WHAT ARE THE 3 OR MORE COLORS OF LABRADORS?
Labrador Retrievers, the world’s most popular breed of K-9 but what colors are Labrador Retrievers? You have decided to get one for you and your family but you don’t know what color to get? It seems they come in all types of colors but do these colors carry different temperaments or behavioral traits? Is one better than the other? Does one serve a purpose over another? In this article wee will identify what colors they come in, what colors are approved by the American Kennel Club as a purebred. We will also identify purposes of each and in any, any different traits and temperaments. So grab a note pad and a coffee (or tea if that’s your cup of…tea) and let us help you decide which color labrador is right for you and your family.
THATS THE LABRADOR OF A DIFFERENT COLOR
THE YELLOW LABRADOR RETRIEVER
The yellow Labrador Retriever which was recently changed from the color golden as the UK Kennel Club stated that golden was not actually a color and from then on it was to be known as the Yellow Labrador Retriever. Although there are many shades to the “yellow” classification, darker shades became more desirable into the 20th century. Puppies when born tend to be lighter in color and darken into there different shade with age.
The yellow Labrador Retriever are highly versatile in any form of work role due to the easy trainability. The role the yellow is best known for is service dogs for the blind and compassion therapy dogs in the hospitals and retirement homes. In terms of traits compared to the black & chocolate labs, the yellow labs falls in between the two. They are highly trainable, eager to please and ram packed full of love. They are also fairly immune to loud noises, large groups of people which results in a great temperament. They are also photogenic hogs when it comes to taking their photo. Lastly, be sure if you have a pool that it’s fenced in otherwise your yellow will always be in there as they love the water due to webbed feet and a waterproof coat.
THE FOX RED LABRADOR RETRIEVER
The Fox Red Labrador Retriever has an orange hue giving them the color appearance to that of a fox. The AKC doesn’t recognize this as its breed but rather nothing more than a yellow lab with with an orange tint. You don’t see many Fox Red Labradors as a field dag or as a show dog doing comformations. You mostly see them as a simple lovable furry friend. Aside from all that they are just a yellow labrador retriever.
THE FAWN LABRADOR RETRIEVER
The Fawn Labrador Retriever is not quite the color of a yellow Lab but a little darker but no orange hue like the Fox Red Labrador Retriever. The color is much more like a sandy or dirty blonde or that of a Yellow Lab in desperate need of a bath which is quite often for many Yellow Lab puppies. The color of a white tail deer is where the color actually comes from. Fawn has become a very desired color in many other breeds but Labrador Retriever owners usually opt for one of the more defined colors like the Red Fox or Yellow Labs. The Fawn color is not an officially recognized color by the AKC like the Red Fox or Yellow Labs, so the Fawn just becomes classified as a Yellow which is not a desired color for conformations which is just another word used for dog shows. Personally the Fawn color is one of my favorite colors as I find their eyes to be very vibrant different colors than those of the Yellow, Black or Chocolate Labradors.
THE BLACK LABRADOR RETRIEVER
Although the Fawn color is my favorite the Black Labs are my favorite to work with. The Black Lab is actually the most common color of lab as for how their color genes are inherited. The Black Labs are really known for two things. With they high level trainability they make get agility dogs (competitions). The Black Labs have also been historically used for gun dogs for several reasons. But why is this, why choose a Black Lab over a Fox Red or Yellow Lab for a hunting companion? Well, their natural agility traits also play into this, so let’s have a look at the Black Lab.
First they have the highest tolerance to loud noises which is good when your firing guns constantly around them. They also have the highest trainability so keeping them still and silent at your side is a easier task. The Black Labs also have a little larger webbed foot then the other labs which makes swimming a little easier for them. They also have a high desire to work and please their handler but that trait is notable across the whole breed of Labrador Retrievers. The last thing that makes them a great gun dog is quite simply their color. The black blends right into the other ground objects to game birds flying overhead. Even though they are the top choice for your hunting partner, they still make great pets and cuddle buddies. They also have a great playful disposition about them.
THE CHOCOLATE LABRADOR RETRIEVER
When it comes to King or the Ring for conformations (dog shows) and for choice o pets at home, the Chocolate Lab takes the chocolate (I know, poor attempt at humour).In the UK, the Chocolate Labs are well fitted for field circuits such as rabbits, hares, partridges and pheasants but not so much in wwater circuits such as ducks and water fowls. The Americas have adapted this technique and since, the Chocolate Lab has begun to become quite decorated.
