Labrador Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. The shade of these dogs varies from black to yellow, red, and almost every other color imaginable. The reason for this is that they are part of a specific gene known as the ‘Dilution Factor’. This means that each color dilutes the original one.
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How Many Different Colors of Labradors are There?
There are 6 different main colors that a Lab can be born with. The colors each puppy is born with depends on the type of genes the parents have. What follows are the 6 colors and a little information about each:
1. Black– This is the most common of all 6 colors and over 50% of all labs have black coats. Even though there are 9 possible genetic combinations, 4 of them lead to the black coat.
Believe it or not, it is a random choice that gives the black Lab the leading edge when it comes to numbers.
2. Yellow- This is a very popular dog and of the 9 genetic combinations possible, 3 lead to the yellow coat color. However, while Yellow is the dominant color in this category, the puppies can have a wide range of yellow tones.
One of those tones is white and some puppies can be cream color and others a tan color.
3. Brown– This is the third of the three main colors for this breed of dog. And of the 3 main colors, this is the rarest one. Another name for a brown Lab would be chocolate brown.
Unfortunately, this color of Lab suffers more health issues and does not live as long as the other 2 main colors.
4. Red- This Lab color option is often called Red Fox because the coat reminds people of the Fox colors. Technically, this is not a different main color of Labs.
Red is classified as a part of the Yellow Lab category and is different from the chocolate Lab as it lives as long and as healthy as Yellow Labs do.
5. White– This color of the Lab is like the red lab. It is also classified as a Yellow Lab and the white color is not recognized as a separate white dog by the AKC. This is not a true white Lab though as its fur may grow a darker yellow over time.
The true white lab is the Albino, but that color of the coat is due to genetic issues.
6. Silver– It can get confusing when it comes to classifying Labs and their colors. The silver is regarded as an offshoot of the brown or chocolate Lab. Sometimes the silver Lab will look bluish.
Unfortunately, because of that heritage, the silver Lab shares the same bad health and short lifespan as brown labs have. They may be prone to alopecia which is a genetic disorder causing patchy fur and skin problems.
There may be other minor colors but all the colors the Lab puppies come with are a result of one of the three main colors and their genetic combinations.
What is the Rarest Labrador Color?
If we stick to just the three main colors, then Chocolate Brown would be the rarest of all Lab colors. Both black and yellow are dominant as only 2 of the 9 genetic combinations lead to a brown Lab coat color.
But if we want to talk about rare colors then the albino would be the rarest as its color depends on genetic defects which do not always happen. Also, the red, silver, and white Labs are not as common as the three main colors.
The good news is that despite what breeders may say, all Labs, no matter their color, have the same characteristics that come with the lab breed. The color does not affect or influence their personalities or behavior.
If anything affects those two aspects of this breed, then it would be the parents of the puppies. The puppies receive their genes and whatever is coded in those genes is passed down to the puppies.
Some Final Words
What all this means is that when you buy your favorite Lab, you are getting 100% Lab no matter their color. Each color of the dog just adds to the beauty of this dog breed.
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Please note: We are not veterinarians and you use our advice at your own discretion. We always recommend that you consult your veterinarian whenever you have health-related conditions your furbaby is facing. With that in mind, as pet parents ourselves, we wish nothing but the best for your pet and their healthy and happy lives.