Size of the Labrador
Ideal height at withers:
Males : 56 - 57 cm. (22 to 22.5 inches).Females : 54 - 56 cm. (21.5 to 22 inches).
This area presents the biggest difference between British standard and American and Canadian standards. In the U.S. and Canada standards, height for males is 57 to 62 cm. and for females is 54 to 60 cm.
This results in larger dogs in North America. In the U.S. There is a very strong dissaproval for dogs that have not got the height within the standard or a variation of less than 1 cm. Standards of Canada and England refer to an ideal height.
In fact, at the origins of the breed development in England, each breeder / hunter raised their dogs at different heights depending on the land where they had to work. In the same way that there is different terrier for each district in England, there were different styles of Retreivers Labrador depending on the field where they worked. Therefore, the standard was only a guide line.
The three breed standards describe three types of labrador very similar though with varying levels of detail. The major difference is the preference for different heights, and if this should be a reason for disqualification. In her book "Advanced Labrador Breeding "the famous breeder, Mary Rolin Williams , has excellent advice. She says that when judging conformity, she thinks about all things that will affect negatively the work of the dog and their welfare are serious flaws, including lack of bone, weak pasterns and upper lines, noses and necks too short and simple furs and everything else are minor faults.
Theses include large ears, eyes too light or dark, mishandled tails and not ideal texture of the fur, while not so bad that water influences many other minor things. It ends with her favorite quote "A typical Labrador looks like a Labrador and nothing else, if he looks like any other breed, is not typical"
We all have to agree on this and this way we may stop seeing Rottwailers, Neapolitan Mastiff and Whippets entering the labrador track.