Above all else the Chocolate Lab has become the number one choice for the furry family pet simply for their pure love for a group living and love of affection from humans. The Chocolate Lab has such a playful and delicate spirit which fits perfectly for families with children. Even though Chocolate Labs are fantastic with children and are almost natural baby sitters, as with any young child and a dog, never leave the two unattended to prevent any possible accident. That being said I trained my Chocolate to actual keep a crawling child in a set area, if the child was to crawl out of the set area, my lab would grab only the diaper and pull them back within the area. It actually became a game with the child at which point the Lab got tired and simply laid across the child’s legs while the child pulled on her jowls and ears. In my heart the Chocolate Lab wins the ultimate Colored lab pet but any color lab will do as they have gigantic hearts and the undenying need to fulfil their masters needs.
THE SILVER LABRADOR RETRIEVER
The newest color to the Labrador Retriever line-up and the most controversial of them all is the Silver Labrador Retriever. One would now think that mating a Black Lab with a Yellow or Fawn Lab would get you the silver grey look but that would be furthest from the truth. The silvery color actually comes from a diluting gene found in the Chocolates make up. How this diluting gene became is of great controversity which makes the AKC to not allow it as a breed or category in conformation shows (dog shows). The Silver Labs amounst enthusists stirs up both positive and negative remarks.
That all aside, the Silver Lab has a color and disposition that is hard not to love. It’s coat is somewhat hard to ignore as the Silver Labs tend to have very bright loving eyes. The silver lab again loves people and children but due to the controversial background, very few make it into any sort of events or even in workdogs. Although much like the Yellow Lab, their are a totally photogenic dog with a real “hammy” attitude. Show up to a dog park with a Silver Lab and I guarantee you that you’ll strike up some conversation and may even have a few try to steal your Silver Lab away.
SO WHICH COLOR LAB IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
Even though all these different colors our Labrador Retrievers all seem to have their place and talents, genetically they are all pretty much the same. It’s like saying people with black are funny and people with red hair are hard workers, it’s just hair color in the end.
They may have a slight difference like Black Labs are best with loud noises but they all will make great pets and bring happiness and fun to your family for years to come. They all are highly trainable, all are medium to high energy dogs and will require 1-2 hours of exercise a day to keep them healthy and in check. All their temperaments are the same, they all shed the same so no matter your choice ,you can never go wrong with a Labrador Retrievers love.
As the AKC or American Kennel Club in case you were wondering this whole time what AKC was. The AKC only allows a breed to have three colors so in ways of the Labrador Retriever that is the Yellow, the Black and the Chocolate are the only recognizable breeds. It doesn’t mean the Fawn or the Red Fox or even the controversial Silver Lab are any less than their recognized brothers or sisters. You might also hear of a white lab which is nothing more than a really pale yellow lab, so don’t get fooled into paying more than you have too. It’s like someone having brown or dark brown hair, it’s still brown hair.
As I stated earlier, all Labs will play, love, eat, exercise, sleep and have the same medical risks as the others. If your deciding on a resuce dog or a second chance home of course your color choices will be slim to what they have. When it comes to breeders, you may have to travel a bit for the the more unique colors like the Silver, Fawn and Red Fox but in regards to the Chocolate, Yellow and esprcially the Black Labs, you shouldn’t have a problem locating the colors of your choice.
I would also like to address a question I always get asked. “If I get a Yellow Labrador Retriever, will it end up being like the one from Marley and Me?” You do have to realize these are a high energy breed that loves to eat and are very curious and love to explore. So if you don’t exercise them enough and regularly and provide them with proper chew toys and some stimulating toys, you can run into some issues. Above all else you have to implement boundaries through training that your dog can understand and respect. So if you implement a proper training program early and you don’t have an excellent exercise regime you could very well end up with a “Marley and Me” situation but that can happen with any breed you do not handle properly. Do your research, follow proper directions (like this website) and you will have a happy and fun relationship with your Labrador Retriever. If your not 100% set on a Labrador Retriever (which is nuts, right?) Here’s a great test to help determine what breeds or if a certain breed is right for you at the Bow-Wow-Meow Selector Quiz
Now go out and get your new favorite color forever friend 🙂
One last thing as I do not want to turn this article into a biology paper, here is a video explaining how breeders can maintain the three colors for Labrador Retrievers in order ti keep the AKC approval.
You can also cheek swab a pair of maes and discover what color of Labrador Retriever puppies will be. This way you can ensure you will get the color you want for your new puppy. I won’t go into the other non-recognized colors by the AKC as it then becomes quite technical and in depth. I have also included some charts as well for easy verification. Lastly, if you choose this route, ask you veterinarian for the best lab to use so that you will know you are receiving reliable results.