black labrador

What are the colors and pictures of Labrador

Labrador is a common pet dog in our daily life, so do you know that Labrador has several colors? What is the difference between different colors? How are the different colors of Labrador bred? Now to give you an introduction.

How Many Labrador Retriever Colors Are There1

How Many Labrador Retriever Colors Are There?

6 colors. The Labrador Retriever breed is known for its six distinct coat colors: Black, Chocolate, Yellow, Red fox, Silver, and White. The determination of a Lab’s coat color is a complex process involving a number of different genes. However, even with this complexity, each Lab carries a unique and distinguished coat that further enhances their charm.

Black Labrador

Labrador Retrievers are known for their beautiful coats, the most common of which is black. This prevalence is due to genetic factors. Out of nine possible gene combinations that determine coat color, four result in black, EEBB, EEBb, EeBB, EeBb. To simplify, black is the dominant color in Labs. Black Labs, distinguished by their sleek, soft, and shiny coats, are loved for their practicality, especially since dirt isn’t easily noticeable on them.

Historically, black Labs have been the top choice for hunting due to their dark coats. This, coupled with the genetic dominance of the black color, has led to them making up nearly half of all Labradors. However, beyond their utility in hunting, they also make wonderful companions and pets, appreciated for their delightful personalities.

Some people believe that black Labs are the calmest and most affectionate within the breed, but there isn’t scientific evidence to support this.

black labrador

Chocolate Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers, recognised by the UK Kennel Club in 1903 and the AKC in 1917, have a history that stretches back even further. The breed was primarily developed by English aristocrats during the 1800s, using dogs imported from North America. These early Labradors were predominantly black, yet some carried the genetic potential to produce chocolate and yellow puppies. Regrettably, over a century ago, it was commonplace to ‘cull’ puppies that did not display the desired color, reflecting a narrow perspective on the breed’s diversity.

In terms of intelligence, temperament and personality, the Chocolate Labrador is on par with the Black Labrador and the Yellow Labrador. Nonetheless, one unfortunate truth about them is their shorter lifespan compared to other Labs. Despite this, chocolate Labs continue to be cherished members of the Labrador family, their unique color only adding to their appeal.

Chocolate Labrador

Yellow Labrador Retriever

The journey of yellow Labradors can be traced back to the 18th century when their ancestors journeyed with English settlers to Newfoundland. These sturdy canines served as steadfast hunting and fishing companions, eventually evolving into two distinct breeds: the Newfoundland dog and the St. John’s dog, the latter being our modern Lab’s forebear. The St. John’s dogs were subsequently brought back to England, and through selective breeding, the yellow Labrador Retriever we know and love today emerged.

During their early history, yellow Labs, like their chocolate counterparts, were undesirably culled at birth. Things took a turn for the better with the establishment of the Yellow Labrador Club in 1924, significantly elevating the breed’s status. Their popularity skyrocketed in 1972 following a highly successful commercial featuring a yellow Lab.

Since then, the yellow Labrador has been the most popular breed for 31 consecutive years, a testament to their enduring appeal.

Yellow Labrador

Red Fox Labrador

The Red Fox Lab, a unique variation of the Yellow Labrador Retriever, is recognized by its captivating dark red coat. Initially bred for hunting, these intelligent, affectionate, and loyal dogs have successfully transitioned into family pets, despite their roots in the sporting dog class.

The term “Fox Red” reflects the rare, fox-like hue of their coat, not any physical resemblance to foxes. Despite the existence of other breeds that bear closer resemblance to wild foxes, the name has stuck, further accentuating the distinctiveness of these Labs. This distinct color is a point of intrigue and attraction, setting these Labs apart within the breed.

Red Fox Labs are renowned for their friendly, social, and playful nature. Bred as water retrievers, these dogs are always up for a lively game of fetch, even if it involves a frisbee thrown into a body of water.

