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What Kind of Dog Is Brian Griffin From Family Guy? The Surprising Answer!

Jessica Rossetti

By Jessica Rossetti

Brian Griffin

“Family Guy” was created by Seth MacFarlane and premiered in January 1999 on the FOX network. It’s a long-running hit, having just wrapped up its 20th season of production. This animated show features the Griffin family: Peter, his wife Lois, their three children, and their dog Brian.

The world of animation enables the baby, Stewie, and Brian to talk. Brian is an anthropomorphic character. Although he’s a dog, he works as a writer, is intelligent, and is always up for a good martini. The show takes us through the struggles, experiences, and celebrations of every member of the Griffin family in the fictional town of Quahog, Rhode Island.

Brian’s breed has been the topic of debate since the show’s start. He’s been compared to Snoopy, who is an anthropomorphic Beagle in the Peanuts comics. However, Brian Griffin, voiced by Seth MacFarlane, is a white Labrador Retriever. This is made clear for viewers in the first episode of the eighth season, “Road to the Multiverse.”

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How Do We Know Brian Is a White Labrador Retriever?

The fact that Brian Griffin is a Labrador makes sense. For the 31st year in a row, the Labrador Retriever has remained number one on the list of most popular dog breeds in the United States. They are friendly dogs that make wonderful family pets for many reasons.

Brian resembles a white Labrador Retriever. He has a pure white coat, black nose, and floppy ears. Although he walks upright like a human instead of on all fours, he looks just like a cartoon version of a white Lab.

What Is a White Labrador Retriever?

Labrador Retrievers are commonly found in three colors: yellow, brown, and black. A white Labrador is just a yellow Labrador with a very light coat. The only difference between these dogs and other Labs is that their parents had the right gene combination to give them a pale coat. Yellow Labradors can have coats that range from yellowish-orange and golden to cream and white. The American Kennel Club recognizes white Labs as yellow Labs.

Their dark pigmented noses and eyes stand out in contrast to their pale fur. Some white Labs will have touches of cream or yellow around their ears and necks.

white labrador retriever
Image Credit: viktori__photo, Shutterstock

Do White Labradors Have Albinism?

A white Labrador does not necessarily have albinism. Albino dogs lack the necessary genes that produce melanin, which is what gives their skin and coats their coloring. White Labrador Retrievers have melanin. They are no different from any other white dog.

Albino dogs will usually have pink noses. Since their skin lacks melanin, the skin around their eyes will also have pinkish look, but their eyes are usually blue. The only way to know for sure if a dog has albinism is to conduct genetic testing. However, if a white dog has a dark nose or dark eyes, they are not an albino dog.

What Characteristics Does Brian Share With White Labradors?

The first and most famous characteristic of Labradors is that they’re smart. These dogs are highly intelligent and easily trained. They are used in police work, search and rescue, and airport security. They are also common choices for service and therapy dogs. Brian is also intelligent. He works as a writer, drives a car, and has a sharp wit. He speaks several languages and is a MENSA member.

Labradors are playful dogs. They love to play fetch and are often used as hunting dogs because of their retrieving abilities. Brian also likes to play fetch and chase a ball. He’s been known to bring back a dead bird that he hunted and killed as a gift for the family.

Labradors are social dogs and love to be around people. This is probably the strongest characteristic that Brian shares with the breed. He is always happiest around his family. Labs are dedicated and loyal to their owners. As much as Brian and his owner, Peter, have their differences, Brian remains loyal to him.

Image Credit: Characters by 20th Television Animation, The Walt Disney Company.  All rights reserved to the copyright owners.

White Labrador Facts

The yellow Labrador is the most common color of Lab. White Labs are rare, but Labs of any color can produce puppies of any color. Through selective breeding, breeders can try to produce puppies that are of certain colors, but this is never guaranteed.

White Labradors can develop more yellow in their coats as they grow older. While a pure white puppy might mean that the dog stays that color throughout their lifetime, there’s a chance that they may not.

Since white Labradors are rare and people seek them out, breeders may excessively breed their pale-yellow Labs to produce as many puppies as possible with the hopes of white ones winding up in the litters. This is unhealthy for the dogs, not to mention unethical. Responsible breeders will never force their dogs to have constant litters. They will also only breed healthy dogs and show proof that their dogs were genetically tested prior to breeding. The puppies will come with health certificates and will have received all their age-appropriate vetting. Research your breeder and make sure they are reputable. They should be willing to answer all your questions and let you see the puppies on-site if you ask. Remember that someone letting their dogs have puppies so they can sell them doesn’t make them a breeder.

White Labradors are no different from any other color Labrador. They are gentle, affectionate, playful dogs that make great family pets, but they also require plenty of training. These dogs are high energy and intelligent, so training should be easy with them. However, if they don’t receive training, they can quickly become problematic. They can start to act out and become destructive in the house. Obedience training and proper exercise each day are musts for this breed.

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Final Thoughts

Brian Griffin is a white Labrador Retriever, though his breed has been debated for years. He resembles Snoopy in some ways, so people think that he’s a Beagle. White Labradors are just pale-yellow Labs. They are not a separate breed, and they share the same characteristics and traits as all Labradors.

Brian’s character shares many of the same traits as white Labradors. Considering the Lab is the most popular dog breed in America, it’s not a surprise that this long-running animated show features one as the family dog.

Featured Image Credit: Characters by  20th Television Animation, The Walt Disney Company.  All rights reserved to the copyright owners.

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