Labradors are a popular breed of dog. They have a lot of working history, and people want to know more about them. There are two types of Labradors, American and English black Labs. The two differ in personality and intelligence depending on the type you choose for your family.
Labradors can be up to 24 inches tall and 80 pounds. How big your Labrador will be when they are fully grown depends on their ancestors. Some Labradors bred for the show have become heavier and chunkier in appearance than Labradors bred for hunting or competitive success in field trials.
In general, black Labrador dogs are active, friendly, and loyal. They will bond with their family, but they usually like meeting new people. The lifespan of a black Labrador is 12 years, and your pup could live even longer given the proper diet and exercise.
Get To Know Your Black Lab
My first dog, Ted, came into our family when I was little. He was my friend for many years. We went on many trips in the woods together, and he sometimes played with balls in the backyard. Ted sat with his head resting on my lap when I was sad.
The Labrador dog is the most common color. It might seem like people take it for granted. But these dogs are great! They work with human companions and have good personalities.
A guide to help you learn about dogs. Learn about the origins of a black Lab. Then, the focus will show you how to find healthy black Lab puppies when you want one.
The black Lab was famous for hunting and fishing. This breed used to be a friend of fishermen, but now it is rarely found.
Where Do Black Labs Come From
The first Labradors were bred from a dog called the St John’s Water-Dog. This breed is now extinct, but it was most likely the route of Newfoundland. The Newfoundland looked like a Border Collie and looked very similar to what we know as a Labrador today.
English Aristocrats owned St John’s Water Dogs. They brought the dogs together to make a breeding program. The program made it possible for us to have Labs today. But before 1900, almost all of the dogs were used for shooting companions, and they were black with white markings.
How Is The Black Color Inherited In Labs?
A lot of people like black Labrador Retrievers, but that is not the first color. The first chocolate Labradors were born in the 1890s. But, unfortunately, they were not expected until after 1990.
There were many puppies born with chocolate or yellow coats who were euthanized. But because others had other colors, the different colors kept happening too, even though black is dominant. So if a puppy inherits the gene for black coat color from either of her parents, this is the color that her coat will be.
Black Labs vs. Chocolate Labs
If you don’t like genetics, stop reading now. But, if you do, here is some more information for you! The color of a lab coat can depend on how much melanin there is. More means black, and less means chocolate. If you remember back to high school genetics, these instructions are called genes.
Genes come in pairs. Here we are talking about B genes at the B locus. These genes include a big ‘B,’ for lots of eumelanin giving black, and a little’ be for less eumelanin, giving brown. Bi’s dominant over b. So a pairing of BB or Bb will provide you with black fur, but only bb will offer you brown skin.
Puppies get their genes from their parents. That is how we can get black labs and chocolate lab puppies. The gene BB is the recessive gene, so it can come together in a puppy as bb.
With me so far?
This is where it gets more complicated. Black genes can come in other colors, and brown can be different colors too. These genes are also affected by another set of genes at the “E” locus.
Black Labs vs. Yellow Labs
The color of Labradors comes from these genes. E is dominant and doesn’t stop B genes. But e is recessive, and this does. So the color can change to black or brown on a Lab pup if it gets some E genes instead of B genes.
So we have two genes. The B gene is B, orb, and the E gene is EE, Ee, or ee. These genes work together to make the coat color different.
You can see from these combinations that it is common for people to have a black Labrador puppy. Chocolate and yellow labs were hidden for a time by careful mating and selective culling. But there is another twist to the black coat color tale.
Sometimes black Lab puppies are born with the dilute gene. That means their coat color is not as dark compared to other Labs. For example, when the chocolate Lab has the gene, it looks like silver instead of brown. The same thing happens when a black Lab has the gene; it will look like charcoal instead of black.
The D gene is in the genetic code. A big dominant D keeps the color of the coat at its full bloom. But when there is a DD pairing, the skin becomes diluted. The D gene ended up in Labrador dogs because it can be a contentious topic that we will not fall into in this article.
