Is a Chocolate Lab Purebred or a Mixed Breed

Taz chocolate lab purebred

My husband always says that our labrador is chocolate because he got into the chocolate stash when he was just a puppy. He used to be all one color, but now at 13 years old he’s got a lot of white on his face.

A chocolate lab is a purebred, and not the result of different breeds mating. The purebred labrador comes in 3 colors, chocolate, black and yellow. Note that you can find varying shades of the yellow coat, from very light to fox red.

How to tell if your dog is a pure lab

Registration papers and proof of pedigree

It goes without saying that if you buy a chocolate lab from a reputable and registered breeder, you should be given those papers.

It is the responsibility of the breeder to register the puppy with the kennel club.

All the dog’s information will be written on the certificate, such as his birthday, his parent’s information, his breeder’s information, and his current owner.

A limited registration will state that the dog is not to be bred or shown at dog shows. 

DNA testing

Is another way to find out if your dog is a purebred.

Yes, there are companies offering this service. We used one in Toronto, Canada since we live in Quebec. In the States, there’s a company called Embark.

We’ve had it done 3 times now for rescue dogs we adopted. We were curious to find out which breeds made up their profile.

One of our dogs, who has passed away, had 7 different breeds in his DNA! That was fun to find out.

Super easy to do and use. You get the kit, and with a simple cheek swab (included) on your dog and send the sample off according to the directions. Results are returned usually in about 2 weeks.

Visual signs of purebred labrador

To some degree you might be able to visually assess if your dog is a purebred.

The purebred labs have a few distinctive characteristics you can check.

Their tail (affectionately called otter’s tail) is thick at the base, where it meets the bum and tapers off near the tip. It is also straight down or in line with the body. It doesn’t curve over the back.

The labrador’s coat is short, dense, weather and water resistant.

The eyes of the yellow and black labs have a black rim around them. A chocolate lab will have brown-rimmed eyes. They express kindness and friendliness.

They have webbed feet to help them swim fast. 

Its body is muscular and powerful.

What determines the coat colors of labs

Basically it’s passed on through a pair of genes, called ‘bee’ genes. There are 2 of those, the big B and the small b. Each dog will inherit one from each parent.

But then comes along another pair of genes, called the ‘eee’ genes. Again each dog will inherit one from each parent.

It’s getting pretty scientific and confusing, so let’s simplify it:

The B and b genes will produce black or brown labrador

The dominant B gene breeds a black Labrador. The b gene breeds a chocolate lab.

  • BB will produce a black Labrador
  • Bb also will produce a black Labrador since the big B is dominant
  • bb gives you a chocolate Labrador

The E and e genes are the ones responsible for a yellow lab

The ‘eee’ genes are present in a lab in addition to the ‘bee’ ones. three possible Here are the 3 combinations of ‘eee’ genes a labrador can inherit.

  • EE dominant genes
  • ee called masking genes
  • One of each Ee

Now it gets even more complicated!

In the configuration above, the only yellow lab will be the one with ‘ee’ masking genes. Why? because in the other 2 combos, the dominant E will cancel the e gene and the ‘bee’ genes will take over to determine the color.

Possible outcome of the pairing

Each labrador is born with a combination of ‘eee’ and ‘bee’ genes.

Here’s a sample list of possible combinations and the resulting color of labrador.

What about the silver labrador?

There’s a lot of controversy around this labrador retriever.

Another pair of genes started to show up and people want to know where it comes from. Could be from mixed breeding, or spontaneous mutation or hidden genes.


The D gene is responsible for changing the chocolate coat into a silver gray.

When the big D gene is present, the chocolate color is full strenght.

But if the small d is present, it will dilute the chocolate color to silver.

There’s no evidence that the color of their coats will change the basic temperament of the Labrador.

Can a lab have different colored puppies

Yes definitely! It all comes down again to the ‘bee’, ‘eee’ and ‘ddd’ genes.

Not only can a litter have different colors, the puppies can also have a different coat color then their parents.

Possible combinations resulting from 2 labradors breeding:

Two yellow Labs mating will never have brown or black puppies. They will all be yellow.

Two chocolate Labs mating will never have black puppies because chocolate labs do not have the black gene. But they can have yellow puppies, if each of them carries the little e gene.

Two black Labs can breed black, chocolate or yellow puppies.

It’s hard to predict what color the puppies of a litter will be without knowing what genes the parents carry.

Is a chocolate lab a medium or large breed

A chocolate lab is considered a medium-large breed. Our senior chocolate lab, at 13, weighs 70lb.

The standard weight for males is 65-80 lb and 55 – 70 lb for females. Their standard height for males is 22.5 to 24.5 inches, and 21.5 to 23.5 inches for females.

When a chocolate lab is around 6 months old, it should have attained about 75% of their full height.

But this is just a general guideline. It will vary from dog to dog.

They do love to eat! So it’s important to be vigilant about the quantity of food they eat.

Equally important is to exercise them, so they remain at an ideal weight.

They are very strong and sometimes stubborn, so the owner has to be able to control them while walking.

They love water and are made for swimming. If a dog beach is available near you, it would be a great exercise for them.

Labrador Retriever mixed breeds

The labrador retriever is a very popular friendly, energetic, athletic breed. They are great for families, kids and the outdoors.

Buying a purebred lab is expensive. A crossbreed might be a little more affordable. These are created by mating two purebred dogs.

Here for instance are few pictures of labrador mixed breeds.

Labradoodle = Poodle + Lab
Sheprador = Sheppard + Lab
Boxador = Boxer + Lab
Bassador = Basset Hound + Lab

Some Creative Names Given to Labrador Mix Breeds

Springador = Springer Spaniel and lab

Goldador = Golden Retriever and lab

Borador = Border Collie and lab

Greyador = Greyhound and lab

Doberdor = Doberman and lab

Huskador = Husky and lab

Pointerdor = Pointer and lab

Labmaraner = Weimaraner and lab

Beagador = Beagle and lab

Laberner = Bernese Mountain Dog and lab

Here’s a list of common dog crossbreeds. A lot to choose from.