If you’ve heard “Labradors come in only one color…”, I feel your pain. Labradors do come in many colors, just like other dog breeds. You might have heard this common question from people considering getting a Labrador “what color should I get?”
This can be tricky since there are a few different colors to choose from. The good news is that all of these Labrador retriever colors look amazing and beautiful. So how many colors are there?
In this article, I will review the genetics, colors, and origin through the lab color chart.
From St. John’s Dogs to Family Pets: The Origin Of The Labrador Retriever
People have been breeding Labs for their skills, not their looks, for centuries. The first Labrador retriever was bred in England in the 1800s by a man named John Dalrymple. He was trying to breed a dog that could retrieve and hunt waterfowl, but he also wanted them to be friendly enough to be kept as pets.
The original Labs were all black but had different color markings on their heads and legs. These markings gave them their names: “yellow” (black with a yellow head and legs), “chocolate” (black with a brown head and legs), or “silver” (black with white tips on the tail).
In 1892, the Kennel Club recognized these dogs as one breed and began using Labrador retrievers. The Kennel Club also started registering breeding lab colors other than black: red, yellow, brown (chocolate), silver/gray (copper/tan), white, or white with patches of other colors.
But it wasn’t until 2000 that the American Kennel Club allowed all colors except white with patches of other colors to be registered as purebreds.
Genetics of Labrador Retriever coat color
The Labrador puppies have diverse coat colors, ranging from light yellow to dark chocolate. The most common color is black with a brown nose, referred to as “black” in dog breed standards.
However, the science behind Labrador color genetics is complex and a result of several genes. Furthermore, the color genes in Labradors are:
E: the dilution gene that causes lighter shades of the standard coat colors (yellow)
e: the extension gene that causes darker shades of the standard coat colors (chocolate)
B: the brown spotting gene that causes black Labradors to have brown spots on their coats
This table will help you clear any confusion on what results in different lab breeding colors of the retriever. Take a look at it and enhance your knowledge!
Rarest color in Lab color chart
It’s hard to believe, but there is the rarest Labrador color!
Labrador retrievers come in almost every rainbow color, with some even having two different colors. But although it might seem like the most common colors are the most popular, the truth is that black Labrador retrievers are among the rarest of all Labrador colors.
Black Labradors are extremely popular and have been for many years. They’re also among the most popular choices for families wanting to own a puppy.
They’re easy to train, look great on trips to the park, and are friendly enough to make friends with just about anyone they meet. They’re so friendly that they’re often called “nanny dogs.”
But despite this popularity and their many positive traits, black labradors aren’t always available at your local pet store or breeder—and if you find one, it might be hard to get your hands on one since so many people want them!
How many colors of Labradors are there?
You will find Labradors in many colors. Some of them are;
Black Labradors are the most common breed variety, with nearly 30% of all Labs being black. They have deep chestnut-brown eyes, a short coat with a dense undercoat, and their tails can be either straight or wavy.
Chocolate Labrador color genetics are also very common, making up about 25% of all Labradors. They have dark brown eyes and a thick, straight coat that comes in shades of chocolate-brown or mahogany.
They are rarer than other breed varieties but still makeup about 5% of all Labs. Their coats range from light cream to golden yellow and have hazel eyes that look more like those of Golden Retrievers than other types of Labrador Retrievers.
The Silver Labrador has dark gray steel-colored eyes. The coat is silver, black and gray. This Labrador retriever is a mixture of black and gray with silvery gray. Their nose, as well as other parts, are liver brown in color.
The Red Labrador retriever looks very handsome, neat, and elegant. They are very muscular, and there is no surplus fat on them. Their coat is short and smooth. Their ears are wide-set, rounded at the top, dark in color, and hang close to their face.
Their nose is black; they have a wide muzzle; their lips are black, and their nostrils are well developed and close to the end of their snout. They have a deep chest that tapers to the bottom line.
The tail of a red labrador is broad at the base, tapering towards the end, and does not curl over its back.
The white Labrador Retriever is a breed of large-sized dog that possesses a friendly, happy demeanor. They are known for their easy temperament and trainability. This breed is especially suited as a working or hunting dog and excels in search and rescue jobs due to its excellent sense of smell.
Labrador Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds, chiefly known for its black, brown coat. The Labrador retriever color chart shows pure black and brown are not the only colors this breed comes in. There are also yellow and chocolate brown coats.
The latter has a darker shade than the former that can vary a few shades lighter or darker depending on what the Lab is bred with. Mixing chocolate with yellow Labrador retrievers can produce slightly lighter shades of chocolate, like milk chocolate. If a Lab is mixed with any other type of dog, there will be no way to say exactly what color they get until they are adults.