Labrador Retrievers come in three colors: yellow, black, and chocolate. Chocolate Labs have velvety brown coats that can vary in shade from medium to dark. The Labrador Retriever, in all colors, has been America’s favorite dog¹ since 1991. There’s a good reason for this! Labs are friendly, energetic, social dogs that love people.
The only difference between yellow, black, and chocolate Labs is their coat color. Their personalities and physical features are similar. Let’s find out more about these dogs.
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The Earliest Records of Chocolate Labrador Retrievers in History
Labradors are the original waterdog of Newfoundland, Canada. West of Newfoundland is the territory of Labrador. In 1887, the Earl of Malmesbury referred to a Labrador in writing, talking about his dog. Greater Newfoundland dogs were bred with water dogs and produced St. John’s water dogs. While these dogs are now extinct, they are the ancestors of the Labrador Retriever.
People began to refer to the water dogs from that region as Labradors. Since the dogs enjoyed retrieving, they were used by English fishermen to retrieve fish and ducks. After working long days, the fisherman brought the dogs home with them. The original St. John’s dogs included both chocolate and yellow Labradors.
How Chocolate Labrador Retrievers Gained Popularity
The Labrador Retriever was noticed in Canada in the 19th century by aristocrats visiting from England. When they returned to England, they took a few of these dogs with them. Chocolate and yellow Labs at the time were considered undesirable and sadly, often killed. The black Lab was considered pure and allowed to breed.
Yellow and chocolate colors eventually started capturing people’s interest and the demand for the dogs increased. They were much less common than black Labs, but they would appear in litters from time to time.
The first chocolate Lab to be registered by the AKC in 1940 was named Kennoway’s Fudge. After that, the popularity of the dogs continued to grow. By the 1960s, the chocolate Lab was a popular and highly desired pet.
Formal Recognition of the Chocolate Labrador Retriever
The Labrador Retriever was recognized by the AKC in 1917. The official AKC Parent Club for the Lab is The Labrador Retriever Club, established in 1931.
Top 5 Unique Facts About Chocolate Labrador Retrievers
1. All three Labrador colors can appear in one litter. The chocolate coat is due to a pair of recessive genes that are passed on by both parents.
2. Labradors of all colors are known for their love of water. This stems from their roots as water dogs, hunting and retrieving fish and ducks.
3. Chocolate Labs are intelligent and easily trainable. Using proper techniques involving positive reinforcement, these dogs can learn anything that you want to teach them.
4. They don’t make good guard dogs because they’re so friendly. They’ve never met a stranger!
5. Labs need exercise every day to stay healthy and content. If they don’t get enough exercise, they can develop behavior issues. It’s been said that Labs are too hyper and high-strung for some people to handle. In many cases, the dogs simply are not getting enough attention, exercise, or training. Welcoming a Labrador of any color into your home means you will have to work to meet your dog’s needs.
Do Chocolate Labrador Retrievers Make Good Pets?
Chocolate Labrador Retrievers make wonderful family pets. They get along well with people and other animals. They are friendly with children. They’re smart and can be trained well. They don’t require much maintenance and are super friendly. This is a fun dog to have around the house. They love their people and are dedicated to their families.
They need plenty of exercise, though. It’s important to give your dog at least 1 hour of exercise each day. Long walks, hikes, swimming, or just running in a safe, fenced-in area will give them a chance to get what they need. A well-exercised Lab is a happy Lab. You’ll know that your Lab is not happy if they’re becoming destructive in the home or refusing to listen to your commands. More exercise and proper training are essential in Lab ownership.
Chocolate Labrador Retrievers are one of three colors of Labs. Yellow and black Labs can end up in the same litter. There is no difference in the dog’s personality based on coat color. Chocolate Labs weren’t always popular and were once killed simply for existing. Today, they are beloved family pets, and their coat color is desired by people everywhere.