Have you always wanted a dog but can’t decide which one to get?
We make a strong point for you to actually get a Labrador dog!
And why’s that?
Labradors are outgoing, friendly, and high-spirited, which makes them a perfect companion for you and your family.
If you already have one, though, have you ever wondered if he/she is a purebred or a mixed breed? Read below to figure out how to know its ancestry.
How to differentiate between a Purebred and a Mixed Labrador?
There are 3 ways to determine your Labrador’s ancestry. First is through visual examination, second is through its pedigree paper, and third is through conducting a DNA test.
Traits of a Purebred Labrador
- Weather-resistant coat – this short and dense fur was necessary for Labradors to survive the cold weather of their original home in Canada. Their coat was fit for the icy waters where they help fishermen in their retrieval of fishes.
- Otter tail – this is important during a Labrador’s swimming, because it serves as their rudder. It moves back and forth as the Labrador swims, and helps them when they turn.
- Great temperament – a Labrador Retriever is kind, outgoing, eager to please, and nonaggressive. It is also very intelligent and can easily adapt, thus making it an ideal dog for every home.
Mixed Breed Labradors
Purebred Labradors are great to have, but that doesn’t mean that mixed breeds are less fun to own. You can think of it as having the best of both worlds.
The mixed breeds come in a variety of appearances, sizes, and temperaments. They are said to have “hybrid vigor” which makes them healthier as compared to purebred dogs.
Famous Examples of Mixed Breed Labradors
- Siberian Retriever – this is a combination of Labrador Retriever and Siberian Husky. It is surprisingly smaller as compared to its purebred cousins.
- Corgidor – this is the product of a Labrador Retriever and Corgi. It is an adorable short-legged dog that has medium weight.
- Weimador – If you combine a Labrador with a Weimaraner, you get this mixed breed that appears in many different glossy colors. Since both of its parents are athletic, it has high energy, but it is very friendly.
- Borador – this is a mix of Labrador and Border Collie. They are excellent pets because they are smart, sweet, and super-energetic.
What is Visual Examination?
A visual examination is done by comparing a Labrador to the appearance of a breed standard. This requires deep knowledge of the purebred Labrador Retriever standard.
According to American Kennel Club, a purebred Labrador typically weighs between 55-80 pounds. And their height is between 21.5-24.5 inches tall.
Their dense, hard coat has three accepted colors, which are – black, chocolate, and yellow. Their other characteristics include a broad skull, otter tail, and “kind” eyes.
Mismarks and dilute colors can be registered in American Kennel Club, but cannot join the show ring.
Is Visual Examination Reliable?
This method is unreliable because sometimes in a mixed breed, the dominant traits of the dog came from the Labrador parent.
There are also cases in which a purebred does not fit the standards given by American Kennel Club.
The colors set by American Kennel Club cannot be used for distinction, because they are also present in other dogs. Mismarks can also be present in both purebred and mixed breed Labradors.
Therefore, other methods should be used for differentiation.
What are Pedigree Papers?
This is the second method for differentiation. A breeder is required to give you the registration document of your dog, which indicates his/her parents’ names.
Majority of breeders also provide a pedigree copy which shows the ancestors of your dog’s parents, as well as titles they might have, which goes back through 5 generations.
If the breeder did not provide your copy of pedigree, he/she should provide your registration document. This can then be used to request a pedigree paper from the Kennel Club.
Are Pedigree Papers sufficient?
If you were given the correct pedigree document, then your Labrador is probably purebred. However, this is not guaranteed because a breeder may be dishonest with you.
There is a possibility that a breeder mated his dog to a stud dog, but registered the puppies to a different one.
Therefore, pedigree papers may be enough proof for other people, but it is not 100% guaranteed.
This is the last method of identification, and is the most accurate. You can buy a test kit online and get a sample using a cheek swab.
You should then send it to a laboratory for analysis. In order to determine the ancestry of your dog, his/her DNA will be compared to a database which contains thousands of breed samples.
Best Method for Identification
Visual assessment, Pedigree Papers, and DNA Testing are the methods used to differentiate between a purebred and a mixed breed. Of the three methods, DNA Testing is the most accurate and most reliable.
However, it is best not to discriminate among breeds because all dogs are deserving of love and care. A purebred and a mixed breed will both bring joy to every home.
Frequently Asked Questions about different types of Labradors
Where did Purebred Labrador Retrievers come from?
This breed is Newfoundland’s traditional waterdog. However, it was unsure how they became known as Labrador dogs.
How did they become popular?
They became popular during the early 1800s, when Labradors were seen by English nobles that were visiting Canada. These nobles then went to England with some “Labrador dogs.”
On the late 1800s, British breeders purified and standardized their breed.
Are labradors hard to train?
No, in fact they originally served as Newfoundland’s fisherman’s mate and duck retriever. And even though they are no longer raised for that purpose, their obedience and intelligence still remained.