The Black Labrador Retriever has a smooth and shiny black coat. Black is the most common color of Labradors. Early in the history of breed, black Labs were the most preferred among Labradors while yellows and chocolates were considered the undesirable. Their coat color was the foremost cause of their popularity. The preference for black Labradors along with the dominant choice as household pets for generations make these dogs more widespread than yellow and chocolate Labs.
Black Labrador Retriever Breed Standard
Different kennel clubs have different standards for black Labradors. According to the UK Kennel Club, black Labrador Retrievers should be “wholly black.” However, the American Kennel Club considers small white spots on the chest of a black Lab “permissible, but not desirable.” Although the AKC accepts registration for black Labradors with white patches on the chest, they are disqualified from competing in the show ring. Even it does not recommend such Labs for breeding. Most breeders spayed or neutered black Labs with these white marks to help in preserving the breed standard of Labrador Retriever.
History of the Black Labrador Retriever
Some dog enthusiasts claim that black Labradors are the best working dogs compared to their yellow and chocolate counterparts. They argue that the St. John’s Dogs, who are the ancestors of Labradors, were mostly black. Again these “Labrador prototypes” were very smart, hardworking, and loyal and black Labs believed to be purebred. Another reason the black Labrador is desirable for hunters is that they easily blend into the woodlands – making them less visible to the prey. This belief led to the popularity of the black Labrador Retriever in the past.
Is Black Labrador Really a Better Hunter than Yellow and Chocolate Labs?
Perhaps, decades ago they were better hunters than their yellow and chocolate counterparts. Nowadays, all Labradors regardless of their color have been bred and trained into all areas of work and competition.
Yellow Labradors and chocolate Labradors competed against and worked with black Labradors. They have successfully proved that they can match the competence of black Labs in every field – hunting, retrieving, and shows. However, the black Labrador still remains the desired color of most hunters.