tank. Lady’s idea of a great time is leaping over, climbing on and running down the logs in the tank while retrieving her bright-orange bumper. She could do this for hours on end. She loves swimming and running and is the most athletic lab I’ve seen in quite awhile.
Sackett is a full-bred English lab. He was bred for shows. He has a beautiful block head and is also incredibly athletic. However, English labs are much more laid-back than their American counterparts. He’s just as happy lounging around as he is retrieving. He doesn’t necessarily have the drive for retrieving as Lady, but he still enjoys it.
In general, both of our labs are incredibly beautiful, sweet dogs. They love being around people. While Lady loves to snuggle on the couch, Sackett prefers to sprawl out on the floor (on his back with his paws splayed out in the air). They are amazing animals and friends. Our children love them dearly and I can’t imagine our home without them. They definitely add a spark of excitement to our home!