Would a Labrador from working lines make a good family pet?

Discussion in 'Labrador breeding & genetics' started by Sal, Jul 20, 2016.

  1. bbrown

    bbrown Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2011
    Messages:
    11,206
    Riley was scared of shot. I think I can attribute that to a specific incident though where he was tired after a long, cold, wet day and someone let a dummy launcher off right next to him. Whilst he's not a bold dog I wouldn't say he's nervy either.
     
  2. Sal

    Sal Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    Thank you for all your comments! Evidently there is a lot of variation in experience and personalities of individual dogs. Today I spoke with a very experienced breeder of working type labs who owns the grand sire of one of the litters I am down for. She reassured me that working labs are still labs at the end of the day and are perfectly suitable for an active family home. Her dog (the grand sire) lives at home with children and is very happy in the family environment. I also heard back from the breeder of another litter I am looking at and she confirmed that the Dam is a calm and gentle character at home. I think I will stop panicking now and although I will always bear in mind their working lineage and plan for good training and exercise, it sounds like there is the potential for a lovely family pet.
     
    Naya, snowbunny, Edp and 1 other person like this.
  3. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2013
    Messages:
    22,638
    Well - pah! You'll just have to tell her that her job is to be a much loved pet/agility dog/catnip sniffer dog instead. :)
     
    snowbunny likes this.
  4. Edp

    Edp Supporting Member Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2014
    Messages:
    491
    Good luck in your search and remember to come back and show us some puppy pictures :doug:
     
    Sal likes this.
  5. Oberon

    Oberon Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2013
    Messages:
    14,438
    Location:
    Australia
    I don't agree that show line Labradors are harder to train than working line, or are slower thinkers or less smart somehow. My two show line dogs have both been easy to train and have loved training. They were/are both highly attentive, intelligent and super keen to learn interesting new things.

    Good luck in your search. I'm sure you'll end up with a wonderful family member :)
     
  6. Newbie Lab Owner

    Newbie Lab Owner Registered Users

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2015
    Messages:
    1,484
    Location:
    UK
    I have a working bred intact male, he has ftCH in his breeding and his temperament is awesome. He's only one year old and has never been reactive, yet. My son has a non working line lab or at least we don't think she is and her temperament is awesome too. Both are great around other dogs, people, children. My working boy can switch off more easily and is very chilled out at home.
    I wish you well in your search.
     
    MaccieD and Sal like this.
  7. MaccieD

    MaccieD Guest

    None of our Labs have been reactive regardless of whether they were 'show' or 'field' lines. My current girl, who is French bred, has a mix of field and show line in her genealogy with some FTCH has a wonderful temperament, easy to train and not reactive. Some of her brothers and sisters do field work with their owners in their local communes but our breeder, horror of horrors, breeds mainly for pet homes. At the end of the day it doesn't matter whether they are 'show' or 'field' if you want a family companion, it's all about good breeding for temperament and health
     
    Jes72, SwampDonkey and Sal like this.
  8. SwampDonkey

    SwampDonkey Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2015
    Messages:
    3,106
    Location:
    leicestershire uk
     
  9. SwampDonkey

    SwampDonkey Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2015
    Messages:
    3,106
    Location:
    leicestershire uk
    I've had both my youngest at the moment is 3/4 working and a bit show line. He's been great he has been a little bit reactive fuel to us being attacked a fee weeks ago by some men,but on the whole I found that getting dogs from good healthy stock with parents who have good temprements is the way to go
     
    MaccieD likes this.
  10. MaccieD

    MaccieD Guest

    I think it would be surprising if the poor boy hadn't shown some reaction to the horrible attack on you; it was very much just a temporary glitch which you have overcome with a little training in a class and giving him the time to recover his balance without any stress. Of course his great temperament also played a major role in his recovery :)
     
  11. SwampDonkey

    SwampDonkey Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2015
    Messages:
    3,106
    Location:
    leicestershire uk
    We've been doing some 121 training just to get over this. He's really enjoyed it and the trainer wants to keep him. It's been great fun for us both and I'd forgotten how much pleasure just being with my dog and learning stuff can be l will definitely doing some more
     
  12. Jes72

    Jes72 Supporting Member Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2014
    Messages:
    561
    Homer has quite a lot of field trial champions in his breeding but came from a line of 'pet' dogs through his maternal line, mother, grandmother, great granny and so on, who all belonged to the same extended family. His dad also belong to the family. We met them through a mutral friend who had known the dogs well as solid family dogs. He is amazing with toddlers, loves kids and anyone willing to play ball with him and gentle with elderly relatives.

    Homer has developed a fear of noise but this only developed and increased when he was about 3 years old. Unfortunately I cannot pinpoint any specific trigger for this. He has a very strong retrieve drive but considering the state of his toys I doubt any bird would come back in one piece. He's never had any proper gun dog training but lots of obedience work which he responds well to - mostly

    I think there are the extremes, dogs bread for the sole purpose to be outstanding show dogs and others to be outstanding field trial dogs, any dog in the middle will have a bit of both worlds. I'd look for a puppy that's bread in a family environment from healthy dogs with gentle temperaments.
     
