About British Labs

Numerous American hunters travel to the United Kingdom (UK) yearly to experience the extraordinary game shooting available in Ireland, Scotland, and England only to return totally impressed with the quality of the English Labrador Retriever.

How can these extraordinary gundogs perform with such style and drive yet remain absolutely calm and under control on extremely long shoots involving abundant diversion of both game and gunfire? Most avid shooters worldwide have heard, if not experienced, the extraordinary game-finding abilities and controllable nature of the English Labrador.

Wingshooting is big business in England and a dog less than totally reliable is unwelcome on these expensive shoots. The obviously well trained UK Lab picking up at one of these elite shoots may be exposed to 200 to 500 birds downed in a day, yet remain steady and calm.


The training methods employed to achieve these impressive results are time tested. They result in an extremely steady, easily handled game finder, but one must realize that heavy-handed handlers do not achieve these outcomes.

These remarkable shooting dogs are derivatives of a "common dog sense" approach to training applied to a Lab that is genetically predisposed to be a calm, intelligent, game finder which also possesses a remarkable willingness to please their handler. English Labs are bred to be highly personal animals who respond ready, when properly trained, to their handler's wishes. They possess a keen desire to please making training easy and handling pleasurable.

Therefore, a primary key to the British Labrador's success in the field is genetic selection. Many American-bred Labs have been indiscriminantly bred for color, confirmation, or convenience often with little regard to game-finding instinct, trainability or natural retrieving desire. Other matings have resulted in a hyperactive, head strong, or hard dog that may prove too high powered or "hardheaded" for the average sportsman.

Some of the deficiencies that may occur in the American Lab have been masked by force training methods. For instance, a British trainer discards a hard-mouth or hyperactive dog and does not repeat the mating. American handlers have tendencies to "train it out" through force conditioning methods. Unfortunately if such an animal is later bred, the deficit is likely transferred to future generations.

Wildrose Kennels is producing English Labs of proper genetics, which offer the American sportsman the opportunity to own a true "Gentleman's Gundog." Our imported breeding stock has been carefully selected to produce the desirable traits of civil nature, ease of handle, trainability, superior scentability and keen hunting instincts-but most of all, intelligence. To secure top stock, we regularly visit England and Ireland and we maintain close liaisons with some of the best trainers in the United Kingdom.

Little is accomplished if one merely selects the appropriate genetics in a Lab then fails to properly socialize and train their pup. Wildrose Kennels specializes in British training techniques that enhance the natural qualities of our fine English pups. Training methods are gentle, never rushed and always insistent on a quiet, calm nature. We understand how to produce a totally reliable Gentleman's Gundog that is a pleasure on the hunt as well as in the home. The key begins with the proper English Labrador genetics.