Black Labs have always been famous, but their popularity has changed over the years. In the sporting dog community, owners of hunting dogs often prefer black color Labradors. But pet and show owners often show a preference for pale colors today. As a result, chocolate and yellow Labs can fetch higher prices from some breeders these days, not to mention less common silver and red colors.
Black Dogs Are Harder To Rehome
In pet shelters, there is a sad phenomenon. Black dogs are not rehomed as much. They don’t photograph well, and people don’t want them in person either. Lots of people don’t want to get a black dog.
Potential owners often choose dogs with brighter colors, but they miss out on getting a black dog. Black dogs have many qualities besides their color, and there are differences between Labradors and other dogs.
English Black Labs – bred for show
There are two types of Labrador. One was bred for the show ring, and the other was bred for hunting. Although both Labradors are the same type of dog, these two types can be different and easy to tell apart if you know what you’re looking for. English black Labs, bred to hunt in the field, often grow slower than those used in shows or as pets. They also can be more playful than their other counterparts.
American Black Labs – bred to work.
American black Labs are different from show-bred Labs. American black Labs are slimmer and more focused on the task at hand. They stand around the same height as show-bred Labs, but their head is smaller, and their tail has less of an otter quality. They may not be as playful as show-bred Labs, but they have a stronger drive to retrieve and hunt.
English Black Lab vs. American Black Lab
English and American Labs are both good dogs, but maybe they are different. The English Lab was bred for looks. Their head is more significant than the American one, and they have a barrel chest. They also have a heavier weight on the scales. Black Labradors that were bred for show or as pets are playful and slow to mature.
Which Type Suits You?
American black Labs are different from English black Labs. They need more exercise and mental stimulation. In addition, they should be trained with retrieving activities, which is called gun dog-style training. You will have to work on this for a long time, so you may choose a lab that does not need this type of training.
Black Lab Characteristics
Although the different Labrador strains have separated a lot, they are still all Labradors. They share some things that make them who they are.
Labradors have a double coat. The coat is good for keeping them warm outside and in water. Labs also do well because they have paws that look like hands, and their tail looks like otters’ tail. Labs are all one color, and there aren’t any markings on them. Sometimes Labs raise their heads, but this is only because they don’t have white toes or white spots on their chests or something like that.
How do Big Do Black Labs get?
A black Labrador puppy’s size will depend on how they are raised. If the mother was an American Lab, then the puppy would be more significant. If it is from an English Lab, then it will be smaller. They can weigh anywhere from 55 to 80 lbs and be 21 to 24.5 inches tall at the shoulder when they are adults.
Black Lab Temperament
Labradors are friendly. Sometimes, they are too close. This breed is active and will leap up to greet a stranger or other dog. The downside of this is that they can be easily distracted by greeting everyone they come across at the dog park.
Toddlers and black Labradors might be clumsy, but they also have a brain. They might not know what to do with their hands, so they can’t walk. Sometimes people think they will fall over and hurt themselves. Still, it is okay because these dogs are intelligent and know how to protect them.
Black Lab Intelligence
Black Labradors have been bred for a long time to be hunting companions. They were bred from intelligent dogs that are good at listening to their owners and brilliant.
This color has been trendy in the sporting dog community. As a result, you could even assume that their intelligence has been prioritized in a way that yellow and chocolate Labs were not. To make this coat is easy to do. You only need two dogs of this color. But getting the genes for them is more challenging because you have to choose parents with specific colors or other things that are hard to know. You should always think about which Lab-line will be healthier when breeding two lines together.
Black Lab Health
All purebred dogs have diseases that are common for their breed. Black Labs are generally considered healthy, but they still have some problems you need to know before getting one.
Avoiding Health Problems
Health problems can happen if you buy a dog from bad parents. The best way to make sure that your dog will be healthy is to buy it from a family who has been tested for health problems.
Labradors can have problems with their joints and eyesight. One common problem is dysplasia, which can be seen on x-rays. The condition ranges in severity, and an adult dog can be given a score to see how its joints are developing. Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is a disorder that causes blindness in puppies. To avoid this, the parents must either be Clear or one Clear and one Carrier.
