We have shared our lives with Labradors, both purebred and mixed most of our marriage. At one point we had a pet bred field line Labrador, Quaid and a Lab/Newfie mix, Coal at the same time. Rarely were we questioned as to the breed of Coal and never Quaid.
Our current Labrador, Hauser, is in my opinion, a beautiful, picture perfect Labrador and nearly every time we are out and around with him we are questioned as to what he is mixed with. Guesses range from Rottweiler to Mastiff to Pit bull. One woman suggested we should demand a refund as he was obviously a mutt. I am pretty good about letting stupid people not irritate me but gotta tell you, that one about kicked me over the edge. But as soon as the stupid woman stalked off, up came a couple who gushed all over him, asking who his breeder was, etc. No real point to this post but I wonder how others would respond. I generally make an attempt to educate but there are times it is painfully obvious that education will not work.
I used to get a lot of comments about Thor's "big wide head". I attributed it to two things: people not used to seeing bench style labs, or not seeing labs that were allowed to fully mature before neutering. Most of the labs in our former home were random mixes or rescues often of the skinner narrower style so he stood out. I would usually respond that wider heads were more common when a dog was allowed to mature before neutering and we hadn't yet neutered him, and that usually satisfied the curiosity.
In our new home, which is a very dog friendly area, I get many more positive comments. People love to ask where he's from, comment on his build and face in a positive way. I see a lot more labs like him around here so he doesn't stand out as much.
Get used to these types of comments. The public at large has very little exposure to well-bred Labradors of any persuasion, field or show type. When I'm out walking my crew and someone seems genuinely interested, I will talk about why my dogs might look different than other Labs they see. I have had more than one encounter with the know it all types who insist my dogs are mixed. I just let those people keep on rolling. No point trying to educate people who are already experts in their own minds.
Funny you should bring this up. I was having a conversation with my coworker and he mentioned how his neighbor has 3 labs but they look like rottweiler. I told him it's not a rottie, well bread labs have blocky heads.
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I've had two AKC Labs, Bess (black) and Puff (yellow) and each lived about 14 years. After Puff died, I went to shelters and found Zach (2 y.o. then) who looked somewhat like a yellow Lab but obviously wasn't pure since some of his fur was a little longer, his trunk was quite deep chested rather than being more straight, and his ears were crinkly. I got a Wisdom Panel DNA kit (about $70 from Amazon & other places), took a swab and sent it in for analysis. It came back 1/4 Lab (obviously yellow & Dudley),
1/4 Pomeranian (probably accounting for the fur above his shoulders), 1/4 Miniature Bull Terrier (probably accounting for his "crinkly ears"), and 1/4 mixed canine breeds.
You could get a DNA analysis and, when it comes back he's pure Lab, bet these asserters that he's not a pure Lab and offer DNA analysis proof. Maybe you could earn a profit on your $70 investment.
I've been told that my black Lab is "obviously" part Newfie and that my breeder "screwed me over". Because yellow dogs, unlike black dogs, are a little more unique when it comes to breeds, I typically get, "well, he's obviously part Lab...not sure what the rest is."
It's just something you have to gt used to. I typically go with telling them they are "show-style" Labs and what you would see at Westminster because I've found that leads to fewer questions and I don't have to sit there and explain "bench" or "English" or "field" or "conformation" which just basically blows people's minds anyway. I also mention that they were neutered late so their bones can develop and they can get the wider skull, etc. Some people are truly interested and want to be educated, and I'll talk to them and answer questions, but most people are painful to talk to about these things.
Charlotte K. (03-22-2017)
I get this sometimes with Mocha because he's so tall (28"). I've only had a couple of people try to argue or say he's not a pure lab. What does it matter to a complete stranger at Petsmart? When they say "Wow, he's a big lab" I say "It's because he has such a big heart, he's so sweet". When they say "He has such a big head" I say "It's because he's got a big brain, he's so smart". That usually shuts them up. Or, my fav "Does he have papers?" my DH said "Why, he can't read".
I am on the other side, i constantly tell people gigi is a mix when inquired about the breeder. Even people with older lab`s thinking of a 2nd younger one ask me about gigi`s breeder.She is in theroy 3/4 lab and 1/4 GSD.. She is 11 months and looks more labish. The only people who told me she is a mix were people who were involved in breeding of labs. All the TV shows have made alot of peudo experts.
I dunno ... must be where I live but I haven’t really experienced this question. I think there are enough of all different styles of Lab around here that no one questions anything.
Cookie (Jamrah’s Legally Blonde) 6/4/2015
Sassy (Jamrah’s Blonde Ambition) 6/4/2015
Chloe (HIT HC Windsong’s Femme Fatale, UDX2, OM3) 6/7/2009
Scully (Coventry's Truth Is Out There, UD, RN) 4/4/1996 - 6/30/2011
Our foster Jolie (UCh Windsong’s Genuine Risk, CDX, WC) 5/26/1999 - 3/2/2014
and Mulder (Coventry’s I Want to Believe, UD, VER, WC, RN) 5/26/1999 - 4/20/2015
The only time anyone questioned the purity of one of mine's heritage was with Baffle...and it was the same man every time. Baffy was a good looking dog. This man's dog was, let's kindly say, not standard looking at all and swayback (young dog) to boot. I always said, "yes he is" and the man always said, "huh".
I used to get asked what my Akitas were...this was before they were popular enough to be recognizable, I guess...and I usually answered, "dogs". Then I elaborated.
I get asked fairly frequently what breeds Sunnie and Danny are. I usually say, "yes". Smile. And elaborate.
For some reason, people think these two are purebred something. Or maybe they're just being polite and think mutts are inferior. But all you have to do is look at Sunnie and know that she was not planned....look at those ears, she's long for her height, her legs are rather skinny, she has what I call "Billy Bob" teeth because they look like they'd be more appropriate in the mouth of a smaller dog. Good thing she's cute. Dan, on the other hand, could pass for a deliberate breeding, I think. My boy has a lot going for him. (I'm so impartial.)
I use questions as a springboard for conversation if appropriate. I can't remember anyone saying anything really offensive to me, though, or questioning my knowledge of my own dog. My hackles would probably go up for that.
Sunnie: gotcha day 03/08/09; birth unknown but given 07/01/02
Danny: The Sundance Kid....Sunnie's boy....birth 03/31/09 (in my living room)
Barb (ID formerly "Baffle")
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