When we were looking into getting our choc Lab a few people told me that the choc Labs from working lines (what we wanted) were much more sensible than the choc Labs from show lines. Our choc Lab is from working lines and she is the most sensible girl around, so maybe there is something in it, but then again maybe it's just a fluke! This probably doesn't help much, does it...!
Hi Matian! I can only speak from our limited personal experience but I think there are differences. We have 2 labs, one a bench type and one a filed type, and they fit the descriptions to a T - both physically and in temperament. Although Edie (choc) has some accomplished working dogs in her linage, she is more mellow and has less stamina than Emma. Emma (blk) is more athletic, a little higher strung (for lack of a better term), and has a stronger prey drive (the cats will attest to that :lol. Emma seems to need a lot more mental stimulation and physical exercise than Edie dose. They are both very clever and fantastic companions. I think your choice would depend on what you want to do with your lab. I wanted a couch potato and hubby wanted a partner in crime so we got one of each! :-D
I haven't much personal experience, but I'd say from what I've seen there probably is a difference. My choc lab enjoys gundog training but I don't think she'd like to spend a day in the field working. She refused flat to pick up a dead pigeon! She chases rabbits on the downs, if they are near and don't go into bushes. If they are out of sight she can't be bothered. By the way, she is from show lines. She is sensible and trainable, but I don't think she has that something that would make her a good gundog.
I’m assuming you are in the UK, because I understand there is a big difference between UK and US field/working labs regarding temperament.
The difference can usually be understood if one looks at why they are bred. Three things are of paramount importance in a working dog. Ability / intelligence, temperament and health. Looks are secondary. A show lab is bred with regard for the breed standard – so for looks / conformation and temperament.
Working labs have been bred to work in the field all day, They are active, intelligent (so easily trained), and have a natural hunting ability – so need plenty of exercise (when old enough) and lots of mental stimulation. They can be great family dogs in the right active type of environment. But, they can also be destructive if they do not have enough to keep them occupied, both mentally and physically. Their natural intelligence does make them easy to train and they will be bred with temperament and steadiness in mind (a working lab has to remain totally steady regardless of the excitement going on around him). However, they are not born this way, they do need training, left to their own devices, they will very likely train themselves to do things you won’t want them to learn. If you have plenty of time, are around all day and want to spend time training, (not just basic puppy classes) and be involved in activities and can give them plenty of exercise then a lab from working lines is great, otherwise I would tend to go for show lines.