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Labrador Retriever vs. Black Lab

Photos of a black lab on the left, and a photo of a chocolate and yellow lab on the right, meeting in the middle on the diagonal with the letters VS in the middle.

There is no difference between Labrador retriever and black lab because the latter is just a variation of the same breed. This means that black labs are also Labradors and have the same personality. The only difference is in terms of the coat color. Read on to learn about the different types of Labradors (based on their colors) and their key characteristics.

Types of Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers can be divided into three categories according to their coat colors, yellow, chocolate, and black. Keep reading to learn some important characteristics of these types of Labradors.


Chocolate Lab sitting on a concrete sidewalk with fall leaves on the ground.

Chocolate Labs have three different shades. They have a light chocolate brown on their back and dark chocolate brown on their sides. A nice milk chocolate color is sandwiched between these two shades and covers the underbelly of these dogs.


Yellow lab standing in a grass covered field.

Many owners claim that these Labs are more social than other types of Labrador Retrievers. They are more willing to make friends with your neighbors (or even strangers). Therefore, yellow Labradors are your best bet if you’re looking for a friendly and outgoing dog.


Black lab standing on a hill in a woodland area

The coat of a black Lab is usually solid black, but it can have one or two white patches. This interruption in the otherwise dark fur comes from genetic traces left by late ancestors. It is believed that they were probably once all-white themselves.

Common Characteristics of Labrador Retriever and Black Labs

The following are some of the traits that are found in all Labradors, including the black ones.

Family Companions

Man and woman taking a selfie outdoors with a yellow lab

It’s hard to find a better family dog than the Labradors. These playful and energetic canines love to go on walks and won’t even mind a run or two. They also love to cuddle with their owners and won’t need a second invitation to jump beside you. Labrador retrievers are incredibly loyal to their family and do very well around children.

Double Coat

Chocolate lab standing in grass field.

Some Labs are bred to be show dogs because of their attractive coat. However, their shiny coat and straight hair have a lot more to offer than just gorgeous looks. They have a thick undercoat that keeps a Lab warm in cold weather. The water-resistant top layer is equally beneficial as it helps repel most of what nature throws at them.

Rigorous Exercise Needs

Yellow lab running out of a lake with a stick in its mouth.

Labs need to get their blood pumping and burn their excess energy. If you don’t give them something to occupy their minds, they’ll turn into chaotic chewers. Hence, it is important to keep them engaged during the day.

On average, Labradors need an hour of intense physical activity daily. As the name suggests, Labrador retrievers are great at retrieving things. Therefore, playing fetch or retrieving something from water is one of their favorite activities.

Athletic Dogs

Yellow lab running in a park.

The Labrador is a versatile dog who can sprint at speed over short distances. These pups can also maintain an easy loping stride that will carry them for mile after mile. Given their size, this medium-sized breed has surprising agility and jumping skills (can jump over one meter).

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