If your puppy has the gene, you may have the same gene too. If you want to breed from her later on, make sure she mates with a dog that does not have an eye problem. You should get a general eye exam every year to ensure that the problem doesn’t come back.
How To Find A Black Lab
The best way to get a puppy is from a breeder. A breeder does not need to advertise for a dog, but they will usually advertise online. Before buying a puppy, you should chat with the breeder and ask them questions about the dogs that you have. Also, meet the mother of the puppies before putting down any money. The mother should be relaxed and happy to meet you and for you to handle her puppies.
When you get a pet, you will need to decide whether a show or working temperament is better. If the breeder doesn’t want to show you the parents’ health records, they might not be good. However, they should have clear PRA scores, recent eye checks from the vet, good hip scores, and no elbow problems.
If one of the parents has been shown as a carrier for dwarfism or PRA, be sure to check the other parent. If they are Kennel Club registered, you can check that no names are repeated in their family tree. Good breeders care about what happens to their puppies and will answer all of your questions.
Choosing a Breeder
To make sure the puppy is healthy, find a breeder who only sells dogs with good health. The parent’s temperaments should also be excellent.
Common mistakes when looking for puppies are not reading articles about Labradors or not being careful about the health of the parents.
Rescuing a Black Labrador
A good thing to do is rescue a dog if you can. For example, it’s great to find a black Lab, because they are hard to home. Rescues will help you find the right dog and make sure it fits in well with your family.
We hope that you will find this article and then if you adopt a dog, it can be advantageous. On our “rescue” page, there is a list of rehoming societies. They will also help you with behavioral problems and training when your dog comes to your home.
Training and Exercising Your Black Lab
Black Labs are intelligent. Train them with love. They need to know how to be outside and at home. Their brains need to have something to do, so train them all the time!
Some black Labs come from a working background, but not many. So if you have a black Lab and they are an American Lab, you might want to teach them how to bring things back to you.
His breeding may affect how far you can go with training. For example, some Black Labradors like to play, and others want to fetch. The American Labs tend to be more interested in playing, and the English Labs tend to be more interested in conveying. You can teach your dog tricks like rolling over or shaking hands, but make sure you take them on the run every day so they’ll stay healthy and happy at home.
You can walk your black Labrador by going for a run together or through play. If you play games, your dog can get a lot of exercise without traveling.
Black Lab Grooming
Labradors do not need special grooming because they have long hair. Therefore, they often do not need to brush twice a day. The only time that they may need to be touched is when they are shedding heavily.
Other than that, Labs have a good coat that only needs to be washed now and then. It is best to brush your dog at least once a week. You will need to trim his nails, too, so they don’t get too long. You also need to brush your teeth often, so the teeth stay healthy.
Caring For An Old Black Labrador
Sometimes black Labs can start to look old. They may have white hairs around their muzzle, making them look like they have a beard. The hair is nothing to worry about, and it will happen to most dogs sooner or later. But as your dog gets older, he may slow down slightly. He might not be as energetic and bouncy as he used to be. He will also spend more time sleeping than playing with you.
The average lifespan for a black Labrador is around 12 years old. However, some people’s dogs might live for 14 or more years. They might need a bed with memory foam when they get older, which can help support their joints. You can also put ramps in your car so that your dog can get in and out more quickly. Another thing you might want to do is switch them to senior dog food, which will be easier for them to digest and has additives that some people believe will slow the pace of arthritis.
Famous Black Labs
Black Labs are great and can do many things. They work in different jobs like search and rescue or catching drug dealers. They can be trained to do lots of things like helping our soldiers in the army. We all know that Jake was a black Lab who helped find people after 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina.
Some black Labs are famous for their owners. For example, here is President Putin of Russia with his dog Konni. She was trained to be a search and rescue dog, and her puppies were given as gifts to foreign dignitaries. There is even a children’s book about her adventures!
What Is So Special About Black Labs?
We love black Labs. They are always kind, friendly, and loyal dogs.
Labradors are different from other dogs. They can do many things like run and play sports. And they work as support dogs, too! Tell us why you love your Labrador in the comments below.