Labrador retriever colors

Animal file: Labrador Retriever

The Labrador Retriever is one of the most popular dogs in the world, both for its extraordinary beauty and for its character and capabilities. It has a bilayer coat, made up of a short, woolly lower layer and an upper layer that is equally short but somewhat longer. Even so, the Labrador is considered a short-haired dog..

The colors of the Labrador accepted by the International Cynological Federation and, therefore, integrated into the breed standard are three: pure black, liver / chocolate and yellow, although various shades of the latter are accepted. The standard also accepts the appearance of a small white spot in the chest area. However, with the passage of time, other colors have appeared that, although they are not accepted in the official breed standard, have become popular. In this AnimalWised article we talk about all colors of the labrador retriever and we will tell you which ones are accepted and which ones are not.

You may also be interested in: Types of Labrador Index
  1. Chocolate labrador
  2. Black labrador
  3. Gray labrador
  4. Yellow labrador
  5. White labrador

Chocolate labrador

Although the chocolate labrador is currently one of the most popular, the truth is that this tonality in the coat of the breed not so many years ago that it began to be accepted. According to the International Cynological Federation (FCI), there are documents that place the first Labradors as early as 1800, although it was not until 1916 that the first breed club was founded and in 1954 that it was officially accepted by the FCI. Before being accepted and introduced in the standards of the different cynological organisms, the preferred color was black, so that until the beginning of the 20th century the colors chocolate and yellow were not considered as pure and, therefore, their presence was avoided. in these dogs.

The chocolate labrador usually has a solid tone in his coat. The FCI accepts different shades of brown, so we can find specimens of liver color, light gray brown or dark chocolate.

For this color to occur in the Labrador retriever, both parents must present the carrier genes for this color. Compared to the other colors of the Labrador, the genetic variety of Chocolate Labradors is slightly lower and this can cause them to live less time or have a greater tendency to develop hereditary diseases. In the Labrador retriever there are four different genes that allow the development of one color or another of the hair:

  • Gen B: is in charge of transmitting the black color. It can act as a dominant gene for the chocolate color or as a recessive gene for the yellow color. Recessive means that it does not manifest itself in that specimen, but it can do so in its offspring.
  • Gen b: it is an allele that transmits the chocolate color and acts as a recessive on yellow and black.
  • Gen E: does not transmit color, but it does allow to cancel the dominance of yellow. Therefore, this is an epistatic allele..
  • Gen e: it is a hypostatic allele that, unlike the previous one, allows the dominance of yellow.

The chocolate color occurs when one of these genetic combinations occurs:

  • EE bb: corresponds to pure chocolate.
  • Ee baby: corresponds to chocolate which, in turn, carries the color yellow and black.

These combinations do not indicate the chocolate / liver hue, they simply show if it is a pure chocolate specimen, which will also transmit it to its offspring if it has, or if it carries other colors despite having brown hair. The same will happen with the following colors.

Black labrador

As we have commented previously, the black color it was the first to start working in this breed. Until it was officially accepted as a canine breed, Labrador retriever breeders looked for a totally black dog and, therefore, discarded those dogs born yellow, brown or in any of their shades. For all this, for a long time it has been considered that the authentic Labrador is the black Labrador, however, currently the three colors mentioned are accepted, so they are all authentic and pure.

As in the previous case, in order to be considered an authentic Labrador, his coat must be solid in color and totally black. Black is the only color that does not accept variations in its tonality, only a small white spot may appear in the chest area.

The color black occurs when one of these genetic combinations occurs:

  • EE BB: pure black.
  • EE Bb: it is a carrier of chocolate.
  • Ee BB: it is a carrier of yellow.
  • Ee Bb: it is a carrier of both yellow and chocolate.

As we are seeing in this and the previous case, a Labrador of one color can be a carrier of another. This justifies that from parents of the same color, Labradors of different colors are born.

Gray labrador

The gray labrador not officially accepted and, therefore, he is not considered a pure laborer. The only accepted Labrador colors are black, chocolate and its different shades, and yellow and its shades. However, on numerous occasions we find Labradors with a grayish tone that are classified as pure, ¿How is it possible? Remember that light grayish brown is an accepted color in this canine breed, so that if the Labrador Retriever has a coat of this fool, it will be considered purebred.

The bluish-gray or silver color can arise as a mutation of the gene b or as a result of crossing a labrador retriever with a dog of another breed whose color is gray.


Yellow labrador

The yellow lab can present different shades, all of them accepted by the official standard. Thus, we can find from light cream almost white Labradors to fox red Labradors. In general, the yellow lab tends to present the mucous membranes (nose, lips and eyelids) and the pads of black color, although depending on the genetic combination this coloration can vary, so brown and pink is also common and accepted..

In order for yellow to appear, or any of its variants, in the labrador retriever's coat, one of these genetic combinations must occur which, remember, do not indicate the exact tonality, but rather if their genetics is pure yellow or if they are carriers of other colors:

  • ee BB: pure yellow and with black pigmentation in mucous membranes and pads.
  • ee baby: chocolate carrier without black pigmentation on mucous membranes and pads.
  • ee bb: carrier of black and chocolate with black pigmentation in mucous membranes and pads.

Labrador dudley

The dudley is not a Labrador of a different color than those described in the different colors of the Labrador, it is one of the types of the yellow Labrador. Specifically, it is the labrador whose genetic combination is ee bb, For this reason it is known as a dudley labrador who has a yellow coat, but his mucous membranes and pads are not black. They can be pink, brown...

White labrador

The white lab is not accepted by the official breed standard. Yes, light cream is accepted, a color that is often confused with white. When we are faced with a pure white specimen, we are usually facing a albino labrador. In this case, there are two variants of the Albino Labrador:

  • Partially Albino Labrador: slight pigmentation may appear on the nose, eyelids or skin.
  • Purely albino labrador: your entire body lacks pigmentation.

The lack of pigmentation in albino dogs causes both the skin and the mucous membranes to appear in a pink tone and even, the veins to be perceived. In addition, the eyes are blue or reddish. These specimens are born with a greater sensitivity to the sun's rays, so that it is usual that they do not tolerate sunlight and have sunburns. Likewise, these animals tend to present deafness, as well as a suppressed immune system. Therefore, they require special care. If this is your case and you have adopted an albino lab, do not miss our article on the care of albino dogs.

Now that you know the different colors of the Labrador Retriever, do not miss the Types of Labrador that exist.

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