Red Fox Labrador

Silver Labrador Retriever

The Silver Lab, a captivating color variation of the Chocolate Lab, gets its unique coat from a natural dilution gene found within the breed. The gene simply lightens the pigmentation of their coats, bestowing upon Silver Labs their distinct silver-hued appearance.

Silver Labrador Retrievers, with their unique coat color resulting from the dilute gene, certainly turn heads. Despite attracting some controversy due to questions about their purebred status, they’ve nonetheless won the hearts of many.

Silver Labrador

Silver Labs are wonderful additions to families, particularly those that enjoy outdoor activities and have children over the age of five. Due to their high energy levels and bounciness in their youth, a Silver Lab puppy might be less suitable for households with toddlers or individuals who are unstable on their feet. Nevertheless, an older, more serene Silver Lab, perhaps one adopted from a rescue center, could serve as a perfect companion for younger children.

White Labrador Retriever Color

White Labradors share the same genetic background as Yellow Labs, akin to how Red Labs do. Their coats reflect the lightest shade within the Yellow Lab color range. Most White Labs possess very pale brown or yellowish fur that can appear pure white, particularly under sunlight. This light hue usually manifests with slightly darker accents around their ears and paws.

white labrador

White Labradors stem from Yellow Labs in terms of their genetic lineage. Their fur contains such a minute amount of yellow pigment that they appear almost white. However, these dogs never exhibit a purely white coat; a faint cream color remains, reflecting the presence of some yellow fur.

Typically, White Labs showcase darker cream or brown accents, particularly on their ears and paws. This is where the yellow fur tends to congregate. Importantly, albino Labradors should not be mistaken for White Labs. Albinism, a rare and potentially life-threatening condition, is characterized by a lack of pigmentation. Unfortunately, Albino Labs often face a reduced lifespan and a host of health issues like deafness and blindness.

Labrador Retriever Color Genetics

Labrador Retrievers come in three recognized colors: black, yellow, and chocolate. The color of a Labrador Retriever is determined by the presence or absence of two pigments, eumelanin and phaeomelanin. Eumelanin is responsible for black and chocolate colors, while phaeomelanin is responsible for yellow.

Melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) is the gene responsible for yellow lab puppies, but can still result in fur coats of black and brown. The three most common alleles at the MC1R gene are “E” (which still produces black and brown fur) and “e” (which produces yellow fur).

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Why Black is a Dominant Lab Color

In genetics, dominant genes often override or deactivate recessive ones. This exact principle applies to Labrador color genetics. A Labrador with ‘BB’ genes will exhibit a black coat because it lacks the recessive ‘b’ gene necessary to produce a brown coat. This interaction showcases the fundamental rule of genetics and how it shapes the physical characteristics of this beloved breed.

black labrador

How Chocolate Labradors Are Made

In the realm of Labrador breeding, outcross breeding refers to the mating of two Labrador Retrievers who share no common ancestors within the last four generations of their pedigree. This method helps diversify the gene pool, including recessive genes, and is particularly impactful in the first four generations.

  • Two black genes (BB) result in a black Labrador.
  • A mix of both genes (Bb) still produces a black Labrador.
  • Two brown genes (bb) give us a chocolate Labrador.

It’s essential to remember that the dominant black gene always suppresses the recessive brown gene. Therefore, only a dog with two brown genes will display a chocolate coat.

How Labrador Colors Skip Generations

Labrador Retrievers exhibit three fundamental coat colors: yellow, black, and chocolate, determined by their genetics, much like most traits offspring inherit from their parents. The inheritance of these coat colors is autosomal, meaning it’s unrelated to the dog’s sex. The black or chocolate color comes from two different versions of the same gene, known as alleles, which is distinct from the gene causing yellow fur. Interestingly, a lineage of black dogs can perpetually yield black puppies if Labradors possessing the Bb gene only mate with those carrying BB genes. Although a Labrador with the Bb gene may appear black, it holds the potential to pass the brown gene to roughly half its progeny, a captivating aspect of canine genetics.

Champagne Labrador Retriever

Where Do Yellow Labradors Come From?

