Labrador Retriever Colors
As you can see from the color chart, some chocolates that are actualy "silver/dilute" are still
acceptable by AKC regulations and standard yellow puppies are impossible to tell apart from the
"champagne/dilute" puppies and so a blood test is required to determine which are which.
Please Note: I do say that the Fox Red and a tone of Chocolate are the same color but it was
the closest I could come on the color wheel for each color. In person they do look different
with the Fox Red having a more of an Irish Setter red to it and the chocolate
having red tones but still a chocolate overtone.
Concerning the "white" lines, most people do not know that the true white lines can also carry some
severe skin issues along with the Fox Red lines. It has been noted on yellow dogs that have an allele that
produces a solid body color. When choosing a white or fox red puppy I would suggest that you make sure that
it does have some body shading not just on the ears and tail. This is one of the reasons that serious breeders
do not produce white or fox red. There are psudo white puppies that are so light they are called white and fox red
puppies that have standard body shading and these are safe.
There are currently silver, charcoal and champaign colors being offered at this time. The dilute gene
is required to produce these colors and is carried
as a simple recessive. The dilution males black a charcoal, chocolate a light grayish brown or
silverish color and yellow a champagne and not affecting the color much. The gene also carries
with it some severe skin issues and that alone is a serious consideration.
To produce the colors and introduce the dilute gene, pure Labrador lines had to be mixed with the
Mastiff or Weimaraner to bring in the gene. Breeders were then dishonest in reguard to the registration
and registered them as pure bred Labradors. Over time, and through and many generations of breeding,
I am sure that most lines could be considered as pure bred Labradors by now. Some
lines how ever do retain the thick jowls and cumbersome excessive skinned body of the Mastiff or the piercing
eyes, high ear set and sleek look of the Weimaraner. It is impossible to tell just how many generations ago the
the other breeds were introduced to the line and so the dishonest crosses may be going on yet today.
Some of the dilute breeders say there are "true" non-dilute lines of Labradors that produce silvers and this
has not been proven. If you work a line long enough to focus on producing a very very light colored chocolate (which
is not against the AKC standard) you can eventually produce a Labrador
that is almost as light as the silvers but they will not have the silver sheen that some of the dilutes have. Also,
it only applies to the chocolate lines as it is not a dilution gene that affects all of the colors and so will
not make blacks charcoal and yellows champagne (though, again, you can't tell a difference between those).
The fact of the matter is that only black, yellow and chocolate are allowed by the AKC standard and so
ethical breeders will not produce or focus on a breeding program that produces anything besides
the acceptable solid colors.