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The Chocolate Labrador


A chocolate Labrador Retriever stands unique among Labs for the brown color of his coat. However, not all choco Labs have one type of coat color. The shades vary from medium to dark brown. Theses Labs also has a liver nose and brown eyes. Among the three colors of Labradors, the chocolate Labrador is the most uncommon.

Chocolate Labrador Retriever


Chocolate Labrador Retriever History

Like the yellow Labradors, chocolate Labradors were undesirable dogs during the 1800s. They were mostly despised by the people, who overwhelmingly favored black Labs. But despite being considered undesirable – even for breeding – chocolate Labrador puppies were still produced. The reason is that both black and yellow Labs carry the chocolate gene. It is natural for them to give birth to choco Lab puppies. So, when both the dam and the sire have the gene, it is impossible to end the existence of chocolate puppies. This resulted in the survival of these Labs even at a time when their disdain was widespread.

An analysis of the origins of all chocolate Labradors listed on the LabradorNet database reveals that these unique Labs have their ancestry in eight original bloodlines. The chocolate coat color was not seen as a distinct color of the Labrador Retriever until the 20th century. Though they did exist during that period, owners did not consider them or register these dogs as true Labs. However, there was ample evidence suggesting the crossbreeding of Labradors with flat-coated Retrievers or Chesapeake Bay Retrievers even prior to the recognition of the chocolate Labrador.

In the early 20th century, chocolate Labrador Retrievers became well-established at the kennels of the Earl of Feversham and Lady Ward of Chilton Foliat. Such patronage of these dogs led to the acknowledgment of choco Labs as a variety within the Labrador Retriever breed by different kennel clubs. Ever since its recognition, chocolate Labradors have become a popular choice as household pets thanks to their unique coat color.

But Is Chocolate Labrador Really Stupid?

Years ago, many people thought the chocolate Labrador is not as bright as black or yellow Labradors. Some even called chocolate Labradors stupid or dumb. They said choco Labs just weren’t as hardworking, smart, and good in hunting compared to black Labradors or even yellow ones. There are different theories behind such claims.

One theory suggests that when the chocolate Labradors started to rise in popularity, backyard breeders saw this as an opportunity for profit. This resulted in breeding more chocolate Labradors primarily for their color and not for their temperament, intelligence, or willingness to work.

However, this is not the case for every chocolate Labrador. Responsible breeders – especially those who specialize in breeding working line Labradors – have been able to produce chocolate Labradors. These dogs are as intelligent as their yellow and black counterparts. Besides, not all yellow Labradors and black Labradors do great in hunting and retrieving activities too.

So, how’s your chocolate Labrador?


  1. My chocolate lab is the best dog ever!! He is smart, driven and his bloodline is impeccable! I wish I could clone an exact replica of him!!


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