The origins of your yellow Lab trace back to the 18th century when their ancestors were transported to Newfoundland. This journey was undertaken by remarkably resilient settlers voyaging from England. These early settlers valued these dogs for their hardiness and adaptability, allowing them to thrive in the new and challenging environment.

Yellow Labrador1

Yellow is a bright, vibrant color that stands out against darker colors like black and chocolate. When it comes to design, yellow is often used to draw attention to certain elements and make them stand out. It can be used to make a statement or simply to add a pop of color to an otherwise dark palette. Yellow is also associated with positivity and optimism, which can be helpful when trying to create an uplifting atmosphere.

Nine Different Possible Labrador Genotypes!

  • 1. BBEE
  • 2. BbEe
  • 3. bbee
  • 4. BBee
  • 5. BBEe
  • 6. bbEe
  • 7. BbEE
  • 8. bBEE
  • 9. BBEE

Predicting Labrador Retriever Colors in Puppies

When it comes to predicting the color of Labrador puppies, it’s essential to understand the role genetics play. Breeding two yellow Labradors will always result in yellow puppies, as these dogs lack the dominant “E” gene necessary to override the yellow coat’s manifestation. The color of a Labrador’s coat—whether yellow, black, or chocolate—is determined by genetic factors inherited from their parents. This color inheritance operates on an autosomal level, meaning it’s independent of the dog’s sex.


The complexity arises with the presence of the recessive “e” gene. This little “e” gene can mask the effect of the “B” genes, resulting in a yellow coat, irrespective of whether the B genes would have otherwise produced a black or brown coat. However, the masking effect only comes into play when two recessive “e” genes are present (“ee”), as the dominant “E” gene can override the masking effect of the “e” gene. Therefore, a dog can have three possible combinations of the E gene: two dominant genes (“EE”), two recessive genes (“ee”), or one of each (“Ee”). For dogs with “Ee” or “EE”, their coat color will be determined by the “B” genes, while “ee” will always result in a yellow coat. This intricate interplay of genes determines the fascinating range of colors seen in Labradors.

Mating Two Yellow Labradors

In the world of Labrador genetics, a fascinating fact is that two yellow Labradors, when bred together, will always produce yellow puppies. This occurs because these yellow Labradors do not carry the dominant “E” gene, which is crucial in switching off the masking effect. This masking effect is what allows the yellow color to be expressed in the dogs’ coats. Thus, with the absence of the “E” gene in both parent Labradors, there is no genetic possibility of producing black or brown offspring, resulting in a litter of exclusively yellow puppies.

Mating Two Yellow Labradors

Mating Two Chocolate Labradors

In the fascinating realm of dog genetics, breeding two chocolate Labrador Retrievers will never yield black puppies. This outcome is due to the absence of the black gene in brown dogs. Nevertheless, a pairing of two chocolate dogs can result in yellow puppies if both parents carry the recessive “e” gene.

Can Two Black Labradors have Yellow or Chocolate Puppies?

Within the framework of canine genetics, the color of the puppies that two black Labrador Retrievers produce can indeed be yellow or chocolate, contingent upon their particular genotypes.

Is It Possible to Get All Three Colors from Two Black Dogs?

Absolutely, in Labrador genetics, the black gene (K) is dominant, meaning it can carry the genes for other colors, provided one of the dog’s parents passed it on. Nonetheless, a Labrador carrying a pair of dominant black genes will only produce black puppies, irrespective of the other parent’s color. Moreover, the black gene can morph into blue or brown through appropriate dilution at other genetic loci. It’s important to note, however, that these blue or brown Labradors are still genetically considered black, maintaining their dominant trait, hence they can produce offspring of other colors.


Mating a Yellow Labrador with a Chocolate Labrador

When a yellow Lab mates with a chocolate Lab, the potential outcomes are diverse and subject to a fair amount of genetic randomness. There are six possible combinations of colors that could appear in their puppies: yellow and black, yellow and chocolate, all yellow, all chocolate, all black, or a mix of yellow, chocolate, and black.

