Are there really only 3 lab colors? Let's talk!
Being the top breed in the US and in the UK, Labrador Retrievers are some of the most sought-after pups on the globe. With their fun, loving, and eager to please personalities they can really be a human’s best friend. They are most known for their luscious coats that come in many different colors. To start let’s break down those coat colors. The AKC only recognizes 3 colors: black, chocolate, and yellow. However, you may have seen some beautiful red, white, or even silver labs. These different colorations are, in actuality, are just variations of the standard colors.
The Black Lab
Photo by m01229 @ https://www.flickr.com/photos/39908901@N06/
Let’s start with the most common. The black lab makes up about 50% of the overall lab population. Their beautiful dark coats also make them the optimal lab choice for hunting. Fun fact: one litter can have all 3 colors even if the parents have the same coat colors!
The Chocolate Lab
Photo by sh3lbyr3b3iro @ https://www.flickr.com/photos/sh3lbyr3b3iro/
The chocolate lab is the rarest coloring of all Labrador Retrievers. When finding a lab from a breeder your most expensive choice is going to be the chocolate one. Chocolates tend to get a bad rap when it comes for temperament, they are deemed the wild child of the lab family. However, there is no research that actually proves this. Labs are one of the most intelligent breeds and are eager learners, so it is always imperative to make sure they get proper training from puppyhood.
Photo by Craig McPherson @ https://www.flickr.com/photos/cmac610/
Silver labs seem to be a more mysterious coloration. Most silver labs also come with those piercing baby blue or hazel eyes which make them very striking dogs. With their mysterious coloring there also comes a lot of questions of whether or not they are fully labs. There has been a lot of dispute on whether or not a silver lab is the result of cross breeding with a Weimaraner. However, most researchers believe that the coat color actually occurs when there is a diluted gene in their DNA.
The Yellow Lab
Photo by Eduardo Alavar @ https://www.flickr.com/photos/95827912@N02/
The yellow lab really comes in a spectrum ranging from white, to corn yellow, to tan. Now, there is a debate that labs that are not black, chocolate, or yellow are not real labs. In the eyes of the AKC this is true, however they are still just as cute and loveable. Let’s go over the most popular variations:
Red Lab (Red Fox)
Photo by wrtkandi @ https://www.flickr.com/photos/46584056@N08/
The red lab is considered just a darker variation yellow lab with more red undertones in their coats. Their genetics are no different from a yellow lab but may end up costing more from a breeder due to their rarer color.
Photo by Neel Shakilov @https://www.flickr.com/photos/neel_photo/
A white lab is considered the palest shade of yellow lab; however, it could be a case of albinism. Labs with albinism will have white hair or fur, and pale skin. They may also have red eyes, although very pale blue eyes can also be seen in some albinos when some pigmentation remains.
So, as you can see, labs can come in many different colors. Consider it, the lab rainbow! No matter which lab is your favorite you cannot deny that all of them are just too cute.