  13. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2013
    Messages:
    22,638
    I wondered whether your 'horrors of horrors' comment is a response to my comment above? Just in case it is, there is nothing wrong with a dog being a well bred pet and I never suggested otherwise. There is also nothing objectionable in pointing out that there are people who are breeding for the show ring (or for dogs that are actually going to work), and people that are not but are supplying the pet dog market. There is also nothing objectionable in suggesting that these different breeders might produce dogs with different characteristics.

    Just out of interest, because I am always interested in mixed show and working line dogs, what working lines and what show lines does Juno come from? I'm also quite interested in the French lines, Charlie is from French show lines.
     
  14. Jes72

    Jes72 Supporting Member Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2014
    Messages:
    561
    I have found myself caught up with the show and field trial comparison but there are the guide dogs, hearing dogs and other support dogs who are neither extreme. They have to be a steady temperament, be relatively easily trained to very high levels and would also need a certain amount of drive to get on with the job they've been given.

    There are special guide dog breeding centres where specific characteristics for a successful guide dog a looked for and I presume that these would be the most suited for a family pet.
     
  15. mandyb

    mandyb Registered Users

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    Messages:
    635
    Location:
    East Devon
    Lucan is pure working with loads of FTCHs and FTWs on both sides. He's been the easiest dog of all to train, never strays far from my side, is very laid back at home and great with the grandchildren. So I would definitely say they can make great pets.
     
    PawPrints likes this.
  16. lorilou61

    lorilou61 Supporting Member Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    May 13, 2014
    Messages:
    346
    Location:
    Indiana USA
    Edsel is from championship working lines and is a fabulous pet. He is much more athletic and energetic than my niece's yellow boy from show lines. He has been quick to train on most things, is not at all skittish or sensitive to sounds or new experiences. He is quite sensitive to our voice inflection and if any of his family seems upset or out of sorts though. He gets along quite well with other dogs but prefers the company of people. He completely ignores game of all kind. Being quite content to let the rabbits eat my garden and deer pick my apple tree clean. He does require quite a bit of physical exercise and mental stimulation but this is fine with us as we wanted a pet that would be active and ready to be on the go with us. As he has matured he has become much more calm and settled inside our home though still ready to play non stop when out and about! I set out intent on a calm, yellow female but wouldn't trade my wild black boy for anything now!
     
  17. Saba's Boss

    Saba's Boss Registered Users

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2015
    Messages:
    190
    Location:
    Coastal Essex
    My boy is from working stock, bred for health and temperament, and he seems very happy to be a family pet. Saba has a lovely nature, although just now at eleven months old, he's a bit wilful and head-strong. His mum and dad are both working dogs, again with lovely temperaments, so I am very hopeful that Saba will follow in their footsteps.
     
  18. samandmole

    samandmole Supporting Member Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2016
    Messages:
    203
    Mole is from working lines and is quite different to my old yellow boy Lundy who was from show lines. I'm not sure if it's just a temperament thing though. My yellow boy was very mellow and chilled but not very motivated to play or train. Recall was dire! Mole by comparison has boundless energy, is as bright as a button, very sensitive to my voice and fascinated by birds and balls and has great recall. Quite different. Love them both. Mole requires much more mental stimulation but I have the time for this so it has been fun to train him. He is less neurotic than my last lab who was very needy of me. Mole came from a family with lots of children and dogs so was extremely well socialised when we got him which I'm sure has been helpful. I would look at the temperaments of the dogs you go and visit as a good guideline and also how well socialised the puppies are. You can't beat a lab whatever background, both of mine have been gorgeous :)
    Oh, and Mole was a shark puppy, Lundy wasn't. Didn't love that moment but it went by pretty quickly. He still loves something in his mouth at all times though!!
    Good luck!
     
  19. snowbunny

    snowbunny Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    Messages:
    11,667
    Location:
    Andorra and Spain
    I think it's just too easy to generalise based on the individual temperaments of the dogs you've had. My two, same litter:

    Training
    Shadow is super eager to please and tries his hardest (sometimes too hard) all the time. Willow has to be properly motivated and kept within stress thresholds or she disengages.

    Tactility
    Shadow loves cuddles and must be in contact with one of us most of the time. Willow likes her own space and it's an event if she deigns to rest her chin on a leg.

    Drive
    Shadow has a strong chase instinct which has to be managed. Willow has no interest in chasing wildlife.

    Impulse Control
    Shadow struggles with thresholds and can be easily over-excited to the point he stops thinking. Willow is a real thinker and works out a lot more quickly what she has to do to get what she wants.

    Other Dogs
    Shadow is naturally prone to run up to other dogs (although this is well along the way of being trained out); he loves to play with the ladies but is fearful of boys and this can end up in tense body language, and scraps. Willow has almost no interest in other dogs, won't run up to them and needs to be coaxed into playing.


    If one was a show-line dog and one was a working-line dog, I could attribute these differences to that. Or, I could say, it's because Shadow is male and Willow is female. Or I could say it's because Shadow is yellow and Willow is black.
    But, it's just down to them being two different dogs, with different personalities.
     
    samandmole likes this.
  20. Cath

    Cath Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2015
    Messages:
    2,056
    Location:
    Cheshire
    Don't they all :D
     
    snowbunny likes this.

Share This Page