Yellow Labs can have one of three genetic combinations: eeBB, eeBb, or eebb. Meanwhile, chocolate Labs have two potential genotypes: Eebb or eeBB. The color variations in Labradors come from the combination of these gene types. Notably, the presence of the ‘little e’ genes results in a yellow coat, regardless of the other genes. This is because the ‘little e’ genes override the effect of the ‘B’ or ‘b’ genes, effectively masking their contribution to coat color.

Mating a Yellow Labrador with a Chocolate Labrador

Black Labradors Crossed with Chocolate Labradors

Chocolate Labradors originate from two distinct genetic combinations, while black Labradors can have a more varied genetic makeup. These varying combinations can result in eight possible outcomes when it comes to their puppies’ coat colors. Here are the possible combinations:

  • EEbb and EEBB – Resulting in all black puppies
  • EEbb and EEBb – Leading to a mix of black and chocolate puppies
  • EEbb and EeBB – Again, resulting in all black puppies
  • EEbb and EeBb – Yielding a mix of black and chocolate puppies
  • Eebb and EEBB – Producing all black puppies
  • Eebb and EEBb – Resulting in a mix of black and chocolate puppies
  • Eebb and EeBB – Producing black and yellow puppies
  • Eebb and EeBb – Yielding black, yellow, and chocolate puppies

One significant pattern to note here is that any pairing with a black Labrador is likely to produce puppies with black in their coat. This is attributed to the dominant nature of the gene responsible for the black color, which often makes its appearance in the mix of puppy colors.

Black Labs Crossed with Yellow Labradors

The mating of black and yellow Labradors, which can have four and three different genetic combinations respectively, can yield a diverse array of outcomes due to the complexity of the gene mix. Here are the possible results:

  1. If an eeBB (black Labrador) mates with an EEBB (yellow Labrador), all puppies will be black.
  2. An eeBB and EEBb pairing will result in all black puppies.
  3. Mating an eeBB and an EeBB could yield both black and yellow puppies.
  4. An eeBB and EeBb combination may produce black and yellow puppies.
  5. A pairing of an eeBb and an EEBB will yield all black puppies.
  6. Mating an eeBb with an EEBb could produce black and chocolate puppies.
  7. If an eeBb mates with an EeBB, you could have black and yellow puppies.
  8. An eeBb and EeBb pairing could result in a mix of black, yellow, and chocolate puppies.
  9. A pairing of an eebb and an EEBB will yield all black puppies.
  10. Mating an eebb with an EEBb could result in black and chocolate puppies.
  11. If an eebb mates with an EeBB, you could have black and yellow puppies.
  12. An eebb and EeBb pairing could result in a mix of black, chocolate, and yellow puppies.

Most combinations illustrate the dominance of the black coat color, often leading to puppies that exhibit some degree of black in their coats.

Labrador Retriever Colors vs Intelligence

The perception of Labrador intelligence often varies based on individual experiences and context, rather than objective reality. For instance, black Labradors are often seen as highly intelligent and quick learners due to their frequent use as working dogs.

Black Labs Crossed with Yellow Labradors

If you’ve interacted with a well-trained yellow Lab, or dealt with a misbehaving chocolate Lab, you might develop certain biases. Similarly, depending on your exposure to different working dogs, whether service, therapy, hunting or police dogs, your view of which color Lab is smarter might be influenced.

However, it’s important to understand that these beliefs are shaped by personal experiences and specific breeding and training circumstances, not solely by the dog’s color. The dog’s coat color does not determine its intelligence or temperament. Each dog is unique, and the complexity of their genetic heritage goes far beyond just their color.


Labrador Retriever has many colors, there are six common colors, the most common is black, because the black gene is a dominant gene, you can cross different colors of Labrador with each other in order to control the genome and get different colors of Labrador.
But no matter which kind of Labrador, in fact, no matter intelligence, character or life expectancy is basically the same, the most important thing is still the owner’s care and companionship.

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