Show Line Vs. Working Line Labrador.  Which Is Right For You?

Labrador Retrievers are a beloved breed of dog known for their affection, loyalty, and intelligence. The Labrador breed is divided into two categories – Showline and Working Line Labradors. 

While both types of Labradors share many similar traits, there are key differences between the two that make them unique. In this article, we will explore the differences between Showline and Working Line Labradors and discuss which type might be best suited for your family. 

What is a Show Line Labrador?

Show Line Labrador

Show Line Labradors are a type of Labrador Retriever that has been bred to compete in dog shows. 

Show line Labradors are bred primarily for their beauty, conformation to the official Labrador Retriever breed standard and potential to compete in dog shows. 

A show line Labrador will often have a more distinctive appearance with a longer muzzle, more elegant head shape, and a higher set tail than a working line Labrador. Show Line Labradors are generally calmer in temperament but they also require more grooming to maintain their coat and nails if they compete in dog shows.

What is a Working Line Labrador?

Working Line Labradors are a type of Labrador Retriever that has been bred for working or hunting purposes. 

Unlike Show Line Labradors, these dogs are not bred for conformation standards. 

This means that although Working Line Labradors may vary in size and coat color, they will typically have a stronger body structure than their ShowShow line counterparts, allowing them to perform activities such as retrieving game and searching for landmines (yikes). 

Which is More Expensive Show Line or Working Line Labradors?

Working Line Labradors tend to be a bit more expensive than Show Line Labradors. 

The price difference is largely due to the fact that Working Lines are bred for specific working or hunting activities, which require a higher level of training and exercise. 

Additionally, since Working Lines were bred for their athleticism, they often come with a higher price.

Labradors usually cost between $1200 to $1500, topping out at $2500, depending on the pedigree. (source)

How to Find a Show Line or Working Line Lab

Call a local breeder. If they don’t carry the Lab you’re looking for, they’ll likely point you in the right direction.

You need to be very specific with what you are searching for here.  Many breeders have sites that don’t pop up when you type in Labrador Puppy (very competitive), so make sure to uses keyword modifiers to help.

If you are looking for a Working Line Labrador, you need to search for dogs breeders who sell “gun dogs” “working dogs” “working labradors”or “field” labradors.

If you are looking for a Show Type Lab, search for “Show Dog Lab” “Show Bred Labs” when you are searching dog breeders.

Which is Right for a Family?

Show Line Labs are going to be the best choice for most families.

When it comes to choosing the right Labrador for a family, both Show Line and Working Line Labradors can be great options. 

It is important to consider the specific needs of your family when making this decision. 

Show Line Labradors may be better suited for families who prefer a more laid back, low-maintenance pet. They are also well-suited for households with young children since they tend to have a more mild temperament. 

On the other hand, Working Line Labradors may be best for active families that want an energetic companion or those looking for a dog suitable for working or hunting tasks.

Labs Need Care and Attention

Regardless of which type of Lab you decide to pursue, you should know that Labradors need regular brushing, bathing and nail trimming to keep their coats in good condition. 

Exercise is also important for their health and can help them stay active and happy. It is important to give them plenty of mental stimulation as well, such as playing games or teaching them tricks.

Which is easier to train?

Both Show Line and Working Line Labradors are intelligent dogs that respond well to positive reinforcement training.

Show Line Labradors may have an easier time concentrating on a task due to their calmer temperament, while Working Line Labradors might be more enthusiastic and playful during training.

It is important to remember that all dogs require patience, consistent training, and the right motivation in order to learn.


Whichever type of Labrador Retriever you bring home, you can be sure that you will be blessed with a loving companion and a great family pet.

Labradors are well known for their unconditional love and loyalty and will make a great addition to any family! 

No matter which type of Labrador you choose, they all need proper nutrition, exercise, mental stimulation, and lots of love in order to flourish. With the right care and attention, your Labrador will bring you years of joy!  Good luck in your search for the perfect pup.